The deadline for applying for secondary school places for a year 7 starts is Wednesday 31st October 2018. I’m sure many parents are on the ball and have their application submitted. But many will still be deliberating the decision and not have theirs in yet. If you fall into the latter category then don’t make our mistake and pick the wrong school.
Our mistake when choosing a secondary school
Where we live, in rural North Yorkshire, there isn’t a huge choice of secondary schools. In fact, there is only one that we fall within the catchment area of. Being new to the area and listening to new friends about schools meant we opted for this choice. By doing this we overlooked the only realistic alternative secondary school that we just fall out of catchment for.
On paper, the in-catchment school should have been the best option given its Ofsted outstanding rating. But the reality was so much different.
It’s not all about Ofsted
Ofsted ratings and league tables shouldn’t be the only factors when choosing a secondary school. Getting a feel for the school and trusting your gut when you shake the hand of the headteacher should be just as important. Looking at other schools should also be something you do. Being able to compare is so important and something we overlooked.
We look back on our decision now and regret not being more careful about our choice. We should have ignored that all the other kids were going to that school and at least bothered to find out for ourselves what the alternative was like. This would have avoided us taking the decision, at the time Lydia was choosing her GCSE options, to move our girls to the alternative secondary school.
Of course, now we look at that decision and are relieved we did it. Things have been great for them since the move and that justifies what was a difficult and risky decision to make. They’re doing well now and it just proves that getting the right school choice is so important.
So, with this deadline looming, if you have the opportunity to double check you’ve made the right choice now is the time to do it.
Thanks for reading