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Help with primary choices

(12 Posts)
venys Fri 30-Dec-16 22:24:43

Hi. I have seen a similar thread just recently so have seen your responses to that one which helps a bit. But would still like help in deciding as I am at a real dilemma. We really only have two options for primary school for practical reasons.

School 1 is where DS1 attends. He is SEN and attends a unit there. It is 2 miles away and he currently gets transport. It is OFSTED Outstanding and is a lovely school. Amazing playground, positive upbeat vibe, lovely teachers. 6 or 7 form entry. Physical classrooms tiny but overcome but they are able to use other spaces. Downsides are I probably couldn't use staff carpark once DS2 attending and parking is a bit of a nightmare. Plus I will have an 18 month old. So have to drag all 3 back and forth along busy roads. As of September 2018 the boys will be in different buildings on other side of block and a possibility that the internal gate between the two might be closed off.

School 2 about 15 minute walk from us. It "requires improvement" but that's more administrative and teaching is good. The playground and classroom sizes are bigger but more like a standard school. I know no one who goes there so it's a leap into the unknown. But it will be loads easier for me on a day to day basis.

So if I choose school 2 I can't help but think I could be doing DS2 a disservice if he might get better opportunities at School 1 - only because I want to save myself the hassle.

Any suggestions from you wise sages?

Mamabear12 Sat 31-Dec-16 10:03:06

How long is the drive to outstanding school? If u have a car I would go w the outstanding school. The one that is 15 mins walk away would be difficult w three kids as well w the walking. It was difficult for me 15/20 mins walk w two kids in a double buggy bc it was too far for my 2 and 3 year and now 3 and 4 year old to walk. Luckily we are changing schools for January which is half the distance.

user1475317873 Sat 31-Dec-16 10:39:34

I would go for the school where your ds1 attends; lots of positive things againts one negative one which is getting there.

cece Sat 31-Dec-16 10:45:17

Why can't DS1 stay at his current school and put the second child in the nearer school. After all if DS1 gets transport he can get there with that and you can take DS2 to the easier nearer school.

TeenAndTween Sat 31-Dec-16 13:46:52

Are DS1's needs such that DS2 misses out on lots? If so it might be nice for him to go to a different school and forge a separate identity for himself and not be 'DS1's brother'. Also being closer, would he be able to make more local friends?

miwelaisjacydo Sat 31-Dec-16 13:51:32

OP have you checked with your LA ours pay parents directly the petrol money for taking their child if school has a unit.
Why couldn't you use staff car park? If you were to take your DS1?
Surely there would be leeway re parking as your ds1 goes there and accesses the unit there?

venys Sat 31-Dec-16 15:13:41

Hello, thanks for your replies. The thinking for going to school 2 was that DS1 would still get transport and I only have to walk 2 kids to and from school. Yes we do have a car though and I have kind of assumed I can't use the car park just because I think it's a bit cheeky. I have used it temporarily in the past whilst sorting out transport and because DS1 has no road safety awareness. He is getting better but not there yet. It might be worth asking though. The additional problem is that DS1 will be going to a new building on the other side of the block in 2018 and potentially the gate between the infant and junior school will no longer be there. So that's an additional stress. DS1 needs are not too bad for DS2 at the moment (DS1 has moderate learning difficulties although this combined with a 3 year old gets interesting at times). They are similar in development level so get on well. DS2 just misses out on things due to his age at the moment (DS1 going to things for 5 year olds). The one thing that neither have is friends outside of school. We have no cousins for them to play with and our family dynamic/location/time (including other people's time) makes it difficult to do playdates etc so potentially the closer school may make friendships easier.

catslife Sat 31-Dec-16 17:43:53

I would ask about the parking issue. Many primary schools allow parents of disabled children to use the disabled area of the school car park (provided that the disabled child is in the car).
My only other thought is that some schools do not offer the same sibling priority to out of catchment siblings and some exclude siblings admitted under the SEN criteria so you need to check this out before submitting your application.

venys Sat 31-Dec-16 19:34:34

I have checked and he would get in automatically pretty much under sibling criteria. It's the next priority after cared for children. But may check on parking this week.

venys Mon 09-Jan-17 10:59:49

An update. School 1 won't let us use the carpark to be fair to other people. Because we would lose the transport, should we need it again if things aren't working out, it would be tough to reinstate. I went and grabbed a few parents on the street for School 2 for their thoughts and I think they say the school is OK but not great. There is a very high proportion of English as a second language too which is a bit off putting purely from a perspective that will my son get enough attention to reach his full potential. Enter school 3 which I didn't think we could get in being in the neighbouring borough.But it's possible on distance. It is OFSTED good. Staff have put in an enormous effort in marketing the school with loads of videos, information on curriculum and after school care and it actually looks quite nice. It has similar reviews from parents but less ESL. I can only get there JUST in time by walking as I need DS1 to be picked up first. It's a 20 minute walk each way. I suspect there will be days we will be late though. Pickup after school won't be a problem as much. Problem is as it's so late I can't go and view the school. I am inclined to put it as an option as there is a lot of information online about it and I have seen a few pictures. Just want to gauge thoughts to think if I am doing something stupid by considering it as a first choice.

golfbuggy Mon 09-Jan-17 12:18:46

A high proportion of ESOL DC is really not an issue hmm

Even if they enter Reception with no English they will be basically fluent by Y1.

And DC with ESOL often have very ambitious, supportive parents = a good thing. I definitely remember that the outcomes for DC with ESOL and DD's school was higher than for the general school population.

venys Mon 09-Jan-17 12:36:53

You are right it might not be a big issue . There is loads of ESOL at his current nursery too and there are no problems. Alhough here we would get a lot of people turning up at any time in the education system. It's a very transient population. I think of the people I talked to the reviews weren't glowing on school 2. Although I am sure we can make it work if it came down to it. Unlike DS1, DS2 doesn't seem to need any specific requirements of a school thus far.

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