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DDs school in a not so great area. Matter?

(27 Posts)
Greatfun Sat 18-Jul-09 21:17:28

I am probably being a bit precious here but we don't live in the best area (we are in London). Our imediate area is nice but as is fairly typical in big cities you turn a corner and its a different story. DD starts reception next year (yes I am being a bit premature smile) so we are looking at schools. Our nearest school has an amazing ofsted report (1 for everything) but has a repuatation for being rough. It used to be on special measures and has been turned round by a 'super' head from what I can gather. No one in the immediate area used to send their DCS there due to its reputation and quite a large part of its catchment area consists of a fairly rough area. I have lurked around the school gates at school closing time and there are alot of very rough looking parents. I know a few people who use the school (nice boden wearng types wink) who say they love the school and whilst there is quite a few rough kids there they think that will change now that people nearer the school are applying to it. I looked at the school and liked the feel of it. Sorry I really am waffling now. What I want to know is do you think it matters if a school is a bit 'rough'. On one hand I think it will be good for DD to mix with all sorts and it is reflective of the area and what goes on at home is more important. But on the other hand I think it can't be a good influence and I should be whisking her off to some lovely middle class area double quick wink. Moving is not an option right now due to finances. Any experience of someone using a school as described woudl be very helpful. The secondaries are dire so we will definatley look to move once we have more equity and jobs, etc are stable which I amthinking could be 3-5 years from now. Who knows.

cornsillk Sat 18-Jul-09 21:19:33

No it doesn't matter. If you feel comfortable with the school and the ethos and have had good reports then that's great.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Sat 18-Jul-09 21:22:44

I think it depends on the staff. There are some children at ds's current school who hear things at home, come into school and repeat them. I'm not partial to a child teaching ds the swear words they are picking up but I think this will happen at any school.
Your children are not stuck there if you find you've made a big mistake, don't expect miracles though wink, a school can't change completely overnight. You may find that the rough looking parents are actually very nice aswell, not all 'rough' parents are scum you know.

DebiNewberry Sat 18-Jul-09 21:23:02

well, it sounds as though the school is super improved . If you have been for a visit and you like it plus outstanding oftsted you can't get better than that really.

Greatfun Sat 18-Jul-09 21:27:17

Thanks.Thats very helpful. FBGB - I know not all rough looking people are scum I am a self confessed snob blush which I only realised since hanging outside the school gates with the express purpose of checking the parents out!

DebiNewberry Sat 18-Jul-09 21:28:15

Just get yourself on the PTA with all the other cath kidston apron wearers (there will be some, don't worry) and you'll be fine wink

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Sat 18-Jul-09 21:31:13

It's OK. I know where you are coming from blush It's hard, I don't want my son learning swear words, he has aspergers, he doesn't hear such words at home so repeats them at school because he doesn't know they are swear words.
He's being moved back into the private system.

Greatfun Sat 18-Jul-09 21:31:44

I have always turned my nose up at Cath Kidston but I clearly belong there grin. They have a picture of the head of the PTA on the school website. She's most definately more New Look then Cath Kidston.

Greatfun runs off to check out middle class suburbs where she should obviously be .......

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Sat 18-Jul-09 21:33:57

Ds's current school is in a middle class area Greatfun. hmm It doesn't mean anything really. The less well off areas tend to have more money put into the schools though (so I've been led to believe).

Greatfun Sat 18-Jul-09 21:39:30

Our area is mixed but mostly middle class (SW London). It used to be one of the schools that no one wanted to go to and consequently people have come from afar. I know one of these areas included a very large estate. The school is also right next to another estate. I know most people are fine but its the few that are not that worry me. Having said that DD keeps saying 'bloody' thanks to me so maybe it will be me causing the problems. That will serve me right!

MartinBlankWasMyFirstLove Sat 18-Jul-09 21:43:09

hmm... am in SW London.


FluffyBunnyGoneBad Sat 18-Jul-09 21:44:28

It depends on what you and your daughter can put up with. If the discipline is high at the school then there would be less of a problem, the parents are not the ones at the school!! Speak to some of the parents about discipline, then speak to their children. Ask them what the teachers do if someone swears/is naughty then judge for yourself. I'd say this was more important then an Ofsted report.

