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Should I accept primary offer just in case?

(10 Posts)
ThePippy Mon 22-Apr-13 13:58:15

Bit of background, I live in a terrible school catchment and had what I thought was a decent chance of getting into a school in catchment over (call it school A) and probably no chance of getting into another school in another adjoining catchment (call it school B) due to being just a tiny bit further away than max distance for the last 3 years. As insurance we put DD down for a local prep school. Not ideal as we could probably only just afford the cost so if anything in our circumstances changed then we would be struggling, but as it was only intended as an insurance policy we were OK with it.

Anyway we visited school A and decided that it wouldn't work for us (nothing wrong with the school/teaching, more logistics of how they ran the day v's juggling work for us) and because we though school B was unlikely we didn't even bother visiting. So we switched the plan and the prep school became no.1 choice and because of this decision we decided to move her (from her place at a daycare nursery) to the nursery at the prep school straight away so she could start making friends there. We have been thrilled with this move and really have started to love the school.

Offer day came with a totally unexpected offer from school B. After much deliberating and chatting with parents at both the prep and school B we decided we will leave her at the prep. However, I am thinking that maybe we should accept the offer at school B just in case something terrible happens to either mine or DH's jobs between now and September (had some redundancies at work recently) but I don't know how ethical that would be. I know there will be people on the waiting list, but I also need to protect my family. What do people think?

scaevola Mon 22-Apr-13 14:03:34

That "magical thinking" isn't protective against disaster.

That you or DH could be sacked/run off with OMorW/keel over the day after term starts.

Unless you are under notice of redundancy, or you know your employer is in dire straits, then there is no reason at all to hang on to a place you want to relinquish.

insanityscratching Mon 22-Apr-13 14:07:05

I would accept and make arrangements to see the school and if you like it move your dd there in September and get rid of all the stress of school fees and worries about finances tbh.

tiggytape Mon 22-Apr-13 14:12:51

I agree - you could perhaps visit school B.
If private school was easily affordable and your geuine 1st choice then you should probably decline the place at school B and let it go to someone on the waiting list.
But as private school is a stretch, it seems a bit rash to turn down a place that you might really like just because it is unexpected. If you see it and don't like it (or it doesn't work well for childcare etc) then you could refuse it at that point and continue at prep school.

Runoutofideas Mon 22-Apr-13 14:23:46

Agree - I would investigate school B more fully before turning down the place. If you are worried about paying the fees anyway surely this would be a more sensible option.

MirandaWest Mon 22-Apr-13 14:26:39

Rememebr you may need to pay a terms fees to the independent school if you don't take up the place there.

Floralnomad Mon 22-Apr-13 14:32:48

I'd definitely accept and go and look round ,if the school fees are only just manageable now they're only going to be going up and TBH lots of people's wages aren't .At your daughters age she would soon make new friends and you will not have the financial pressure.

Blu Mon 22-Apr-13 14:43:41

If you are anxious that your jobs may be lost over the next 4m, I would visit school B and if you like it, accept the place and use it. Do you really want to worry about your finances throughout your DD's education once she is well settled in her school and alternative options no longer exist?

Also, I have no idea what you future plans are, but if they include the possibility of another child a sibling place in a good state school sounds less of a worry to you than another set of fees to pay.

You can't work out what to do on the hearsay of other parents.

Paxroda Mon 22-Apr-13 16:29:28

I have to say I have been in exactly same position.

The way it worked was we accepted state and handed in notice at prep.

Then after a week or so i wobbled and my gut feel was that although we would be saving masses of Money the state option just isn't feel right. Perfectly lovely school - just couldn't put my finger on the why etc.

So - went to see the Head at the prep to retract our notice - this was just after they had had an open day ........ He went pale and said he honestly didn't know if the place was free now and disappeared to the school office for the up to date list - the longest couple of minutes - but he came back beaming with a yes of course!

This was a few years ago now and I still believe that, for us, we have made the right decision for our DS.

Disclaimer : he is our only child, we have no plans to have another

NynaevesSister Mon 22-Apr-13 18:11:58

I wouldn't decline until I went to the school and spoke to parents there. It is never going match up to a private school but that doesn't mean it isn't a good option. My best mate was made redundant and found it next to impossible to find a new job quickly and they were barely able to afford the fees so she had no choice but to switch to state sector. It was tough on her eldest having to leave all her friends.

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