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If I put my ds name down for another school will his current school know about it?

(24 Posts)
tiggytape Fri 25-Jan-13 13:26:52

I agree prh. I suppose the reason parents don't kick up a fuss is that by the time they get to the stage of actually applying to other schools, they are pretty desperate and don't want to delay things. One LA I know is so unmovable on the issue that they definitely wouldn't budge and then it would have to go to LGO (which would help future parents but delay things for parents making the referral who are probably desperate just to move)

Parents are really wary about being treated badly by the current school in the time they are on the waiting lists. If they kick up a fuss about not wanting to sign the form, they worry the current school will hear about it via the LA (given the implied relationship between the two) and then it will be obvious why they don't want to get it signed.
If they comply but lie about their real reasons for leaving, the Head Teacher isn't going to take it as a direct or indirect criticism and might not make their lives so hellish for the time left.

I wonder if it is possible to refer to the LGO if you are not directly affected though - just on the basis that the process is unfair?

TalkinPeace2 Fri 25-Jan-13 13:18:18

Dear prh47bridge
Please can we make you a senior consultant to the dfe? Because with your clear headedness and impartiality, so many problems could be solved.

prh47bridge Fri 25-Jan-13 13:04:35

Someone should refer the LAs that do this to the Schools Adjudicator.

If it were me I would not put a reason nor would I get the current school to sign. I would submit the form and tell the LA that if they refuse to process my application or notify the current school of its existence I will refer the matter to the LGO.

tiggytape Fri 25-Jan-13 12:18:34

prh - you are right. There are some boroughs in London where you have to state your reason for wanting to move to another school, declare you have tried to resolve all issues and then get the Head of the current school to sign the form!
It puts a lot of people off moving which is the intention I guess.

Those who still want to move just lie on the form and say they are moving job or caring for an elderly relative further away and want to make the school run easier (you don't actually have to have a reason for moving schools but the council's form makes you give one and they point blank refuse to process it without the form being filled in).
I agree it should be confidential but if you live in an area where the council want to make it difficult, it is hard to get around this.
People do fear things getting even worse once the Head finds out they want to move which is why they lie about their reasons when forced to declare that they're looking elsewhere.

Pythonesque Fri 25-Jan-13 11:43:39

I think if moving into the private sector, just looking around is no issue at all. If they assess your child in some way before confirming a place, they will request a report from the current school at that stage. I'm sure you could discuss the situation confidentially with a school to allow the report-requesting step to be left at least until they can definitely take your child, rather than at a stage they might be on a waiting list.

[my daughter has moved school this year to a chorister place; she tried out twice to get in and school reports were part of the assessment process that accompanied the music tests, so her teachers knew she was applying both years. What they didn't know the second year though was that I was moving her no matter what!]

prh47bridge Thu 24-Jan-13 15:27:29

In some LAs the existing head is told, in others they are not. Sometimes it depends on the head of the new school. Some LAs won't allow you to apply for a transfer unless the current school agrees, despite this being a clear breach of the Admissions Code.

I am of the view that the existing head should not be told. It is a breach of confidentiality and, if the parent already has problems with the school, telling the head that they are looking elsewhere could make things much worse.

SantasHairyBollock Thu 24-Jan-13 13:01:28

One of the things for me, there are loads of annoying/shit/dodgy things that I try to raise/improve through being a governor and it doesn't get me very far. Some effect, yes, but not enough.

Sometimes I think I would be more use/more effective by stopping being a governor, and just being that parent instead grin IYKWIM. I would be putting in formal complaints every other week! I would quite enjoy that as I like a bit of a non-physical scrap

TalkinPeace2 Thu 24-Jan-13 12:58:19

I was not able to move in the end - so many others were on the waiting lists.
I just sat it out. And once I'd realised that I was banging my head against a brick wall, copped out, resigned as a governor and looked after my kids till they left.

Another governor resigned stayed on as a governor for half a term after he pulled his kids out!

Looksgoodingravy Thu 24-Jan-13 12:57:15

Santa, I've always had doubts about this school but then I brush them off especially when ds has had a good week. I've really tried to remain positive but its hard as those doubts keep coming back.

For me I think ds would thrive in a bigger school (socially) but I've always tried to justify why a smaller school has been advantageous. I think I'm just trying to convince myself that everything will be fine. There's lots of other little issues which a building too.

It's hard, you just want the best for your child and changing schools is a huge decision and not one I'm taking lightly. In a few months time I may feel different again, who knows.

Is anybody ever 100% happy with their child's school?

SantasHairyBollock Thu 24-Jan-13 12:46:30

This might be a bonkers suggestion, but you could get a friend to book the visit in their name, and they go to see the school and you go with them grin for the look around?

More seriously, I don't see how they can justify passing on the details to the current school - and you could ask the LA anonymously to see if that is the case. But I agree with PP - so if the HT finds out you are unhappy, so what? They should be wanting to work with you to help you be satisfied with the current school, not having a huff about it.

