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supporting your local secondary

(52 Posts)
southeastastra Sat 22-Oct-11 22:19:58

i know it's hard, but i wish more parents would consider this option!

UniS Sat 22-Oct-11 22:25:24

Try living in a rural area, it's local school on teh school bus OR " drive your child a long way EVERY DAY and go get them too" round here. MOST parents chose the most local school.

TalkinPeace2 Sat 22-Oct-11 22:31:59

Sorry but No.
It would never be in my childrens' best interests

MindtheGappp Sun 23-Oct-11 07:58:32


Kez100 Sun 23-Oct-11 08:55:25

It works great here, but we must be one of the remaining few areas where it does.

We've a grammar choice 21 miles away, so a few parents choose it, but a very few. The rest have a choice of local secondary or travelling 12 miles to another. Because of the almost truly comprehensive cross section of pupils it works well and the lack of travel means it is school of first choice. The fact we have pretty good results helps.

It's like it ought to be, but in reality in most areas, we know that is not the case. also our Government don't want us too..........they say they want choice. All political parties.

ASuitableGirl Sun 23-Oct-11 09:01:42

Where we live we are bizarrely in the catchment for a secondary school further away than the nearest one hmm. As DS is only in year 3 I suspect it may have changed by then as it seems silly. Both schools very good and from what I can tell of the schools I would be happy for him to go to either.

TethHearseEnd Sun 23-Oct-11 09:06:19

Agree completely, sea- but it needs to happen en masse for any difference to be seen.

scarevola Sun 23-Oct-11 09:10:36

What do you mean by support? Send your child there regardless?

And what if your local school does not offer single sciences at GCSE and you have a child who is passionate about those subjects?

Take a chance that they'll rearrange their entire teaching in time? Or deny your child the subjects they want?

tallulah Sun 23-Oct-11 09:14:49

Ours currently gets 41% GCSE passes hmm All the other schools get 60-90%. Would you send your kids there?

IDontDoIroning Sun 23-Oct-11 09:25:16

No way. I'm very fortunate and have a choice of 4 schools within 10 miles. All of the other 3 are better than my local school which had a low 40% 5 gcse pass rate. It also has a troubled history. Ive chosen the furthest away which has a 70% pass rate and had 0 neets from last years leavers.
This costs me £12 per week in bus fares and has resulted in separating my dc from school friends, no loss in all cases though as it means dc are not wandering randomly around the streets etc.
I don't care about "my local school" all I care about is my child/ren. More fool anyone who sacrifices their child's future for some sentimental nonsense.

glaurung Sun 23-Oct-11 09:44:50

I did try it but my child wasn't happy. An unhappy child won't succeed in a poor school (still under 50% A*-C, in spite of doubling last year), even if a happy one might. Parents are not wrong to put their children first.

CustardCake Sun 23-Oct-11 09:53:05

That's all very well if you have a choice. In urban, densely populated areas, there is no real choice of schools at all (well except for the choice to leave your home and job and family and move to a new county or to find £100k + stamp duty for a better catchment 3 streets away).
When you fill out the form, there will probably only be 1 school (at best 2 schools or at worse no schools) that you live close enough to for a place.
We're at that time of year ago when local parents with children in Year 6 are looking at last years' intake and how far away they lived from the "good" schools and realising that there is actually zero choice here at all.

marriedinwhite Mon 24-Oct-11 12:20:46

If our local comp offered two languages all the way through and Latin and triple science and if on the open day the science teachers had known the difference between single, double and triple science we might have considered it. We might have considered it harder if we hadn't heard some pupils speaking in an insolent and discriminatory manner about a member of staff and if we hadn't heard a member of support staff yelling in a rough and ignorant manner at a group of girls who were merely walking along a corridor. Not an environment I would send either of my children into so I'm afraid YABU.

marriedinwhite Mon 24-Oct-11 12:24:51

custard - we live in an urban, densely populated area. DD got into both the CofE state schools for which we applied. It was the wrong choice because we have since had to move her due to the unmanaged behavioural problems of a significant minority who are now allowed in.

CustardCake Mon 24-Oct-11 12:43:06

It is hard to make the right choice perhaps where you have a choice but we do not. All of the criteria you describe sounds wonderful - we would have loved that for our child but the local school does not offer it and we wouldn't have a hope of getting in to any other school (I don't even think the best comp in the area offers all those things anyway - definitely no Latin)

The religious schools here are very religious - not only must you be Catholic but you must have had your child baptised before the age of 6 months (unless there are extreme reasons why you could not) and you must have attended mass every Sunday for years. It asks on the form how often you attend and you have to send certificates and a signed letter from the priest! These schoosl are therefore not an option and all the others are distance based leaving most families with a choice of 1 school (or if you're very lucky or very religious 2 schools)

Ormirian Mon 24-Oct-11 12:48:05

We do. But I am not sure whether we would have if we hadn't really liked it.

