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which school to choose

(8 Posts)
howtoapproachthis Sat 29-Nov-14 08:18:10

i have 2 local schools to my dd. i am really confused which one to send her too. one is doing very good in all categories the ofsted reports, but has more attendance issues than the other. the other is just doing good in the reports but is oversubscribed. i have no idea why, but everyone seems to want to go there. from what i have heard its more the wealthier people who send their kids there. so, which school do i put down as first choice? the one doing better in ofsted, or the one everyone wants to go to?

18yearstooold Sat 29-Nov-14 08:21:05

Have you actually visited the schools to get a feel for them?

Pick the one that feels the most welcoming

Pocpocpocs Sat 29-Nov-14 09:20:25

Hi, I have found this where we live - there are desirable schools and non-desirable schools and the desirability is not based on ofsted or a personal preference on the school itself (very often I've heard people criticise a school on the basis of the parents they see at drop-off time having never actually been inside the school itself!). If I look closer the schools which are undesirable have a far greater percentage of children eligible for free school meals and often more children with English as a second language.

To be honest I can only think it's a combination of closed minds and prejudice and I find it very depressing. Yes everyone wants the best for their children, of course they do, but since when has this meant ensuring that they attend a school where most children come from a similar background and culture and aren't the 'wrong sort of children from the wrong sort of family' (and round here people either pay for this through school fees/getting into a catchment area or attend church for years to ensure this is the case). It's probably not a new thing just that I'm new to it.

I've had lots of conversations about this over the past few months so I know I'm not imagining it. If pressed most people will say that they want their child to go to a school where the majority of parents have similar values and have a strong belief in the value of education. The playdate argument is used too. I can't argue with this but the result is that all the middle-class kids attend roughly the same schools and the schools aren't particularly well mixed which I don't think is good. Now there is even a new free school which is creaming off even more middle class children.

Anyway, I digress somewhat, I think the answer is to choose the school you like the best and which will suit your DC most. Go with your gut instinct when you went round the schools (easier said than done though when there may be pressure to go with the desirable school!).

Disclaimer - I have yet to make a decision myself.

bearwithspecs Sat 29-Nov-14 20:27:06

Visit and you will know

howtoapproachthis Sat 29-Nov-14 21:18:40

Ive visited and like both. i just dont get it and totally agree with everything pocp is getting at.

beautifulgirls Sat 29-Nov-14 21:52:56

Which one do you feel would suit your child best - is one bigger than the other and do you think your child is outgoing or a little shy? Which teachers gave you the better feeling about them being supportive of your child if they were upset, or struggling with friendships. What outdoor space does each school have and do they make good use of the space they have in the way it is set out. Ask about their homework policy and see which fits your thoughts the best about the amounts that should be given. If you genuinely like both then it is great that you hopefully have a choice. Go with your heart on this one when you apply and put the one you have a better feel for as your first choice. At this point the Ofsted reports mean little - DD3 attends a school that was downgraded from outstanding to satisfactory - it is an amazing school and most parents felt very strongly that Ofsted were way off in their downgrade decision. It is a stark contrast to the linked Junior school that remains Ofsted outstanding and is anything but outstanding to be honest.

bearwithspecs Sat 29-Nov-14 22:21:32

Where do you see yourself fitting in best as a family ?

bearwithspecs Sat 29-Nov-14 22:22:32

Also look at extra curricular, sports, music and wrap round care. In our area these vary greatly

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