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Secondary school, Y8, wanting to change school

(28 Posts)
youvegottobekidding Wed 13-Jun-18 17:59:46

DD is currently in Y8. She was flying (academicly) when she was in primary school & has dropped drastically since joining secondary school.

There's been many factors contributing to this, she's currently experiencing some form of bullying from some girls & class disruption has been on going for what seems like since she started. The schools ofsed reports were diabolical to say the least - why did we send her there? Well she wanted to go there, 70% of her friends were going there & it's closer to home.

We're (me & her dad) are talking about whether we should move her to a different school - she would have friends there so it wouldn't be so daunting & it wouldn't be too far away. Their ofsed report is better. The general outlook is that it's a 'better school' all round. DH would rather DD 'just get on with it' ignore the girls & get her head down & do her work & doesn't understand why she's so upset, she herself has expressed she would like to move schools. I, on the other hand have a gut feeling & have done since she started at this school that she wouldn't flourish there. She's clearly unhappy at the moment, yet this is what DH feels, that the problems will just follow her at a different school.

Anyway I even looked on our local council website & i can you find anything in how I go about to change schools, where do I begin? Do I contact the school I wish to send her to first to see if they have any places? We have actually been to talk with her tutor about the bullying but to be honest, nothing has really been done about it - much like DH's attitude, get on with it.

noblegiraffe Wed 13-Jun-18 18:08:01

Why would your DH be so wedded to keeping her at a ‘diabolical’ school where she is unhappy, lessons are disrupted and she is being bullied? What, to him, are the pros?

Yes, contact the other school and see if they have places.

PettsWoodParadise Wed 13-Jun-18 18:53:42

Sorry to hear this OP.

Any move out of the usual admission points are called confusingly ‘in-year’ admissions regardless of whether that is September or January or March etc. So when looking on the school website look at their admissions page and see if there is a part of it that talks about joining in-Year rathr than Y7 or sixth-form.

If the school is an academy it will most likely administer its own admissions rather than the LA.

youvegottobekidding Wed 13-Jun-18 19:30:18

Noblegiraffe, I've no idea why he's so set upon her staying where she is, when I brought up the idea of her changing schools, he was like 'oh & that's going to make her improve her school work' he thinks her poor grades are all down to her, that she's entirely responsible - much like her form tutor - they don't seem fazed that class disruptions are going on or these other girls are bothering her. I, personally just can't see any pros in keeping her at this school. DH, just thinks the problems will follow her at a different school, he sees it as running away.

PetsWoodParadise, I've had a brief look at the other schools website, it looks like they could be transitioning to become an academy, would I be best of emailing them/phoning them?

I just want to do the best for my dd, of course I know secondary school isn't plain sailing, blimey it was horrible for me, but when I know something isn't right I just can't not do anything, it's her education & we need to get her back on track.

noblegiraffe Wed 13-Jun-18 19:39:32

Sometimes it’s absolutely fine to run away from something crap and towards something better.

If he thinks the problems are of her making, does he think Ofsted are lying when they say it’s a bad school?

BlueBiros Wed 13-Jun-18 20:07:06

"Running away" can also be described as "realising that a particular situation is making you miserable and being unable to change other people's behaviour you simply walk away".

Running away is not always a bad thing - often it is a very good plan.

PettsWoodParadise Wed 13-Jun-18 20:20:47

Try calling first and asking to speak with whoever does admissions and see what they say, no harm in asking. Hope it all works out for you.

Madasahattersteaparty1749 Wed 13-Jun-18 20:31:30

I moved my dd to a different school and she has thrived. This is primary school but secondary should be the same.

I would look on their website for admission policy it would be an in term transfer. Contact the school to see if they have space as it might be oversubscribed. If there is space go and look round.

We had to apply to the local authority to transfer and this takes about 10 working school days to find out.

