Which one?

punchstock.com

A very interesting post has been written by Kate over a the Five F’s blog about choosing schools. There is a lot of media interest in this subject at the moment. Many of you may have seen the recent  BBC series ‘The Big School Lottery’ which followed 6 children as they madethier  choices and finally went to secondary school.

Kate’s article is interesting though because it is not about moving from primary to secondary schools. That is an anuual event that is often in the public eye. This is about a parent’s choice of primary school.

It got me thinking – when did all this change? Once upon a time in the ‘not too distant past’ children went to their local primary school. If that was full then the next nearest was where the youngster went. Now we have schools which are oversubscribed, with waiting lists and parents considering moving so that they get the school of their choice.

What has brought about this ‘commercialization’ of primary education? Have league tables made a difference? Do parents worry about SATs results? From Kate’s article it would seem not. It is the atmosphere and general ambience that draws parents in.

So, what is the difference that makes the difference? If you are a parent, did you do the same as Kate and visit schools? What aspect made you choose that particular school? If you are a head teacher what do you do to entice parents to give you their off spring to educate?

What can undersubscribed schools do to improve their numbers?

Please share with a click
Facebook
PINTEREST
PINTEREST
LinkedIn
RSS
Follow by Email
Google+
https://theheadsoffice.co.uk/2010/09/22/which-one/
INSTAGRAM

  • There is a lot I didn’t cover in that article. Out of the 5 schools I visited, only 2 were actually oversubscribed but of course, the one nearest us was one that was suffering. (Less so now, cos the school on the new estate has started taking children).

    Some people DO worry about SATs and apply with barely a look. All the schools I looked at had scores of 250 or above, the highest being 280. As far as I was concerned, that is not a huge difference. I might have felt differently if one were a long way behind. When I was stressing about it all, someone told me that a well supported child will do well in any school but of course as a parent you worry.

    Speaking for my kids school, they have been chronically undersubscribed. There are classes in juniors with only 16 and 18 pupils, largely becaus some people don’t know it’s there. They started a toddler group that runs in the school to bring people in and the head visits regularly. Over time, this has built up to the point that Missy Woo’s class was full from the applications process. Am expecting it to be over this year. It’s all fads – when Monkey was a baby, they all fought to get into another school but this year, they only had 20 applications for 35 places, which is really bad.

    I would love it to be simpler and less stressful but it seems not. Someone else blogged in response to me last night – you might find this interesting also.

    http://soggous.blogspot.com/2010/09/decisions-decisions.html

    Cheers for running with this.

      

  • There is a lot I didn’t cover in that article. Out of the 5 schools I visited, only 2 were actually oversubscribed but of course, the one nearest us was one that was suffering. (Less so now, cos the school on the new estate has started taking children).

    Some people DO worry about SATs and apply with barely a look. All the schools I looked at had scores of 250 or above, the highest being 280. As far as I was concerned, that is not a huge difference. I might have felt differently if one were a long way behind. When I was stressing about it all, someone told me that a well supported child will do well in any school but of course as a parent you worry.

    Speaking for my kids school, they have been chronically undersubscribed. There are classes in juniors with only 16 and 18 pupils, largely becaus some people don’t know it’s there. They started a toddler group that runs in the school to bring people in and the head visits regularly. Over time, this has built up to the point that Missy Woo’s class was full from the applications process. Am expecting it to be over this year. It’s all fads – when Monkey was a baby, they all fought to get into another school but this year, they only had 20 applications for 35 places, which is really bad.

    I would love it to be simpler and less stressful but it seems not. Someone else blogged in response to me last night – you might find this interesting also.

    http://soggous.blogspot.com/2010/09/decisions-decisions.html

    Cheers for running with this.

