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Help with choosing after offers

(12 Posts)
LonginesSymphonette Mon 20-Jan-20 12:47:34

hello. when you've got all your offers, how will you go about choosing which one to accept? do you ask your child or make it yourself? can you trust an 11 year old to make a decision? all these schools are going to get good grades, all have good sports facilities, all have good music and drama. surely it's largely about practicality/commute and whether you care about costs? or are there other things we should consider?

we only let our child sit schools we were happy with, but now there's a choice, i'm not sure if i trust them to make the right decision, but equally, i don't want to encourage them too much to do something they're not sure about. every time i try to discuss it i get a shrug and 'i don't mind really'. nearest thing we've had to a preference is what colour the uniform is and whether they have a tuck shop. helpful child as ever.

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DarlingOscar Mon 20-Jan-20 13:12:04

See I don't think practicality and costs are the deciding factors. Our dc only sat schools where the logistics and cost were ok. These are background factors for me.

What swung it for us was what we felt about the school. Which head impressed us the most, which school had the ethos that suited our dc etc.

IMO it's too big a decision to leave to an 11 year old -you can see things they can't. It's a matter of guiding them towards the best fit IMO. Show them all the reasons you think this is the one for them.

Fifthtimelucky Mon 20-Jan-20 13:27:18

I agree with DarlingOscar, which is why we applied to only two schools (plus a state school backup). In our case, one was a clear favourite from the start so it wasn't a difficult decision!

JoJoSM2 Mon 20-Jan-20 13:32:56

Well, if your child only sat exams at the schools you were happy with, why would you need to ‘trust’ them to make the decision? They can only make a good one in this case?

If you like all the schools equally and so does your child, I’d go with the easiest commute.

LonginesSymphonette Mon 20-Jan-20 14:00:45

thank you all for your advice.
they're all good schools, all have good heads, and good inspections and facilities etc. on open days we all felt good about all of them. they've got more As than a list of mincab companies.

so it is literally coming down, as @jojosm2 says to things like commuting, but that feels so simple, as if we should have thought about other things. i don't know, for example, should we look in to the schools' accounts? (i'm sure they're all fine) or should we be asking about safeguarding or something we haven't thought of.

i appreciate i'm sounding like i'm massively overthinking it all and should be just grateful to have a space somewhere. (i realise this is hugely smug for the unfortunate people who are posting about having no options)

it was really just a check to ask 'are there things that i might have forgotten to think about when we're doing our plusses and minuses analysis?' rather than letting our child just choose on something like whether they have a badger juggling club or not.

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Stircrazyschoolmum Mon 20-Jan-20 14:08:43

It’s a sad fact that many families won’t have a choice, they will only have one offer or a nail biting time on a waitlist. (This applies to state as well as indie.)

With multiple offers I think it comes down to distance and gut feel. A local school and a quick commute on a winters evening can’t be praised enough. Forgotten items, parents eve, plays, sports events.. all far easier with a close school. Co Ed v single sex prob another key distinguishing feature and then gut feel, like finding a house.. it’s that unscientific thing of what feels right. Revisit your options on a normal school day with your child and I’m sure there will be one that seems to ‘fit’ best.

Well done to you and your child for having choices!

LonginesSymphonette Mon 20-Jan-20 21:31:20

Thank you @Stircrazyschoolmum it was nothing to do with me, I'm no help at all. Good advice to go back on a school day and think with our guts so to speak. Failing that, names in a hat...

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Frostyskies1223 Mon 20-Jan-20 22:47:39

OP, the schools in SW London generally have "Open days for offers" in the week after half term. The thought of another day off work & taking your child out of school to sit in a room with more of the same people you have been noticing since 4th Jan normally concentrates the mind of where you really want to enrol your child plus the size of the non refundable deposit wanted in first days of March.

HighRopes Tue 21-Jan-20 09:16:30

I had some good advice, which was to look at the sixth formers. If my dd turned out like them, would I be happy with the young adult she had become? And then the flip side of that is to ask your dc what the existing students were like on the exam day (schools usually have older students helping out) were they kind and helpful, did they engage with the children doing the exams, did they like their school?

Dd was quite clear about which of the sixth formers she liked best, out of her two favourite schools going in to the process. It was the ones who chatted to her at lunch rather than ignoring her in favour of chatting to their friends.

Seeline Tue 21-Jan-20 09:25:38

I agree, much is down to gut feeling. Where can you see your DC really fitting in - what is the ethos like, what is the approach to learning, pastoral etc?

But looking at other factors - what languages are on offer, do they have a choice, which would your DC prefer?

When do they choose options and what choice do they really have? What subjects are on offer - any your DC would really want to do that aren't there? True to a lesser degree for a-level, but you do have the choice of moving again if necessary.

What sports do they play - any that your DC would really like that aren't available?

What extracurricular clubs/activities are on offer?

Certainly distance and/or difficulty of commute would be a factor. eg are there alternative means of transport if there is snow, the trains are on strike etc?

DarlingOscar Tue 21-Jan-20 11:45:00

Once the offers were in we went back for another visit. As someone said, the schools are very accommodating at letting you go back and ask whatever questions you might have. It was really helpful.

I stand by my comments about distance though - our kids both sat 3 exams and neither went to the nearest school. They went to the one that was the best fit for them. The size of the school, the set up, the range of sports and academic subjects, the music clubs on offer - these were far bigger factors for us than the length of the journey.

KillingEvenings Thu 23-Jan-20 10:33:09

I agree with looking at the older students but I'd be really weary of judging based on individual experiences with individual students. We had a real dud of a kid show us around a school and almost wrote it off because of it, but every other interaction I've had since then with other students has been really positive. But I do think looking at how the students behave with eachother in the hallways, after school as they come out, with their teachers outside of class, sas A LOT

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