Outstanding school or inadequate one?

(53 Posts)
Dontmakemecometovegas Fri 27-Jun-14 17:02:56

Apologies I have another thread started earlier in the week in this vein.

I'm struggling with the decision as to whether or not to move my son (in reception now) to a different school. Here are my lists of pros and cons. Please give me your opinion:

Current school

In special measures. Last ofsted a year ago - everything was 4. Including behaviour.
Behaviour still not great generally
Parents a bit rough (I know this sounds snobby but we've had two letters about verbal and physical abuse from parents, a police presence some nights on the playground and parents who had to leave sports day for being drunk)
At the moment achievement is well well below national average.
Ds has a couple of close friends. He won't play with a lot of the boys because they hit. But appreciate they may mature with time.
It's a really boy heavy year and there will be 25 boys and 4 girls in the year.

But -

School is improving all the time
School is becoming an academy
Ds is happy there
It's very near and we can walk

There is now a place at the outstanding primary 2 miles away.

It got 1s in everything, the behaviour is exceptionally good.
All the teaching observed was good
Class sizes are only 20 (instead of 30)
School has a very pleasant calm atmosphere
School offers lots of additional clubs and hobbies (current school offer none)

But:

Ds won't know anyone
The current head is retiring - and a new one starting in September. Bit of an unknown.
Can't walk there - on country lanes

What would you do?

Dontmakemecometovegas Fri 27-Jun-14 17:04:22

Oh and outstanding school achieves nearly 100% of pupils meeting the expected level or above in ks2 and ks1.

makesomenoise Fri 27-Jun-14 17:08:49

I'd move him in a shot. Nothing you have said makes it sound like he is happy at current school.

AChickenCalledKorma Fri 27-Jun-14 17:09:04

From the information you have given, I would move him. The things you say about behaviour issues and the fact that your son is avoiding many of the children would worry me. If there hasn't been much improvement in a year, I would take the chance of a fresh start.

And I say that as a parent whose children have absolutely thrived at a "rough" school, so I'm not being a snob. It's a question of finding the school where your child would have the best chance of thriving and your description doesn't sound great from that point of view.

CharlesRyder Fri 27-Jun-14 17:10:24

Move I reckon.

Are you sure there are 20 in a class or is it 20 per year group and split classes? If it's split classes that is another thing to consider.

Floggingmolly Fri 27-Jun-14 17:10:36

Outstanding. No question. Apart from the results angle; police presence on the playground??? Parents skull hauled out of sports day for being drunk??
What does it matter if he doesn't know anyone? He's in Reception, it's not like he's spent years with these classmates.

Dontmakemecometovegas Fri 27-Jun-14 17:15:42

20 in a class, one form entry.

He is happy in that he's never been upset about going. He has one really close friend who doesn't do fighting and they've been each other's lifesaver really.
He's enjoyed the learning I think.

I would definitely move him. We drive to school (catchment school but not walking distance) and it's really fine, they get plenty of exercise in the park, garden, weekends etc. He will make new friends really easily at this age.

CharlesRyder Fri 27-Jun-14 17:24:12

If you can get a class size of 20 in a state school move just for that.

neolara Fri 27-Jun-14 17:25:24

I'd move him.

AChickenCalledKorma Fri 27-Jun-14 17:27:10

What if the close friend moves?

bearwithspecs Fri 27-Jun-14 18:44:51

Move

Justtoobad Fri 27-Jun-14 20:02:06

MOVE (quickly).

KleineDracheKokosnuss Fri 27-Jun-14 20:11:46

Definitely move. Time lost in early education is really really hard to make up later.

BikeRunSki Fri 27-Jun-14 20:15:28

Move. If the friend is that close they can see each mother after school.

TheEnchantedForest Fri 27-Jun-14 20:32:39

No idea why the school becoming an acadamy is on your list of positives and your son doesn't sound happy there.

I am a teacher and generally take Ofsted ratings with a pinch of salt but the behaviour alone would make me move him in a heartbeat. Children just can't learn if behaviour is poor.

Middleoftheroad Fri 27-Jun-14 20:35:38

Get in the outstanding school while you can!

rollonthesummer Fri 27-Jun-14 21:26:40

I don't know any Outstanding state schools around here with class sizes of 20! He doesn't sound happy and I wouldn't be pleased that it was becoming an academy-that would be a massive con for me. Move him now.

Dontmakemecometovegas Fri 27-Jun-14 21:38:10

I hoped academy status would help push it forwards.
Is that not usually the case?

I must admit I don't really understand the point of academies.

"I hoped academy status would help push it forwards." ... technically, it may, as in, the results may look better. At the cost of a lot of what should be part of a primary education, though. Not what I would want for my child.

Dontmakemecometovegas Fri 27-Jun-14 21:52:57

In what way?

I googled moving to academy status and see it gives schools more power.

But how will it cause thing to be worse for the children? I know a lot of failing schools have been pushed into being academies. Is that so the results look better but aren't really?

woodlands01 Fri 27-Jun-14 22:25:26

No choice - outstanding. Don't make a decision on what might happen. Academy status no guarantee of improvements. It can take years to turn a school around and improve results.

MissSmiley Fri 27-Jun-14 22:32:48

I also have never heard of a state school with a one form entry of only 20. Two classes of 20 year group of 40 or two classes of 15 making one of 30 mixed years.

What would be the reasons for only taking 20? If it's outstanding it would be full from out of catchment applications surely?

But apart from that move definitely.

Iswallowedawatermelon Fri 27-Jun-14 22:37:46

The outstanding school.

Why wouldn't you confused

Dontmakemecometovegas Fri 27-Jun-14 22:38:11

It's got a tiny tiny catchment. Tiny. The school itself is in a very small building, maybe that's why they only take 20 in each class? Plus we moved from the three tier system to primary and secondary so they had to accommodate years 5 and 6 on site too.
It's like a village school really.

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