      

  • I’m interested to see you mention SATS results. This is not something we thought about at all when choosing a primary school. I don’t actually know my son’s school’s SATS results!
    We visited the school my son now attends before we applied and the headteacher showed us around. We were impressed by the warmth of the school, the atmosphere, the fact all the children said “hello” to the head and weren’t afraid of him. Little things that made us say “yes, we are making the right choice”.
    Then again, we didn’t look at any other schools, so I can’t compare against anything.
    Thanks for your comment on my blog BTW!

      

    • Anonymous

      It is so interesting to see that it is the people particulary the head that can make such a difference. Thank you so much for commenting. Hope you keep up with the blog here!

        

  • I’m interested to see you mention SATS results. This is not something we thought about at all when choosing a primary school. I don’t actually know my son’s school’s SATS results!
    We visited the school my son now attends before we applied and the headteacher showed us around. We were impressed by the warmth of the school, the atmosphere, the fact all the children said “hello” to the head and weren’t afraid of him. Little things that made us say “yes, we are making the right choice”.
    Then again, we didn’t look at any other schools, so I can’t compare against anything.
    Thanks for your comment on my blog BTW!

      

    • Anonymous

      It is so interesting to see that it is the people particulary the head that can make such a difference. Thank you so much for commenting. Hope you keep up with the blog here!

        

  • We definitely didn’t want to send our children to the nearest school to us. this was mainly because it is a faith school and as I have mentioned in a post at The Ramblings, I am keen for the children to not be influenced one way or the other in that direction.

    We decided to go around a few schools but the first one we went to was so welcoming that we didn’t even see the other schools. The headteacher showed us round and it was not a quick 5 minute dash but she made us feel as we were the main focus of her time. But I was also impressed with the fact that she knew the names of evry child we encountered on the way round. I was also impressed with the things we weren’t directed to look at. Things like the atmosphere in the classrooms and corridors. It was a calm but industrious atmosphere.

    What the headteacher talked about was her vision for the school and the ethos that she wanted to instill. It turns out that she had only been appointed fairly recently andwas brimming with good intentions, but I felt confident from what I had seen that she would be able to transfer those intentions into reality.

    I am so glad we went to look around. There are so many things you can’t get from Ofsted reports (previous one with previous head was less than inspiring, much less) SATS results and league tables. The school has identified additional needs in both my two children and fought hard for the resouces to support them.

    I would always encourage parents to view a school that they are thinking about sending their child(ren) to as you get to see the things that documents can cloud.

      

    • Anonymous

      So glad to read that it was a good experience for you all. A bit scary as an ex head that so much store is set by how they are but I always prided myself that I knew the children’s names and not just the ‘usual suspects’! Great to see you here!

        

  • We definitely didn’t want to send our children to the nearest school to us. this was mainly because it is a faith school and as I have mentioned in a post at The Ramblings, I am keen for the children to not be influenced one way or the other in that direction.

    We decided to go around a few schools but the first one we went to was so welcoming that we didn’t even see the other schools. The headteacher showed us round and it was not a quick 5 minute dash but she made us feel as we were the main focus of her time. But I was also impressed with the fact that she knew the names of evry child we encountered on the way round. I was also impressed with the things we weren’t directed to look at. Things like the atmosphere in the classrooms and corridors. It was a calm but industrious atmosphere.

    What the headteacher talked about was her vision for the school and the ethos that she wanted to instill. It turns out that she had only been appointed fairly recently andwas brimming with good intentions, but I felt confident from what I had seen that she would be able to transfer those intentions into reality.

    I am so glad we went to look around. There are so many things you can’t get from Ofsted reports (previous one with previous head was less than inspiring, much less) SATS results and league tables. The school has identified additional needs in both my two children and fought hard for the resouces to support them.

    I would always encourage parents to view a school that they are thinking about sending their child(ren) to as you get to see the things that documents can cloud.

      

    • Anonymous

      So glad to read that it was a good experience for you all. A bit scary as an ex head that so much store is set by how they are but I always prided myself that I knew the children’s names and not just the ‘usual suspects’! Great to see you here!

        

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *