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One realistic secondary school option. Dd hates the school

(15 Posts)
4strings Sat 29-Sep-18 18:36:34

Argh.

Due to a bit of a shortage of secondary school places where we live, any decent schools (of which, thankfully there's a few) are very, very oversubscribed. We have a decent secondary school very close to us and although I do have a few concerns (is there such a thing as a perfect school?!) we're happy for her to go next year.

However, she hates it. She's visited but it made no difference. Her friends are going to the various fee-paying, selective schools in the wider area and she doesn't really get on with others in her class. I don't really blame her: some of them have been utterly vile to her (school is doing what they can, btw, can't fault that).

I can't get through to her that even though 40 or so dc from her primary who might go there, there will be 140 others to get to know. And anything I can to big it up. But she hates it!

She wants to go to another school and from what I can tell we are on the boundary of the catchment area. I think we'll put it as a first preference but the reality is she'll go the one nearby.

For full disclosure she's talented in a particular area and the nearby school doesn't do much in the way of it. I don't think this is a reaction to leaving primary school; she is looking forward to secondary school. Just not this one!!!!

How do I handle this?

OP’s posts: |
clary Sat 29-Sep-18 19:45:49

Is t just about friends (or non-friends)? Or is there something else?

What does she like so much about the other school? Can you add that into the mix for her somehow (eg if it's the drama club, find her a local one to go to, if it's the girls footy team, ditto?).

FWIW none of mine are really mates with many/any friends they went up with, tho I know you've told her that.

Have people from your area got into the other school in the past? Is this year a small birth year which might make it more likely? Dies the preferred school have much of an offer in the area she is talented in? If so, mention it on the application and it might be grounds for an appeal if it comes to it.

4strings Sat 29-Sep-18 20:41:04

Thanks for replying. Yes, the other school does offer more.

It's more the fact she doesn't want to go to school with anyone from primary school hmm.

OP’s posts: |
RockYourSocksOff Sun 30-Sep-18 07:38:09

Ds recently started secondary, there are only two other dc from his primary school in the same form.

One parent requested that her Ds not be in the same form as another from his school, someone who he’d had issues with throughout primary and the school obliged.

My Ds has made new friends already, some days he hardly sees anyone from his old school.

I think you just have to be honest with your dd. If you’re ok sending her to the other school you can apply but be your dd needs to understand that there are no guarantees and she might have to go to the nearest one to you.

It’s a hard situation. Has your dd visited your nearest school once? Did she visit with her primary or did you take her?

Bubblysqueak Sun 30-Sep-18 08:04:43

Does she know you don't really get a choice and just a preference?
It might soften the blow a bit if she realises you have put her feelings first and put her favourite at the top of the list but it's the council who ultimately decide.

4strings Sun 30-Sep-18 08:56:33

Thanks for these reassuring posts; I've been feeling very blue about the whole thing.

I took her to the nearby school. There was another open evening the other night and she flat refused to go.

I've told her we have to be realistic about where she ends up but I hadn't thought about explaining that it's the council that does the actual allocation.

OP’s posts: |
PickleNeedsAFriendInReading Sun 30-Sep-18 09:15:04

If she has a particular talent in the area that the other school offers, you might have a way forward at an appeal after the allocation.

And there is no problem putting her choice of school first, and showing that you're listening to her, and agreeing to try to appeal if possible, as long as she knows that if it doesn't work, she still has to go to the other school as there are no other options.

Start reading up on some of the appeal threads here, and think about some of the reasons why she prefers the other school and what it could offer - going to both open evenings could be a way of gathering information. However, you'd need to be quite careful not to say anything against the local school, as the likelihood that she will end up there is high, and you don't want to put her more against it that needed. But at least she knows that you're trying to follow her wishes.

Explain how the allocation works, and that it is a computer doing it all, not anything personal against her. I know some Year 6s feel that they have to be chosen by the secondary school and don't really understand that it mostly comes down to distance.

You can also mention waiting lists, depending on your chance. Or go on them without discussing it too much in case that gives her false hope and prevents her from accepting and doing transition days. But I know of quite a few people that got a place in the summer or in the first couple of weeks at a new school (presumably because most people who were offered didn't accept by that point - some of the ones I know were really quite far down the waiting list!).

4strings Sun 30-Sep-18 09:39:18

It's interesting you should pick up not saying anything about the nearby school. Part of the problem is that some of the dc in her class' parents are being very rude about it and that's getting back to my dd. Of course I tell her not to listen but it's easier said than done.

Dh is very adamant she's going to the nearby school and the other one is a "nightmare" to get to and it's not fair on dd. I actually drive past the turning for the that the school is on on my way to work and she's more than capable of the mile walk to get to the actual school. It's hardly inaccessible!

OP’s posts: |
reluctantbrit Sun 30-Sep-18 12:32:03

DD just started secondary school and had severe problems with the girls in her year. This year around75% of all girls ended at the same school as DD but only two in her form and with these two she hardly exchanged words.

She stopped already walking to school with some who lives in the same road, next road. I don’t think she utters more than a hello if she runs into some old classmates during break or lunch.

Parents wise - unless it is an event she won’t see any of them.

DD found some new girls she met at induction and we actively encouraged her during the Summer to keep in contact and see them. So far it works and even if friendships change again she had a good start.

I would def stress that in the end the decision is made by the council. Keep the other school on the list and get her on the waiting list but be realistic about it.

montenuit Sun 30-Sep-18 16:39:50

It's difficult if many of her friends are going private and actively "choosing" their school.
Tell her it really isn't up to you as the council make the allocations, you can only put a preferred order. You can ask the secondary not to put her with anyone from her primary class if she wants that.
Once the forms are in (end october?) it should settle down and go quiet for a few months. Infact by the time they get back from half term it will be done and dusted. Around this time when we were going through this it was hideous i recall.

4strings Sun 30-Sep-18 16:43:36

Yes, the closing date is Halloween, which given this feels like some sort of nightmare is appropriate!

I just wish the parents would stfu about how awful the nearby school is. It doesn't help!

OP’s posts: |
Marypoppins19 Sun 30-Sep-18 16:53:12

Go and see the other School. If you think it suits her better, fight for it!

4strings Sun 30-Sep-18 17:37:24

Thanks, we're off to the open evening this week so we shall see.

OP’s posts: |
GhoulWithADragonTattoo Mon 01-Oct-18 12:31:10

I think you are doing the right think. Have a look at both schools, if the other one is better for DD and reasonably practical to get to put it first. Warn DD that ultimately council decides so she may not get in anyway. Keep appeal options open by mentioning DD’s talent. smile

Orchiddingme Mon 01-Oct-18 18:27:36

I think your DH isn't helping- why wouldnt' he encourage her to go to the school which is a better fit and away from primary bullies? I would definitely try for the other school and go on the waiting list if you don't get in, with the proviso she may have to go to the nearby school if she doesn't get in. That way she will feel listened to, but may end up having to accept the other school if there are no places. If she does go to the nearby school try to get her put in a home class that isn't with the girls she has had problems with, the primary may be able to help with that.

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