Having said that we have a choice of 4 - 2 of them I wouldn't have touched with a ten-foot bargepole.

The third is meant to be a good school but it had a reputation for being unsupportive and for not tackling bullying.

If we had decided we wanted a top-notch hugely academic school with stratosperically wonderful GCSE results, we'd have been stuffed hmm

spiderpig8 Mon 24-Oct-11 13:15:27

Why on earth would you send your children to the local school if it is a shit hole, and you have an alternative?
most of us love our Dc and want to do what's best by them.

maypole1 Mon 24-Oct-11 15:26:21

I agree with the posters so far I don't agree with sacrificing your Childs education with the notion of some how improving the sinks school social mix with the hope that someday before your child leaves the head might grow a pear and sort the behaviour and the teaching standards out


My sons local school is what is fondly known as a a sink school

It only has 32% of children getting a to c grades and only 78% getting a to e

The school was in he local gazette only 6 months ago because all the children decided on a mass walk out, also a teacher had sex with a pupil which the school tried to keep hush hush buy simply getting the teacher to move on quietly until it happened at the new school

So I don't think so I would of rather home schooled than sending my child their

The students barley wear uniform, the teachers are off sick they have 8 vaccinces for subject teachers they haven't had a permeant dupty head for a year and I have been informed by my sons head of year they no longer have the said school over for any matches due to their behaviour at a netball meet

I busted my gut to get my child into the best school in the la I am not sorry and only wish I could afford a private school and not just a tutor after school

CustardCake Mon 24-Oct-11 15:29:09

spiderpig8 - I think the rationale behind it is that if everyone used their local school by choice then it might possibly cease to be a "shit hole"

If everybody used their local school then the divide between good schools and poor schools would stop being so stark as the intake would be more mixed (well it would be in urban areas - probably not so much in the rural areas) and then less children would be subject to a poorer education purely because their parents have no option of moving house (council tenants or just too poor to live near a good school).

Ormirian Mon 24-Oct-11 15:31:20

Sorry maypole but I had to LOL a little at 'head might grow a pear".

is that in gardening club then?


KS2L6 Mon 24-Oct-11 15:41:22

I chose to support my local primary school and now often wish I hadn't. Problems emerged early on (not related to my own children, but general issues) so I became a governor. Six years on I'm completely drained and discovering more and more gaps in my own DCs education.

Consequently, we won't be supporting the local secondary, even though OFSTED think its good. We'll be going down the road to the exceptionally well organised, high achieving, OFSTED oustanding school, thanks all the same.

maypole1 Mon 24-Oct-11 15:56:18

CustardCake so in the mean time your what supposed to wait it out for bad to become good, hope that others follow you in to the bad school

Its not the social mix that alone raises the standard of the school

It's a head who had vision and high expectations and no excuses

Even in a " posh " area There will still be ranking between schools

Sorry but my child is not a guinea pig

And the strange thing is we have so many shit sink schools and we want to get rid of the best ones church and grammar

Northern Ireland has a might better education system than we do and surprise surprise they have grammar and church schools

CustardCake Mon 24-Oct-11 16:19:12

maypole - I agree with you. A lot of how a school performs is down to the Head but some schools do have exceptionally difficult intakes purely because anyone rich enough or savvy enough to escape the local 'bad school' makes bloody sure that their own child never goes there. This leaves the 'bad school' with an intake that is totally unrepresentative of the population as a whole or even the local picture.

A huge intake of children who are way below national averages at age 10, who are more likely than the norm to have difficult home lives and / or have additional factors such as early stages of learning English, extreme poverty or complex additional needs will have an impact of a school's results compared to a school where children who are more challenging and do less well are diluted in numbers with some children who are incredibly bright or at least above average even before they start the school.

A good Head, dedicated teachers and decent facilities are all great but I'm afraid there is an element of 'silk purse and sows ear' about it too.

Lancelottie Mon 24-Oct-11 16:21:22

We did.
He hated it.
We moved him.


I realise how very, very lucky we are that the next-nearest school is so suited to him (though not as hot on paper as the local one, interestingly.)

CustardCake Mon 24-Oct-11 16:27:25

I am not against Grammars or Church Schools. I would like it if all schools were so uniformly good that, when it came time to fill in the preferences form, nobody panicked, nobody lied about their address, nobody rented short term to get a school of their choice and nobody was left sobbing outside the primary school gates on March 2nd knowing their child had drawn the short straw in the schools' lottery.

And all the time some schools are actively avoided by “good” parents with well supported children, they get worse and worse and the gap between good and bad increases. Some poor people have no choice but those that do obviously don’t opt for the “bad” school. Who would given the choice?

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