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Does it severely annoy you if a state school in your locality is seen as THE one to get in to, ergo if your dc aren't there then they aren't the lucky ones?

(35 Posts)
Mintyy Thu 26-Sep-13 20:13:01

It really does me! And my year 8 dd. And my ds who will soon be going through secondary allocation.

It fucks me right off like not many things fuck me off!

Thank goodness I don't live in a grammar area, I think I would be going nuts.

lljkk Sat 28-Sep-13 15:38:19

yes any snootiness annoys me, though, not just limited to school choices.
One woman who battles thru 25 minutes of city traffic each way to take her kids to a school where her FIL is HT ("It's rated outstanding!" she exclaimed as a full summary of its merits, like I should be impressed confused ). She cringed while turning her nose up about local schools, one of which has acquired Outstanding since. I wonder what shock she gets when her kids hit secondary age & she can't rely on FIL's influence to get them into whatever secondary deemed superior.

bunnybing Sat 28-Sep-13 14:46:41

Yes! - there are 2 state infant schools near us - the way some parents talk about one of them you'd think it was a top public school set in rolling hills and the other a depressing sink school. No, they are 2 state infant schools with v similar outcomes.

Erebus Fri 27-Sep-13 20:01:50

Sorry, my bad (were I 14!).. grin

Thing is, now I see you have a pile of different KPIs (key performance indicators) to look at as you tab along- well...still looking for holes other than FSM, which is a fair enough indicator, but sadly, the 'couldn't care less' parents on low/non-existent incomes are lumped in together with the other-worldly, deliberately 'disengaged with the modern world's' mad professors here, aren't they? AND the 'care deeply but don't have the wherewithal to effect change for my own DC' people.

Erebus Fri 27-Sep-13 19:50:37

I'm almost yet more depressed that it comes down to a 'dashboard' to be honest!

I looked up my DCs' school and lo! In the comparison of 'other schools' it comes 'highest' in all but one category 'science' where it comes in the second quintile of 'similar schools'.

What does all that tell me? What are 'similar schools'? Yes, I get a list but what does that tell me?

Yes, it's a school that does very well- but only by its most able students? Who actually form, in national terms the majority slab of the DC who are being compared? St Leonards RC VA comp in Durham? Wot?

ErrolTheDragon Fri 27-Sep-13 14:37:53

>modern OFSTEDs are all but meaningless, aren't they, though?

I think the new dashboard is actually quite informative. A convenient way of looking at one bit of the jigsaw of 'is this school right for this child'.

(curlew - yes - a handy portmanteau coinage I think?)

curlew Fri 27-Sep-13 14:35:49

Think yourselves lucky- we live in a small town where there's a grammar school and a "secondary modern". It's all about whether you turn left out of the station or not.....

Takver Fri 27-Sep-13 14:17:25

I agree, it is really sad. It even happens here where both the local schools are really pretty good. I think it isn't really intentional - parents want to bias their dc towards the preferred (ie best results) school, so they big it up and play down the alternative.

But then you get horrible things like children saying 'only special needs kids go to X school' - well it does have a reputation for being good with SN, but in what world is that a bad thing!

(As it happens, I have friends with dc with SN at the other school too, and they are very pleased with the support & education their dc are getting, so it goes both ways, people may be rejecting the high results comp unfairly too.)

Mintyy Fri 27-Sep-13 11:57:22

Sorry, and hello Levantine as well!

And everyone else on the thread of course smile.

<fears accusation of bullying/cliquey behaviour for saying those two hellos>

Mintyy Fri 27-Sep-13 11:54:41

Hi Timechild, how are you? No, my dd is very happy at her school and I am really pleased that she is there. She is thriving. But she really wanted to go to the other mixed sex comprehensive and I am sure that was only because it has a reputation as the BEST (and therefore all other local schools are seen as inferior).

Ds does not want to go to an all boys school so I am not sure what we can do about that. Move house probably.

I know what you mean about the unmentionable school!

mrsshackleton Fri 27-Sep-13 10:57:21

It used to upset me me when people shuddered at the name of dcs' school. One woman literally turned her back on me when I mentioned it and never spoke to me again, as if we were contagious. It was hard not to worry we'd ruined their lives.

Now school is hugely on up and I feel rather smug I was an early adopter.

BurberryQ Fri 27-Sep-13 09:25:12

oh gosh yes, even v early at primary school, (year 3?), my own children in their giveaway uniforms were looked up and down by other children with comments such as 'eww do you go to a good school?
straight from their parents and v sad

TimeChild Fri 27-Sep-13 09:18:22

Hi Mintyy, long time no see.

Your poor dd, is she not happy with her school?

Are you talking about xxx? If THE school is the one I think you are thinking of then she is much better off where she is now!

Erebus Fri 27-Sep-13 08:20:01

To be fair, basgetti, modern OFSTEDs are all but meaningless, aren't they, though?

To decide on what's a good school first you need to decided 'what's good for my DC' and work on from there. A high achieving, fast moving academic school with great GCSEs might not suit all DCs (but until recently, would have got a good OFSTED even with a low 'value adding' score); now, VA seems to be all the buzz word. And I say hats off to a school that has an 'E' grade achieving intake and gets Ds and Cs out of them. Well done. But if your DC is capable of an A, they may not do so well is a school geared to the borderline DC, iyswim; they might be better off at a school that takes B and A grade students and keeps them there, the VA will be low but your DC will have the A grades they need.

My DC go to a high achieving school. DS1 is doing OK there, but I chose the school for DS2, really, as I saw him as being less academic but was worried about how he'd go in a comp where the lower sets not only have the lower ability DC but also the clever-enough but can't be arsed as well as the anti-social, wrecking the lesson for everyone else. However, I have to say that DS2 is also doing very well academically at this chosen school! I bet the school's VA is rubbish thus its next OFSTED may not be as stellar as those preceding it but it's working for my DCs.

