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Would you send your child to a school in special measures?

(6 Posts)
fishesgirl Sat 20-Apr-13 09:17:40

1st choice school oversubscribed, dd 4th on waiting list, have been offered a place at catchment school which we did visit and quite liked but since we visited, school has been placed in special measures and the lovely head teacher has left leaving the head of another primary in charge. Problems seem to be throughout the school including reception classes - phonics teaching not up to scratch, noise felt to distract from listening and concentrating. Have a work colleague who has a child in reception and one who has started at a nearby outstanding comp with competitive entry and she has no concerns about the school.
Know that special measures could be a positive thing but somehow it seems wrong to be letting my child attend a failing school (sorry I know this sounds dreadfully snobbish). Have enquired re other local schools, all have waiting lists. Would consider private but nearest schools are an hour away which I think is too far for a 4 year old.
Please reassure me that I am worrying unnecessarily (or otherwise!). Thanks

mydoorisalwaysopen Sat 20-Apr-13 11:45:54

I sent my kids to the local school in special measures - until it came out of special measures in fact. I was very unhappy with the school and realized it was not going to get better after ofsted decided it had improved when it clearly hadn't. I moved my kids and am very glad I did. When at the first school my DS1 would not have learned to read unless he'd gone to a private tutor. It was a very bad decision to send him there and I feel I really let him down. Sorry this is not what you want to hear and I'm sure there will be plenty of people who can reassure you. Just not me.

tiggytape Sat 20-Apr-13 11:58:25

Starting any school is a leap of faith. You never really know what you will get or how it will suit your child until they are there.
An 'outstanding' school can be based on a 2009 inspection report and be (or seem) drastically worse in 2013 than a parent would expect. A school in Special Measures with a new Head could receive a huge shake up and become dramatically better than other local schools within a year.

Turning around a school in special measures is taken very seriously and it is likely a lot of changes (staffing and otherwise) will continue. The aim will be to put right any aspects of the school that were deemed to be failing. As mydoor says, it doesn't always work - some schools do seem to slip back (especially if the Head and Governors don't change and aren't at all on board with the changes) but in other cases it transforms a school from the worst to the most popular school in an area.

Most people would agree it is better to be allocated a school that has been identified as needing help and is already getting support than one that is satisfactory but declining and will be downgraded too late for any changes to benefit some pupils. Maybe see what your other options are but by no means does it mean your son will be at a failing school - hopefully a rapidly improving one.

fishesgirl Sat 20-Apr-13 14:30:57

Thanks for your views. The head has gone although by all accounts she was good and there has been a complete change of the board of governors which would seem to be a good thing as it would appear they were previously weak. Mydoor - poor performance from the start is my concern. We did look at another school in special measures but the majority of concerns particularly regarding learning and attainment were at the year 5/6 end which while not good does at least ensure there should be a good basic grounding. At least I will (hopefully) be on mat leave for most of the reception year so I will be able to be around a lot more than if I was at work.

givemeaclue Sat 20-Apr-13 14:43:26

No I wouldn't.

Valdeeves Sun 21-Apr-13 02:19:58

No I wouldn't either - if you could give it a few years - I'd say yes! As it will be better than before. But to go in when they have just been given the status will mean low staff morale, pressure on them which will
Mean intense pressure on pupils to academically acheive at all costs.

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