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School Place

(41 Posts)
echomist Fri 19-Apr-19 09:38:30

Yesterday I found out that my DC has been allocated a place at an outstanding primary. I never thought that this would happen as we live 12 miles away from the school. I applied so that we would have a choice but ultimately never thought it would happen due to our location.

They are currently at a prep school, in the pre school and we had decided that they would more than likely stay there as the chances of them getting into the other school were so slim.

I now have no idea what to do! Both schools are lovely but obviously the prep school is expensive and will cost around £800 per month (which we can afford).

I have to accept or decline the place by 30th April but I feel like I need more time to decide. Can I accept the state school place and then withdraw if we decide to stay at the prep? Obviously I won't decide at the very last moment but I feel like I need more than a week.

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AlunWynsKnee Fri 19-Apr-19 09:41:21

Yes you can accept the state place and then decline it later.

echomist Fri 19-Apr-19 09:44:41

Ok thank you. Any thoughts on what we should do?!

They are settled at the current school, it's very nice, but so is the other one although it's further away and free which is a big consideration too.

I really didn't think that we would be in this position

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AlunWynsKnee Fri 19-Apr-19 09:55:05

I'm not really familiar with private schools so I'm not sure my advice would be useful smile
It's a lot of money but if you can afford it then I guess that's not an issue. The worst case would be having to leave private because of financial problems and then not being able to get a state school space in a school you want.
It's a fair trip every day to the state though. I suppose it would be easier to go back to private if state wasn't working.

LIZS Fri 19-Apr-19 09:59:37

If you decide to move them you need to give a term's notice to the private school or be liable for a term's fees in lieu. Check when the deadline for this is in your terms and conditions. Some may be by start of this term while others may have been at the end of last. Do you really want to travel 50miles a day on the school run? How long is the journey at peak times?

RedSkyLastNight Fri 19-Apr-19 11:05:20

Are you very rural, so other children will live similar distance from school? If this is not the case then you won't get some of the main benefits of going state I.e. local friends and being part of a community. How long will it take you to get there-at school run time? Are there afternoon or evening activities that school will expect children to attend on the basis that people live locally, but will mean another trip out for you?

If you can afford the private school it otherwise sounds like a straight question of which school you feel is better. Are there no more local state schools?

echomist Fri 19-Apr-19 12:03:32

We are rural but not in the middle of nowhere. The journey to the current school takes us 15-20 mins and the state school is probably another 5-10 mins further on. So we're used to travelling.

Both schools are on my way to work so drop offs are no problem. Both schools have good after school care provision too.

We live far enough away from the current school that we aren't really part of the local community anyway. I'd rather not have a massive commute to either, but we're willing to do it for the sake of them going to a great school.

There is a school 30 seconds from our house, but it's not the right one.

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RedSkyLastNight Fri 19-Apr-19 12:30:57

Bear in mind that there is a difference between going to a private school where it's likely that children may travel from a wider distance, and a state school where children tend to be more local (though if you got in from so far away maybe that's not th case at your state school). Or put bluntly, if I were the parent of a child in your DC's class would I be prepared to make an hour roundtrip for a play date if everyone else in the class was close at hand?

I understand your willingness to travel for a good school. But equally your child could do a lot with the hour a day they are not sitting in a car.

Although you can accept the state school place and decline it later, you should be mindful that some child may be eagerly waiting for whichever school place you relinquish.

It would therefore be courteous to limit the time you hold 2 places for. You say you need more than a week to decide, but unless there is something specific you are waiting for (e.g. you wish to speak to on of the heads and they are not available earlier) there isn't really any need to delay the decision. Bear in mind you will want to get your child used to the idea of whatever school they are to attend, and school will start to organise induction events. It would be confusing for a 4 year old to go to 2 sets of inductions!

echomist Fri 19-Apr-19 12:58:28

I do appreciate that I shouldn't hold onto a school place, as somebody else may be waiting for it. But the very fact that we even got a place would indicate that the school wasn't oversubscribed. If the decision is made by catchment area and we are 12 miles away, I doubt there is a long wait list.

