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Would love to hear your thoughts re these schools - have to fill out forms tomorrow

(14 Posts)
Holymoly321 Fri 06-Nov-09 16:26:59

I have to fill out DS1's school application this weekend and would appreciate your thoughts. Background, me, mixed race, brought up in London, DH is white and brought up in Kent. DS's both look 'white' with blonde hair hmm.

School 1 - nearest school, good ofsted with some outstanding areas, very small - only one intake - but no teaching space other than the classrooms, very small corridors, but lots of outside space and a new Head who is very keen and proactive. School came 46/193 in local league table. Mostly white children. Kids seemed happy enough.

School 2- third nearest school. no results yet as is a brand new school. Fabulous building and facilities, lots of indoor and outdoor space. But very very 'white - literally saw about five ethnic children'. Very nice atmosphere though, kids all seemed happy etc.

School 3 - fourth nearest - lovely lovely vibe, very ethnically diverse, fab head but she is due to retire soon. Also they are about 117/193 in league tables. Ofsted as 'satisfactory' - but this is a few years ago.

DH thinks we should send DS to School 2 and says the fact it is very 'white' is not a problem. Am I overeacting about the fact it is so 'white'? School 3 had the vibe nearest to my own school, but the results are poor, which I found weird as the atmostphere was so brilliant. Any thoughts you'd like to share would be most appreciated

Holymoly321 Fri 06-Nov-09 17:20:17

anyone willing to throw in an opinion/thoughts?

KateF Fri 06-Nov-09 17:43:03

School 3 sounds lovely but I would be wary if the head is retiring. My dds lower school has been through two changes of head and each time the "vibe" of the school has changed significantly. I would go with the school you like the feel of best. I am currently on teaching practice in a middle school which,on paper,is the poorest in the town but it has a great feel and the kids are very happy there and make good progress.

sarah293 Fri 06-Nov-09 17:50:56

Message withdrawn

Holymoly321 Fri 06-Nov-09 18:02:29

Would it matter that not many of the children are from other ethnic groups at school 1? Am I being short sighted?

thegrammerpolicesic Fri 06-Nov-09 18:06:49

Think you are getting too het up about the ethnicity of the children. Did you have a tough time with race issues at school? If so, if it's any reassurance, schools are much better at handling this sort of thing so I don't see why it would be an issue for your dcs to go to a less diverse school.

Holymoly321 Fri 06-Nov-09 18:14:15

I think you may be right. I was lucky and never had any race issues at school. but maybe it is because DS's look so white when it is obvious that i am not that I am placing undue importance on the fact that they should mix with children who look different from them. Maybe I need a shrink to sort this one out!

Holymoly321 Fri 06-Nov-09 18:16:00

Also, I visited school 1 twice because it was so near and had good ofsted etc - I really wanted to 'feel' the school, you know, get the good gut feeling. But the smallness of it and the lack of inside space is putting me off. Is this stupid? Plus the library was titchy tiny (but I regularly take Ds to the local library anyway so books are not an issue?)

smee Fri 06-Nov-09 20:16:04

Will you get into all or any of them? You're lucky to have that much choice if you would. I'd say go on your gut feeling. Where can you see your kids being happiest. And forget league tables.Value Added Score's more on an indicator - if a school has a catchment of loads of middle class kids, it'll probably have better sats results than a school with a wider social mix. Doesn't mean it's a better school though..

Swedes2Turnips0 Fri 06-Nov-09 20:25:01

"Lovely lovely vibe" sounds too good to ignore.

I have four children, 17, 14, 4, and 2 and I've never found a correlation between an Ofsted report and the effectiveness of a school. I would send your children to the school that you honestly feel is right. Based on proper visits with Ofsted and reports from friends and local reputation as backup.

Waiting2Exhale Fri 06-Nov-09 23:51:50

Hi there....wow...we appear to be in a similar position....my DC are also of mixed background and as such, I have placed great importants on the diversity of the school for my DC. At this age (primary) for them I believe it is so important for them to identify with others like themselves. Part of developing and understanding their own identity.

I too live in a predominately white area with very good schools close by and have decided, if poss, to send my DC to a school in another borough as we live on the casp of two....If this fails I am not sure what I will do...probably go private and find exactly what I'm looking for.

Really tough decision...really hope it works out for you.

deaddei Sat 07-Nov-09 07:56:50

Waiting2exhale...private schools are not known for their diversity1

thegrammerpolicesic Sat 07-Nov-09 09:45:12

I disagree in that some of the private schools round here are more ethnically diverse than many of the faith state schools.
They are obviously less diverse in terms of people's incomes though.

Waiting2Exhale Thu 12-Nov-09 00:49:44

Hi Deaddei,

I agree with thegrammerpolicesic.... it really does depend on where your looking. For instance, almost all the private schools I have looked at in purley, surrey have a fairly rich diverse culture and while parent's income in these schools may be less so, I am pleased at the porpotion like me that are willing to struggle to put their kids in these private schools.

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