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Have I messed up big time re: primary admissions?

(31 Posts)
Tomorrowsanotherday1 Sun 23-Apr-17 16:20:10

Looking for some impartial advice as feel that my family and friends are just saying things to make me feel better. Hoping you can help!

We got our 3rd choice primary school for DS1. Although it's around a mile away from us in a disadvantaged area with lots of children from a low starting point, sats results etc over the past few years have been on a par with most of the schools in the area - but it feeds into one of the best high schools and places for it are really sort after. Most of the others don't and feed into high schools which are seen in the local area as not where you'd choose to send your child as results are historically bad. That is why we put it on the list above other schools (we knew we'd have a very slim chance of getting in our 1st and 2nd choice). Stupid of me I know but I didn't check the results for 2016 - lots going on, new baby etc when they came out. Have just checked them and they are pretty dire. Under national average by a long shot. Not sure why, but it's dropped down the league tables significantly. One thing that could change things is that from last year they have taken an extra half a form at reception and therefore classes will be 22 and 23 going forward. Do you think this will have an impact on results?

I could put us on the waiting list for the school across the road which has good results but feeds into the not great performing high schools.

I just don't know what to do. DS1 is a bright kid but I'm concerned that school he's got a place in might not stretch him like I'd expect and friendship groups might be different to where he lives due to distance and area.

Do I keep him at underperforming school some distance away which feeds into brilliant high school or move to a school across the road which feeds into a not so great high school?

Help! Feel like I'm failing DS1 if I send him to an under performing primary if I've got the choice of a good one all for the sake of high school.

What would you do?

IHeartKingThistle Sun 23-Apr-17 16:24:48

You can't judge a school on results. My DC are at a 'requires improvement' school with very inconsistent results and we've been really happy with their progress and how happy they are. Their school also has a fair few disadvantaged children and because of this the behaviour policy is tight and they are very hot on emotional support. I'd stick to the school you have and pull him out if you're not happy. But that's just my tuppence worth!

iogo Sun 23-Apr-17 16:25:10


Remember that last year was the first assessed under the new curriculum and the goal posts shifted massively. I was a y2 teacher and got the worst results of my career. Yet the standard of work in the books was not poorer at all.

DoItTooJulia Sun 23-Apr-17 16:29:03

Did you visit both schools?

Which school did you get a good vibe from?

Now you've been offered school 3, you need to accept the place. You can still go on the waiting list for schools 1 and 2 (and would be automatically where I live)-in fact you can only go on the waiting list if you accept the place (again, that's where I live) and make the decision if you get offered a place at the other schools. I hope all that makes sense!

Astro55 Sun 23-Apr-17 16:33:10

The high schools may change in that time so don't worry about high school yet

I agree results could be off this year - but every year the co-hort is different - it may have been a challenging year or higher SEN there may have been a change of teacher or head

Tomorrowsanotherday1 Sun 23-Apr-17 16:33:51

thanks all. feeling better already. Just heading out to grandma and grandads so will respond properly later. xxxx

Redlocks28 Sun 23-Apr-17 16:35:18

I wouldn't take much notice of last year's results, they aren't comparable with previous ones.

reallyanotherone Sun 23-Apr-17 16:37:17

Also, when you say "feeds into", do you mean if you go to that primary you automatically get a place at the brilliant secondary?

Or do you mean most kids from that school go to the brilliant secondary, but you have to apply and are subject to the usualy admissions criterea along with anyone else who applies, regardless of primary?

If the former, grab with both hands.

If the latter, you're as likely to get a place whichever primary you go to, so I'd definately look around.

Judashascomeintosomemoney Sun 23-Apr-17 16:38:04

Sorry, maybe it's because we're possibly in different parts of the UK, but what do you mean by 'feeds into' a high school? Do you not still have to apply in the usual way for the high school if a primary feeds in to it? Does it mean your place there is guaranteed?

DeliciouslyHella Sun 23-Apr-17 16:38:12

Last year's results were pretty much universally down across the country - it was the first year of assessing a new curriculum and the goal posts have really moved.

If you were happy with the school when you put it down, I would keep that in mind. The school itself won't have changed because of a set of results.

Judashascomeintosomemoney Sun 23-Apr-17 16:38:44

Sorry x post with really who has gone on to say what I was thinking....

muckypup73 Sun 23-Apr-17 16:41:02

If youe send your child to a school where there is a huge propotion of disadvanteged children you are asking for trouble, lots of hildren from broken homes, acolchol problems, drug problems where children are dragged up,can you imagine how the children are?

rollonthesummer Sun 23-Apr-17 16:53:58

lots of hildren from broken homes, acolchol problems, drug problems where children are dragged up,can you imagine how the children are?


Astro55 Sun 23-Apr-17 17:00:10

most kids are good well brought up kids - a reflection on the society we live in where most people are great adults

Poverty doesn't equal societies ills

More rich people take drugs than poor people - something to do with the cost of them

My children went to a great primary - there were a couple of alcoholic mums some drugs and what ever - it's not restricted to area -

Open your eyes

soapboxqueen Sun 23-Apr-17 17:00:35

As pp said there were changes to testing last year so I think many schools were caught on the hop. I wouldn't read too much into it if you are happy with the school in general.