That's a good point re play dates, I don't want to alienate my child. I would also consider moving closer to either of the schools but my husband isn't keen.

I haven't even been to look at the state school as I was so sure we wouldn't get a place. I now need to do that ASAP and then have a bit of time to think about it.

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BangingOn Fri 19-Apr-19 19:02:59

If you haven’t visited and chose it based on the OFSTED grading then you definitely need to look around. There are several Oustanding schools locally that I would never send DS too, they are very glossy and do everything that OFSTED like, but that’s not the same as them being a great school and none have a nice feel about them.

ChicCroissant Fri 19-Apr-19 19:11:13

If you haven't visited the school, why did you think it would suit your child - did you go purely on the OFSTED?

tanpestryfirescreen Fri 19-Apr-19 20:17:33

There is a school 30 seconds from our house, but it's not the right one.

Why? Being part of a community and having friends that you can hang out with is important as you grow up?

caughtinanet Fri 19-Apr-19 20:23:29

If you haven't visited the school how do you know it's oustanding and that it will suit your child?

It could be anything up to a decade since the school has been inspected so to be making a decision based on that is really really not a good thing to do.

xyzandabc Fri 19-Apr-19 20:29:37

The school 30 seconds from your house isn't the right one.

How do you know that the one 12 miles away is the right one when you haven't even visited it?????

Have you visited the one 30 seconds away at all?

youarenotkiddingme Fri 19-Apr-19 20:30:20

DO NOT make your decision based solely on t being free and dates outstanding .

People are getting burnt left right and centre nowadays via this. Most outstanding schools. Haven't been inspected in 8-10 years and exist purely by reputation.

The schools near me who are like this are slowly losing reputation and pastoral care is shockingly shit and results are also now lower than all the recently graded good schools.

It may be outstanding and maybe looking will confirm that. But if Oreo is working and you can afford it I wouldn't change too hastily unless returning there will be easy.

SpaSushi Fri 19-Apr-19 21:19:17

Reiterating what pp have said re judging a school on paper by its ofsted is not really meaningful .

There's a reason you got in from 12 miles away, where have all the catchment children gone?

Goposie Fri 19-Apr-19 21:21:52

Outstanding can mean very little. Be cautious!

TeenTimesTwo Fri 19-Apr-19 21:28:21

Why haven't you been to look at the school?? How do you know you like it if you haven't been to look around?

Also, how old is the Ofsted? 'Outstanding' schools can slip a log way before a re-inspection as they aren't looked at as frequently as other schools.

azulmariposa Fri 19-Apr-19 22:26:36

Dd goes to an "outstanding" school. It hasn't been inspected for ten years and it's crap. Certainly not outstanding.
If you can afford the school that they are already in, and you're happy with it then leave them where they are.

echomist Sat 20-Apr-19 00:22:45

It was graded outstanding four years ago. I've heard good things from friends who have children at the school

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YouBumder Sat 20-Apr-19 00:24:54

Why on earth would you choose to travel 12 miles to a primary school? Madness. I’d just send her to the local one and be done with it, personally.

echomist Sat 20-Apr-19 00:27:22

and yes I visited the school 30 seconds away. It had over 450 pupils and every class that we were allowed to look in was very loud and chaotic. I didn't get a good feeling about it sadly.

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YouBumder Sat 20-Apr-19 00:28:13

Also, I wouldn’t set too much store in them being an “outstanding” school. Our schools aren’t covered by Ofsted but I loved our primary school from when my eldest son went, it was a great school. Turned to shit in the last few years and I’ve now moved the youngest elsewhere! (Eldest now in high school). I would never have believed it could have gone downhill so badly so quickly.

YouBumder Sat 20-Apr-19 00:28:54

Well I get that echo I do it was a big part in our own move smile

echomist Sat 20-Apr-19 00:29:59

As I said, we do live rurally but not completely in the middle of nowhere, so we are used to driving and travelling.

But as it happens the school closest to us serves a huge new estate so is very large. All of the others in the surrounding areas are smaller village type schools.

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