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YO Move OR Not to move...

(16 Posts)
user1483972886 Wed 25-Jan-17 07:37:16

The village primary we currently attend is nice as in DC are happy but academically it seems to be struggling. Less than 30% in the SATS and 'well below' in value added / progress for 2 of the 3 subjects including maths since KS1. DC1 is in year 3 and DC2 is about to start reception. It is a 200m walk for us. Last summer 2 parents of year 5 pupils asked me to help their kids with their maths. 1 I am still helping. I am not a teacher but good at maths ;-). Both students were allegedly top group for their class. They only knew their times tables up to 7 and seemed to lack confidence in their maths. The one I am still tutoring has made progress but if I stop.doing it for a while she seems to slip back again. This does not fill me with confidence for KS2. I have asked the governors really the SATS results but they say it is nothing to worry about. I am worried...

There is a school a 40min drive away who consistently are in the top 5 for our county for KS2 results. They have 1 space in DC1's year group. She is v sociable and happy where she is but often says the maths is easy at school. They get 6 spellings a week but otherwise no homework.
Should we move her? The always oversubscribed so it's as one off opportunity. Unlikely we will get as space for DC2.

Autumnsky Wed 25-Jan-17 10:15:21

If you are confident to do some extra at home, I wouldn't move. 40 minutes drive is a lot. I think it is important that children to be happy in the school, then the rest you can top up at home.

bojorojo Wed 25-Jan-17 12:26:30

I do not think topping up at home is always the answer. Children like to be stimulated at school. They do not want to put up with poor teaching and want to be challenged. The best schools do this of course.

It is great that you can help with maths,so consider this as a possibility if other teaching in the schoolis good and your child is happy. I think the drive is a long one: 40 mins each way or in total? So, is it worth it? I think it could be if you do not think your current school can improve.

I would be disappointed in the response of the Governors. All Governors should be very clued upon the progress the children are making. It looks like the children are not making good progress and are below average. This would worry me too and the fact the school seem to be complacent. They should have an improvement plan in place to tackle the deficiencies and if maths is a weakness, how are they improving it? Do they actually think it is a weakness or do they ot really know?

It could be the children you teach are not that bright if they do not retain knowledge so maybe other children are better? In Y5 they should have a better grasp of tables. This makes me wonder if lots of the children are average if these children are on the top table. They would not be in lots of schools. Can you make a judgement on the intake? Are they children who would have been below average attainment on entry to the school?

Lots to think about!

Autumnsky Wed 25-Jan-17 13:18:28

Well, I just think 40 minutes drive is too long, and also this will impact on friendship. It is so nice to have friends live locally.And OP's DC2 may not get a place, then OP has to take DC to different school, that will be lots of trouble.But of course , this will depend on if OP is confident to do the after school top up.

user1483972886 Wed 25-Jan-17 13:19:44

Thanks for the comments. We could tutor DC ourselves or get someone in. The new school would be 40 min each way. We went to visit it this morning. All looks good. Quite cramped but the children were all engaged.
Our school is more spacious but clearly engagement is lacking.
40 min driving would be alot. It would be about 3 hrs in the car a day and currently we spend an hour a day walking which is less stressful.
I am disappointed by the lack of interest of the governors. I am chasing this up this afternoon to find out what if anything is planned..
I feel if we don't move her we will regret it and if we do move her it will be a world of driving back and forth and a risk she doesn't settle at the new school.
Ideally things would improve at our school but my feeling is that most of the parents are not fussed and we are in a minority of one.

Msqueen33 Wed 25-Jan-17 13:23:21

How would you get them both to school if they can only take one DC? If it was both kids I'd probably move them but would your children be at separate schools? Are there no other schools at all?

user1483972886 Wed 25-Jan-17 13:29:02

There are other schools but they are equally poor as ours so no point moving for marginal improvement. We would have to ask to be on the 2aiting list every term and hope someone moved to make space for DC2. We.think that KS1 at our school is OK but ideally would like them at the same school of course.

user1483972886 Wed 25-Jan-17 13:31:36

And yes I think our school in take is probably average/ below average with low parent participation hence most of the others schools in the area are not much better.

Msqueen33 Wed 25-Jan-17 13:48:08

If you did move one DC how would you get them both to school?

user1483972886 Wed 25-Jan-17 14:06:05

Breakfast and after school clubs. Tricky but not impossible...

FanSpamTastic Wed 25-Jan-17 14:24:49

Would you consider becoming a governor and driving change from within for the benefit of all children in your local area? Your eldest may not benefit but change would benefit your youngest?

It does sound like poor progress and poor attainment. The governing body could benefit from someone who can interpret the data and make sense of it.

SaltyMyDear Wed 25-Jan-17 14:29:37


Schools change a lot. Your school could get better. The other one could get worse.

And chill. It's really not the end of the world if she's not stretched in primary. There's still years and years of education ahead of her.

Basicbrown Thu 26-Jan-17 08:05:16

Have you talked to the HT about the poor progress figures and what they are putting in place to improve things? Denial on that will lead the school into category.

nat73 Fri 27-Jan-17 20:49:34

I'm reluctant to become a governor as my experience is these things can take a massive amount of time and my fear is unless other parents feel the same it will be difficult to achieve meaningful change. Most parents are happy how it is so the incentive for the school to change is low.
I have now spoken with the school and they concede the headline results look poor and have met with the council and had their teaching etc reviewed and no issues have been identified. Apparently there was a failure to produce sufficient 'evidence' for some of the children for them to meet the SATs requirements so they suffered due to a lack of paperwork rather than performance. Apparently the LEA are unable to correct this and the SATs score stands.
Given what feels like a massive commitment if we move schools (40 min commute each way) we have decided to stay where we are for the next few years and hope we do some homework / tutoring to keep on top of things.

bojorojo Fri 27-Jan-17 21:15:52

The school have fobbed you off - sorry! All schools are required to assess the progress of children and keep meticulous records to back up their judgemrnts. Quite often this evidence is put into a computer programme which then produces the evidence (dara) - as well as what is in the children's books of course. If the progress is poor, the SATs results will never be as good as they should be. Lack of progress is lack of performance!

Lots of LAs offer assessment training for teachers and lots of authorities have developed methods of ensuring the evidence of progress is available. It is just not acceptable to say it was a paperwork failure. Heads in the sand really. What are they going to do about it? Any school with poor progress possibly has poor teaching. You have just been given a load of excuses.

I can see that 40 mins is a long time to travel. I can see why you need to stay. A lone governor can't put things right. If there is no data there won't be much to interpret! I would reconsider that decision though, given the rubbish they gave told you, and I think the school desperately needs to work on parent/school relationships.

user1483972886 Sat 28-Jan-17 07:47:44

Sorry when I say lack of evidence for the writing you had to produce x pieces of writing per child demonstrating each criteria. And in some cases they just didn't have it so the children did not meet the standard due to lack of x pieces of evidence.

I do totally agree that the school should have been more open. There has been no mention of the SATS results at all. I think they were hoping no one would look and indeed it seems I was the only one who did look. Given all the hooha about SAT'S last summer I find the lack of interest and transparency surprising.

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