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Moving from private primary to state primary(37 Posts)
Need to move house (SE London) and DH is recommending looking in the catchment of Outstanding/Good primary schools so we can switch our Year 1 and Year 3 boys out of private and spend that on the house! I don't completely disagree so looking to hear from parents who have managed to switch during the school year/non-intake year, private to state.
The reasons why we send them private is that we're not from here so don't know any better and are always afraid of bullying/racism. The class sizes are small and they get the personal attention we are not able to give very often. Both my husband and I work full time and long hours so the wraparound care and sports provision are a godsend.
I understand we might not get into our school of choice straightaway so we will try to stay within reasonable distance of their current school.
But the question remains if anyone has satisfactorily done it and don't regret it later? What are the questions we should be asking ourselves (other than the main existential ones )
Following as we are also considering the switch
Working in a state school you should not receive any bullying racism just because it's a state school. I work in a lovely primary school and all the children care deeply for one another. Go and visit and get a feel for the places. Good luck.
I agree, our state school does not permit racism or bullying! Any issues swiftly dealt with.
The differences between state and private are less relevant than the differences between individual schools. Some private schools are truly outstanding. However, there are many state schools that are better than average private schools regarding pastoral care, ethos, SEN provision and results!
I'd take a look at individual schools and get parents views on them in addition to Ofsted reports.
If you are thinking about SE London, I can recommend Heber Primary in East Dulwich which is a very welcoming, diverse school well known for is outstanding pastoral care and strong academic results. It offers specialist teaching in music and art from Reception and has a very strong Spanish language provision. It also shares sports grounds and other facilities with Alleyns private school which is nearby. While its heavily oversubscribed (the most oversubscribed LA school in Southward I think for Reception entry), I believe COVID has resulted in some parents moving out of London so its worth checking as I believe they have vacancies further up the school so you could get in even if you didn't buy in Dulwich.
Other terrific schools in SE London include the German Specialist school Judith Kerr in Herne Hill and a lovely church school St John's and St Clements. Feel free to send me a message if you'd like to discuss in more detail.
Good luck with your move!
Thank you for your thoughts. We are considering the Petts Wood area for ease of access to Canary Wharf. And to switch the children from Colfes to Crofton. Any ideas?
You have to be sure what value add you are getting from an independent school. Smaller class sizes? Specialist teachers?
I'm not sure that Colfes - or any other prep school - would offer better bullying / racism policies than a primary school? In fact you may find that primary schools are more diverse?
Have you visited the other school? Are there spaces available in the years you would need?
Hello ChnandlerBong (totally cracked me up) ... good questions. When we were first looking none of our local schools had appealed to us, class size being one of the factors.
No, we’ve visited the area but not the school yet. Still debating (meaning husband being non-committal) about the area. It’s on the existing school’s coach route too so at least we won’t have to take the kids out while we wait for a space in the state school.
No mainstream state school in London will have small class sizes.
We did this with DD towards the end of Y3. It was actually the best thing we did. We found the private school she was in was so heavily focused on the academic side that she wasn't really having a childhood. Once we switched she bloomed and has gone from strength to strength and we managed much more in terms of after school activities and spent weekends on days out rather than spending every hour trying to keep up with the work load.
Also, you need to think about secondary education- would you be wanting to put them back in to private or go to the local high. We moved to get in to a good state primary and an excellent high school.
Yes, secondary is on my radar too. Again the area that we’re looking at has good access to several grammars and in the catchment for a good state secondary. Good to hear your little girl’s positive experience. I’m just afraid we’ll struggle there as our current school is really heavy on the sports and too little on academics as far as I can tell. DS1 and DS2 love that though.
Crofton is a great school. It is large but they achieve a lot and work hard at making it feel cosy despite the size. Lots of Crofton children end up at local, Kent or Bexley grammars.
Thank you PettsWoodParadise. Going to visit soon.
I teach in a state primary in South London. My children also attend a state school. My experience as both a teacher and a parent is that state schools (depending on location) will likely have a highly diverse intake. This means there is a high level of understanding and acceptance of other cultures. And as PPs have said, bullying is dealt with swiftly. There is no reason to assume they are more likely to be bullied in the state sector. Good luck with your hunt!
I moved my Dc from private to state and it has gone very well. Actually my ds was bullied in private -I found teachers were reluctant to tackle it as they didn't want to upset the other fee paying parents (although obviously varies from school to school). All the children I know in private also go to extra curricular sports and music out of school and pay for tutors so I was beginning to wonder what I was paying for. I think the only issue for you is the wrap around care if you work full time.
Someone mentioned wrap around care, Crofton have had a breakfast club in the past and may have an after school club too, do check. I also know an excellent childminder who lives opposite the school and does breakfast with drop offs at the school and pick-ups from Crofton with early evening meal. There is also at least one nursery I know that has a mini-bus that has drop offs and pick ups and is great for those who have younger siblings not of school age and you can then pick up all children from the same location.
Plenty of institutional racism and bullying in private sector.
Are there likely to be any spaces at oversubscribed state schools. Seems unlikely.
Having taught at state and independent schools, the difference is huge. The first time I spent a morning teaching at an independent prep school, I had covered my days lessons by lunchtime as the children were so much better behaved and focused. I was so used to dealing with disruptions, that when the claw just sat and learnt, it was a shock. The class sizes makes a big difference too. No child goes unnoticed and they all have a chance to be heard. The children leave with confidence having been taught to shake hands with adults from the age of 2, recite poetry from reception etc. They are heard read 4 times a week by the teacher. The extra curricular clubs, swimming, sports etc-the list goes on. One major difference is communication. Phone calls, emails answered straight away & hundreds of diary notes on google classroom.
Hello - yes, Crofton is very good. Make sure you are in the Darrick Wood catchment for secondary as a back-up. Newstead Wood for a bright child is easy enough to get into but St Olaves is fierce competition, so is Judd. Grammar option for girls is easier (including Townley). The area is very mixed, you won’t get racism. You can save money years 3-6 and go back to Crofton/go for Eltham Colllege if need be at secondary as a back-up.
I moved from private primary to state secondary and I hated it. Absolutely hated it and hated the decision my parents had made.
If you are going to do it, move soon before it impacts them too much.
I went from a class size of 8 to 30, everyone knew I’d come from private and I was that child! I quite happily told everyone what school I’d been to for primary - it wasn’t well received.
My DD didn’t learn to shake hands at prep school. I don’t think she was heard read 4 times a week either. My DD at the local primary leant to read more readily. If turned out DDs teacher at the prep wasn’t a qualified teacher. Small classes don’t make up for poor teaching and an unimaginative curriculum. Our local primary was so much better for no fees.
Thank you everyone for your experiences. Let’s see what the new year brings!