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Time to go?

(6 Posts)
QuiteQuietly Fri 20-Jan-17 10:11:54

I have two DC at primary. DS in yr5 and DD2 in yr3. DD2 missed half of reception as she had a lot of motion sickness and was repeatedly sent home for 48 hours until we were backed up enough by paed and EWO. Missing so much at the beginning meant reading was a struggle as she had big phonic gaps. In yr1 she was given interventions but they kept missing sessions due to TA sickness and other issues. Teacher went on maternity leave in the autumn and they struggled to get consistent cover so we had a hodge podge of temps/TAs and it seemed to be more about crowd control than teaching. I started taking her out regularly for the afternoon and teaching her to read at home. She passed phonics screening and is now a competent reader.
Yr 2 teacher was already off on maternity when DD2 started and was due to return but had another baby so was absent for the whole school year. Again the school didn't manage to get cover for the whole period and we had supplies for a few weeks here and there and the poor TAs taking the brunt from parents and the Head left in the autumn term on long term sick and we had a slew of interim exec stand-ins.
Now in Yr 3 and she had an NQT who seemed to be visibly struggling, went off sick straight after Christmas and it has now been announced that she is not coming back. Still no HT (sick one resigned and school is trying to recruit). It will be at least Yr4 until she gets a school-based education. The class is hemorrhaging children (esp girls), particularly after they tanked Yr 2 SATs.
BUT. DS is happy and has a good small group of similar friends (he is a bit quirky). He is pretty smart and fairly self-motivated (for 10 yo) so does ok regardless of school environment. The school is one of the few locally with wrap around care. I would struggle to do 2 school runs on top of daycare runs for DH (disabled). I can't do much more with DD2 in the evenings as DH is time-consuming and I have two other children.
School won't allow me to take DD2 home for 1-2 afternoons a week (as before) as apparently there is "no HT to make the decision". I could pull her out completely and home ed, but I only get 3 short days and 1 long day without DH and try to work from home on those days (except for his hospital appointments which I have to take him to regardless of which day they fall on (so I often don't get my full care quota)). Or try to get both children or just DD2 into another school.

Sorry - it's a bit stream of consciousness and I am feeling the stress. I am just trying to get it all straight and would love some input from detached and rational beings.

Autumnsky Fri 20-Jan-17 13:49:31

It looks like moving school will creat more stress for you. And I think it is a big task to do the home education. Can you just keep some top up at home like you do currently? Do you feel your DD is behind?

bojorojo Fri 20-Jan-17 14:42:05

Oh dear! I really feel for you! It is very likely your DD will not be making good progress due to such interrupted teaching and you said Sats results were poor. I am not surprised everyone is leaving. I would strongly suspect the school would be RI at best if inspected tomorrow. It is wholly unacceptable for children to be treated like this.

What can you do? In your circumstances not a lot unless you can get your DD into another school but others may have taken up the spare places. I would try though. Leave DS if he is happy.

I don't think you can pick and choose attendance in Y3. I cannot see you have the time to home educate either. You seem to have your hands full.

There must be an Acting Head or at least the Deputy should be in charge so not making a decision is rubbish but I just don't think part time schooling is readily agreed unless a child is very ill or has been.

It would seem that teachers are either not good enough or voting with their feet or ill through stress I expect. All of which are aspects of a poor school. How much longer do you think it will take them to improve? Do you have confidence in the Governors to get a good Head? Then you can expect 2 years to improve. It was a dreadful decision to put a NQT into a class that had received very disruptive teaching as well. Extremely poor management. I bet the NQT had no idea regarding assessment of prior learning and how to set suitable work.

I would investigate going to another school and try and get help with day care runs for DH. Your children get one chance at education.

Leeds2 Fri 20-Jan-17 14:46:30

As your DS will soon be in Year 6, would it then be possible for him to walk to and from school by himself? Many Year 6s do, so I doubt that he would be the only one. You could then look to move DD either now (and have a term and a half of two school runs) or for her to join a new school in September.

Caroian Fri 20-Jan-17 19:18:34

This sounds like a really difficult situation to be in. It sounds like it would be a shame to move your son, but quite possibly the best option for your daughter.

Do you feel that your daughter is currently behind, or that she will fall behind? Or is the disruption having other effects?

I think the first thing to look at is what schools you may be able to move your daughter to. If there are none nearby with any space, then wondering about it may be a moot point and thus causing unnecessary stress. And also, whether any would have space for both your son and daughter - even if you moved both you may still have two separate schools to deal with.

I also agree with the point above about your son maybe walking to school by himself. Or, what other support options might you have? Does he have good friends he could walk with, or whose parents might not mind doing some taking and picking up for you?

QuiteQuietly Fri 20-Jan-17 20:46:39

Thanks for responses. I do feel she is behind academically but also that she is missing out on things like topics and trips and someone being in bothered about her. Also the "nicer" children are leaving in drive and drabs. I'll ring around on Monday. They walk there and back alone/together most days. But on some journeys they come and go from wraparound care (instead of the normal school day). Most of the other schools around here don't have wrap around onsite. It would be a longer walk for them to another school and I don't really want them home alone (too young really). Council won't transport DH so I have to do his drops myself and I can't take him to school. His session is usually shorter than a school day. I will ring round and see what is available and then try to make a plan. Thanks!

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