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Do we choose a school that's right for DC or one that's right for the whole family?

(81 Posts)
mckenzie Sun 21-Feb-16 15:39:59

DD has been offered places at two schools, both of which are good and suitable and so that's great.
Problem is, DD favours one school but DH and I favour the other.
The school that DD favours is a longer school day, a longer school week and is further to travel. We think it will have a negative impact on family life and eventually therefore on the family itself.

Does DD get the final say? She is adamant that she is making the right choice for her.

ChalkHearts Sun 21-Feb-16 15:43:17

Will she be travelling there by herself? If so I think she gets to choose.

If she expects you to drive her I'm not sure.

starry0ne Sun 21-Feb-16 15:46:16

I think if both are good schools ..I would give her the choice..

Do you know why she favours the other one

SevenSeconds Sun 21-Feb-16 15:47:31

I would expect to overrule DC if I had a very good reason to believe that it wasn't the right school for her or the family. I wouldn't class the reasons you give as that serious (unless the journey is a LOT longer), so I'd let her make the final decision. I think she's more likely to work hard if she feels positive about the school.

AveEldon Sun 21-Feb-16 15:51:46

Why did you apply for the other school if you think it will have a negative affect on family life?

AnotherNewt Sun 21-Feb-16 15:52:26

As she is secondary age, yes she should get a proper say in it, and her happiness and well-being matter. How and where she sees herself in her ten years matter. And all the travel/logistics will fall to her, not you.

As she becomes a teen, your family life will change anyhow.

I'm assuming private schools, as it's before state offer date. So you decided to enter her for the school and go through all the admissions hoops. Your DD would be right to assume that you consider this school acceptable.

TrojanWhore Sun 21-Feb-16 15:54:03

You come across as very selfish, OP, though probably unintentially.

You want your DD to go to a school she doesn't like so much because of your view of what family life should be like.

She worked hard, ai assume, to get the offer for the school she really wants. And you're going to take that from her?

BertrandRussell Sun 21-Feb-16 15:54:33

What are her reasons for liking that particular school?

Do you have other children?

NewLife4Me Sun 21-Feb-16 15:55:35

I think it depends on whether you are in a position to offer her the choice she wants.
If you are, then it is up to her.
My dd choice had a huge impact on our family and completely changed the way we do things entirely.
Had we not been in the position to make these changes then she would have had to go elsewhere.

Balletgirlmum Sun 21-Feb-16 15:57:39

I'd choose the school that's right for the child unless it impacted too negatively on another child (eg it meant that other child couldn't attend a good school or had to give up activities they excel at)

I'd over-rule the child if I had concerns they were only choosing the school for superficial reasons eg. Food on open day, best friend is going rather than educational reasons like Sen provision, specialises in an area they are interested in

alltouchedout Sun 21-Feb-16 15:58:31

I think the dc should get a say.

How will she be travelling? Because if it's independently of you and DH I do think you are BU. But if she would need to be taken to and from school and it would impact on your ability to get to work on time, meet any other dc's needs, etc, then you have a good point.

mckenzie Sun 21-Feb-16 15:58:50

AveEldon, that's a very good point smile.
We were guided by her current school and I think would now admit that we felt a little pressure.

The school DD favours requires a 5 minute lift to the bus stop followed by a 45 minute school mini bus journey (in the opposite direction of the main traffic flow)
The school we favour requires us to take and collect (15/20 mins) although we will be able to share with other mums whose daughters either already go there or are going there next academic year.

The school she favours is mixed and that is really important to her, she says because she has been at a girls primary school.
She cites facilities, staff and the whole package as her reasons when we ask but has been heard to tell others that it's the boys too who feature highly.

Balletgirlmum Sun 21-Feb-16 15:59:15

Like Newlife dds choice of school impacted massively on the family even down to dh changing jobs so she could physically get there. But she loves it there even though she had the option of another excellent academic school.

LIZS Sun 21-Feb-16 16:00:38

If she's 11 you get the deciding vote but agree, why get her hopes up if it were logistically do much more tricky. Dd sat 2 schools, pretty equidistant from home and similar standard, but she went to the one her brother was already at as so much easier all round. Worked out well but still have what ifs, most of her peer group went to the other at 11 and 13.

BackforGood Sun 21-Feb-16 16:01:08

Like 7seconds I would expect to have the final say if there were good reasons why one school was better than the other, but I don't think the reasons you've given are strong reasons for not choosing a school.
A dc moving to secondary - and then becoming a teen and all that involves does mean the arrangements will change from when you have only Primary age dc, whichever you choose.

mckenzie Sun 21-Feb-16 16:01:20

I posted my reply before seeing the others so will reply again now

Balletgirlmum Sun 21-Feb-16 16:01:24

Some girls find a single sex environment too cliquey/catty. My dd gets on better with boys.

hownottofuckup Sun 21-Feb-16 16:01:44

She will have to go for 5 years (7 possibly if 6th form is included?) You should let her choose.

Canyouforgiveher Sun 21-Feb-16 16:04:18

I think not wanting to be in a single sex environment is a good enough reason to choose one school over the other - other things being equal.

My dd (choosing age 13) picked one school over the other for similar reasons. and I felt it was a valid criterion.

I don't know how the longer school day will impact family life though? Is it that you want to spend more time with your dd or that dinner would be later or what?

mckenzie Sun 21-Feb-16 16:07:25

I think, and so does DH, that DD will get on well at either school.
Her favoured school requires us to take and collect her on Saturdays as there are no school buses.
We can do the logistics of her choice of school if necessary but I guess, selfishness does come into it Trojan; we think we are going to lose her to the school. She will be either there or on their bus for 12 and a half hours every week day and then back there on Saturdays.
Our family life will be school holidays only won't it?
DS is at a state school so doesn't have the long holidays. He is desperate for DD to follow him there.

AveEldon Sun 21-Feb-16 16:08:30

Is there no public transport option for your preferred school?
Why is there such a difference in the length of school day/week?

mckenzie Sun 21-Feb-16 16:08:38

Thank you for all the replies.
I'm concerned that DD is rather too interested in the boys smile

LIZS Sun 21-Feb-16 16:09:58

If it is a longer day can she still get the minibus back? I do a 5 minute drive to pick up point then it's a 10-15 min minibus ride for them but the later return buses don't drop off there so I have to fetch them if they stay after school hours. There is also a direct public bus which they use now they are older to avoid me going but guess that is not an option for you, Do you have other dc to consider and might you be prepared to move nearer longer term? Do you work and might therefore struggle to meet her?

Ragwort Sun 21-Feb-16 16:11:34

As children become teenagers their interest in 'family life' is not the same as your's (not always but in many cases) - there is very little that our teenage DS wants to do with us as a 'family' - to be honest if he showed a preference in which school he wanted to attend I would be absolutely delighted.

Floggingmolly Sun 21-Feb-16 16:12:53

How long do you actually anticipate dropping / collecting her? It's not that usual at secondary, unless you live really rurally and don't have access to public transport.
If she's happy with the journey it shouldn't impact on anyone but herself.

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