2 choices....arghh I can't decide!(15 Posts)
Hi there, I'm just looking for some mumsnet opinions pleeease!
In a nutshell, DD hasn't got into our first preference school, which happens to be our closest school, 15min walk away and DD has been there since September in nursery class, which she loves. It is an infant school with a 'good' ofsted and good SAT results. We have been very happy with the school and really enjoy walking/cycling the school run. It feeds up to a junior school which is totally separate - different name/head teacher/uniform etc. The juniors only gets a 'satisfactory' ofsted and has SAT results broadly in-line with NA. On a superficial note, the juniors is in an old, tired looking building on a busy road. We've always been concerned about the juniors but decided to just go with it as we LOVE the infants so much, and they are our local schools.
We've been offered a village primary 4-11yrs. We went for a look round and liked the school and the head teacher. It has a 'good' ofsted with excellent SAT results. It will have small class sizes 19 & 20 kids per reception class. The school is 5 miles away and takes about 10mins to drive. My reservations are that we don't know anyone at the school and will have to drive everyday. Also (again superficial!), the school building is old and scruffy with pretty uninspiring outdoor spaces. BUT, I like the idea of a full primary schoolm especially as DS will be starting YR when DD starts Y3.
DD is 2nd on the reserve list for our origional school and I'm pretty confident she will be offered a place in September. So here ls the dilemma - which school?? What would you go for? X
Right now you don't have a choice. You have only been offered a place at one school. You should accept the offer. If you don't you will not have a place for your daughter anywhere and if a place at your first choice school does not come up in September you will have a problem. Make sure you are on the waiting list for your preferred school. You only need to make a decision if you are offered a place there.
Accept the offer you have. Then make a decision about the other one if you do get in.
Oh I should have said, we've accepted the offered village school. I just think we'll be offered a place at our origional school through the reserve list and I don't want to make a rushed decision at that point.
We had never considered the village school but now it's on offer its thrown up all sorts of decisions. In terms if Yr -Y2, I definitely prefer our first choice local school...but taking into consideration juniors, I'm undecided.
I'd be driving to the better school, in fact I'm considering putting to my kids to school 20 miles away and driving it everyday. I live in the middle of nowhere though and driving is just a way of life here.
The village school sounds undersubscribed?
I would go for the local infants if you get offered it, and then try to switch to the village school in Year 3 and for your son in YR.
The convenience factor of being able to walk to school initially, and then of having both children at the same school later, would swing it for me.
Yes the village is quite out on a limb and generally only serves the kids from the village. It's one of the only schools in the area which is not oversubscribed. Not sure if that's good or bad! It was put into special measures about 6 years ago but has since had a new head teacher and change of senior staff. It's now performing really well.
Our local school has 22 on the reserve list so we are lucky to be near the top. There has never been an issue with over subscription at this school before. It has really thrown us not getting in.
Had thought about moving DD in Y3 and starting DS in YR at the village school but I was concerned that by then she will have formed friendships and want to go up to the local junior school with her mates.
It's possible that the local junior school will have become Outstanding with amazing SATS results in 3 years time anyway.
That's true Cloverer! Schools do change so quickly.
To be honest I'd be looking at the secondary school more than anything. If you send your child to the primary that far away will the children there likely go to a secondary that you may be out of catchment for? E.g. You may be ok getting in primary but those kids may go to the secondary even further out and then you may be too far. Imagine if your child is the only one not going!
We had this dilemma and worked our whole thinking around the desired secondary as I feel this is the most important and our local secondary has always been good (literally for over 30 years). If there's no problem with the secondary then fine go for village given social issues.
I know its crazy thinking about secondary but I would hate to move my dc at age 11.
You often find that Junior schools only have 'satisfactory' OFSTED rating because the Infants have overinflated their KS1 SATs results (or been a little too generous).
That makes it really difficult for the Juniors to show the required progress through KS2 and they're automatically satisfactory.
I wouldn't worry about the undersubscribed issue. Village schools are subject to the vagaries of population size. For instance if people like the village and the secondary school then people tend to stay there and then there is no housing available for new families to move in. It just doesn't tend to have the turnover of people that you get in a town.
I would go for the local school every time if places come up.
I would have a think about the practicalities. You will be responsible for getting your children to this school everyday and life can change a lot in the 7 years your dd will be there (or even longer if you have younger children too). My relatively new car had major mechanical issues last year so we had about 2 weeks of no car. If my dc had have been at one of the village schools there is no way I would have been able to get them there as there are no bus routes, and no other parents nearby to share lifts with.
Have you actually been around the juniors? I'd go and have a look if you haven't as the atmosphere of the school may make your mind up for you. That said, it will be 3 years before your DD gets there so things to change.
But...small class sizes....excellent sats.....good head....I'd be happy with that!
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