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Reconciling to bad news re Secondary School.

(47 Posts)
JC4PMPLZ Mon 04-Mar-19 16:19:46

DS got his 6th preference, which I included because I did not want to be sent to an equally poor school further away. I am really unhappy. Worst school in borough. We are in the 100s and 200s on waiting seems unlikely. What is best way of coming to terms with this? Anyone got good endings from a similar situation. Do we just wait for year 8 transfer? Not going to move!

OP’s posts: |
Ivegotthree Mon 04-Mar-19 16:21:03

Some schools shuffle their waiting lists periodically, so you may be position 200 now but then may zoom up to 12 after a reshuffle.

grasspigeons Mon 04-Mar-19 16:27:24

it must be very disappointing and I know not all worst schools are equal so perhaps yours truly is dreadful or perhaps its a little gem with a poor reputation - but I would go and have a visit again with a positive attitude and try and see it at its best light.

The school our children went to was so used to no one actively choosing it that they did their open day after the allocations day to 'sell' the school to all the disappointed parents so they didn't panic too much.

and waiting lists do move.

EduCated Mon 04-Mar-19 16:46:37

Have a look if the school has any events coming up which are open to the public - fairs, shows etc. See if you can subscribe to their newsletters or view it online - these are likely to show a more positive side to the school.

If you grin and fake it enough for your DS, you might just start believing it yourself! flowers

HotpotLawyer Mon 04-Mar-19 17:03:08

Presumably you are on 5 waiting lists?
Are you as low down as 200 on all?

You can now go on waiting lists for any other schools you would prefer over the allocated school. None in neighbouring borough that you would feel happier about?

Any grounds for appeal?

Fingers crossed for you, OP, must be gutting

But do go and see the allocated school again.

However bad the overall average stats are, individual children can still do well.


EduCated Mon 04-Mar-19 17:07:08

However bad the overall average stats are, individual children can still do well.

This too. I was that child - went to the school that was demonised locally. GCSE results for 5 A*-C with Maths and English were less than 15%. It went into special measures and ultimately was closed down and was in the first string of forced academies. If you google the school one of the top hits is a BBC report about the worst schools in the country. I came out with straight As and A*s. It wasn’t always an easy ride, but I had some great teachers and had a lot of opportunities thrown my way. It can be ok!

Pythonesque Mon 04-Mar-19 17:11:34

Local to us one secondary is seriously highly rated. Another one much lower - but 3 or 4 years ago a lot of kids started getting sent there from areas that previously got into the highly rated one. The change in the population mix of the school has had a big net positive impact on the whole school and people I know with children there are very happy with it. Maybe something like that might happen with your offer.

greenelephantscarf Mon 04-Mar-19 17:11:55

in london I assume?
waiting lists are very fluid.
we were given dc's non choice (closest school, but a technical college) which we tentatively accepted. then were offered our top 3 a short while after in quick succession and we accepted our first choice school in may, so well before head start day.

JC4PMPLZ Mon 04-Mar-19 17:28:31

Thanks everyone. Some great thoughts there and eduCated, that is a story I love to hear. Yes in London. I am on 3 waitings lists. 2 of my preferences were much too unrealistic, do I won't bother there. Am 220 on 1, 130 on another and the neighbouring borough won't tell me the place on that one till end of March, which makes sense. I was surprised to hear my wait places when I phoned up, as most won't have even accepted yet, would they? Will go and talk to Head. Am somewhat well known as the awkward person on school open days, as because of other DC have been visiting it for past 5 years!

OP’s posts: |
TreaclePumpkin Mon 04-Mar-19 17:30:11

Similar to @EduCated, I went to a pretty terrible secondary school. Pass rate was 22% at the time if I recall correctly. Both myself and my sister a year later left with straight A*s and As.

I remember that most of the teachers just wanted to teach and if you showed an interest in learning and not just mucking about, then they would make the effort - despite the general melee. And our parents made the effort at home too.

I have no advice really as to what you can do re the school you have, but just wanted to share that it doesn't have to be the end of the world smile

Zinnia Mon 04-Mar-19 17:48:32

I would prepare your DS for the school you’ve been allocated, so he doesn’t feel as negative about it as you do. Then prepare yourself for both loads of movement on the various waiting lists and to move him, if necessary, during the Autumn term, when yet more places come up. Did you get in touch with that other school in the end? If you’ve been through this with your older kids you’ll know how much churn there can be.

prh47bridge Mon 04-Mar-19 18:06:52

Some schools shuffle their waiting lists periodically, so you may be position 200 now but then may zoom up to 12 after a reshuffle

No they don't. The waiting list must be ordered using the admission criteria. If you zoom up the list it is due to people dropping out or getting places. You can also go down the list if a new applicant is higher ranked than you.

