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Schools with no uniform (and no rules....) [grin]

(32 Posts)
Chopstick090404 Wed 01-Jun-16 18:18:20

hello smile...
I have a 12 yr old DS who has been home-schooled since he was 9 ½ due to chronic anxiety because of school phobia (i.e. not school refusal!)..... We have ever since been desperately looking for a relaxed school with no uniform in the South East, (we're based in Surrey on the borders of Kent & West/East Sussex). DS has some small sensory processing issues which are tactile related hence the problems with wearing a school uniform. Otherwise, he is a bright and and very capable young person so a special needs school potentially wouldn't be suitable. Mainstream schools have routinely been equally unsuitable because of their rigid rules and overly formal approach although to be fair we have exclusively only attended schools in the private sector; a state school would now be impossible at secondary level because of the sheer weight & volume in the number of pupils likely to be on roll which clearly wouldn't work well with anxiety issues. We have been on an incredibly painful and difficult journey throughout all of this and the resulting chronic school phobia is heartbreaking while DS is such a super sociable, clever, kind, giving and funny boy who deserves more. We have some wonderfully brilliant tutors helping us with our home education but would love to be able to give DS the opportunity to consider school again without fear but it will have to be somewhere that really 'cares' (is there such a place?).... i..e. somewhere that is able to see the bigger picture and that can truthfully extend a positive and thoughtful pathway back into education without the curse and unnecessary obstructions of petty why's and wherefore's....
Sorry to sound so cynical sad but we really have been on an incredibly punishing and useless journey.
Does anyone know AnYwHeRe????

grassroots Wed 01-Jun-16 18:21:56

Would Bedales be any good? No personal knowledge, but they have a reputation of a very relaxed approach to School life.

lovelilies Wed 01-Jun-16 18:57:48

There's a 'democratic' school somewhere down south.. Can't think what it's called though. Sounds great. I HE up in the North though smile
Try the home ed section, I know a family who've HE'd all 5 boys to secondary age who are looking into this one down south

Chopstick090404 Wed 01-Jun-16 19:32:33

Thanks grassroots, had a quick look at Beadles but there are 761 pupils and sport is till a key focus like most schools. I should have noted these points in my original post....i.e. no uniform, a small school and no sport or at least a place where sport is not a huge concern. Appreciate your suggestion, thank you smile.....

Chopstick090404 Wed 01-Jun-16 19:39:10

Thank you Lovelillies! - HE'd 5 boys, WOW, I'm impressed. Think you probably mean the democratic schools, either Summerhill in Suffolk or Sands in Devon.....To be honest I've surfed the net (and back again!!!) on this subject and probably know of all the schools that have no uniform already but its worth putting the feelers out, can't believe I've got two replies in such a short space of time. The wonders of the worldwide WEB! smile...
Needs to be a super small school though and not much emphasis on sport.....hope your friend finds somewhere suitable for all those chaps! grin...
Thanks again

grassroots Wed 01-Jun-16 19:55:37

New Forest Small School? But then you would definitely have to move!

IHeartKingThistle Wed 01-Jun-16 19:59:14

Frensham Heights?

SaltyMyDear Wed 01-Jun-16 20:05:53

Have you looked up 'human scale education' ?

Toofondofcake Wed 01-Jun-16 20:09:48

An old friend of mine went to summerhill school and really hated it as the students decided each other's punishments when they broke the rules and could be quite cruel apparently. May be too much of a trial for your son who I imagine may not have a thick skin.

mouldycheesefan Wed 01-Jun-16 20:26:26

I know someone who went to summerhill, it was like Lord of the flies. He also never attended a single lesson whilst at the school and couldn't read or write when left age 16. Thy do have rules often stupid ones made up by the kids
I don't think that is what op is looking for though anyway.

Chopstick090404 Wed 01-Jun-16 20:29:39

Thank you toofondofcake! sounds awful, wouldn't wish it upon anyone!....and a good enough reason to continue home schooling FOREVER! smile

KatieHopkinsAteMyHamster99 Wed 01-Jun-16 20:35:25

St Christopher's in Letchworth is a lovely smaller laid back independent school (60 kids per year senior school) with no uniform. Kids call teachers by first names. Not academically selective. I have a DC there who previously had been in hospital with MH problems, who is blossoming at St Chris. Highly recommended for kids who don't fit the standard mould.

Chopstick090404 Wed 01-Jun-16 20:36:00

mouldycheesefan....thank you, your message echoes what I had already imagined.....LOL grin.....and get your point about rules! We're not against rules completely..... just the 'stupid, pointless ones' which are worrying and senseless whether they're made up by the grown ups or the kids!

Chopstick090404 Wed 01-Jun-16 20:40:35

poor hammy, i'm very sad.....St Christopher's means moving but will definitely take a look! So glad you found it fits for your smile smile x

CMOTDibbler Wed 01-Jun-16 20:42:24

Michael Hall in Forest Row? Steiners not for everyone, but it might suit your ds

HamletsSister Wed 01-Jun-16 20:42:55

I teach at EXACTLY the school you want. Tiny, secondary (130 pupils). No uniform. Amazing kids and no discipline issues.

But we are extreme NW (Scotland). Pm me if you can consider a move.

insan1tyscartching Wed 01-Jun-16 20:45:23

The uniform issue shouldn't be a huge sticking point to be honest because you can ask that a school makes reasonable adjustments in light of his disability. At dd's (state comp.) children with ASD/SPD wear what they are comfortable in even if not strictly "uniform" in a school where uniform is routinely enforced.

KatieHopkinsAteMyHamster99 Wed 01-Jun-16 21:17:54

They can board at St Chris although appreciate that may not be right for your DC. We were incredibly lucky to have the school on our doorstep. It is a very caring, nurturing place and I would say worth moving for if that is poss

Chopstick090404 Wed 01-Jun-16 22:45:42

New Forest Small School seems to tick the boxes!
Thank you grassroots.....its 1hr 3/4 from us but I'm leaving no stone unturned! wink x

Leeds2 Thu 02-Jun-16 00:13:36

Another poster has suggested Frensham Heights. I do know someone whose DS is very happy there, and has come on leaps and bounds since primary. He has excelled at individual sports (i.e. not typical team sports as usually taught in schools), but I think that was because he was interested rather than because he was made to participate.

Another friend (lost touch now, a few years ago) had a DD there. Very happy, and the child excelled at music.

mrsmortis Thu 02-Jun-16 13:55:22

Is there a Steiner School nearby? The only one I know of is in Herts which is probably too far. But their philosophy might work with your DS.

YesThisIsMe Thu 02-Jun-16 14:00:06

I agree that a good state comp will allow a child with SPD to wear comfortable clothes (ideally in the school colours or with a logo attached but if a child with ASD insists that everything must be orange then even that should be negotiable).

Clearly the numbers thing may be insuperable though.

disappoint15 Thu 02-Jun-16 14:06:52

Brockwood Park in Hampshire - only 70 pupils, but possibly only boarding.

Chopstick090404 Thu 02-Jun-16 14:34:29

We hadn't discounted the Steiner approach up until just recently. In fact Michael Hall School is on our doorstep. However, after spending quite a lot of our time during the Christmas period attending their Open Morning, Day in the Classroom for Parents (at cost) and a Christmas Eurythmy play + Christmas Fayre we met with the admissions secretary who returned to us a week later via email to say their SENCO resources were already full to capacity with their current students so they therefore wouldn't be offering a place. Closed book.

Chopstick090404 Thu 02-Jun-16 14:44:33

thanks Disapoint15.....just checked and unfortunately you're right, Brookwood Park is boarding only...sad

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