As for the feeder school bit, if 'feeder' means most children go from primary school A to high school B, it won't help you in admissions.

If High school B specifically says in the admissions criteria that being in primary school A gets priority over distance, then you might want to stay in that school. Keep in mind that the admissions criteria can change in the years before you apply.

SavoyCabbage Sun 23-Apr-17 17:01:55

I think a school would have to be absolutely terrible for me to not send my child to it if I lived opposite it. Having local friends and an easy journey to school will have an impact on your ds in a positive way.

A high school that is outstanding now, might not be in seven years.

admission Sun 23-Apr-17 17:39:45

When you say the class size will be 22 and 23 do you realise that this will be for reception year only. When schools have a 45 pupil intake they have 22 and 23 in reception and then have 3 classes of 30 across years 1 and 2. At the junior end it will be 3 classes of 30 across years 3 and 4 and 3 classes of 30 across years 5 and 6. There are positive and negatives to this set up. The positive is that pupils tend to progress well in reception year, the main negative is that if your child is in a class which has two year groups in it, then the differentiation of work may not be as well organised and therefore pupils may not make as much progress. I would be slightly cautious if they are just starting up this as in effect your child will be the guinea pig year!
If I am honest when you have 7 years to go before you go into the secondary school, the fact that I may have a better chance of getting a place would not be a reason to go to that school. Anything could happen with both the primary school and secondary school concerned in that time frame.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Sun 23-Apr-17 18:01:34

2016 was a suck it and see year as the tests changed. I'd not worry too much tbh.

MrsJamin Sun 23-Apr-17 20:40:33

I agree you have to totally check what "feeds into" means, what does the sought-after high school admissions policy actually say? I wonder whether you are too late now if you have a place at this school to worry about this anyway?

Tomorrowsanotherday1 Sun 23-Apr-17 20:43:16

Thanks so much everyone for your responses. Lots to think about!

Just to clarify the primary she has got into is Catholic and the Outstanding high school it feeds into is Catholic too so the criteria is a bit stricter I think.

@judashascomeintosomemoney yes the high school policy says criteria 2 (after looked after children) is: baptised catholic children living in certain parishes and attending 5 contributing primary schools - the one we have been offered is one of the 5. We'd drop to category 5 if he went to the one across the road as it's none catholic and not a contributing school.

I didn't realise about the changes to the curriculum for last year. That could explain the bad results - going to visit the school and grill them. Have been trying to find historical data of Sats etc but can't find them anywhere. @iogo those results must have been hard to deal with. You have enough on your plate never mind a change in goalposts.

The outstanding high school has been a high performer for over 20 years (I know it well as I attended it), but I do appreciate things can change in 7 years though but all things are pointing to it continuing.

@admission - so glad you commented I didn't realise this was the case. I will query the school as the only other example I have locally kept the class sizes as 22 and 23 throughout all school years.

@SavoyCabbage - I think that is my dilemma - up until recent results both schools were on a par but the one further away fed into the outstanding high school. Over the road would be so easy but with the prospect of the high schools that no one wants (and haven't for over 20 years) is what is making me really question what to do.

Thanks all! Knew you'd help me out.

reallyanotherone Sun 23-Apr-17 20:54:01

Just to clarify the primary she has got into is Catholic and the Outstanding high school it feeds into is Catholic too so the criteria is a bit stricter I think.

Not being funny but "i think" isn't good enough. Check the admissions policy before you make any decisions.

No catholic school i know takes primary school into account on admissions policy. It is all about timely baptism, hc etc, and about how often you go to mass and whether you are active in the church.

Most catholic primary schools will "feed into" catholic secondaries. Nothing to do with the school, but the fact attending children are catholic and practicing. A child equally active in the church, at a non denominational school, has an equal chance at a secondary place. I had many friends at church, some didn't get into the catholic primary, but that made no difference for secondary school admissions.

So double check the secondary admissions. If it states "children attending a catholic primary" as part of the admissions, then it's worth staying. If it's all about church attendance, then it doesn't matter and you should pick the best school for your child.

reallyanotherone Sun 23-Apr-17 20:55:04

Ah sorry just read primary attendance is taken into account- ignore me smile

Tomorrowsanotherday1 Sun 23-Apr-17 21:07:16

@reallyanotherone no problem - I was meaning I think it's more stricter i.e. baptised catholics compared to non catholic high schools.

It is definitely part of the admissions policy.

We could chance it and see if she gets in as category 5 and go to the school over the road.

I never thought I'd be THIS mum by the way. But the thought of not making the right choice on behalf of my child has me wracked with parental guilt!!

Terentia Sun 23-Apr-17 21:39:37

Hi the Daily Telegraph have been publishing the SATS for the past few years - just Google Telegraph, SATS & the year you want.

PuckeredAhole Sun 23-Apr-17 21:44:44

Why are you worrying about feeder schools? Is your house in the catchment for the good senior school? That's what matters and will be the only way your dc gets in.

Put your dc into the best primary possible.

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