As for good schools going downhill and vice versa- well, I shall chuck some controversy in here and say it all depends on whether the 'greatness' of a school is dependent on one or two people dragging all else along. An example is a well-paid, flown-in Super-Head appointed very publicly into a brand new Academy, complete with Billy Bunter uniform, built to replace a couple of dire comps in a deprived, challenging area who within a year can show an amazing turn around in results, albeit not at GCSE at that takes, imho, at least 4 years if not the full 5 to achieve. 2 or 3 years later, he leaves, the lustre has worn off, the money tap is running dry and once again, the school is just left struggling with difficult, non-school ready, deprived DC to try and educate; whereas the leafy comp in the leafy MC area can almost run like Belgium grin who went was it 20 months without a government? I am being tongue in cheek when I say that, but our Head need be much less 'dynamic' than that Super-Head. Of course, I know our Head actually works his socks off (and yes, works 'the system') to keep his school where it is at the front of the league tables but the fact remains that, in some areas, a good school usually remains that, one way or another, if catchments don't change or demographics shift too radically.

basgetti Fri 27-Sep-13 07:31:20

There is a school near my house that is seen as 'the' school to get into. This is based on its long standing reputation. I didn't choose to send my DS there but my neighbour seems to assume I didn't get in and told me the other day she is so lucky she managed to get her son into it. But it failed its latest Ofsted report and DS' school got outstanding, but because it is in the 'less nice' part of town people look down on it. Some people are just strange.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Fri 27-Sep-13 07:24:58

Yeah, a bit. Especially when you hear year6s coming out with garbled versions of what you know their parents have said about schools in question.

But then, I think ours is better and they're all fools, so it's all fine!

Levantine Fri 27-Sep-13 07:20:33

I do know what you mean though mintyy. I'm round your way (ish) and I know the one you mean. I can imagine what it is like to live near it. My ds is only year 2 and people are already thinking about secondary schools. I'm just hoping we will still be in catchment for the boys comp.

fairisleknitter Fri 27-Sep-13 01:36:43

There is a primary in my town that has a reputation as being wonderful. My child's experience wasn't great and I saw a lot of flaws from the inside. That annoyed me at the time!

Now I have n0.2 in another school and I smile when I hear how great that first one is! I'm lucky enough to not believe the hype any more.

curlew Fri 27-Sep-13 01:26:10

"Yes... the one in our area which used to have parents pewing up two years in advance had some odd shennanigins, lost its head and people started changing their tune."

A Church school, I presume! grin

There's a very high achieving comp in my town, outstanding academy etc. 89% with 5 A* to C including maths and English. None of my DC go there, although both DS2 and DS3 could have. Their SEN dept was practically non existent. Their inclusive ethos was also non existent. My DS2, who has ASD and a statement of SEN was not welcome. When I asked about support at unstructured times like lunchtimes, they replied that they 'don't support them, the marginalised children tend to congregate in the library.' My bright but vulnerable DS, marginalised? Children are only marginalised if you allow them to be so.

They also have a reputation for 'managing out' any undesirables, DC with SEN or behavioural issues, as 'not fitting in.' No bloody wonder they have good results, they don't educate or allow in any DC with any chance of mucking up their league table position. So much for being a local state comprehensive...

Many of my DSs' primary school friends go there. It's the sought after school. I have to button my lip. It's not hard to get good results if you only have bright, NT children to teach.

Levantine Thu 26-Sep-13 21:35:10

There are two primaries in the area I live in - one is the most desirable in London if local hype is to believed, the other not. We chose the not when we moved here, having had ds1 at the desirable school where we used to live and it being not all that. But people move from miles to get into this school - someone said to me recently it is "a prep school for free" hmm. I would hate to be a teacher there as I think the expectations of the parents are unrealistic.

pooka Thu 26-Sep-13 21:28:10

I've had nearly 7 years of people giving me sympathetic looks on finding out where my dcs are at primary school. It makes me so cross, because actually they have done brilliantly well and it's a great school in many ways (though not so great at SATS).

What's really irritating is that it;s so easy to get sucked into it. Now looking at secondaries. Have 2 great choices. One is the preferred option. I know we would get into both. I like them both and yet I find myself leaning towards the locally 'preferred' option just because I've had enough of being sneered at! I'm a grown up and yet I still am so bloody feeble. Or just worn down by it.

ErrolTheDragon Thu 26-Sep-13 21:24:18

(Ibor ... I was talking to myself not you smile)

friendlymum67 Thu 26-Sep-13 21:22:51

Oh yes!! I am in exactly the same situation and tho I am normally quite placid and reserved, it really riles me. We are currently looking at senior schools for DD and unlike all the other lemmings parents I am not automatically looking at THE school!!

My DS - Year 10, goes to another local state senior which is considered very second rate by others, who know very little about it, but are happy to join the bandwagon in condemning it!! It drives me mad!! angry What everyone seems to conveniently forget is that THE school was in special measures not so long ago.

Rant over! grin

KittiesInsane Thu 26-Sep-13 21:19:00

I had an awkward conversation with a parent who had moved to our road to be sure of a place at the school I'd just pulled DS out of.

She was moving specifically to avoid having to send her children to... the school we'd just sent DS to instead.

Blu Thu 26-Sep-13 21:17:26


I think all of us are a bit prone to big up our own choice as THE best choice and to take it as some kind of slight on 'our' school if other parents don't make the same choice, and of course once your kids are at a school it seems to be important to promote that as THE choice to make or celebrate, because you want all the keen parents to pick it and keep the results up, don't you?

It all becomes a vicious circle of smugness and competition.

(Goes back to speed clicking on the parents feedback part of the ofsted site)

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