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Help! In a dilemma about whether to accept place at Wwest London Free school Primary - new free school

(85 Posts)
Firstgold Sun 21-Apr-13 21:45:15

We're struggling to decide whether to take up a place offered at West London FS Primary for DS this September or whether to scrimp and save and just about afford private school.

Concerns are the obvious ones - brand new school (albeit with close links to the West London Free School secondary); unknown quantity in the young headmistress (who isn't meeting any parents until they accept the offer of a place); teaching staff still in the process of being recruited etc etc. We can't even visit the school as it currently houses the secondary and they don't want visitors; DS would be one of 60 reception children and his year group would always be the top of the school (no one to look up to etc as it is filling up year by year from reception each September).

So it would be a big leap of faith. But it could be brilliant and help us save for private secondary school which we'd ideally like to do.

If we go the private route and see how WLFSP works out, and apply for DD in a couple of years, suspect we wouldn't get a place due to sibling policy and probably ever decreasing catchment area...

MacMac123 Tue 04-Mar-14 23:43:32

Take the place and feel grateful for it. Of course she can't meet you, anyone local will know there is SO much interest in the school it would be farcical for her to meet parents at this stage, even only the parents who have been offered places. For a start, she's got a school to set up and like the school says, they held their open evenings. Futures years will be different for school tours and meeting the head I'm sure but this is the first year.

I'm sorry but if you got a place you must be aware of the competitor you beat. That's like winning a prize in the lottery then agonising over whether you should have played.

BambooBear13 Sun 09-Mar-14 18:25:46

I really don't understand why all these free schools insist on heavily branded uniform? I feel for the poor girls wearing those hideous pinafores. I am thankful that our amazing school has a liberal uniform code and my daughter is allowed to wear practical trousers in the winter !!!

sassytheFIRST Sun 09-Mar-14 18:31:25

The uniform issue is blatantly to keep the riff raff out.

One of our local private schools is converting from September. It's in the middle of the most ethnically diverse parts of the town, and one of the most deprived areas. They are keeping their uniform (average cost at reception, £300). That'll keep the nasties from applying!

And my taxes are going to fund it. I think this is awful. I hope the whole thing falls on its arse.

BambooBear13 Sun 09-Mar-14 20:35:44

Emperors new clothes. We will have a fancy uniform and look like a prep school and people will think we are for free ... It's probably a lovely school but I just don't get it: are people so easily fooled?

reup Mon 10-Mar-14 21:07:01

A friends child attends the oratory and it cost almost £400 for the uniform, you have to make a special appointment at the outfitters. The trousers have special embroidery on them!

DalmationDots Tue 11-Mar-14 10:23:24

I would raise your concerns with the WLFS, tell them about you feeling in the dark and while you love the concept and feel it could be perfect, you need to meet the head and come and see the building etc.
If they still say no, then leave it and stick with the private.

Is the private likely to have places for Year 1 or is it heavily oversubscribed?

DalmationDots Tue 11-Mar-14 10:29:44

Oops just seen the school's reply, ignore my comments.

Abra1d Tue 11-Mar-14 10:34:48

OP, did you really have an hour on the phone with the head? And you still feel you haven't been given enough time? Or have I misunderstood.

As for 'holding teachers to account' at the school gates, that may not build great relationships with teachers in any sector.

BewitchedBefuzzledBewildered Wed 16-Apr-14 22:38:58

I fail to see how the uniform for the WLFSP can cost anywhere near £400

MrsLittle Thu 17-Apr-14 21:50:18

This thread is slightly misleading. We visited WLFS and were also told that the head was not meeting individually with prospective parents. The reason stated was that there were three open evenings where parents could meet and chat with the teachers, head, governors and Toby (the god) himself. I was also able to email the head and received a reply within 24 hours. All of the Primary schools I contacted in Hammersmith weren't able to give an individual meeting with the head due to the sheer quantity of parents applying. I can totally understand why they would want to give priority to the existing students in the school. heads are very busy people!
Having said that, I wasn't impressed at the open evening. We were given conflicting information and it was totally unclear how the school would be operating with a shared space with the secondary. I couldn't see how exactly my four year old would be kept separate from the Year 9 students when they were sharing the same building and lunch hall. I was also not impressed with the availability of open space, which is an issue if you are interested in sport. The head and teachers were very vague about how often they would be using the park nearby. We visited after half term and the current reception class had yet to use the park. I was also disturbed by the fact that the children have assigned desks when every other school we visited used carpet time with no desk work. We ended up putting it down as our fall-back and thankfully got our second choice. Only you know what is right, but don't buy into all the "it won't be allowed to fail rhetoric".

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