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Good vs Outstanding school (again)(38 Posts)
My daughter currently goes to Good (Widney Junior inspected in 2018) school (as shown in the comparison list below). She has just been offered a place in outstanding school (Shirley Heath inspected in 2012).
The school she currently goes is little further from our house while the outstanding school she has been offered is nearer.
Now looking at the overall performance at end of key stage 2 it looks like her current school is better. Also her current school has less pupils (about 100 less) than the offered outstanding school. We don't want to just move because its nearby.
Any thoughts ?
What year is she in?
Is she happy, thriving and has friends?
If so, I don't understand why you'd move.
Thanks She is in year 3 class. She does sounds happy. that is not complained. So you might have a point. But she only recently moved from another school (6 months ago due to house move) and she was happy there as well!
As she only moved recently she does not have many friends but has some small group.
What are the clubs like at each school? Are the facilities at one better than another? Do either school use peripatetic teachers for music or PE? What reward system does the new school use? How many assemblies a week?
As a teacher I'd be looking at these things more than test results. The 'Good' school could have such good results as the children do nothing but revision from January onwards in year 6, whereas the 'Outstanding' school might focus on a more rounded curriculum until nearer to the testing week. Plus, teachers in the 'Good' school may be under more pressure to produce results.
Moving schools is disruptive and unsettling. If she's happy and learning, leave her be. Plenty of children go to "good" schools and get an excellent education.
Ofsted reports are nonsense now. They don't have the staff to examine schools rigorously, especially not good ones. It's all 'self assessment' by the school these days.
Given the similarity of the data, it's likely that the biggest difference is in ability to fill forms.
I would not move without a good reason.
Have you visited the potential new school?
Where I live, the outstanding school is like a military camp for academics, offrolling kids who won’t perform, no social/emotional nurturing. We went with the good school which has a better balance of both aspects.
Tbh I'm in Solihull but in a different area and we are in a good school with an outstanding nearby. I would not touch that outstanding school with a bargepole.
The ofsted from 2012 may well be unreliable now too.
In general I would say don't move a happy child. The only point that would perhaps make a difference was if the closer schoo made the journey significantly easier or more likely she would have more local friends I.e. one's that she could go and see under her own steam (whcih will be more of a big deal soon).
An outstanding grading from 2012 would not impress me, and nor would the results (unless they are very out of synch with the ability level of the intake)
Thanks all for your quick response.
The outstanding school has got more extra cir-activities and compulsory language classes (french). While the good school dont.
One thing I forgot to mention that her little brother will be going to the outstanding school as the outstanding school is feeder for my son's nursery school (year 1 & 2). So in that effect in a year time they could be in same school nearby our house.
Has the outstanding school actually got an admissions criteria that states nursery attendance gives priority? That would be very unusual.
honestly, I do not set much store by Ofsted
Our two local schools are Outstanding and Good, the merely "good" school is street lengths ahead in pastoral care, pupil progress, staff retention, atmosphere, support....
yet some parents blindly choose the "outstanding" one
do your research, but take Ofsted with a pinch of salt
2012 was a long time ago. It isn’t necessarily a reflection of how the school is now.
I would be cautious tbh. Our “outstanding” village school completely let down both of my DSs. It was great for some of the other pupils but not for my sons. “Outstanding” really doesn’t mean “perfect for every child”; if your DD is happy where she is and getting on well then doesn’t it make the most sense to leave her there?
It does but our dilemma is that our younger son will be ready to join 'Outstanding' school a year time. So then we have to do two different school run. (Not that far apart but in traffic it could be different story).
Traffic round there will be an issue. I'd put them in same school tbh
Is the nursery a feeder? As PP mentioned, this is unusual.
If not, can your son start daughter's current school instead? Your daughter has only just moved and it seems unfair to move her about again.
But it is so much easier to have them at the same school.
The cycle of schools moves about. The current school could move to outstanding and the outstanding to RI (it happened to us) so I really wouldn't place too much stock on Ofsted ratings.
Having attendance at the nursery as a criteria in the admissions policy could be challenged as nursery education is not compulsory. We were told it should not be included in our criteria for that reason.
Sorry if I didnt made this clear earlier. The little one is in year 1. His school only has year 1 & 2. These two schools are from year 3 to year 6.
If you have an another child that you hope will start in the school, I'd definitely move your oldest. (Is there sibling priority?)
Have you viewed the outstanding school? Ignore the ofsted (which is 7 years old and no reflection on what it's like now) and go with the school you feel has the best atmosphere, ethos, staff, support etc and offers the most for your children. I would also avoid doing two primary school runs. Been there and it's a nightmare.
Please don't base your choice on an OFSTED report.
I'm with you now OP and your update puts a new perspective on this.
So your youngest would move up in year 2.
The outstanding school is nearer.
You need both children at the same school and ideally walkable. This makes life so much easier!
It does sound like the 'outstanding' school ticks a lot of practical boxes now after all (regardless of ratings). Do you think your daughter would be ok with a move?
A recent Ofsted report is a fairly reliable indicator. One from 2012 is not. Schools do have to self evaluate but, and it’s a huge but, Ofsted inspectors check this is accurate when they visit. They will not tolerate gilding the lily and expect a school to know exactly where the children are regarding progress and attainment. They are looking at quality of teaching over time. It is certainly not just a quick swoop and out again.
As for your dilemma: double check that the nursery has YR. it’s unusual to transfer in y1. Infants schools usually are YR to Y2. Is he doing YR at the nursery and what do the infant school say about admissions into Y1. Admissions to infants schools are in YR, not Y1. If you are certain DS will get a place in Y1, I would transfer DD. If there is any doubt, be very careful. It may not be an outstanding school, but you can see if you like it by looking round.
Results are other children’s results, not your child’s. They possibly indicate strength of cohort and type of family that gets into the school and not necessarily outstanding teaching. So be aware of this too.
Don't be swayed by a seven year old Ofsted rating - an entire generation of children have gone through the school since the inspectors came calling.
Presumably your younger son could also join his sister at the "good" school? So you need to decide which school you really want both your children to go to. Check carefully whether the admissions criteria will allow the younger children to join the older one. And then stick with it.