I am about to complete the Secondary Transfer form and though we were fairly sure of our first choice up to yesterday, am having a serious wobble now. My DD fell in love with Burntwood School a year ago and we have been to several open days there. Though a large school, it has always seemed warm and inviting with a huge selection of enrichment clubs and curiculum offers. Just in the last couple of days I have heard stories of discipline issues and bullying there. Is there anyone with direct experience of the school who could put my mind at rest?
OP, no direct experience but lots of girls from DC's primary school have gone there over the years, including several of DC2's friends.
Find me a school that doesn't have some issues with bullying - it's more to do with how the schools deal with it (if indeed they really do). I've not heard any bad press about Burntwood, other than the recent cat fight that was all over Wandsworth/Merton pupils' social media accounts t'other week (but something similar happened with some Ursuline pupils in Wimbledon within the past year too).
Are reports of bullying behaviour at Burntwood coming from people with direct experience of the school or based on hearsay? Often the very people who 'diss' local schools are the ones who have no true current knowledge about them. Reputations (good and bad) linger on for years so be careful of sources of negative press.
I would go with your DD's gut instinct TBQH. She is much more likely to be happy at a school she feels a connection with, than one she doesn't.
I really really liked Burntwood but DC2 didn't, so it wasn't for her. However, her friends who've gone there have been bubbly, bright and education engaged.
Good luck with your decision making. Sometimes you do just have to trust to gut instinct with the CAF.