Would you move to get into a decent catchment?

(58 Posts)
Valdeeves Fri 05-Apr-13 16:43:02

Would you move to get into a decent catchment or is it not a priority for you?
I'm feeling that I may be unhealthily obsessed and need some help here!

teacherwith2kids Tue 09-Apr-13 19:26:21

I would - and did - move from somewhere where there was a single school option (that was actively bad for my DS - 'Good' Ofsted school but turned him into a debilitatingly anxious selective mute) to one where pretty much all schools were OK or better.

The feeling of freedom from worry that it gave us both - that if School A did not work out, there were schools B, C or D which could all be possible (he is in a low birth year, so we had genuine school choice) was AMAZING.

I would not move for a single school that happened to have an 'Oustanding' ofsted, given all the above discussion about variation with time and also the very real chance that a school that looks good on paper may be anything but for a particular child.

JenaiMorris Tue 09-Apr-13 16:50:52

I can't think of a single school, including some very over subscribed ones, that someone I know hasn't hated (or loved).

It's easy for me to say because there really aren't any 'bad' schools locally and you can generally move schools if need be, but assuming where I live isn't that unusual then I think a lot of people put far too much emphasise on a fairly narrow definition of good. The house price premium for houses near some schools is grossly inflated.

littlecrystal Tue 09-Apr-13 16:24:15

I would not and did not move for primary (because none were terrible), but would (and considering) move for secondary. My current local secondary option is not that bad, but I am worried about potential teenager gang issues, that horrible hat+hoodie “style”, wrong friends and greasy fried chicken shops that get visited by students after school. Can you guess by now that I am in South London? smile We will move somewhere less convenient for work but more villagey and hopefully where is less of “bad choice” options, and obviously an excellent secondary school.

lalalonglegs Sat 06-Apr-13 13:35:54

No one would suggest that Ofsted outstanding school = happy child (although imo there's a greater chance of your child being happy st a school that is well run and at the top of its game). The vast majority of parents ask around about s school's reputation, talk to people who already have children there and visit it to gauge how their child will fit in before coming to a decision.

Jins Sat 06-Apr-13 12:15:43

I wouldn't and didn't move for primary but secondary was a different matter. Luckily we didn't have to face this issue

Sparklingbrook Sat 06-Apr-13 12:11:43

Is it though lala. Outstanding school=happy child? I hope so.

lalalonglegs Sat 06-Apr-13 12:04:47

I think that's a given, sparkling

Sparklingbrook Sat 06-Apr-13 08:05:27

What about moving to the catchment of a school where you thought the child would be happy give?

givemeaclue Sat 06-Apr-13 07:47:14

I have moved for a better catchment but I wouldn't move for a smaller and more homely school I am afraid, to me that doesn't equate to better

Valdeeves Fri 05-Apr-13 22:33:51

Thanks for the feedback ladies. As someone mentioned, it's not that ordinary isnt good enough - it's just I would like a school that will give my child the best life chances. The school I want is not Outstanding - it's just small and homely.
Have a great wkend everyone xxxx

BackforGood Fri 05-Apr-13 21:37:53

Depends on what the alternatives are, and how much of a difference there is between them.
What we did, when we were moving anyway is choose an area that meant our dc didn't have to go to the (then) appalling secondary we were (at the time) in the catchment of. The house we chose meant it unlikely that dd1 would get into our first choice school when her time to move came, and, at that point, we wouldn't have considered all the expense and stress of moving again becuse the alternatives were fine.

Sparklingbrook Fri 05-Apr-13 21:37:52

That's fair enough Inclusion. DS1 has half an hour on a coach that gets in at 4pm so quite convenient. Going on the coach has enabled him to mix with lots of the other kids. He's 13 though-wouldn't fancy primary School travelling.

