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help! School choice for 2 dds. think I may have spectacularly messed up. (partly state vs private issue)

(14 Posts)
NoonarAgain Fri 10-Jul-15 09:57:55

dd1 is 13yo and in year 8 and leaves her current all girls convent private school today.

she decided back at easter to go to the local 'good with outstanding behaviour' comp, as she/ we had become disillusioned with her current school.

dd2 is starting year 7 at the same comp in september.

i've posted on this before, and explained that we have wrestled with the whole one at state one at private dilemma. but in the end, dh and i are happier with them being at the same school.

now here, is the fuck up. i just got back from dd1's leavers service and am feeling really emotional. and bloody terrified that we are doing the wrong thing moving her. she has started to enjoy the school and respect the teaching far more since easter and even started to confide in the teachers about wanting to stay.

ultimately, after many heart rending discussions, we made the final decision a week ago to move her, which she is going along with.

the trouble is, in my heart of hearts, we would've quite liked both girls to go to the convent school as it is a very protective nurturing environment. however, we had some issue with the teaching and tweeness of it (although results are good- due to spoon feeding small classes, i think). and most importantly, dd2 had become unmotivated. SO.... at decision time (easter) we put dd2 off following her sister to the convent school.

then dd1 started to change her view of her current school. but dd2 is now set on the comp, and i can't swap her just because her sis has had a change of heart.

WTF do i do? i feel i have messed up royally and have tried but failed to be decisive when there is so much ambivalence in the whole situation.

how do i know what's best for my dds?

its been so hard.

some advice and perspective would be greatly appreciated.

and please be gentle with me as the chopping and changing has been as a result of being unsure how to respond to dd1's change of heart, rather than originating form us as parents! (dh is much less conflicted about the whole thing and thinks try it for a year and if its a disaster dd1 can go back and do gcses at the convent).

NoonarAgain Fri 10-Jul-15 10:12:00

bumping unashamedly.

Tweennightmare Fri 10-Jul-15 10:24:16

Oh god my story is probably not going to help you .I am on way to truely messing up my DD's education. My situation is slightly different in that we were overseas and had to move. My DD was at private school overseas and had always been at private school we had to come back to the UK last year and I was hell bent on putting her in private school again. Unfortunatley my preferred school would only take her in the year below (she is a summer baby and we did no study for the entrance exams as the move was very rushed and they had concerns she would keep up ). DD refused to do this and insisted on going to the local "good" state school . This has been a disaster she hasn't fitted in we have had anxiety , self harming complete misery. I am now moving her back to the private system and hoping this will be the end of it. With hindsight I wish I had stuck to my instincts and kept her in the private system. I feel like I did a social experiment on her which totally backfired magnificantly. obviously I am not saying your DD will have the same experience and to be honest the outstanding behaviour is definatley a plus as my DD struggled with the minority disruptive element in the class most but I would find out if you can get her back in the convent and if you can .sit DD1 and give her the option of staying. I wouldn't worry about the state/private problem between DD1 and DD2 as DD2 is younger and you have much more time to move her back to private if it dosent work

NoonarAgain Fri 10-Jul-15 10:32:43

oh blimey tween. how terrible for you and dd.

this is the kind of scenario i fear for dd. but...she is bright, went to the local primary. knows at least 50 people at the (huge) comp in her year group as a result. admittedly, most of them cannot be classed as 'friends' but there is a key small group of lovely comp girls that she has started mixing with out of school.

but on the flip side, someone started a totally unfounded rumour about her that is 'going round the comp'. on balance, though she has lots of local contact who seem very welcoming.

that said, your 'social experiment' comment has bothered me, tbh. we can manage the fees without difficulty, by i teach in a state school so am feeling really torn in terms of my 'politics' too. i went to a private boarding school myself for secondary, but was a charity case, lol!

NoonarAgain Fri 10-Jul-15 10:34:17

yes i could def get her back in. they like her and their number on roll is falling. and her sis passed the entrance exam with v good marks.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Fri 10-Jul-15 10:34:49

I think it's normal to feel that after a leaver's service! Just remember all the reasons you and the girls made the decision in the first place, have a sniffle at the end of an era, and then move on. At my dds' year 6 leavers' assemblies, I would have liked to sign them up to stay at that primary for ever and ever - that's just how leaving a place gets you sometimes!

NoonarAgain Fri 10-Jul-15 10:39:12

thanks original. very true. and i think i personally find goodbyes exceptionally hard. also, dd 1 had to leave her first primary at the end of year 3 as we moved and she was distraught, so i have a kind of emotional memory about the whole situation.

i know that when i go to see the amazing musical production that is being staged at the comp this weekend, that i will remember some of those reasons.

Tweennightmare Fri 10-Jul-15 10:42:10

Ok well it is already looking more promising for your DD1 as my DD knew only 1 person at the school (not well) and really struggled with friendships especially joining in year 8 .Also because they only streamed certain lessons she unfortunatley was in with a few disruptive children who spoilt it for the rest.
Another thing My DD is quite young in attitude and living overseas has lived quite a closeted life and she just didn't fit in and couldn't relate to the other children (her problem not theirs)

NoonarAgain Fri 10-Jul-15 10:44:26

thanks, tween. i really hope things improve for your dd xx

have you any other dc?

Floralnomad Fri 10-Jul-15 10:45:57

I think your DH has it right - if it's a wrong decision you can always change your mind .

NoonarAgain Fri 10-Jul-15 10:51:36

ok thanks flora

...and breathe.... feeling a tiny bit calmer now about the whole thing

at least no one is telling me to make dd1 stay and force dd2 to follow suit!!

Tweennightmare Fri 10-Jul-15 11:00:21

Yes I have one elder who is at state sixth form . He took to this like a duck to water but he's very sporty and found his friendship fit straight away and it really suits him which is why I am less worried about the private/state consistency as the state system has worked out really well for him. Also I guess because sixth form is a choice there is not the same disruptive influence from children who don't want to be there which DD had..
Floralnomad I too was like Noonars DH in that we can always change again but we are now in the situation where DD will have been at different schools for year 7,8 and 9 which is terrifying!!

OnGoldenPond Fri 10-Jul-15 11:57:56

I moved DD to state for yr 7 onwards, never regretted it the school suits her down to the ground.

Personally I don't see "small and nurturing " as a plus point at secondary level. At this age they need to develop independence and meet a wide range of people and have the wide range of study choices that a larger school brings. The convent school does not sound like it would prepare them very well for the outside world.

Also falling rolls - rings alarm bells about the financial stability of the school. You don't want to be desperately looking for school places in a year or two if the school closes without warning as some have done recently.

Elibean Fri 10-Jul-15 12:29:56

I think you're bound to be feeling anxious, Noonar, as any school move is a big deal for kids and their families...and I agree that leavers' assemblies etc are emotional and all about the noticing whats been great. I would hold steady and let your dd know that if it doesn't work out, and she's unhappy, she can always move back after a sensible period of time at the new school (make this long enough to really know though!).

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