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Move house and risk going to a poor performing school or stay?

(9 Posts)
helsbels26 Mon 12-Sep-11 14:17:19

Sorry for the rambling post but could do with some advice from you all.

DD has just started school in Reception in an area we've been living in for the last six years. I have never liked the area as locals only talk to you if you were born and bred there - luckily I drive so I still get out and about into main town and have good friends network as well as work part time. I am in a real quandry/ dilemna as to stay and suffer for the sake of my daughter's education (at a small village school, she seems to like but it is early days) or take a chance and move into a more urban area where the good schools are heavily oversubscribed and after speaking to the admissions office, the only places still not filled in Reception are within the poor performing school which has availability. I am concerned as previous reports state concerns about teaching standards and there have been lots of changes in headteacher.

The admissions team also stated that the schools I'm interested in have waiting lists of about 18-20, she also said there are waiting lists for other years too so if I was to wait till later there is still no guarantee.

Do I stay where I am or do I take my chances with my daughter's future and move into the borough? We are about to put the house on the market and think it will sell quickly so the likelihood is that we would be moving into new borough around Xmas to early new year..do waiting lists go down by then? Has anyone had experience of this?

Really hope you can offer some pearls of wisdom, thanks MNers.

Oakmaiden Mon 12-Sep-11 14:19:45

If it helps, you don't necessarily go to the end of the waiting list. If you move into a house which is, for example, next door to the school, and thus are the "best fit" as far as the oversubscription guidelines go, then the next place would be offered to you. If you move to a house where 5 people on the waiting list live closer (*assuming no siblings, etc) then you would be number 6 on the list....

helsbels26 Mon 12-Sep-11 14:30:48

Thanks Oakmaiden that is reassuring, one of the schools is about 5 -10 minutes from new housing development I'm interested in and in catchment area of my preferred school. But the admissions office said that there are people who live on the street as school who are on the waiting list!

Really not sure whether I should risk, hence asking for help from you all who are unbiased. We would go private but have another DC and it would cripple us financially.

After 6 years of unhappiness I would love to move but this has made it all difficult...

IndigoBell Mon 12-Sep-11 14:40:31

If you move house you don't have to move school.

So you could move house, keep her at her existing school, commute there twice a day and put her on the waiting list for all the other schools your prefer.

However this may end up to be the worst of both worlds.

I certainly wouldn't move my child to a school where there are concerns about teaching if I had a choice......

teacherwith2kids Mon 12-Sep-11 14:42:10

It can work, but you will have to be pretty ruthless about where you move to. 5-10 minutes, especially if you mean 5-10 minutes' drive, is not close enough to an oversubscribed school. You will genuinely need to move in right next door - even if that is a house that you rent for 6 months or a year before moving to a house you buy further away. However, that will obviously mean that you have to 'target' a particular school rather than applying to lots who are all further away.

It's poossibly also worth thinking about whether your unhappiness is good enough cause to leave. I lived in a 'everyone is 2nd cousins and has been there for 400 years' village when my children were babies and toddlers (I did break into the 'charmed circle' - but it meant taking in lots of the work that nobody else wanted to do, like chairing committees to run pre-school and playgroup!). We moved just before my youngest started school - and I would honestly say that I know very few people here and have very little time to meet any, as i did teacher training and now have a job. Those 'mum friends' are much less important as your children get older - is it critical to move just for this reason when the problem may well disappear within a coluple of years?

helsbels26 Mon 12-Sep-11 14:52:23

I sound really shallow and selfish don't Iblush? Thanks for the advice both of you. I'm fed up of travelling to meet friends and also I would like to be in an area where DD has local friends, this will probably happen with her starting school I suppose.

Thanks for the tips on targeting school teacherwith2kids, might look into rental market, don't think there are any houses nearby that fit that category but you never know.

Indigo - I can't commute unfortunately as new area is 45 minutes drive across heavy traffic. Shame really.

I really should have moved sooner....

Anyone have previous experience of this situation?

helsbels26 Mon 12-Sep-11 15:46:39

Just been to collect her and although she has made friends, I still feel a bit out of the 'local mum clique'.

Can feel DP getting another moaning to tonight, I really don't like dilemnas like this...

teacherwith2kids Mon 12-Sep-11 16:04:15

If the only option is the poor school, don't move. Minor social issues for you just don't stack up vs good school for your daughter.

If you can move somewhere that puts you in the top 1 or 2 of the waiting list for a good school that has reasonable turnover (this is information you can get from admissions - how many children are taken into the school from the waiting list each year is data they will have) so you can expect to get into the school within this academic year, it is possibly worth moving.

I have done exactly this - moved in a June with a son in Year 1 and a daughter about to join Reception. I targeted a school for my son, and luckily a place arose for him. He started school immediately after we moved as he was offered a place on the basis of our rental agreement address, and DD became a sibling (2nd on the waiting list, from 42nd before DS started). She was offered a place in Reception for the September as a sibling.

It was HUGELY stressful. DS had in fact been out of school (home educated) because his first school made him a selective mute, and the move was essential as DH's job moved. I would absolutely not have undertaken it just because I had few local friends and had to drive to see friends on a weekly basis.

helsbels26 Mon 12-Sep-11 17:43:14

Thanks teacher, that does sound like a hellish experience that had a positive outcome in the end.

I'll ring admissions tomorrow about waiting list turnover of schools, I wonder what the chances are??

Agree I don't want to chance and jeopardise my daughter's education.

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