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How hard is it not to be at the local school

(17 Posts)
AmandaPayneNeedsANap Sat 18-May-13 10:44:01

DD1 didn't get into our closest school (School A) and instead got School B. School B is lovely, but is right on the doorstep of two outstanding schools, so far less oversubscribed.

We are approx 0.6 of a mile from both schools straight line, but School B ends up being well over a mile by car/on foot, whereas School A is pretty much a straight line route. That makes the difference between 15 minutes walk and over 35 minutes, so realistically we will need to drive to School B, especially in winter.

All the local kids go to School A, though that might change in the years below DD as many of them wouldn't have got in in this intake either. I think in future years siblings will go to School A and eldest/only children will be at School B. (There are various reasons, new building, rising birth rate, a bulge class working its way through School A which is likely to result in extra siblings in the next couple of intakes, etc).

So just how hard do people think this is likely to be for DD1? I keep reading on these threads how much people under-estimate the value of a local school and I can't help being sad for DD1.

I am happy with School B otherwise, but wondering whether we should stay on the waiting list of A. We are currently seventh, so any place would probably not come up until the summer, or well into reception year, if at all. They are both 60 intake. How much does it matter how close you are - and whether your friends are up to two miles away (some of the children at School B will come from up to a mile in the opposite direction to our house).

adeucalione Sat 18-May-13 10:50:49

All three of mine attended schools that were 3-5 miles away - an hour's walk or 10 minutes in the car. Indeed, it's normal here (rural area) and I never saw it as a disadvantage.

alpinemeadow Sat 18-May-13 10:53:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AmandaPayneNeedsANap Sat 18-May-13 10:56:04

No one we know got B - it just happens that the eldest children we know live closer (ie. 30 m would have got us in) and the further ones are siblings. we are quite new to the area so only know a few people.

mikkii Sat 18-May-13 11:00:53

My DCs go to a school 3 miles away. It is our nearest RC school and its on my way to work, they start at 8.30 and have an after school club run by the nursery they both attended (and DC3 currently attends). Our school has a wide catchment area but we still do play dates at weekends.

DCs have asked to walk to school after being fed propaganda, but it is simply not feasible.

I would stay on the waiting list for school A, but if no place as come up by the time school starts, consider carefully if you want to disturb her. Plus will you need to buy all new uniform?

LIZS Sat 18-May-13 11:09:57

I think you are looking for problems that may to arise. Sometimes not being with the pack is an advantage, and as you say there may be more in the future, and you can always put her in Brownies etc with local friends. Surely a mile only takes about 20 minutes , not 35 ! Put her on the waiting list and review if and when .

Weegiemum Sat 18-May-13 11:15:32

My dc go to a specialist language school 6 miles from home so don't know any local children from school. But brownies/playing in the street means they have plenty local friends too. Not A Problem.

LIZS Sat 18-May-13 11:43:26

I think you are looking for problems that may not arise - sorry!

lljkk Sat 18-May-13 14:57:59

Stay on the list for A and see how things go. Maybe you will find you like B better, anyway.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Sat 18-May-13 15:05:33

It can be hard but that depends on how you get there. If you drive or its walking distance then it makes no difference. If however you rely on public transport then it gets a bit harder.

Good schools are worth the expense and effort on travelling too. Sadly however the sacrifice is time lost and the added inpracticality of being able to do normal things like after school clubs or having friends over.

Crinklecut Sat 18-May-13 18:54:20

Last year my daughter did not get a place at our walkable school choices, and we ended up at a school on the other end of town, a 15 minute drive away. We knew no-one else going to the school, and at the time she was upset that all her friends were going to a different school together. A year on, and she is so happy. She has made lots of new friends ( as have I) and is very settled. The fact we have to drive and many of her friends can walk is not a problem (I don't think she has even thought about it)
I have to be a bit more organised when organising play dates etc, but have bought a spare booster seat, which means I can take her friends in the car easily, and other parents have never minded driving to ours to pick up their children from ours.
She does some other activities near to school, with her school friends, but still sees her other friends regularly.
I have not found attending a non-local school a problem. The issues only arise if you let them.

I am not clear why you would send siblings to school a if your dd is at school b, is it not more practical to have them all at one school. My dd2 will be going to the same school as her sister.

AmandaPayneNeedsANap Sat 18-May-13 19:11:22

Thanks everyone. Will come back later when have more time.

Crinkle- I didn't mean I'd send her sister to a different school. I meant that, in the future, in the roads around us, I think the only people going to School A are likely to be children who already have a sibling at the school at the moment. People like us who are applying for their first/only child are likely to find that they now live outside the effective catchment and will get School B.

holmessweetholmes Sat 18-May-13 19:17:56

My children go to a primary school 10 minutes' drive away rather than the one 5 minutes' walk away. By choice, because it's a much better school. It's not a problem at all.

AmandaPayneNeedsANap Sat 18-May-13 21:56:05

LIZS - It's well over a mile. Just checked and it's 1.3 miles. That's the same distance as a couple of places we walk to currently, and that's half an hour with a four year old. Google maps reckons 26 minutes to walk it - and I reckon adding on 5-10 for a small child is pretty representative. If I was walking alone, yes I could probably do it in about 20-25 on the way back from drop off. But I'll have DD2 with me for two more years, which means a buggy or a slow moving toddler as she gets older, both of which slows me down a bit.

Wheresmycaffeine - It is walk or car. There isn't a realistic bus. Bike might be possible but only as they both got older because there are some reasonably busy roads. Thankfully it's probably only max 10 minutes drive (and then only cos you have to go round a one way system).

Thank you all for making me feel a bit better. Stressing about all this. We didn't really expect not to get School A. Every year for the last 5 we'd have been comfortably within. It was a bit of a perfect storm that the houses were just finished, etc, etc.

Barbeasty Sun 19-May-13 07:55:14

It's only the children you know who all got into school A. I expect once your DD starts at school B in September you'll discover other people from near you are there.

2 miles isn't far really for play dates and parties, especially since plenty of people will be in the same situation.

Twinklestarstwinklestars Sun 19-May-13 08:03:41

Mine go to a school 6 miles away which is not the catchment school but so do quite a few from our rural estate so they still have friends at home, the school is much better and smaller than the catchment one and also offers full time preschool for £50 a week so attracts quite a few parents.

SanityClause Sun 19-May-13 08:10:48

Could you "park and stride"?

I used to drive a bit more than half way to school with DS, at his old school (about 2 miles away). We used to park in a park, and walk through it, then along some streets to his school.

My DC have always gone to schools a bit further than the local school, and it's always been fine, although I agree the school run can be a bit more of a chore if you are further away.

But stay on the waiting list for school A. You can then decide if and when you are offered a place.

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