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Primary school problems

(61 Posts)
PersisFord Thu 23-Feb-17 12:16:41

I don't think anyone can help....I just need a hand hold I think! We bought our house pre DC, safe in the knowledge that it was in the catchment area of 2 great schools. Well....this year we would have been in the catchment of 1 school only and apparently the catchments are getting even smaller....and I'm worried that by the time the twins start we won't have either. And there isn't another school near us at all, there just aren't enough places for children so I don't know where they would go.

Our house was really expensive because it was in the area for these good schools. We can't move for a couple of years anyway (so would be moving them in year 1) and if we end up not being in any school catchment area we won't be able to sell our house anyway. There is a private school near which we could just afford....but it is very pushy and I'm not sure about it at all.

What do I do? I feel like crying!

PersisFord Thu 23-Feb-17 12:17:40

Sorry, they are due to start in September 2018. So things could change....but I have watched these catchment areas get smaller and smaller......

hopingforhappiness Thu 23-Feb-17 12:19:14

Surely they will be in catchment for a school although perhaps not for the 2 you originally thought?
You need to talk to LEA.

PersisFord Thu 23-Feb-17 12:24:11

I looked on the school catchment area website and there seems to be a huge black hole to the west of us....which we seem to be inching into.

MidnightVelvetthe7th Thu 23-Feb-17 12:25:32

Don't panic, catchment is only one of a range of things that constitute admission policies, you could be right next door to a school but you won't get in if you're not a practising Catholic, have 6 older brothers etc

Why not get on the websites of the schools & look at the admission policies, they will be different according to the type of school they are, catchment isn't always the first criteria. You can also phone the for your child so maybe look further afield & check with the council how far away the school has to be before they will provide transport, round here its 2 miles.

Its not that easy to move schools in year 1, I did it but we were on the waiting list for months due to the regs around infant class sizes that cannot be exceeded.

PersisFord Thu 23-Feb-17 12:25:41

I've just rung the private school and the lady told me all about their "assessment day" - they take them for the morning, I'm not allowed to come with them although I have to stay close by in case they get "distressed". Jesus!

MrsMulder Thu 23-Feb-17 12:25:47

How big are the schools you were in the catchement area for? Round here the schools have increased the pan by 30 and added another class. They could possibly do that if there are not enough school places. Our local school is 4 form entry and they keep building more and more houses, I have no idea where the children from these houses will go to school because our school is bursting at the seams.

PersisFord Thu 23-Feb-17 12:27:53

There are a couple of faith schools but short of major fraud I don't think we can get in to them! The admissions criteria for the schools near us are 1. Looked after 2. Special needs 3. Sibs 4. Distance. All the schools within 3 miles are oversubscribed from the look of it.

MidnightVelvetthe7th Thu 23-Feb-17 12:28:07

Argh a big chunk is missing from my post, sorry! I said that the LA have to provide you with a school place for your child/twins!

PersisFord Thu 23-Feb-17 12:32:06

The one we are now not in catchment for is 90 - apparently this year there are 50 sib places. We live 600m away, last year there were 40 sibs and the catchment was 400m. So that one is out I think. The next has 60 entry, their catchment last year was 1.1 km and we are 900m away. It feels very tight. The first school was supposed to expand (when we bought our house they were due to open another 30 places by this September) but there are problems with building regs - last update was last April and said "indefinitely on hold"

PersisFord Thu 23-Feb-17 12:32:49

midnight I thought I was being particularly stupid!

MidnightVelvetthe7th Thu 23-Feb-17 12:37:41

Not at all smile it was me! smile

Just a thought, have you done the distance as a 'how the crow flies' measurement as that's different from a google maps etc measurement, you might be closer than you think.

Also it could be that the 2 'really greats' aren't that great anymore & maybe aren't the best schools for your twins anyway. Phone the council & ask them for your 6 nearest schools then look at them all.

PersisFord Thu 23-Feb-17 12:44:40

I have looked at straight line measurements sadly.

I looked at our closest schools - there are some great ones but they are all oversubscribed as well and we aren't in their catchment areas. There are some dire schools at the other side of town - prob about 4 miles away and over an hour at peak times.

PersisFord Thu 23-Feb-17 12:47:21

On the council website there is a predictor showing that this year is the biggest and that by next year there are fewer kids so maybe there is hope. And I have put them on the list for assessment at the private school.

It is just crazy.

FruitCider Thu 23-Feb-17 12:51:03

I would feel sorry for you, but the reason why I am in no catchment for any of the 50 primary schools in my city is because parents, like you, with money, have purchased all of the houses within the catchment areas. You are complaining about owning an expensive house you purposely bought within catchment area of 2 very good schools, therefore pushing others out with your money. Bravo. You reap what you sow in this life. The catchment system is so messed up I may end up with a 5 year old going to a school 12 miles away. But I'm lucky because I'm not struggling to sell my expensive house, right?

Jesus wept.

PersisFord Thu 23-Feb-17 12:54:58

That's not really fair, is it fruit? We moved to the city, we needed to live somewhere, we were planning a family so we bought a house in the catchment area for 2 good schools. It's not particularly controversial I don't think.

I'm sorry your little one is having to go such a long way away. I think the answer is prob more school places rather than bitching at each other about it though probably.

PersisFord Thu 23-Feb-17 12:56:07

Oh, and it's a small house. We are bursting out of it. But education is important to us so rather than buy a bigger house with no school, we chose a small house with good schools.

FruitCider Thu 23-Feb-17 12:57:29

The reason why children born without money stay poor, is because families with money buy property next to the decent schools, meaning children who don't have money get a poorer education. I absolutely feel it is controversial. Sorry if I seen harsh, trying to figure out which one of us is going to quit our job to get my child to the failing school 12 miles away that I'm likely to be offered because we couldn't afford to buy a sodding house!

FruitCider Thu 23-Feb-17 12:59:48

Funnily enough, the education of my child is important to me too! hmm

PersisFord Thu 23-Feb-17 12:59:51

I'm sorry you are so upset and facing such a tough choice. I hope it works out for you. But are you honestly suggesting that I should have carefully chosen a house with no school near it? What is it you want me to have done?

PersisFord Thu 23-Feb-17 13:01:53

midnight is suggesting that they will have to provide transport if it is more than 2 miles away, so maybe neither of you will have to give up work?

FruitCider Thu 23-Feb-17 13:01:58

I'm suggesting you take a little more thought when complaining about your situation. You are very fortunate. Your post is literally a kick in a teeth to parents like me.

FruitCider Thu 23-Feb-17 13:02:37

My local authority provide parents with a bus pass to take their child to school. No transport available.

piemaker Thu 23-Feb-17 13:04:11

I think with the catchment 1.1km and you are 900m should be ok, even touch wood if you don't get in, you should get in on the waiting list. If your area have a good private, quite a lot children would have a place in both schools and decide to go private in the end. May be put the 1.1km as your first choice?

We are 800m from the school and the catchment is 1km and we felt quite safe because it is an infant school and don't have as much siblings, also losing quite a lot of children to private.

PersisFord Thu 23-Feb-17 13:04:21

But are we not in a similar situation? No place in local school. So it's likely that I will also be offered a place at a failing school many miles away

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