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Primary school merger - how long until the dust settles?

8 replies

Clockface · 15/09/2008 09:35

Long - sorry!
My dc's school was merged with another local primary this summer and has just reopened "under new management", new name, headteacher, etc etc.

There's a lot for the dc to get used to as everything pretty much is done differently.

But for me there's probably even more!

The problem is this: I was on the PTA of the old school and was part of a hard-fought (and bitterly lost) campaign to keep the old school open. I won't go into too many details about how good the old school was as it'll only depress me, but it got Outstanding from Ofsted in every catagory and it really was lovely.

One of the things I am finding realy hard is that the old school had excellent home-school links and I always knew exactly what the dc were learning and what support I could give them at home. For example we were given a copy of the weekly timetable and also the year's schemes of work. There were also "open classrooms" once a month when we could go and look through the dc's books and at the displays etc.

So the new school has only just opened but so far I haven't seen any of that invitation to involvement. Parents so far haven't been invited into the new classrooms once, and we haven't even had a letter home from the new head.

Myabe it's because I was so involved in the old school but I feel personally really sad and also stressed because I feel "out of the loop".

So the question is, how long is it until new schools settle down? And how can I cope with my feelings of always comparing the new school to the old (unfavourably) and feeling so sad and stressed about it?

I have spoken to the new deputy head about setting up a new PTA and she said "Oh yes, I'll tell the head that you are interested".

I really want to support my dc in their schooling and the last thing I want is to be all negative and moaning. Every morning there is a group of mums standing outside the gates moaning and being negative. I can understand the need to vent the end of the day we just need to make the best of it.

OP posts:
Clockface · 15/09/2008 12:20


OP posts:
prettybird · 16/09/2008 09:52

Be pro-active: Make an appointment to see the head and say you are keen to set up a new PTA. Find out first if there are other parents who are also keen and you can say that yuo know that others are interested.

You have a chance here to influence how the new school develolops its relationship with the parents.

Id the headteacher is worth his/her salt, they will jump at the chance to imporve home/school communication and working.

Good luck.

Clockface · 16/09/2008 10:15

Thanks Prettybird!

That's a good idea. I know that it's going to take some time for the new school to find its feet, but I do want to start getting involved asap really. I'm just impatient! I also really want to avoid all the negativity from other mums.

Chnage is hard, isn't it? Harder for grownups than it is for children!

OP posts:
prettybird · 16/09/2008 10:30

It's different in Scoltand: we don't have school boards anymore (although they never had the power, influence and role of the Board of Governeors in England) but we now have "Parent Councils" which are whatever the Parent Forum (the parents/carers of the children at the school - and even arguably, those parents due to desn kids to thre school) want them to be.

The head teacher has a "requierment and duty" to support the setting up of a parent council and to attend its meetings.

In our school's case, we have chosen to set up our Parent Council as essentially a Parent Teacher orgnasiation, as we value the input of the teachers. We can also choose to co-opt on memebers of relevant community organisations.

scarletlilybug · 16/09/2008 11:43

I'd second the idea of being pro-active and telling the head you'd like to set up a PTA.
If it's effectively a new school, it could just be that the staff are snowed under with work at the moment and need a couple of weeks to find their feet.

Or could you maybe approach one of the parent governors and ask them to take some of your concerns to the head/governing body?

Smithagain · 16/09/2008 18:47

Well DD1 was in the first Reception class of a new primary school, created by merger of two infants and a junior school.

Obviously my knowledge of the "old" schools is limited, although I did have several friends with children at them.

From observation I would say that it took most of the first academic year for things to settle down properly into a new rhythm. Newsletters, PTA stuff etc certainly didn't get going properly for most of the first term.

Having said that, the reorganisation was also tied up with a new build project that ran into all sorts of delays, so that definitely interfered with the management's ability to get the new organisation running seamlessly.

I won't say much more or I'll start identifying it too clearly!

Smithagain · 16/09/2008 18:48

I should perhaps add that DD1 is now in Year 2 and things are running much more smoothly. Don't panic!

neverforget · 16/09/2008 19:59

this is something thats worrying me greatly, dds school merges soon and she will be in portacabins until she goes into yr6 when she will move into a new school building with new management and a new head in her sats year and the year she will take exams for grammar school

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