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Would you travel 7 miles to an outstanding primary school?

(73 Posts)
Sofia2011 Sat 06-Dec-14 10:35:54

Hi guys, my daughter is currently at a nursery of an outstanding primary school, we used to live in the area of the school but had to move due to landlord selling property and nothing available in the area. Anyway due to moving I've looked at the local primary where teachers are really friendly but it is small and not surrounded by the best estate. Facilities are minimal but it's a nice enough school. Or do i send her to the school seven miles away she may not get in but it's a large primary with 90 plus pupils in each year and last year they accepted students as far as seven miles out. The facilities are amazing, a Olympic swimming pool, a theatre and radio station as well as fully functioning baking kitchen. My hubby thinks we should be going for the outstanding school to give her the most opportunity, but he hasn't got a car so the driving to school and from school will be left to me as I have the car and also work full time in a stressful job. What do I do guys I can't choose, part of me thinks I should go for outstanding school but am going to dread the journey before and after work :/

bigbaggyknickers Sat 06-Dec-14 10:39:37

I think the journey would be too much if you're working full time. Also it would be more practical for dd's friendship groups to be at a more local school I think. Don't just be swayed by the facilities either.
Sometimes schools like that are 'all coat and no knickers' iykwim.

LIZS Sat 06-Dec-14 10:40:56

If you are talking about reception , go local . How often is an under 7 going to benefit from those facilities ? 7m is a long distance at 4/5 and friends may equally be distant the opposite way making playdates and parties a pita, let alone the cost of petrol and inconvenience to you.

Cockadoodledooo Sat 06-Dec-14 10:42:20

Not a chance, unless the 7 miles was to the nearest school.

AlpacaLypse Sat 06-Dec-14 10:43:22

Well, I drove to school 5.5 miles for seven years, but... I deliberately downshifted my career to work p/t hours, DP can drive (although he hardly ever did the school runs), and for the bulk of the seven years I was involved in a car share scheme with one or two other families.

If your dd gets ill during the day and has to be sent home, presumably it will be you that has to drop everything to fetch her.

Also all her friends will be local to the school not your neighbourhood, so after-school playdates, parties etc will all involve taxi-ing her about.

Ragwort Sat 06-Dec-14 10:48:33

I am amazed that a Primary school has an Olympic size swimming pool shock - where is it?

Would you logistically be able to do the driving before and after work? Are your work hours scheduled ie: do you have to be in an office between 9-5 for example or are you totally flexible? For my (part time job) I have to be in a set place at specific times so there is just no way I could drop and pick off a child at school.

Bluestocking Sat 06-Dec-14 10:53:40

Local all the way. A child in reception won't give two hoots about the facilities - she needs local friends and well-qualified teachers in an adequately resourced nearby school.

If your husband is adamant about the school further away, it's up to him to make the transport arrangements.

Sofia2011 Sat 06-Dec-14 11:10:10

It's called balsall common primary in solihull that's the one that has the Olympic size swimming pool.i know he seems to think that I should do this journey daily to give out daughter the best, I'm already a manager working full time and I find that draining enough, also the after school club is double the price of the local primary.

Sofia2011 Sat 06-Dec-14 11:11:50

Also I work 9-5 so would have to rely on before and after school clubs :/

redskybynight Sat 06-Dec-14 11:33:20

I would definitely go local, even more so if your DC have to go to breakfast/after school clubs- why make their day even longer?

Interesting that your post talks about the great faciliities BUT it's worth pointing out that the children may well not get to use them, or use them infrequently. We were impressed by the "proper" science lab at DS's junior school before he started. 3 and a bit years on I think he has actually used it 5 times in total.

I also note you don't mention the teaching at all - surely the most important part? And IMO, unless the school is particularly rural, a genuinely outstanding school is not going to be taking children from as far out as 7 miles - if this is actually the case, then I would be asking myself "why?"

bigbaggyknickers Sat 06-Dec-14 12:03:00

Yes, how do they have places if, as they claim, they are 'widely considered to be one of the best primary schools in the country'? fhmm

Sirzy Sat 06-Dec-14 12:06:30

I was thinking the same if it's that good it wouldn't have places. DS goes to an outstanding school (and it's outstanding in terms of staff etc not just having fancy things!) and the catchement this year was 0.7 miles.

TheGonnagle Sat 06-Dec-14 12:07:51

Well, I'm local to you, and know the school. I work in many Solihull schools, which is your other option?

TheGonnagle Sat 06-Dec-14 12:08:56

They have many places because it's a big school serving a thin catchment. And the nearest other primary is considered to be 'the best'.

TheGonnagle Sat 06-Dec-14 12:09:34

We are extremely well blessed for excellent primary in Solihull.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sat 06-Dec-14 12:12:26

Yes I would (and do) but we're in a semi rural area, so distances like that re fairly commonplace.

I'm not sure whether I would choose such a large primary though - 90 pupils per year is a big school. Dd's school has 16 in her year, and I love it. I would always choose a smaller school at primary age.

Don't judge a school by it's facilities - judge it on it's atmosphere, well-being/happiness of pupils, teaching, IMO.

NewNamePlease Sat 06-Dec-14 12:17:22

How long will the 7miles take you in morning traffic?

cathpip Sat 06-Dec-14 12:31:00

I travel 5 miles to ds's school, but we live fairly rurally. We do have a school in our village but we felt that this would not cater adequately for his needs (hearing loss). My drive takes 12mins each way, which is fine, winter is a ball ache though and I don't work so..... If I did work I would be considering the closer option.

Sofia2011 Sat 06-Dec-14 12:38:04

The other school which is nearest is whoberely hall but allesley hall is a bit further away.im not sure if she will even get in to balsall common but I know a few school friends who live by me and have got their children in balsall even if they go on a waiting list. By the way we moved to Coventry not out of choice but because we couldn't find a nice house to rent in balsall.

Stealthpolarbear Sat 06-Dec-14 12:38:57

Could it be incorporated into your commute or is it opposite direction
DOES Your husband work and if so how does he get there

bearleftmonkeyright Sat 06-Dec-14 12:39:15

The thing that would sway my decision is if the bigger school had before and after school care. If there is nothing at the smaller primary that might make your working day difficult. Mine are at (oldest now left) at small local rural primary which has been great but lack of after school care has made work tricky.

Sofia2011 Sat 06-Dec-14 12:45:52

To get to the outstanding school I have to divert it takes around twenty minutes in traffic then I have to find a parking space then it's around a twenty minute drive to work. Balsall is outstanding not just for facilities but teaching as well, the website says that it sets the pace for other schools to follow.the ofstead report is second to none and although a big school children are very polite friendly with impeccable manners. The local school is what is called an improving school and is rated as a good, teachers seem warm and kind and doing their best to attract new pupils.

Sofia2011 Sat 06-Dec-14 12:46:19

My husband gets the train to work

Sofia2011 Sat 06-Dec-14 12:47:24

Both schools have before and after care the local school charges 7 per session for after school club and the other school charges 14 per session.

RandomMess Sat 06-Dec-14 12:51:49

I really really think it will just be too much. I would consider it only if you looked at moving back nearer and your dh supported that.

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