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I'm in primary choice hell...please help!

(16 Posts)
educator123 Fri 18-Jan-13 13:29:06

My children currently attend a lovley but tiny village primary R&yr2...they are happy and the acedemic achievement etc is always high.
We walk to school EVERY day, which we all love.
We also have two more dcs with aren't off school age yet.
As i say we love the school but do worry about its future, although they have given us no inclination too just basing my worries on media speculation and funding reforms.

We have also secured two places (the last two) at another larger village school, it is also a fantastic school but it would mean losing our walk for a ten minute drive each day. This would be a real shame for all of the family but i feel under pressure as if i dont take the palces i may not get them again.
The drive would also be on small country roads so rarely congested...but in weather like today are potential not the best as they aren't treated.

What to do...its driving me mad. I dont want to not have a choice should our school go downhill due to know fault of their own but equally i dont want to move should they be fine. They argue things change all the time with school budgets and government changes etc

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Fri 18-Jan-13 13:44:13

In your shoes if my children were happy and doing well I wouldn't dream of moving them, especially to a school so much further away. You are speculating that the school might close but it isn't based on anything solid just your own fears. That is not a good reason for moving happy, settled children. Indeed if you panic and move your two that probably makes the local school more likely to close. In the unlikely event that the school does close I imagine that the LEA would do their utmost to find your children an alternative school. It won't be closed overnight.

MisForMumNotMaid Fri 18-Jan-13 13:49:57

If your school closes there is a chance that the children will then be bus / taxied to the nearest alternative if its not within walking distance, currently i think its 2 miles or no pavements. If you move before this you wouldn't get any transport entitlement.

Many things could happen like additional classes being created at the larger school, a merger where the schools share a head and board of governors, nothing!

If they're happy and you all enjoy the walk i'd leave things as they are.

educator123 Fri 18-Jan-13 14:22:27

They would obviously find a school if it closes, that isn't really my fear. My fear is they struggle to provide what they do now due to funding. Things like less staff, equipments etc.

Also we have the choice of an alternative atm, if we wait we may not and i say the standard of the other school is extremely high so i would be very happy for them to be there, i'm shocked they got in! It is already fderated with another school. But with its huge spacious classrooms its possible to get an increase in numbers.

I just worry with so many cuts to school and with our youngest not starting for four years..if i move the older ones now then the younger ones stand a higher chance of getting in, but in the meantime the younger ones will be sat in a car for many school runs instead of enjoying the fresh air on our walk!

rabbitstew Fri 18-Jan-13 14:31:52

How tiny is tiny?

educator123 Fri 18-Jan-13 16:04:27

It has 47 but growing due to an amazing onsite pre school, the other has 160 and federated with another of 80ish. Would be so sad if the school here was effected esp as the do so we'll in terms of the education they provide, there as been gossip of not surviving for years but it's never happened but I'm aware things are changing so I would imagine it won't close but it may struggle financially and in turn that could effect standards.

CecilyP Fri 18-Jan-13 16:21:51

As others have said, schools don't close overnight. There would be a consultation process and the decision would then go to the full council. At the moment it isnt even a rumour - it is just speculation.

If your children are happy at the small school and have good friends there, I would keep them there. Especially as it is not just them who will have to make the journey but your younger children (only they will travel twice as much).

Even if, in time, they get fewer extras, your DCs will still be fine. If the worst comes to the worst and the village school does close, where would the children be sent to school? If it is the larger school that your like, then that wouldn't be a problem. If it is some other school that you would hate, then I can see you worrying, but not otherwise.

educator123 Fri 18-Jan-13 16:32:14

Will would stand probably zero chance of getting into the other school we like they are always over subscribed due to having such a good reputation. We are lucky as we happened to apply as two children were relocating. I'm sure the children would get into an ok school but not one I would choose.

Also if things did go down hill it would beat dog eat dog as in parents applying to the surrounding good schools so would just be luck as to where you got applications into the quickest iyswim.

THere are children that already travel to the other school due to its reputation, excellent I notice head whom is often headlined...if our standards slipped I think everyone would be applying to the other school.

educator123 Fri 18-Jan-13 16:37:38

innovative head whom is often headhunted

GladbagsGold Fri 18-Jan-13 16:43:01

Your children are at a school where they are happy and doing well. I would just keep them there. I think you are overthinking.

educator123 Fri 18-Jan-13 16:55:03

I am known for that Gladbags ...

toomuchicecream Fri 18-Jan-13 17:20:16

Excellent head who is often off site, speaking at conferences, consulting at County Hall, supporting less experienced head of another school etc etc etc. And who might leave at any time, at which point school goes downhill dramatically.

Startail Fri 18-Jan-13 17:36:15

Having no school in walking distance, I certainly wouldn't swap.

As other say if your school were to shut it wouldn't be over night.

Transport and places would have to be considered.

School numbers can be varied, except in reception and accommodation would have to be made for older siblings.

Herefordshire had a go at closing small schools, lots of notice, but I don't think any shut.

I believe some Welsh ones have, but Wales is Making a total mess of it's schools full stop.

admission Fri 18-Jan-13 18:37:37

There is no doubt that the new funding arrangements coming in from April 2013 will potentially reduce funding to small primary schools like this. However without doing a direct like for like comparison of the old and new funding regime it is something that you are only going to find out with time.
I agree with others you are over thinking the situation. With two kids in the small local school you have a high probability of getting your younger two in the school, the further away from the home you go, the more likelyhood that you could have problems getting a school place. I would stay where you are unless there are definite plans to close.

educator123 Fri 18-Jan-13 21:12:57

Thanks all, I am less concerned about closure than the school remaining open and going downhill because they might have to reduce staff, classes etc atm it have three mixed classes 4 teachers plus TAs I wouldn't be happy with any less.

The head at the other school does a 50/50 split with its federated school. SAying that I've heard from a teacher friend in the same county that all the teachers are amazing and that other teachers have been known to say they would be intimidated working there with such a high standard of staff.

But like you say it could all change should the driving force leave.

I suppose if our school becomes an umbrella academy which has been mentioned as a possibility it could benefit from doing do?

educator123 Fri 18-Jan-13 21:16:25

excuse typos...can't use my kindle fire keyboard very well!

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