TalkinPeace2 Can you tell me a bit about changing school when you were a governor? Parent Governor I take it? I am also feeling that for a while now, the more I know about our school the more I want to move my child out sad It's a pretty grim feeling. I can imagine it's like a divorce, where you can cite irretrievable breakdown in relationship for the need to leave...

Looksgoodingravy Thu 24-Jan-13 12:36:17

Certainly given me something to think about.

Interesting Talkinpeace, so the HT isn't informed in every case. It's something I'm going to have to look into!

Think I need to speak to our LEA and see what their advice is.

Ilovesunflowers, we haven't discussed this with ds yet. He'd be the first to go into school and inform the teacher, he's only Y1 so I wouldn't expect him to keep it to himself either. I also don't know how he'd react at the thought of going to a new school as he hates change!

TalkinPeace2 Wed 23-Jan-13 21:12:50

When I put my kids names down for another school, their current head was NOT told.
How do I know?
Easy, I was the governor looking at our own waiting list and funding formula grin
The head had NO idea how many of her pupils were on lists at other schools waiting to leave. She'd have been horrified if she did as I was not the only Governor ready to escape.

SoldeInvierno Wed 23-Jan-13 19:18:12

I had a look at several private schools before I moved DS from state to private. I don't think the head was ever informed until he got a provisional offer and they had to write to the school to get his school report, etc. We were gone within 2 weeks so even if the head had been annoyed, there was very little she could have done about it.

Ilovesunflowers Wed 23-Jan-13 18:41:19

Honestly I wouldn't worry about it. It's none of the heads business and you have to do what is best for your children. I say this as an ex teacher.

One thing to be careful with is telling your child. Children who are told too early just twiddle their thumbs and some stop putting the effort in or start getting upset/overexcited. I taught children who would constantly tell me they were moving schools but they might not have moved for another 6 months. That's a long time to wait in a child's eyes. Don't tell them until you are sure you've got a place.

warmmagnolia Wed 23-Jan-13 18:12:31

We moved our DS from a State to a Private school. We looked at all local private schools over a couple of years, we had several meetings and attended social events at one of the schools for a year. The head at our State school was not informed and was not informed prior to us being made an offer either.

We were told that we could not look at other LEA schools however, without the Head being informed. HTH.

CashmereHoodlum Wed 23-Jan-13 14:35:32

Those who have left have had a rough ride between the head finding out and actually leaving. The school is failing, and there are strategies in place to improve it, but it is not improving. I have been to numerous meetings at the school and I am becoming that parent. I don't believe anything will ever change there, so we have reached the stage where we either accept it as it is, or leave. I would like to go into a lot more detail, but it probably isn't a good idea.

That is a good idea about contacting the LEA. Just to find out it it is an official requirement for one head to inform another if we go for a nose round a new school. Thanks.

Looksgoodingravy Wed 23-Jan-13 14:25:16

I suppose you worry that it will reflect on your child if the head finds out.

Looksgoodingravy Wed 23-Jan-13 14:24:17

I think I'm mulling over the option to go and talk to the head Bower.

Looksgoodingravy Wed 23-Jan-13 14:23:16

It does seem like a breach of confidentiality. Wonder if it's to encourage parents to try and sort out the issues with the HT who can then encourage you to keep your child at the school before it gets to the stage that you want to remove them hmm

I just don't know what to do. Who'd have thought schooling could be this difficult!

bowerbird Wed 23-Jan-13 14:14:33

Genuine question, but so what if the current head knows? Why do you not dare to express how dissatisfied you are? If they don't know, they can't make any moves to fix the problem.

BTW, I've had my DD on a waiting list for a while now, and the school has improved so don't actually know what I'd do if she got a place.

Could you contact the LEA and ask them, and talk through any concerns?

CashmereHoodlum Wed 23-Jan-13 13:56:45

We are just letting it all drag on because we feel if we take the first step towards moving we will be forced to go ahead. I feel frightened to take action. I would like to know if the head will be told if we view a private school. We never thought we would take that route but but we are panicking.

I was shocked that the head is informed of visits to other LEA schools as it seems like a breach of confidentiality but apparently it is the way things work.

I daren't express to the school just how dissatisfied we are until we have made our minds up.

Looksgoodingravy Wed 23-Jan-13 13:48:48

I really wouldn't want his current school knowing until I had made a final decision.

I'm finding this all pretty difficult tbh, how do you feel?

CashmereHoodlum Wed 23-Jan-13 13:36:37

I'm in a similar situation and I've been told that if we even view another school within the LEA the current head would be told.

We are also considering moving into the private sector and I wonder if the same would apply.

Looksgoodingravy Wed 23-Jan-13 13:31:40

I've been very up and down about ds's school. Some weeks I feel ok about it, then others I wonder if he would be better elsewhere.

The school I'm interested in does not have any places so he would need to go onto the waiting list. If I were to do this and then when a place came up (if ever) I went to view the school does my ds school automatically get told about this?

I hate this feeling sad

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