Although saying that both DSs went to a village school 6 miles away. By car.grin

KirstyJC Fri 05-Apr-13 21:34:26

We did. We lived in an area where there were 2 poor secondary schools and 1 outstanding, and when we needed a bigger house we only looked in the village of the outstanding school. Although he is 2 years away from applying yet we are about 500 metres away so fingers crossed we will be fine.

It wouldn't have been such a big deal if the others had been OK, but they were really rough - we lived next door to a pupil who went to one and she told us not to send our kids there as the teachers didn't care, and we also know a TA who said the same. The other school was even worse on OFSTED results and has a really poor reputation also.

It was an easy decision. And we also love the village, and the house, so win-win really.grin

Inclusionist Fri 05-Apr-13 21:33:07

I also recall not minding travelling as a child but DS will have to do long school days anyway (as I work full time) and once I pick him up at 5.30 or so I would rather he did not have another 30mins sat in the car.

TBH it's not just about the school. We want to move anyway. The school is driving the direction of the move though.

Sparklingbrook Fri 05-Apr-13 21:29:34

DS1 quite likes the travelling.

Inclusionist Fri 05-Apr-13 21:28:10

'schools are all pretty much the same'

This is a misconception.

addictedtolatte Fri 05-Apr-13 21:27:38

I did smile and I don't regret it one bit

Inclusionist Fri 05-Apr-13 21:23:24

I am moving for an independent school! We love it and don't want DS to have to travel 30mins there and back.

difficultpickle Fri 05-Apr-13 20:22:20

That's true. The shocking thing with our local school was it had been outstanding since Ofsted inspections started. The head retired and the new head just couldn't cope. The next head (who was there when I looked round) didn't know the names of the pupils who showed me round despite having been at the school for over a year. The head after that is still there now and the school has improved.

However there were a cohort of pupils who had four head teachers during their time at the school and their education clearly suffered (as mentioned in one of the Ofsted reports).

It is an expensive area and it must have been shocking to move into the area and find that the school that had been so highly regarded was now seriously failing.

Sparklingbrook Fri 05-Apr-13 20:15:26

Plus what do you do if the DC hate the Outstanding School after you have moved to get them in?

difficultpickle Fri 05-Apr-13 20:14:23

No. There is no guarantee that if you move into the catchment of a good school it will stay a good school. When I moved to my current house the local school had an outstanding Ofsted report. By the time I had ds it was in special measures and several years later still has a long way to go to be classed as outstanding again. I wouldn't mind if it was a one off but the other local school has gone downhill since the previous head left, not special measures but has gone from outstanding to satisfactory with some aspects requiring improvement.

orangepudding Fri 05-Apr-13 19:11:50

We moved for schools.
The school dd would have got in to was on the North Circular, children were only allowed to play outside for 20 per day due to the pollution. Academically I don't know what the school was like.
We moved out of London thinking catchment areas wouldn't be so much of an issue, we were wrong we have the same problem here. Thankfully we got dd into the school we chose.

Schmedz Fri 05-Apr-13 19:07:05

We found it is cheaper to pay school fees for our two children than to pay the premium on house prices (plus moving costs) to get close to a desirable state school. There is no guarantee of a place either!

Suppose we could move to a completely different part of London or the country but then we would both need new jobs, so not always an option...

RawCoconutMacaroon Fri 05-Apr-13 18:56:12

Yes, we did. Moved a few miles and into a different council area from workplace to guarantee a place at a particular secondary school, before our dc even started primary!

School catchments were a huge factor in every house move we've made, and why wouldn't it be? Education is very, very important.

I'd be cautious about moving solely based on a school's current OFSTED rating.

Several years ago, our local primary school was in special measures, but probably close. Local families sent their children a school a few miles away to a school that was OFSTED outstanding.

Meanwhile, several local parents made the decision to place faith in the recently appointed head teacher who we felt had the ability to turn the school around. We all were fairly active, and took a huge interest in the school, and our children's education.

A recent inspection rated our school 'outstanding' and the school a few miles away has been rated as 'needs improvement' so it can all change.

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