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change school, yes or no??

(9 Posts)
StarvingBookworm Tue 06-Jan-15 11:51:47

DD is Y1. she is at school A, catchment school is B. She has no very close friends at school, although is mostly friendly with everyone. In reception she was given extra support as G&T with literacy, but this seems to have come to a halt in Y1 and she doesn't seem to do anything that pushes her.

I wasn't as keen on school B when we visited but a lot of that was to do with the reception class - DS starts school in September and I think that class may be a better fit for him than it would have been for DD.

Both schools have an intake of 90, but A is a full primary and B is an infant with junior school over the road.

We have a childminder for current school. Moving to B would mean finding childcare again for my work day.

B has a very involved PTA, A has no PTA as no support for one. I do know some parents at B from preschool days so possible to arrange "playdates"to help DD settle.

B is only 5 mins away, so when she's older she could walk home alone. Current school is 20 mins.

I have no idea what to do for the best. Will it screw her up monumentally to move her?

Bramshott Tue 06-Jan-15 12:00:32

Have you looked around School B again recently?
Do they definitely have a space for DD?

Many children move school for a variety of different reasons without being "monumentally screwed up". If you now feel that School B would be a better fit / better choice for your DC then by all means, start making steps towards a move.

redskybynight Tue 06-Jan-15 12:16:09

I don't think moving a child in Y1 will monumentally screw them up.

However there is a reason why you picked School B initially, in spite of the things you now mention (no PTA, further away etc). What was that reason? I'm just wondering you are assuming that the grass will be greener ... and that's not necessarily the case.

DeWee Tue 06-Jan-15 13:08:01

A lot of the things you say I would say are typical for a year 1:
The no particular friend-my experience is that mostly the close friendships rather than the general one start at the end of year 1. year 2 is when they really get estabished. Some are earlier, but even those tend to be fluid. I think there were 2 pairs of friendships at this stage in year 1 that you could have picked out at this stage in dd1's year (2 form entry). In year 2 they were mostly paired up-although both those pairs had added 1-2 more and were a group of 3 or 4.

The G&T in year R not in year 1, may well be that others have caught up, again fairly typical. A child who is well ahead in year R and needs extra work may well find others have caught up either enough so they don't need extra work, or even overtaken.

20 minutes isn't far to walk when she's older, assuming there's no big roads to cross without help. My dc are at a school 45 minutes away and walk sometimes back on their own.

It is easy, as redsky says to see all the faults in your current school, and the other looks great from a distance. If there is no fundamental reason, then I suspect you'd be best staying put on average-better the devil you know so to speak. I can tall you things about all my dc's schools that are issues, but you wouldn't know about them unless you had come up against them.

Why are you now thinking about moving? Is it that you'd now prefer it for ds? Or did you always think at the back of your mind that after reception you preferred it? Or are things just niggling you and wondering if things might be better somewhere else.

It's not going to cause a major issue with your dd almost certainly. However you may find it no better. Like rotten apples, all schools differ-the rotten bit's different in each!

StarvingBookworm Tue 06-Jan-15 15:05:58

We picked it as we weren't keen on the open plan reception class, it felt too overwhelming (as mentioned I think DS would find it easier to cope with). The deputy head who showed us round ignored the children in our tour group, there was nothing on the wall when we walked down the corridor, and the deputy head acted like the library was a special privilege to visit.

DD is still very much ahead in literacy, the teacher has confirmed and it is fairly obvious, but nothing else seems to be done about it.

TBH, over the last few months I've thought about it more and more as I keep getting snobby comments. Her current school is in a slightly.dodgy area, and doesn't have a great reputation. Even my mum and a good friend (her daughter is at a naice school) are quite snobbish about it instead of supportive. It's just getting me down.

admission Tue 06-Jan-15 15:11:03

If school A is oversubscribed then there is no guarantee that your DS will get a place at school A. It will depend on the number of applicants that have a higher level of criteria than your second child has as to whether he gets a place or not.
The problem you have is that 9 days away is the cut-off date for on-time applications for your second child. So if you are going to try for school B, you need to apply for a place for DD like now and see whether there is a place available. If so confirm it and then you can apply for DS for a reception place at school B before the cut-off date. Given the admission criteria will probably give priority to siblings, you need DD to have started by Jan 15th. If she does not start till after the 15th then DS will not get priority as a sibling.
If there is not a place at school B for DD, then you have the option of appealing for a place but as it is a year 1 application and the admission number is 90, it will be an infant class size appeal and the chances of success are next to none. As such you would probably be best applying for DS to school A and just leaving them there.
The only other possibility you have is to see what level of turnover there is at school B in terms of pupils leaving. If there is a reasonable turnover, then get DD on the waiting list and hope you get to the top of the waiting list and a place becomes available before September, having applied for a place for DS at school B.

beautifulgirls Tue 06-Jan-15 16:46:18

Go and visit the linked Junior school before you make a decision. Our local Juniors is completely different to the infants they are linked to and there are many parents choose the infant school which is amazing, then regret having to move on to the Junior school which is not amazing.

redskybynight Tue 06-Jan-15 16:47:32

Well your visit to school A doesn't sound overly impressive!! Have you talked to your current school about your concerns and asked how they can address them? Agree that 20 minutes is no distance once your child is old enough to come home on their own (my DC go to a school 30 minutes away and DS has come home alone since Y5).

I would try to separate out how much of your worries are genuine, how much school A actually gives you in preference to school B and how much is the underlying snobbery. TBH (my DC go to a school with very mixed catchment) I would say that schools in "less desirable" areas are often more prepared to go the extra mile than "naice" schools where your child is just expected to conform - obviously that it is a very sweeping statement, which is why you need to be absolutely sure what you might be jumping to and from.

Bramshott Wed 07-Jan-15 13:17:14

It's also perfectly possible to realise that you are making your life harder by choosing a further away school for no concrete reason, and that it's better to switch to your catchment school. I know several people who've moved school under those circumstances. But as admission said, you will need to move very fast if you want it sorted before the deadline for Reception applications.

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