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Trying to choose a secondary school in SE London. Why do I feel there is no choice?

(30 Posts)
spudmasher Fri 25-Sep-09 18:51:22

What is this awful process? It is an illusion of choice surely? One good school, one OK school, eight shite schools......
I KNOW that parenting is everything and my DD WILL do well (even if it kills me) wherever she goes but why should we have to put up with this????
Comments please.

FlamingGullah Fri 25-Sep-09 18:55:26

Do you know that the eight shite schools are really, genuinely shite? What are you basing your judgement of their shiteness on? Hysterical middle class parents who want 'The BEST' at all times? Or genuine crapness?

Calm down,. It will be OK smile

spudmasher Fri 25-Sep-09 19:01:18

I teach Year 6. In Lewisham. My DDs go to school in Lewisham. I know that bad behaviour stops teachers from teaching and children from learning. I have taught my DD to deal with pupils disrupting her learning but I am fed up and can't see it getting any better.

Metella Fri 25-Sep-09 19:02:12

How bad are these schools? You seem to be near rather a lot!!

I agree with the "illusion of choice" though - in most places there is no real choice.

spudmasher Fri 25-Sep-09 19:04:29

29% getting 5 GCSEs A-C is the worst. 68% is the best will be lucky to get.

Metella Fri 25-Sep-09 19:07:33

My local Comp gets 61% of kids with 5 GCSEs A*-C incl Maths & English. The next nearest gets 43%! The worst in this borough gets 27% - that's South London for you, I'm afraid!

spudmasher Fri 25-Sep-09 19:10:27


cherryblossoms Fri 25-Sep-09 19:24:22

I'm fed up, fed up, fed up being told that I'm a middle class whinger if I object to the fact that the majority of secondary schools in London are not what I would want to send my dc to.

We're stifled by the fact that someone's dc have to go to them, and so some kind of (misplaced) right on-ness keeps us quiet.

It's not OK. We're a rich country. The schools should be better. They should deliver proper, real academic results for most of their pupils, in a secure environment.

Why on earth are you being told that you are judgemental thinking 29% GCSE A-C is, perhaps, an indication of a school you're not keen on?

There is absolutely no way you'd go to a restaurant that was offering an equivalent service - or use a hospital - so why, why, why can't we just be honest about this?

Nobody's dc should have to put up with this, all the while being told that, maybe, it has great hidden qualities and it's just some mc mania for academic success that makes us a bit squeamish.

spudmasher Fri 25-Sep-09 21:17:09

High five cherryblossom or as the kidz would say 'Slap me on that'......

VulpusinaWilfsuit Fri 25-Sep-09 21:20:54

I agree. 29% getting GCSE passes is NOT acceptable.

IT needs govt intervention. And until proper solutions are forthcoming, I would take every step possible to make sure my kids are not subject to ideological positions (especially those held by people who have better options than you).

choosyfloosy Fri 25-Sep-09 21:22:08

A family member of mine is dealing with this in the same area. I would be shitting bricks myself, moving out, paying or home educating. The schools where I am are not exciting but they are quite bearable. I agree, it's crappy and it should be better.

AllotmentMum Fri 25-Sep-09 21:29:47

I can't tell you what a relief it is to read this thread. I'm constantly being told that I shouldn't complain about my local comp (31% 5 GCSEs) and that good kids with a supportive family will do OK. But why should we have to put up with second best?

cherryblossoms Fri 25-Sep-09 21:45:35

Thought I was going to be so flamed for that!

All sympathy to you spudmasher.

One day I'm going to be v. brave and post my Trotskyist-inspired views on school allocation.

bigTillyMint Fri 25-Sep-09 21:47:59

What about Habs, Sydenham, Prendergast...?

cherryblossoms Fri 25-Sep-09 22:11:30

The thing is, there may indeed be a few good schools - but the majority aren't. And statistically MOST children will end up in one of those. And, somehow, the illusion of having had those good schools in the list, also works to stop people from looking at the fact that the majority of dc are not at good schools (in London, anyway).

And I cannot be the only parent who feels really, really knackered when I see what "parental support" can involve.

kid Fri 25-Sep-09 22:35:48

Can anyone tell me the national average for A*-C GCSEs? Would also be interested to know the average for Hackney too.
I have been browsing online but I can't seem to find what I am looking for.


SarfEasticated Fri 25-Sep-09 22:37:39

I'm hoping my DD (2 yo !) will either get a place at Habadashers, or I will have to sell my body parts and send her to St Dunstans. I haven't looked into it that closely yet, but I thought Prenderghast was meant to be good too?
Will watch this with interest...

choosyfloosy Fri 25-Sep-09 22:57:03

is this more what you need, kid? column 3 is the % of GCSEs A-C.

Nat av maybe try googling a particular school with 'bbc tables' and the BBC pages compare the school's results with the natioal figure.

kid Fri 25-Sep-09 23:03:38

Thanks choosyfloosy, thats what I wanted.

Those results are the year before though aren't they (Jan 09)
I have 3 weeks to complete the form and therefore make a decision between 2 particular schools. I like them both, so thought the results could help me decide.

I wonder if the results will be available before the deadline?
I have kind of made my decision on gut instinct which could easily back fire.

Monty100 Fri 25-Sep-09 23:25:52

Haberdasher's is mixed, Prendergast is girls. St Dunstan's is... well... expensive. What's your closest?

bigTillyMint Sat 26-Sep-09 06:43:28

Most of the schools we've been looking round are giving their results for last year out in their packs.

What you want to know is not just the overall results for the school, but whether they will be able to need the needs and interests of your child - academic, sports, music or whatever. Schools which on the face of it don't have fantastic results often welcome more able children gladly and work very hard to make sure that they do as well as they can, because it is rewarding to teach them and see them learn, etc.

spudmasher Sat 26-Sep-09 07:01:07

The newly federated Prendergast Ladywell Fields is our closest. Apparently on the up, but would rather not my daughter be the experiment.
The Hillyfields. I don't think we will get in there looking at the 'distance from home of last place awarded' last year. But we might get lucky.
Haberdasher's Aske's Hatcham college- the distance from home of last place awarded is 3 centimetres .......

bigTillyMint Sat 26-Sep-09 07:07:16

Prendergast has a good reputation, doesn't it? And you never know about the others.

Don't forget that even if you don't get in initially, you can try appeal or just stay on the waiting list and keep ringing - places sometimes come up even after term has started, if you can do that?

spudmasher Sat 26-Sep-09 11:48:03

Yes that's comforting.

spudmasher Sat 26-Sep-09 11:49:04

Also, I have just looked at the musical aptitude stuff and she does stand a bit of a chance with that.

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