Which school would you pick?

A good almost outstanding primary 5 mins walk from our house. But all the secondary schools in our area are "rough", with below average performance, no sixth forms, limited subject options, minimal extra curricular.

Or a 10 minute drive away, an all-through 4-18 school, good rated but excellent results, extra curricular, in-house Sixth Form. There is 'at best' a 10% chance of getting into this school at Y7, so it's now or never!

Do we go for convenience of a close school with more kids on the way or play the long game?

(N.B. I know schools can change very quickly but I don't see the 'bad' ones building Sixth forms, enhancing extra curricular and having 2/3rds pupils go to RG Unis to match the 'good' one in the next say 6 years. Equally we can't afford to live near the better one (ever) so 7+ years on a busy school run v a nice 5min walk is a dilemma).

Replies

  • JReacher1JReacher1 Forumite
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    Ten minutes drive is nothing. Seems a no brainier to go for that school. 
  • JReacher1JReacher1 Forumite
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    This is very similar to your other thread 😉
  • MikeJXEMikeJXE Forumite
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    The outstanding school is the way to go but do the maths first. Are you confident you can get your child there, are you on a bus route, what if your sick, will you always be able to afford the trip, does your child want to go there ?
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    Don't bank on siblings always having a high priority for admissions if you go for the school further away. 
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  • PollycatPollycat Forumite
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    More detail and responses in the OP's other thread:
    Pick Primary School based on Secondary? — MoneySavingExpert Forum
  • SpendlessSpendless Forumite
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    Savvy_Sue said:
    Don't bank on siblings always having a high priority for admissions if you go for the school further away. 
    Agreed. My local Secondary school moved siblings further down the admissions criteria and 'feeder schools' up the year after my son started there in yr7. This was because he was a big year (millennium babies and several multiple birth sets in it) and 50 kids who'd attended the local Primary schools but didn't live in catchment, many lived in rural villages but had attended the nearest Primary rather than their 'catchment' one, didn't get a yr7 place at my local Secondary. The head thought that unfair and switched the admissions criteria round for the following year's intake. 
  • MrsStepfordMrsStepford Forumite
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    Savvy_Sue said:
    Don't bank on siblings always having a high priority for admissions if you go for the school further away. 
    I got into a good secondary school out in the country and had to be taken to and from school by car. At a parents' evening, my parents were told that rules had been tightened, so my younger brother couldn't join me, to avoid a rough secondary school. My parents sold up and moved into the catchment area. My bro had to commute 20 miles per day by bus for his last year in primary. 

    The better school may be oversubscribed. In whch case, you either get stuck into the PTA and lobby for better standards, or you look around for a fee-paying school with bursaries. 
  • diystarter7diystarter7 Forumite
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    Hi OP
    The school that is 10 mins drive all day long

    These days it is even more important to get kids ito after schools clases and private tuition if you want them to stay one step ahead of the rest unless they have a gifted status.

    Good luck
     ..

    Before you spend, remember the 
    MSE Money Mantras. Ask yourself, do I need it? Can I afford it? If the answer is NO to any of those questions, DON’T buy it.  (Quote from MSE  15/11/22)


    Politeness & courtesy are some of the few things in life that are free. Please remember that when posting, I may ignore permanently the unpolite, tedious, unconstructive and deliberately obtuse comments. Many thanks.
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    I know this has been bubbling away for a while now, but another consideration if you are planning to drive your children to school: WHERE WILL YOU PARK? 

    I've seen some local press articles where the parking outside some schools has become SO difficult, parents are arriving super early to pick children up, and the latecomers are all over the place, making it very dangerous for their own and other people's children! 
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