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Persuading daughter to switch schools

(16 Posts)
kittykitty Wed 28-Aug-19 10:10:44

Daughter did well in her GCSEs <phew> so her options for sixth form have opened out. She got into two new sixth forms - one excellent and one very good.
The excellent one she rejected - too far away and no friends going. But she’s also thinking of rejecting the very good one too and staying at her lower than average sixth form. I think she’d be making a big mistake. The very good school gets great grades for around a third of its pupils compared to maybe 8% where she currently is. And she does have friends going to the other school. I know it is ultimately her decision but at 16 I think she still needs guidance. Anyone been in a similar position with tips on how to approach this.

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Ariela Wed 28-Aug-19 10:41:47

What are her plans after that? Get her to talk through that, and work out how she needs to achieve best results to do whatever she is going to do after 6th form. Then present the option 'and what happens if you do not get xyz grades? What will you do then?' and get her to work out for herself which is the best 6th form option for her ultimate goal.

kittykitty Wed 28-Aug-19 10:59:23

@ariela thanks. That’s a really good non-emotional starting point.

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LolaSmiles Wed 28-Aug-19 11:03:43

I agree with talking about aspirations and goals. Where does she see herself? What's needed to get there? Which place will give her the best chance at achieving what she wants to achieve.

It may also be worth thinking about how many of her current friends will be lifelong adult friends. From my school/6th form I'm probably only decent friends with less than half a dozen of them now. Unless you're in an area or community where people tend to grow up and live in the same town for life then talking about your own friendshios at the time and now might be helpful as well

Sososour Wed 28-Aug-19 11:17:49

Oh that’s tricky
There’s comfort in what you know isn’t there ?- and as you say, she’s done well so far in her current school. I can see where she’s coming from but can also see that it may be a good thing to move on.
My Dd is moving on but has no choice as there is no 6th form at her school but she’s still nervous!
Could you bargain with her to perhaps try the new school for a couple of days and then change back if she hates it? I take it her current school would prob let her come back?
Maybe she’ll be ok once she’s done a few days?

MarieG10 Wed 28-Aug-19 11:19:53

She needs to go,to the best one she can get to. Sixth forms are different to lower school, more self directed learning and you will,need the best teaching in offer. The stakes are far higher for A levels and retakes are difficult

Seeline Wed 28-Aug-19 12:45:33

How do the schools compare on the actual subjects she is taking?
Pass rates at A level, facilities relevant to each subject eg labs, IT equipment, art/design rooms etc

If she is going to uni, how do the two compare on uni destinations? How do they help students with their applications etc? Familiar staff may be helpful when writing uni references etc and helping her with her personal statement.

Do either of them offer better options for her particular interests/hobbies?

Finally, it is a big step up to A levels. There may be some benefits to having a familiar journey, building, routine etc. Your DD also needs to be happy where she is studying.

Michaelahpurple Wed 28-Aug-19 13:01:27

Sounds like a huge gulf in outcomes between the two schools - I wouldn't let her stay in her comfort zone without serious challenge

kittykitty Wed 28-Aug-19 14:06:36

Thanks for all the replies. I know her current school have done well so far but I can really see the benefits the new one would give her. It’s how to have that convo without triggering any teenage storming outs!

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Darbs76 Wed 28-Aug-19 15:17:54

A difficult one as she will be thinking of the difficulties of making new friends / new teachers etc. I think there is a benefit of having the same teachers who know you well rather than starting fresh. But at the same time I think the quality of the teaching can make a huge difference.

MollyButton Wed 28-Aug-19 19:30:38

Can you persuade her to start the new Sixth Form and see how it goes. If she is still miserable a couple of weeks in then if the other one is unpopular she will probably be able to transfer back with no problem. (I have personally known at least 2 students do this, one after a couple of weeks from a Sixth Form college, and the other after a term from boarding school).

kittykitty Wed 28-Aug-19 19:52:31

@mollybutton yes I think this is something well worth trying.

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Schoolmumm Wed 28-Aug-19 23:47:06

We had the opposite with our daughter. She wanted to move from her small cosy school and spread her wings for 6th form, and had applied to other 6th forms including a very good GS. We really felt that moving was not a good thing, in spite of what previous results tables suggested elsewhere. It is a huge step up to A level (for some subjects at least), and we felt that a settling in transition on top, would be a huge distraction. But it was her decision of course. Thankfully she, and a lot of her friends who had also deliberated moving, decided to stay, and did better than we could have ever expected. She now agrees it was 100% better to stay where she was settled, as the initial A level transition was tougher than she thought.

Darbs76 Thu 29-Aug-19 06:54:15

@Schoolmumm I think if the school is good it’s definitely better to stay. DS’s school know him well and what he’s capable of and I know they will help him apply to the right universities and support him if he does decide to go for Oxbridge - at this point just going into year 11 we are having to think about Sixth form / A level choices and degree. But only think for now thankfully. I had a quick conversation with him where I said the local colleges aren’t very good, better to go to college if you want to do a course but for A level he should stay where he is as he’s in an outstanding school and he’s my second child to go through that school (3rd starts next week!) and I’ve nothing but praise for it. Thankfully he agreed and that was the end of the conversation about other places. I’d have taken him to look if he really wanted to but would have heavily influenced him to stay put

MarchingFrogs Thu 29-Aug-19 07:06:37

I know that not all schools stipulate results day / within 24hrs confirmation of taking up places as is the norm in our area - but we are almost into September now, so which sixth form actually thinks that it has your DD on roll for the imminent start of term? Or do they really just ask conditional offer holders to confirm their places by turning up on the first day?

kittykitty Thu 29-Aug-19 09:31:27

@Marchingfrogs - the dates for enrolment vary according to the school and some are still to take place.

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