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There is no decent secondary for my ds!

(28 Posts)
onetiredmummy Tue 18-Jun-13 12:54:52

I live in the suburbs of a city but there is only one secondary school in walking distance & I don't think its suitable for ds1. Its a sports academy, he hates & is no good at sports. Its a boys school, I would prefer he went to a mixed school. He is academic & the school does not has a history of academic success.

I'm on the website now, there's no link to the Ofsted report & all the recent news is concerned with their sports achievements.

Do catchment areas still exist? Could he attend another school in the city? I can't afford an independent one.

ReallyTired Tue 18-Jun-13 12:59:08

Has your child been allocated a school place at the school you don't want. Have you actually visited the school?

Do catchment areas still exist? Could he attend another school in the city?"

Depends on the pressure of places. Children born in 2002 have more choices for school places than children born in 2009.

If the other schools have places available then your ds can go to a different school. I imagine you will be in catchment for more than one school if your nearest school is single sex.

Sparklingbrook Tue 18-Jun-13 13:00:24

My DS goes to a secondary school 12 miles away. Transport had to be sorted and paid for. But he is at a school which suits him.

onetiredmummy Tue 18-Jun-13 13:04:11

Ofsted has rated it as Requires Improvement.

That's not good is it...

Sparklingbrook Tue 18-Jun-13 13:06:29

It's difficult though one Ds1 went up to the local Secondary and i had no reason to believe it wouldn't be ok but it turned out to be not the school for him.

Where does your Ds want to go?

Sparklingbrook Tue 18-Jun-13 13:08:37

Is this school on this?

onetiredmummy Tue 18-Jun-13 13:08:43

He isn't sure yet sparkling sad

More research is required, thanks everyone.

tiredaftertwo Tue 18-Jun-13 13:09:28

You can look up the Ofsted report on the Ofsted website and the academic results on the DfE website.

Both will give you a lot of detail, although you should also talk to people and look round the school yourself to supplement the Ofsted. The DfE entries now give loads of information - for example you can see the average GCSE grade achieved by low, middle and high attainers, and so on. This makes it easier to sort out schools that have poor academic results but have a very skewed intake from schools that are doing a worse job. You may find reassurance in both these documents. Beware of gossip about the school though - it can go round in circles and be years out of date.

Don't worry about it being a Sports Academy - it will still teach all, the subjects, and lots of people live near schools whose specialism is not the thing that they are interested in. You might find the extra breadth of sport on offer means your son has the chance to find something he would like, which is a good thing in life. And I wouldn't worry about the website either - lots of schools use these very badly, get carried away with PR, just find out the real facts for yourself.

Yes, you will be able to apply for several secondary schools and it is normal not to walk to school at secondary age, many children use buses, trains etc. Schools have to publish admissions criteria (a list of the criteria they will use to decide who gets offered a place and in what order - e.g. siblings, people living close to the school) and they have to stick to them. So look on your local council's education website page - that should either give a list of all the schools or tell you how to order the booklet that lists all the secondary schools and the admission criteria, and sometimes useful info about how many applied last year, and so on

And do this for any neighbouring boroughs as well, you can apply to schools anywhere but many have distance from school as one of the most important criteria, so you will be less likely to get a place at schools that do this and are further away. Some operate a lottery, or have specialist places (where you qualify by demonstrating aptitude in a certain area).

Arm yourself with as much information as possible, and do not make assumptions. Good luck

onetiredmummy Tue 18-Jun-13 13:10:03


Oh.Dear.Lord! It is on there & the answer are revealing shock

Sparklingbrook Tue 18-Jun-13 13:11:23

Oh no. What % of parents would recommend the school one?

onetiredmummy Tue 18-Jun-13 13:12:21

Thanks tiredaftertwo, that's great.

On the parentwatch link, a quarter of parents wouldn't recommend it & there is not one answer that is above 50%!

Sparklingbrook Tue 18-Jun-13 13:13:59

Blimey. sad

Get researching.

onetiredmummy Tue 18-Jun-13 13:14:52

My barge pole is well & truly retracted!!

smile Thanks smile

Lancelottie Tue 18-Jun-13 13:15:54

That's pretty telling, even allowing for the fact that the pissed-off parents are perhaps more likely to fill in the form.

Our local schools have around 90% 'would recommend' -- but do check to see how many people actually filled it in. Five angry parents in a sample of ten isn't too bad. 500 out of 1000 is a disaster.

Sparklingbrook Tue 18-Jun-13 13:16:51

True Lance. hadn't thought of that. Out of 344 possibles at DS2's school they got 44 responses. sad

mummytime Tue 18-Jun-13 13:26:55

I would suggest you look at all local schools, and not so local. You can do that via Ofsted or good schools guide websites. Then start to look at if he can get to them, what they are like and what the entry criteria are like.
Then go and look at those you might consider. Do also look at the local school and ask about what steps they are taking in the light of Ofsted (also ask if they are getting a new head, if so who, is it going to be an executive head etc.)
See if there are any schools which need admissions tests etc. do look in neighbouring authorities too.

DeWe Tue 18-Jun-13 13:28:54

I wouldn't worry about the sports' academy bit. Local comp to my dp became a sports' academy, much to the amusement of the local area as they were known for being dreadful at sports and not doing a lot of it either.

JenaiMorris Tue 18-Jun-13 13:45:10

Re the parentview bit, as schools are now not informed of an Ofsted visit until the afternoon before, there's little time for parents to add their 2 cents worth. It's a bit useless, imo.

JenaiMorris Tue 18-Jun-13 13:49:02

sparkling, just checked ds's school:

Pupils on the roll: 1380
Responses for this school: 128

It's a good school with involved parents, but hardly anyone knew about the last inspection in time to respond.

Sparklingbrook Tue 18-Jun-13 13:50:44

Yes, I remember at DS2's having 24 hours to fill it in. sad

Ds1's school are awaitng Ofsted any minute. They have put Parentview on their website and told us to fill it in now.

Sparklingbrook Tue 18-Jun-13 13:51:51

Out of 1233 they have 34 replies. Yay! sad

AnythingNotEverything Tue 18-Jun-13 14:09:05

Be careful with Ofsted - they changed their vocabulary last year. The scores that used to get you a "satisfactory" now get you a "requires improvement". It's not as bad as it sounds!

creamteas Tue 18-Jun-13 19:56:12

When you say that the school does not have a record of academic success, but is this the school as a whole or the top cohort?

My DCs school does quite badly in the league tables because they have a great reputation for pastoral care so have a higher than average intake of children with SEN. But if you look at the achievement of the top cohort, they get really good results, it is just they are hidden in the figures.

It is also a sports academy, and whilst there are lots of extra opportunities for sports, there is no more emphasis on PE than other local schools.

Lancelottie Wed 19-Jun-13 09:53:12

Sparkling, you can fill it in any time, I think, not just in the 24 hours around Ofsted being there.

JenaiMorris Wed 19-Jun-13 11:04:31

But your ratings won't be included in the actual Ofsted report.

How do they stop randomers posting? I completed it for ds's but forget the process.

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