The waiting list order can only change if the school uses random allocation. However, in that situation you don't have a position on the waiting list as such as they have to redraw every time a place becomes available.

TheWaiting Mon 04-Mar-19 18:12:36

Some schools shuffle their waiting lists periodically, so you may be position 200 now but then may zoom up to 12 after a reshuffle.

Realky? Where have you heard this? I’m quite sure that would be breaking all published admission codes. OP, please don’t hang any hopes on this statement as I’m almost certain this is hearsay nonsense.

dreichuplands Mon 04-Mar-19 18:15:57

I also went to a pretty bad school, only 6 DC in my year went onto uni but I still managed the grades I needed for my course as did my friends. The teachers gave a lot of individual support to the DC who did want to learn.

TheWaiting Mon 04-Mar-19 18:19:20

Did you have historical data before applying? Being in the 200s suggests these are schools that are unlikely to offer a place to your address. You mention you’ve visited regularly due to older DC. Where are they at school or are they scattered at different schools? Is there no sibling priority category at their schools? There will be some movement as people accept independent school places but maybe not 200. Go back and view. Talk to your DS and work out what he’s interested in then enquire about these interests when you visit. If they genuinely are doing that bad then sometimes that signals money and investment.

bellinisurge Mon 04-Mar-19 18:28:35

We got our second choice. Turns out the first choice isn't that hot anymore - know at least one who has left after 3 weeks. And our third choice is pretty good having been dreadful. Loads of money and resource spent on it while it was in special measures.

stopfuckingshoutingatme Mon 04-Mar-19 19:02:22

London too
I am doing the whole waiting list and appeals but - am also trying to reconcile

For me it’s not the school it’s more the parents that I live near and see . Different values set let’s leave it that way .

But I am not saying a single word to my kid about it . I would say a degree to acceptance is critical

Are you Ealing by any chance ? It’s grim here

SunburstsOrMarbleHalls Mon 04-Mar-19 19:12:37

Have you any grounds to appeal? Do any of the other schools offer something specific that your DS excels or has a particular interest in? Are there GCSE choices in the other schools that his allocated school does not offer and he would like to study?

BertrandRussell Mon 04-Mar-19 19:17:57

How do kids with the same ability profile as yours do? Some schools look dreadful on paper, but do very well by their particular cohort.

JC4PMPLZ Mon 04-Mar-19 19:44:44

Lots of questions. Don't think there are grounds to appeal but one of my bugbears is that the curriculum links have been dead for years. Other local schools have their syllabi online. How can I judge? I fear other parents don't care.
My other DC are DDs and while I applied for a mixed school oldest was given a Girls school, so we stayed with that.
3 years ago we were offered a school we are now in 130th place. We did not take it up. I regret that now.
Govt stats state that students of higher ability do worse here than other schools. That puts wind up me as DS is of high ability, according to teachers, and me!

OP’s posts: |
Ivegotthree Mon 04-Mar-19 20:08:34

Sorry prh47bridge but yes they do reshuffle their lists.

I got DS in precisely that way.

Perhaps you don't know a school that does it.

myrtleWilson Mon 04-Mar-19 20:12:48

But how do they reshuffle their lists Ivegot - is it a random allocation process or what else do you mean?

HeadsDownThumbsUpEveryone Mon 04-Mar-19 20:20:27

How do schools reshuffle their lists, they have to go by the admission criteria which means the only way you can go up is if others drop out, accept a place or your circumstances were not considered properly using the criteria. They don't just decided every now and again to move children for the fun of it.

I would keep positive OP children who want to achieve will do so anywhere. I find those in schools with lower A-C rates who show they can apply themselves often get access to more opportunities.

AloneLonelyLoner Mon 04-Mar-19 20:32:42

No real wisdom to impart except;

a) I went to one of the (famously) shittest schools in the south east. Past all my GCSEs, went to a Russell Group Uni and then got a Masters degree, career success blah blah blah. (There were some great teachers at this supposedly shit school.

b) both my now adult sons went to a school in the Top 5 for the whole UK! They both did quite badly.

Lesson here is, a great school won't make shit shine, a poor school won't make a diamond dim (you know what I mean!).

AloneLonelyLoner Mon 04-Mar-19 20:33:16

'Past' was my phone, I swear!

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