ADescentofWoodpeckers Wed 13-Jun-18 21:55:56

The school's website should have a page about admissions which might tell you whether they deal with their own in year transfers or not. If yes, ring the school and get the contact details of the relevant person so you can find out if they have spaces in Y8 and what to do to start the process. If not, you'll have to contact the council. Mine was actually quite helpful.
You'll have to fill out an in year transfer form (easy peasy) and submit it. School or council process in year applications in about 10 working days so you'll know pretty quickly whether you have a place or not. If they do have a place, your DD will move schools very soon afterwards. If not, you can go on a waiting list.
Plenty of super helpful and informed people on here if you need more help in navigating the system.
And removing your DD from an environment that is making her unhappy is not running away, it's the sensible thing to do.

sunsunsunsunsun Wed 13-Jun-18 22:15:15

I snapped and shifted ds in about a week once. Best thing ever for him. He totally thrived in a different environment.
Definitely worth investigating.

Flyingprettycretonnecurtains Thu 14-Jun-18 09:18:59

We've just had the loveliest girl transfer to my school. I don't know why, but she was very badly bullied at her last school probs because she is quiet and 'nice'. Her face now radiates happiness. She is so settled after a short time and she's really going to quietly make something of herself. She's one of the reasons you go into teaching, frankly. Move your daughter. Why should she put up with something and tear 8 girls into year 9 can be horrible.

youvegottobekidding Thu 14-Jun-18 11:07:34

I've rung the other school this morning & I'm waiting for someone to call me back, they asked if I wanted her to be moved before September & I said ideally, yes!

My gut instinct is telling me we should move her. I'm hoping they will have a place for her, if not I really don't know what we will do. Any tips on how to plead my case?!

TheVanguardSix Thu 14-Jun-18 11:19:55

DS wanted to move in year 8. Then the school had a huge house-cleaning: New (amazing) head, new teachers, just a clean sweep which included a leadership team willing to tackle, head-on, disruption in the classroom and outside of it as well. This has resulted in DS remaining at the school and now about to start Sixth Form there as well. So it all ended up going incredibly well.
So there's that scenario.
But it sounds like change ain't gonna come at your DD's school. And in your case, I'd have no qualms whatsoever about moving her. I can't understand your DH's wish to keep her in a toxic environment. Secondary school does not have to be such a terrible experience. I'd really fight your DD's corner on this one. You might really clash with your DH on this, but at the end of the day, it's all about your DD and her wishes, which she's old enough to express and elaborate on. It's not about your DH's wish to just remain stuck in the status quo... for whatever reason. Though could you elaborate on your DH's reasons for not wanting to move her?

youvegottobekidding Thu 14-Jun-18 11:39:36

DH belives she's not trying hard enough and it doesn't matter which school we put her in, could be the best school & if she's not willing to try her best, she's not going to achieve it. But my argument is, how can she when the environment she's in is hindering her progress.

Seeline Thu 14-Jun-18 11:42:04

Some of that will come from the school environment too.

If schools expect kids to do their best it helps.
If others kids are making fun of kids who do try and do their homework etc, that won't encourage children to try hard.

youvegottobekidding Thu 14-Jun-18 14:34:40

I've had a call back - which is something new to us, DD's current school lacks deeply in communication! The good news is they do have spaces. We've just got to wait from the head of year now to speak with him & the next step would be to look around the school with dd, hopefully that won't take too long. DD & I have actually been there & walked round when it was open evening back when it was Y6 transition, so she has a general feel of the school & like I said she knows quite a few people that go there. DH is now on board which is good. Will know more once we've made the visit & see how dd feels, i believe she'll be happier there & do well.

StableGenius Thu 14-Jun-18 14:38:15

Good luck - I'm in the same boat as you, but with an additional dd in y9 as well as the y8 dd. If your dd wants to make the move, I say go for it.

I'm waiting to hear back from the new school (they have space for dd2 but might not for dd1) and feel strongly that I need to be able to satisfy myself that I've tried my best for them. Last thing I want is for them to reproach me as adults for keeping them in a shitty school where they weren't happy.

Belindatoor Thu 14-Jun-18 15:28:35

Hi everyone my son is in year 6 primary and go to go to seniors in September and we didn’t get he’s three choices of schools or win any of the appeals he’s absolutely gutted that he didn’t get his first choice has any one got any ideas I have got a place in a all boys school but he doesn’t want to go there

youvegottobekidding Fri 15-Jun-18 09:01:50

Good luck StableGenious & Belindatoor.

