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Having doubts about primary school choice

(12 Posts)
Brugmansia Wed 19-Apr-17 01:13:55

We found out about primary school places today and it's lead to me suddenly having doubts about my choices.

We got our 2nd choice. Initially I thought I'd be equally happy with either of our first two choices. They're the same distance from our house. I couldn't decide which I preferred so put the more over subscribed one first.

Now I've got the second choice I've had this really unexpected sense of disappointment and worry. The thing is I'm not sure I'm even that keen on the school I put first, which is a very popular outstanding school.

I've been googling both schools and some others and have just discovered that the school where we've been offered a place has recently been advertising for a new Head. This has made me even more worried. The school is good and has improved a lot in recent years but it's not particularly popular. I liked the head and am now worried if she's leaving it may decline or become unstable.

I'm not sure really what to do. I'm still not really sure why I feel this way. Any thoughts or advice?

MrsJamin Wed 19-Apr-17 02:04:44

Just because they're advertising for a new Headteacher doesn't mean anything! I'm not sure what you're asking for... Reassurance or some advice? You can't just get another place because you've changed your mind now? You can get your child on the waiting list for a preferred school but for now just accept the place you've been offered.

BarbarianMum Wed 19-Apr-17 12:59:56

What specifically are you worried about?

It is easy to have generalised anxiety about school choices and places because it feels like such an enormous and irrevocable decision. But really it isn't - and if you thought about it carefully at the time there is little point in second-guessing yourself now.

RedSkyAtNight Wed 19-Apr-17 13:31:56

There is no knowing what a new head teacher might do. The school might get worse ... but equally it might get better.

Of course there is also no knowing when a head teacher might leave! You might find an alternative school only to find the Head decides to leave at Christmas.

Brugmansia Wed 19-Apr-17 13:35:02

I think this is the problem. I'm not sure why I'm having doubts. Maybe they were there all along. They're now being exacerbated by a couple of changes in circumstances.

The possible change of head is a concern. It is a school that was doing very poorly around 8 years ago. The current head has really turned if around. I don't know if those changes are established enough that it doesn't matter. It probably depends on who they manage to recruit. I decided against our closest school precisely because it had several years of instability with a newish good head leaving and then they had trouble recruiting.

I'm not sure really what advice I'm seeking. Suffering from pregnancy insomnia didn't help with my anxiety last night. I'm sure others though may have had similar feelings that they'd made the wrong choice once they got the results. I'd be interested to hear what they did, what the outcome was etc.

BarbarianMum Wed 19-Apr-17 13:55:02

If the Head has spent 8 years improving the school I doubt she'd leave until she thought it was safe to be left. It's her baby (now all grown up). I also suspect she'll have a key role in selecting the new Head.

smellyboot Wed 19-Apr-17 14:43:37

I think its just general anxiety. Even when your DC are happily settled in school and doing well, you may wonder if it was the best choice for them if you hear great things about any other school.
Be happy and excited that your child is starting at a local school that you chose and they will be happy at smile

SpaghettiMeatballs Wed 19-Apr-17 21:29:40

Do you think it might just be because it's offers week and you hear of so many people getting their first choice? It might feel a bit 'raw' this week to assess how you really feel?

We got our second choice this time last year. Like you the rational part of me knew there wasn't much to choose between school one and two but I still felt really upset and 'unlucky' on offers day. I hadn't expected to feel that way. I was the only person I knew who didn't get their first choice!

A year on I can hand on heart say if I was required to apply again I would put DD's school as first choice. DD is very happy there and I'm pleased with her progress and how she's been cared for.

bojorojo Thu 20-Apr-17 09:29:03

It is perfectly normal for a Head to leave and I would suggest that as the school is not constantly changing Heads, they are stable.

By and large, schools do not manage themselves without a good Head. They are a key position but you have no reason to think a new Head might be dreadful. They could be wonderful and really make further improvement to the school. The bigger worry is if they cannot find a Head - but they will try and get one for September. This can happen in any school and you just have to sit tight. It's not a deal breaker really and you need to take up the offer of the place. Be positive and look forward.

CaulkheadNorth Thu 20-Apr-17 09:32:20

Different heads (like all of us) have different strengths. One of hers may be bringing struggling schools up. Then when they are doing well she will move on to a new school.

Like the Mary Poppins of the education world.

LiveLifeWithPassion Thu 20-Apr-17 18:52:45

This happened when ds1 started at primary. Yes, the school did decline slightly while the head made changes and teachers left but things quickly improved.
Heads leave whenever they want - the head at the popular oversubscribed school may leave in the next few years. Who knows?

I just make sure I do the best for my dcs. I ensure they read, I read to and with them. I've done on line maths work with them when they've struggled a bit. Made sure they know their timestables etc.
Plus taking them out and about etc. So much of a child's education comes from parental attitude and input so try not to worry.

DoNotBlameMeIVotedRemain Sun 23-Apr-17 12:13:29

Well I guess in your shoes I'd go on waiting list for first choice and see what happens. If no place come up send DD to choice offered and see how she gets on. You can always stay on waiting list even if has started at second choice school.

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