Would you move schools in this situation?(19 Posts)
Dd is in yr8. She is on the gifted talented and able register at her school for all subjects and her predicted levels for end of yr9 are a mix of 7h and 8s.
The school is tiny, only 65 in her year, rural secondary.
She has had some friendship issues and doesn't really seem settled there, she is my only so I don't know if this is par for the course with teen girls or if she is just genuinely not fitting in. We had a nasty incident a few weeks ago where a boy hurt her and she had to go to hospital. The school were awful, the student counsellor made her apologise to the boy as he said she "was aggravating him".
When I kicked off they investigated and found this wasn't true, he was supposed to write an apology and a group of kids were supposed to be spoken to but nothing ever happened.
Dd asks weekly to move schools, she rarely sees her anyone from school outside of school and seems to be on the edge of any friendship groups with no real close friends.
We got her school report on Friday and she is below target level (ie not on track to hit predicted levels) in 11 of her subjects.
Spanish and French are level 4h, when I spoke to the teacher on Friday she said dd is her most able pupil and that is the highest level they can get as this is as far as they have got in the curriculum. To me that sounds incredibly low though? She is predicted an 8s in both languages!
In I.t she hasn't move up a sub level since yr 7. Drama and re the same also. Levels are all 4h. She has had 9 different teachers for I.t since yr 7 and only has 1 hr of drama once a fortnight. Re has seen 5 different teachers since yr 7.
I'm not worried about re or drama as she will drop those for gcse but the lack of progress is really bothering me and the huge amount of teachers moving in and out v quickly is also a concern.
As a contrast though in maths she is a 7l and English is 6h so those two subjects are clearly not an issue.
All the rest of her subjects are 5h.
So my question is;
1. Am I being really precious about her levels and is she doing ok?
2. Did anyone else have a teen girl who struggled to settle like this? (no one from her primary is there by the way.
3. Am I right to be concerned about the schools general state with teacher retention issues and pastoral care?
Any advice would be really gratefully received.
She sounds miserable and it's affecting her grades. I'd move her. Secondary school is a struggle for all children; they are all finding a way to fit in. Is there another school near you?
I've just moved my year 8 daughter, she was doing well but just wasn't happy. She's been so much happier since moving so glad we decided to do it.
The teacher is correct about the language levels - if they start a subject from scratch at secondary (so Drama and IT are included too) then their levels start from scratch as well.
However, it sounds like she's miserable and the school are not tackling the situation effectively: I'd be really cross about the incident in which she was hospitalised.
What are your other school options?
Um well the other school options are in the nearest big town. All schools are huge and although they have good results. I don't know how she would fare moving from tiny to genuinely huge. (6-800 pupils minimum compared to 378)
The outcomes for young people from her current school are brilliant, last yr one went off to cambridge, one to Oxford and quite a few to other RG unis.
Thank you for putting my mind At rest about those levels.
I just want her to be happy.i am worried that if we move her she will struggle to break into ready established friendship groups and will be even more unhappy.
I was moved at the beginning of yr 9 and it had a profoundly awful effect on me.
I have. Meeting with her head of yr after half term. She seems nice so far but ineffectual!
I would not be worrying about her levels at all at this stage. I would be worrying about the fact that she is unhappy, that she actively wants to move schools and that the school is seemingly incapable of dealing effectively with bullying or keeping her safe. So I would move her without a doubt.
I am a secondary school teacher btw and the way her school dealt with that bullying incident would have been fallen short of acceptable by a very long way in any school I have worked in.
Thank you Amphitrite. I think you're confirming what I already feel but I'm incredibly scared of making the wrong choice for her also.
I know the student counsellor has been spoken to but like you I still don't think it has been dealt with properly.
The school are labelling dd as over sensitive and have said she needs to "man up". To be honest the use of that phrase set my teeth on edge. I think she has low self esteem right now, not sure about over sensitive....
I really feel for you.You say the other schools are bigger and I understand the worry but why don't you take her to see them and see how she feels about them? The outcomes may be very good for her present school but it sounds like she is on the outside of friendship groups anyway and very unhappy. My daughter had to be moved from her first secondary school in year 8 after a very unhappy time and we worried as the alternative was bigger but she has done very well. Remember that whilst there may be some negatives ,such as a longer journey etc a bigger school will give more choice of friendship groups and she has more chance of finding real friends.Good luck!
That sounds like a horrible thing to teach a child. It is a gamble, but you may find a school where she thrives and is very happy.
for your DD.
6-800 is not huge - many secondaries are 1500!
If she is unhappy and has already been hospitalised by a bully AND the school are ineffectual I would move her without a shadow of a doubt.
A big school means a wider choice if friends, better resources etc...
IMO the only advantage if a small school is nurturing and individual attention- it doesn't sound as if she is getting this.
I'd move her. 6-800 is not a big school - that would be about 4-5 classes per year. In my year at my high school there was near 500 kids in the year group!
That's such a tough decision.
I'd be deeply concerned by a school that says 'man up' to a young girl on the brink of adolescence, when she has been so badly hurt she needs hospital attention. I'd get very angry indeed at that. Also, that the school took sides without finding out what happened rings really strong alarm bells. Both these things suggest a school which has no effective anti-bullying policy in place.
You say your move really badly affected you, but were you happy at the first school? A move is more welcome if she's miserable. She is asking to move schools. I suspect she knows her own mind on this.
But whichever you do, it might help for your daughter to have some form of help - maybe CBT or counselling with someone more appropriate than the school counsellor, to help her to develop confidence and the social skills to thrive in a group. If they don't come naturally, those skills can be learned and come in handy, even as an adult.
I'd move her. She obviously wants to go and the current school doesn't sound very nice.
Have you visited the other schools with her? I would do that, and then discuss it with her.
When you moved schools, was it what you wanted, or against your will?
6-800 is no way a huge secondary, and bigger schools often have more social choice, more extra-curricular activities within which to make like-minded friends, and sometimes more experience in dealing with discipline and pastoral issues.
Your DD was very badly let down by her current school, no wonder she is miserable.
Empower her by letting her know she has options, real options.
I'd move her in a heartbeat. Some relevant experience as me & DS were both bullied. Strangely enough our "over sensitivity" did not move schools with us. I can't see you've written down any reason not to move her. Will the bus fares be high, maybe?
I'd visit the schools with her & try as much as possible to let her choose which one to move to. ASAP.
I would absolutely move her. My own daughter was bullied in primary school and school was ineffectual in dealing with it. Took me 2 years to find her a new school where she has never been happier (and strangely, never been bullied either!) Wish I had moved her when I first thought of it!
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