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(15 Posts)
tinkisagracefulshamu Thu 24-Jul-08 08:44:26

my daughter is due to go to school next sept.
my dh has printed off ofsted report for the school in our catchment area and it is isnt the best in our area.
the ofsted was done nov 2006 . mainly have problems with keeping up with satisfactory maths and english.
dh now is talking about moving before she starts school next sept i am pregnant and due in jan last thing i want to htink about is moving
ius it common for people to move to get there child into a good school?

sarah293 Thu 24-Jul-08 08:47:40

Message withdrawn

Littlefish Thu 24-Jul-08 08:49:50

Take all ofsted reports with a pinch of salt.

Have you visited the school?
Did the children seem happy?
Did the children seem engaged in their learning?
Was the secretary friendly?
Did the headteacher seem friendly?

Are the other local schools over or undersubscribed.

Ofsted reports really don't give you the full picture.

Absolute madness as far as I'm concerned to make a decision about a school based soley on its ofsted report.

tinkisagracefulshamu Thu 24-Jul-08 08:50:00

thanks we are going to get an appointment to look around the school in sept after holidays.

tinkisagracefulshamu Thu 24-Jul-08 08:50:45

thanks littlefish thats what i thought.

Littlefish Thu 24-Jul-08 08:51:29

Fogot to say - you will get a gut feeling about a school when you look round. You know your own child and you know whether they will respond well in a particular school.

LIZS Thu 24-Jul-08 08:53:40

The report is not the be all and end all - visit yourselves, talk to head, staff and parents, look at others nearby as a comparison. Depending on your application deadline, which could be as soon as this October, could you really move to have an address to make an application from in time ? Lots of LEA's no longer use catchment as a key criteria for awarding places so you may be able to apply beyond the immediate area anyway if you come under other categories or if the school isn't full. Check out the statistics for applications to places awarded and see if they and others are under or oversubscribed.

Littlefish Thu 24-Jul-08 08:53:43

That's a good plan Tink.

By all means ask them about the particular areas of concern in the ofsted report. Were the concerns in Foundation, KS1 or KS2? If they were KS2, they have plenty of time to put in some hefty work on planning, assessment and teacher training.

Rather than ask about the numbers of children in each class, I would ask about the number of teaching assistants in each class, and therefore, the ratio of children of adults.

sunnydelight Thu 24-Jul-08 10:40:41

When DS1 was due to start school the first local school to have an open evening was one that didn't have a very good reputation, so-so Ofstead etc. so I said to DH that I had no intention of DS going there, it was just worth a look so we would have a benchmark. We showed up, were met in person by the newish headteacher who clearly wanted people to send their kids to her school, were allocated an individual pupil guide to show us round and we saw a school full of happy, enthusiastic kids. Every classroom had a number of pupils and their teacher there so we could ask questions. At the end of the tour there was a talk by the headteacher about her plans for the school and EVERY teacher in the school was up there on the stage.

We continued to look around schools and generally the more successful the school, the less effort they made to attract new pupils. One school refused me an individual visit as they said they were so oversubscribed they "didn't need to try and attract more people". Some evening tours were like visiting a ghost town with not a pupil or class teacher in sight. I nearly fell asleep listening to the headteacher of the "best" local school drone on.

A long way to say, go and visit and trust your instinct. Also, be wary of schools resting on their laurels.

Littlefish Thu 24-Jul-08 11:01:53

Really good points sunnydelight.

It's the same around here. Even though both our local schools have a "good" ofsted, one is always oversubscribed and the other is usually full, but not oversubscribed. The always oversubscribed one (in my opinion) relies on its reputation too much, and is far less open to working with parents and has a deputy head who says things like "Children who come here are very lucky". It made me furious. The other one is a joy, welcomes parental input with open arms, looks at each child as an individual etc. etc. and says "we try to be as flexible as possible about children's part or full time attendance in September and we do this based on the child's emotional maturity, balanced with the needs of the parents" Fantastic! Unfortunately, we're out of catchment for this one. We'll be keeping our fingers crossed!

wheresthehamster Thu 24-Jul-08 11:16:03

I doubt whether you could move before you have to get your application in.

Have you received your book about starting school? It will list all the schools in your county and the admission rules. Read them first before you do anything drastic!

The Ofsted report is 2 years old. Possibly teaching staff/HT have changed. Also they shoul have taken Ofsted's comments on board by now and improved on the unsatifactory areas.

Look around as many schools as you can. You will get a feel for happy schools. Good luck!

Jux Thu 24-Jul-08 14:30:03

Our school didn't have a great Ofsted report from that pov either, nor did it figure particularly well in the league tables. However, it is such a nice school and the teachers and kids are so happy that it's worth it. DD is doing very well there; she is happy and learns well.

Sometimes these things are less important. Your child could go to the 'best' school in the country and be unhappy. Not worth it.

spokette Thu 24-Jul-08 14:57:55

The school we chose for our DTS had a satisfactory Ofsted report. We were all set to send them to the school with the Outstanding report but after visiting them, we chose the satisfactory school because:

1. The school made an effort to engage the parents

2. We were shown round by the pupils and could ask them anything

3. The children were polite, articulate, full of aplomb and loved their school.

4. The walls were replete with the children's artwork, stories etc

5. It has 14 afterschool clubs which are mainly run by the teachers - that demonstrates committed and dedicated teachers.

With the outstanding school, we were shown around by the deputy head and we were not allowed to speak to the children plus it only had about 3 afterschool clubs.

I prefer my sons to be educated in a warm, caring, vibrant, nurturing environment than in one which is no more than a swothouse, irrespective of its Ofsted report. The school weaknesses are actively being addressed by the Head who has outlined his plans to all the parents and he has the full support of his dedicated teaching staff.

tinkisagracefulshamu Thu 24-Jul-08 15:07:09

thanks for all your comments i think that we will probably move looking @ chandlersford due to a good primary school and because our house has only 2 bedrooms i am due in jan have a dd need more room.

LIZS Thu 24-Jul-08 15:21:14

last year Hants applications deadline was 16th November so, assuming this year's timelien is similar, if you were to move you'd have to do so fairly quickly or you'd miss getting considered in the main process.

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