It's such an anxious time, for them as well as us, of course we want them to be happy at school, but let's face it, there's never going to be a perfect school where they'll never complain.

What happens when/if dd is allocated a place at the 'new' school? It's converting to an academy & was/is under a different city council to her current one. I did email the current council the other day, enquiring about changing schools & they said I had to ask for a transfer form from her current school & return it to them.

MarchingFrogs Fri 15-Jun-18 13:51:08

I did email the current council the other day, enquiring about changing schools & they said I had to ask for a transfer form from her current school & return it to them.

Are you sure this is what they said? I suppose it is possible that he both your current and desired schools were both in the same LEA and both 'LEA' schools, that they would both keep a stock of forms for those wishing to apply to them. However, he the school you want is not in the same education authority area, then the form you need will either come from the new school or its maintaining local authority and returned to the one or the other, depending on who deals with admissions for the school. Nothing to do with your current school.

Have you looked on the website of the desired school's local authority, under 'in year / mid year admissions? But as PP have said, the admissions arrangements, normal admissions round and in-year, should be on the school's website.

youvegottobekidding Wed 20-Jun-18 18:29:34

Ok, just to update we have visited the school, which was, in our opinion a good visit, DD on the other hand, understanderbly so is quite anxious, she says now, that she doesn't want to move schools (her behaviour at home has deteriorated somewhat & I confiscated her phone after she said some pretty mean things to me) anyway the head of year suggested we go through manage move as a quicker way of getting a transfer, depending if DD's current school allows it. DD isn't happy with the strict uniform policy of the 'new' school & having to leave her 1 'best' friend. I've already told her she can see her in the schoolbholidays & have sleepovers. She's being quite awful really but I think most of it is withdrawal symptoms from her phone. She's saying everything to try & make me change my mind but in my gut I just know I have to take her out of that school. It's breaking my heart seeing her upset, but I know I'm doing what's best for her in the long run. I had to change secondary schools a lot when I was her age because of my dad's job & moving around so it was awful - not the same as I didn't know anybody & dd does know people there, but I still know that anxious feeling of being the new girl & trying to fit in in already formed groups. Am I doing the right thing aren't I?

noblegiraffe Wed 20-Jun-18 18:35:34

I’ve never heard of a managed move being used to transfer pupils between schools, except when the student is on the brink of exclusion due to poor behaviour. She would remain on roll at the original school until the end of a placement.
Given that it’s usually used for really badly behaved kids, I’d be asking questions about how this would look on her school record.

noblegiraffe Wed 20-Jun-18 18:38:07

I think that Y8 pupils don’t know what’s best for themselves and need to be guided and possibly have decisions made for them by parents who are far better informed.

BlessYourCottonSocks Wed 20-Jun-18 18:40:53

What is her reason for not wanting to change now? Is it that she didn't like the school when she looked around it - or was she getting cold feet before that?

I would be sitting her down and pointing out that the reason you have gone to all this trouble was because she was unhappy at her current school. She has been bullied, unhappy and upset - and so you have jumped through hoops to try and sort this out in the way she wanted. Perhaps pointing out to her that if she is insistent now that she is perfectly happy at her old school and wants to stay that both you and her father would expect to see not only an immediate improvement in her behaviour - but also in her results and achievement.

She can't have it both ways - either she is doing badly because she's unhappy and being bullied - in which case she moves. Or she's doing badly because she's lazy, and has been over-dramatising the class environment in which case she bucks her ideas up.

Foxyloxy1plus1 Thu 21-Jun-18 19:30:23

I agree with noblegiraffe. I’ve been involved in a number of managed moves and all of them have been because students are at serious risk of permanent exclusion and this is an attempt to avoid that. Unless things have changed radically, it’s a time bonded programme and if unsuccessful, the receiving school can end the placement. There are regular meetings to check how things are going.

It doesn’t sound as though that is the type of thing your dd needs OP. Whilst not wishing to cast doubt on your decision, how involved has her current school been in trying to improve the experience she’s having? After all, there must have been important reasons you chose it at transition and she has to be committed to a move because she can’t keep changing.

Having said that, I also agree that ultimately, the decision belongs to the parents.

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