How small is too small for an infant/primary school?

(16 Posts)
Muddlingalongalone Sat 01-Dec-18 01:37:54

Currently looking at schools for dd2. Dd1's school is perfect for her and a great school so will likely be 1st choice for dd2 as well but I'm just looking at other options.
Dd2 is hearing impaired - but will not get EHCP based on her current development & needs.
After seeing 2x "big" schools (3 form entry) I've come to the conclusion that a smaller environment would suit her however any option still has to be practical.
There is an infant school which is converting into a primary school in the next county but only 10 mins away and halfway between work & home however it only has 26 pupils in total. 1 x reception class & 1 yr2/3 mixed class.
Is this just too small?? I am thinking of ringing to have a look round but not sure if that is just a crazy waste of time....

OP’s posts: |
LondonLassInTheCountry Sat 01-Dec-18 01:46:08

Why would being small be a problem?

Sounds ideal to me

Letsmove1t Sat 01-Dec-18 01:54:03

Perfect - good chance of 1 on 1 personal attention, surely to get a good grasp of the basic learning blocks you can’t beat it , you can always change later once DCs expand horizons

EmmaGrundyForPM Sat 01-Dec-18 01:54:19

I think that is too small given the age range. Our dc were in a small school with PAN of 16 per year. Our less confident child really struggled (other one was fine). We moved to a different area and they ended up in a much bigger school. Our shy child really blossomed.

PinkAvocado Sat 01-Dec-18 02:00:12

I’d question how much funding there is in a school that small and staffing resources. I wouldn’t rule it out though.

user1483972886 Sat 01-Dec-18 12:14:50

Small sounds idyllic but reality is not always the same. We are rural and in a sea of small schools. Ours has 60. Both of my children have been lucky and in year groups of 13+ which allows for choice of friends but one year only has 4 children (3 girls and 1 boy). The classes do consist of 2 years together but still... DS has 9 boys and 4 girls in his class. 2 of the girls are very bossy and 2 ok. There is a good social choice with the boys.
The school up the road has 2 classes and 21 children in total. 7 in the infants and 14 in juniors. In the infants class there are 3 girls, all different ages. 1 is v disruptive, 1 is very bright and 1 is very young. So a social minefield.
Funding is difficult. We cannot afford our own head so now share one. The staff are good. After school clubs are very limited. Sport is v limited. No choir, teams etc.
I would go and see it but look beyond the cosiness and consider the social challenges.
Our school only has 3 classes so the kids are still in classes of 20 so not that small.

Yumyumbananas Sat 01-Dec-18 23:42:09

Small schools usually have less funding and less TA support as a result.


admission Sun 02-Dec-18 16:57:53

If the school has 26 in infant school it will be something like 60 as a primary school if full. I am assuming there that they have sufficient classroom space to move from infant to primary.
No matter how you look at it, even at 60 it is a small school and funding is going to be an issue always. I think you need to accept that the move from infant to primary is probably an attempt to increase pupil numbers because they are already struggling financially.

Muddlingalongalone Sun 02-Dec-18 18:03:47

Thanks all - I might go and have a look one lunchtime but take on board your warnings about social side & funding & breakfast & after school clubs, and space as they grow.

The reason they don't have a yr1 class is because they didn't take an intake due to being threatened with closure but are changing into an all through school instead - secured funding??

OP’s posts: |
BubblesBuddy Sun 02-Dec-18 20:00:02

It’s always the C of E infant schools that expand where I live. They should only expand if there is a need and sometimes I doubt this. I think it’s more of a zeal to expand.

I think small schools should be obliged to federate if there are two small schools just down the road from each other. It makes all sorts of financial sense. It also helps stave off closing altogether. I don’t understand why more schools don’t smell the coffee and wake up!

As for the dilemma, I really would ask each school what help would be on offer and whether her needs can be met. Have they had similar children, any knowledge of amending classroom practice and how will they assess her needs. Small isn’t always best and a better educational experience is gained at a better school, even if it’s bigger!

Mendingfences Sun 02-Dec-18 20:02:00

Our primary is less than 30 kids over 7 years. Its brilliant

suitcaseofdreams Sun 02-Dec-18 20:41:47

Only you can make the decision based on your child and their needs but in my experience bigger schools are better at supporting children with additional needs (EHCP or not). They tend to have more funding, better resources, more experience/expertise, dedicated SENCO etc.

My children were at a school as small as you describe, which also opted to expand to primary to stay viable. I moved them - it was just too small - limited physical space, limited clubs and activities, limited friendship circle (particularly tricky as mine are same sex twins). One has additional needs (although more social rather than academic and doesn’t have EHCP) and I have found new bigger school much more on the case with that as well as having better all round variety and resources.
So my personal experience would be to avoid small schools, but equally I know plenty of parents who stayed at small school who are very happy....

LtGreggs Sun 02-Dec-18 20:47:19

From my experience, small school (approx 20 per year - so bigger than some above) was nice in first couple of years when children very young, but by top end of primary felt quite limited for space, sports and friendship opportunities.

Lollipop30 Sun 02-Dec-18 20:48:03

I’d be worried about closure if it’s that small. The two schools by us have about 80 kids in and they’ve been forced to join classrooms and get rid of teaching and support staff.
My little brothers school had 30 kids in it, it joined with another small school initially then closed down altogether and all pupils were moved to the other school.

BubblesBuddy Mon 03-Dec-18 13:04:28

Maintaining so many small primary schools with 30-45 children is one of the reasons why we have financial problems in education. A school of 30 should be financed for one teacher plus about 1/10. Clearly it is not so is very expensive to run. I bet the music, drama and sport are outstanding!!! I would think y3 - y6 must be very limiting in comparison to the experience my DDs had in bigger schools. Many infant parents like small schools but children grow out of them. Then parents have to work very hard to give the enrichment their children need.

Holidayshopping Mon 03-Dec-18 13:10:54

It’s a ‘piece of string’ question. My niece is at a primary with 60 in the whole school-it’s crazy small. They love it and can’t imagine how my kids go to a three form intake school. I love it, but think theirs must have friendship issues and be under resourced. I look at the school down the toad which is a 5-form intake and think that’s WAY too big!

Horses for courses.

I would be worried it would close though.

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