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What do I tell school re DD taking time off to look round another school

(18 Posts)
GuinefortGrey Wed 22-Feb-17 09:54:04

DD1 is currently Y9 at a small private school. DD2 is Y7 at excellent local state secondary (entirely her choice to go there and she loves it).

DD1 asked me to find out about moving from her private school for Y10 (start of GCSEs) to attend the state school with her sister. The school have offered us a tour tomorrow morning.

DD1 has lots of grumbles (nothing too major) about her current school, but it is in no way a forgone conclusion that she will want to move schools once she has had a look.

So my question is, do I come clean at this (very, very early stage) with the private school that we are going to look round another school? Or does my daughter suddenly have a cough doctors appointment tomorrow?

I am usually a firm believer in honesty being the best policy but I don't really want to face an interrogation from DD1's current school at this early stage!

bec3105 Wed 22-Feb-17 09:58:06

Doctors, dentist, opticians etc don't rock the boat until you've made your decision.

ReggaeShark Wed 22-Feb-17 09:58:11

I'd say we were considering our options for GCSE and visiting another school. You don't have to enter into a discussion unless you want to. And you don't have to tell them which other school it is.

JustSpeakSense Wed 22-Feb-17 10:34:11

Dentist appointment, no need to disclose anything to current school until you've made your decision, that could just add unnecessary complications, which your DD does not need while making an important decision.

If you do decide to move her, I would say it is then fair to have an honest discussion with the school so they are aware of the reasons.

Lottie4 Wed 22-Feb-17 10:43:18

Honesty is the best policy - you may find a tour is longer than a dentist appointment.

ToohotforaSeptday Wed 22-Feb-17 11:42:32

Does the state school have a space ready? If not I would do dentist appointment too.

LlamaBananas Wed 22-Feb-17 11:46:42

Do not disclose you are looking elsewhere until you are 100% certain your dd has a place and is definately on the move.

Make an excuse at this stage.

GuinefortGrey Wed 22-Feb-17 11:46:43

There is a short waiting list and the admissions lady did say that DD would go in very near the top due to the criteria by which they allocate places. However, we would need to apply through the county council and of course there are no guarantees that a space would come up before Sept. So yes, that is another reason I am considering the dentist! Even if DD likes it, she won't necessarily be going.

Sadik Wed 22-Feb-17 13:02:34

I'd be economical with the truth, rather than directly lying. Just ring tomorrow am and say your dd has 'an appointment' and you need to keep her off for the morning.

pamplemoussed Wed 22-Feb-17 13:17:55

When my dd had an interview at a different school, I just emailed her current school and said she had an appointment and would be late in that morning. Her teacher assumed it was a Drs appointment, it was clear and we did not chose to correct her.

GooseyLoosey Wed 22-Feb-17 13:20:53

When I did this at dd's school, I was completely upfront about what we were doing. Parents in the private sector move around a lot and there is nothing unusual about it. Dd chose to tell her friends she was feeling ill.

Actually it helped in subsequent discussions with the school because they knew we were serious about leaving.

F1GI Wed 22-Feb-17 13:24:13

If these schools are geographically close, staff may know each other. Plenty of teachers are married to other teachers - working in a nearby school. So, watch the lies. Don't take the tour in her existing uniform obviously.

Personally I'd just tell the private school. They should really wake up to how shit they are if your dd1 has herself thought about moving. What exactly have you got to lose by telling them?

AwaywiththePixies27 Wed 22-Feb-17 13:24:47

Hmm. Beware though if you do say appointment they may require proof. My DCs have countless medical appointments and I'm forever in that poor school office handing over correspondence for them to copy. Thankfully they haven't banned me just yet.

If she already wants to move is there no way you can go and look at it first, then maybe ask if they can arrange a more suitable time with your DD1 to go look again?

I never said a word to DSs school when I'd already accepted the offer. I accepted on the Monday and just waltzed in Friday morning with a "oh by the way. This is his last day here". We went through hell at that school though so I kept schtum for very good reason.

Not quite sure how you can get a Y9 to keep shctum in the same manner however! grin Hope it all works out for you whatever you and your DD1 chooses.

FWIW. The school my DC is at is also a state school. I had my reservations whether I was doing the right thing but they're both so incredibly happy now.

AwaywiththePixies27 Wed 22-Feb-17 13:26:43

There is a short waiting list and the admissions lady did say that DD would go in very near the top due to the criteria by which they allocate places.

I'd be careful with this part. We were reassured we were priority as DD was top of the waiting list. She was at the top of that waiting list for a year and we still had to do a late appeal for her current place.

BoboChic Wed 22-Feb-17 13:29:30

Just say your DD has a really bad headache.

AlexanderHamilton Wed 22-Feb-17 13:30:16

Be aware that if you apply for the state school & are put onto the waiting list the local authority may allocate you a place at the nearest local school & contact the private school to let them know you are moving!

This happened to us. I got a phone call from ds's private school saying we've just been contacted by the local authority who have told us your DS is going to be attending X school. I'd applied for a place at y school who were full. The LA said that as DS didn't have a state school place they were obliged to offer one somewhere.

GuinefortGrey Wed 22-Feb-17 14:26:42

Alexander - thanks for the heads up, I hadn't thought of that but can see it easily could happen. We have 3 very good state schools in our catchment area, so I'll need to somehow ensure that we don't get offered a place at one of the others if we do decide to go this route!

Thanks to everyone who responded, I think I'm going to go down the generic "appointment" route (thanks to pps who suggested that). I can phone and leave a message in the morning and they can interpret it how they wish! DD has probably told all her friends anyway so I don't want an outright "lie" to come back and bite me and yes, I know for a fact that at least one teacher has a DC at the other school!

It's very hard to know what is the right move for DD1. She has been at her school since y2 and I think has got a bit stale there despite having been very happy until about a year ago. She says she hates all the teachers and they are rubbish, and won't help her when she has a question or problem but just tell her off for being cheeky/rude. Unfortunately she does have a lot of bit of an attitude problem at the moment so I can see it from the teacher's point of view too. The school is very small and maybe she just needs a bigger pond to swim in now? She knows the state school will be much stricter on behaviour, homework, uniform etc but bizarrely this seems to be an attraction to her rather than the opposite!

putthehamsterbackinitscage Thu 23-Feb-17 10:46:32

Why not go and look at all 3.... she might prefer one if the others to her current school?

If she is up for a change, and the schools seem good, then have a look at all the options

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