Greatfun Sat 18-Jul-09 21:45:57

Good ides FBGB.

MBWMFL - West Wimbledon

Sidge Sat 18-Jul-09 21:49:59

My DD2 is at a school in a fairly deprived area; the catchment is quite 'rough' but it is a really good school, is fab for children with SN (which DD2 has and that's why we chose that school for her, it's not our catchment school) and is an incredibly kind, caring and nurturing school.

FWIW I'm also a school nurse covering a huge area that is a real mix of deprived and affluent neighbourhoods. The schools in the rougher areas are IMO far nicer and do much better for the children than most schools in the better areas, that IMO appear to coast along on the back of their easy children and supportive parents.

If you love the school and Ofsted love it too then give it a go.

MartinBlankWasMyFirstLove Sat 18-Jul-09 21:55:07

I don't know west wim schools, but it's wimbledon! it can't be that bad wink

Celia2 Sat 18-Jul-09 22:19:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Greatfun Sat 18-Jul-09 22:23:40

OOh fab! Thanks Celia. I am very local to it.

Celia2 Sat 18-Jul-09 22:34:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Greatfun Sat 18-Jul-09 22:37:22

grin grin I can imagine.

Celia2 Sat 18-Jul-09 22:41:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

teamcullen Sun 19-Jul-09 20:36:30

Ok. My kids go to school in one of the most deprived areas in the country. However it is one of the best schools in the country. It has had outstanding in its ofsted reports 3 times running, (only a handful of schools had had this.)They have been taught spanish since they were three, have been on overseas residentials, have connections with the Royal Livepool Philamonic Orchestra and every child has the oppertunity to learn an instrument, as well as the extensive and fun curriculum.

Dont kid yourself that if you lived in a more affulent area everybody would have the same values as yourself. Naughty children are everywhere, just because they speak in a better accent or live in a better area doesnt mean they will have good behavior or better morals. The same goes for the schools!

My advice would be to read the ofstead report again and see what the inspectors said about behavior, also look in the prospectus and see what the policy is on behaviour, and also to trust your instincts.

Lastly, we also have parents who are rough looking, parents who like to jangle and who dont seem to care about their kids. Suprisingly their children are not always the trouble causes. But behavior is taught at home. As long as your child has a clear understanding of whats right and wrong you will find that they very quickly find out for themselves who to make friends with.

cremeeggs Sun 19-Jul-09 20:44:54

I second what everyone has said about schools in very middle class areas not necessarily being that great - My DCs are at a primary with consistently outstanding OFSTED and SATs results but I find that the staff just rest on their laurels a lot of the time. They go through the national currciulum motions expecting parents to contribute a huge amount of time with reading, spelling and classroom work, and there's a real sense of smugness and complacency from the head. It;s a good school but not as good as it should be really. And there are some rougher kids from VERY middle-class backgrounds - they teach younger kids to swear and some have been done for shoplifting. So nothing is ever as shiny as it seems!!

If you get a good vibe for the school go for it - I also believe that children can really thrive in a diverse social environment too-they learn so much more about what matters in life and different cultures and ways of living etc.

cherryc Tue 11-Aug-09 21:10:34

Greatfun - you must live very close to us we are in Seaforth. Totally understand how you feel - we drive to St Matthews (DS6, DD2.5) I really wish there was a local school that everyone was allowed to go to so we could walk. The Motspur Park primary school would be fab!

Have some friends that go to WW and like it but 2 boys have also transfered to my DS's class from WW this year and I'm thinking if it was that good people wouldn't be leaving... (2 places in my DS's class due to diplomats children moving back to Japan!)

Happy to chat about schools with you more if you like

sunnydelight Wed 12-Aug-09 07:22:15

I sent DS1 to a school "on the turn", it hadn't been great and there were definitely a few "rough" kids and parents but a new head was really making a difference. Those first few years were fantastic so I would say go for it.

Unfortunately in our case by year 5 the school had totally turned and people were selling their grannies to get in, super head left leaving arrogant new head who knew he didn't have to bother any more!!! You can be a victim of your own success.

Builde Wed 12-Aug-09 12:22:16

A friend of mine observed that her nearest school had some 'rough' parents but realised that her posh NCT friends also ignored their childrem..just in posher voices!

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