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Local "good" on sch bus or car drive to more distant "outstanding"?

(15 Posts)
SouthernHippyChick Tue 18-Mar-14 20:17:16

Ok, ok, i know, Ofsted not everything but newly back in UK and relearning the ropes. On paper, the one is consistently good for all, the other fluctuates with some recent and worryingly poor exam results tho latest ofsted good and new head. Dd bright, avid reader but erratic and mild SN, not hardworking or focussed so don't want a high pressure environment. Otoh, don't want her in environment where she's allowed to fail. Socially, most friends go on to the local one. None really to the other. Would need to drive/taxi her there & back each day, 10 mile. Crazy to consider???

What would you do?

kitnkaboodle Tue 18-Mar-14 20:31:22

Well, there's 10 miles and 10 miles. How long would the journey actually take you? Doesn't seem like all that far to me

SouthernHippyChick Tue 18-Mar-14 20:35:14

About 25 mins each way. So would affect working hours. Plus dd's social life. Less freedom for her than being with mates on local sch bus. Wondering if worth it?

HolidayCriminal Tue 18-Mar-14 20:41:50

social support more likely with one where most her friends are going, so that's a winning factor in my mind. Sounds like a school which concentrates on rounded individuals rather than academic achievement would be a best choice.

I have 2 DC at different schools each 9 miles away. Roundtrip in my fuel efficient car costs £5 (all variable not fixed costs). So that would be £10/day in my car. Are you sure there's not a bus? Bus/train only costs us £6-£13/week.

HolidayCriminal Tue 18-Mar-14 20:43:05

ps: I let DD choose when I was in your position. She made an excellent choice for her, I only had a 1/3 chance of getting it right.

RaspberryLemonPavlova Tue 18-Mar-14 20:45:29

Mine go out of catchment 10 miles away, for some very good reasons. I pay for school organised transport, but still have to pick them up from after school clubs.

Bear in mind friends could be 10 miles+ further on. I don't know what the catchment is like, but DCs school has one of the largest rural catchments in the country. One friend DD had lived nearly an hour away on tiny roads.

Visit both schools with your child, speak to both HT, then you will just know.

DS and Zi have just chosen the "good" school rather than the "outstanding" based on setting policy ( the good school does minimal setting, as HT explained kids develop at different rates/ages. I know there is a lot of movement between sets) and pastoral care.

It was so obvious which was the right school for DS, even though it is further away, and has a lesser Ofsted.

Advice: Use Ofsted reports as loo paper wink and be sure what is important to you about a school.

SouthernHippyChick Tue 18-Mar-14 20:52:22

Thanks for the comments. Good idea to let her choose.

kitnkaboodle Tue 18-Mar-14 22:20:28

And the outstanding 10 miles away one might be oversubscribed or have a catchment area that you aren't in ...?

SouthernHippyChick Tue 18-Mar-14 23:54:47

No we are in area

Nocomet Wed 19-Mar-14 00:17:37

Honestly think carefully, DD2 had BFs on the opposite side of catchment to us at primary ie. 6 miles away and now they are 13 miles away on the absolute opposite edge of catchment.

At least we have a bus, but if you don't it all adds up to a lot of petrol and a lot of time and if your the one out on a limb it's you who does most of it.

Nocomet Wed 19-Mar-14 00:21:02

We have a bus to school.

No public transport for visiting friends, everything is x2 round trips in the car.

I don't mind it's a fact of life living here, that even the nearest school isn't near, but I'd think hard about doing it voluntarily.

SouthernHippyChick Wed 19-Mar-14 06:21:35

Good point about opposite side of catchment, its a wide area so could be another 20 miles from home. Hmm. Will visit and decide. Still not 100% about local one, fear she might just sink down. Just an instinct and also based on my own experience of piss poor comp

Blu Wed 19-Mar-14 07:53:55

You can't even begin to consider this until you have visited the schools, and especially looked at how they would support your dd's particular needs.

Visit, talk to the SENCO or Inclusion team or one of the Directors of Learning, ask about how they support students like your dd, get a general feel for the place, the ethos, the discipline, whether they 'set' or 'stream' and for which subjects, whether she could do 2 MFL if she wants, whether they do triple science....

The travelling is a massive consideration and if there was a school within walking distance that suited I would take that like a shot over a commitment like that. It is incredibly important to them to be able to be independent, too, by taking the bus or walking.

The Ofsted difference - in any case vulnerable to change every few years - between 'good' and 'outstanding' just isn't worth considering as a factor, per se, IME. I know of 'good' schools that I would FAR rather send dc to than other local 'outstanding'. Sometimes the very fact that a school commits itself to smoke and mirrors in pursuit of 'outstanding' undermines its credibility as a good school!

SouthernHippyChick Wed 19-Mar-14 09:27:23

In an ideal world wd visit now, but other side of the country for a bit having moved back from overseas. So all a rush and at one remove. It's rural, nothing walking distance at all. Thanks for all the advice. Am tending towards the good school by bus, pending visits. So utterly different from high school system where we've been!

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