Changing schools

In our bid to be parent failures of the year, we are considering changing schools for Little One. The school she goes to now is very good (year 2) but there is one virtually next door, which we had a place for before she started school and turned down but have now been offered a place again (Mr FP thinks we made the wrong choice)

The best thing about the new school is that it is fairly new (only a few years old and not full) but also, has a high school attached to it and if your kid goes to the primary, they are guaranteed a spot at the high school, which ha s a good rep but houses in that catchment are at least £200k more if you want a driveway (let alone a garage).

We have 2wks to make up our mind but there is the whole question of Little One’s friends, tantrums, settling and generally being shitty parents.

Let me have it.

How far away is the current?

How happy is she at the current, does she have actual friends?

But kids rarely have a problem moving schools in primary, although personally I wouldn’t be keen on a small school, it depends a bit on how “not full” it is.

Doing it for really short visit to school would be for me.

In my experience, unless a school is a major disaster area, the far bigger factor on a kids success is the attitudes and support from/of the parents.

Or, in other words, she’ll probably fly at either school.


Thanks. Both schools are the same distance from home as they are pretty much next to each other, which is about 5km.

The new school has full classes but not every year is full. It was brand new and they filled it up a year at a time. I think there is one years left to go, so there would be older kids there but none younger.

She has good friends at the current school but it’s not like we are in each other’s pockets, rarely see them out of school. She does know some at the school through church but not many.

From my opinion having been to 5 schools in the 12 years at school, it will make limited difference. Support at home and consistency in the home is the more important aspect.

However talk to my partner who went to 13 schools (military family), he will tell you changing schools is the worst thing.

His fears are tied into a difficult relationship with his dad and it’s “his fault” they’ve always had to move. My school moves were going from a very difficult home, to new beginnings and getting away from being sucked into misery so I see it as positive. One of my schools was awful - but I was in a terrible place mentally.

At her age, she’ll take it in her stride. But your reactions will make the difference - if you’re confident and supportive about it, she’ll think it’s the right move.

You know your child more than any of us here. If it feels right for her, then go for it. If not, then carry on with what you already have. Either way, the objective will be to make as if it’s just another “normal” day. Every decision we make is part chance/luck anyway.


I dont really understand your drive to move schools?

Being new isnt a good thing.
Being the same distance isnt a good thing.
Houses costing more near it isnt a good thing…which I dont understand even more, because you say its virtually next door…so who cares?

As far as what should you do goes, your Mrs wants it so she gets it, right? Nod, smile and encourage…

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Maybe I didn’t explain well. The drive is that she can go to the attached high school without the need for us to buy in that area.

The schools are next to each other but different catchments and only one has a high school attached.

haha agree on the last bit!


Any grammar schools in the area that actually you might be trying for rather than said high school?

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Okay, well unless I was desperate to get into that high school I wouldnt bother, but I wouldnt get worked up with guilt if I did bother - its for her benefit isnt it.

I have no fucking idea what that question ‘actually’ means but I live in Winchester, Google is your friend champ.

Tell you. Forget it. It was an honest question. delete the fucking thread

If you want a grammar school… we’re moving to specifically avoid them.

What the…?

With 1 kid in a grammar and another in a C of E, and having been streamed all the way through my schooling. I see the good and bad in both. It comes down to your child and the home they grow up in. My stepson in the C of E would never have coped with the 11+ so what’s the point in putting him through the stress. My stepdaughter has only just started at grammar, so time will tell.

As I said, only a parent knows their child. Look to others to confirm thoughts not to make your decisions. You’re the only person that can do that for their child.

It’s an interesting question. Personally I never went through it. But my wife and her 3 brothers changed when her parents moved them from London to Hants. My wife was 6 at the time and it never fazed her. She made new friends etc. I believe the eldest brother struggled with some bullying but that’s probably not related.
Your daughter will be young/resilient enough to get over. If the high school is significantly better than the likely option that she’ll currently get it may be worth it. It’s a tough decision though. Agree with @awildt taking an interest and engaging in your child’s learning is so key. Is she going to get better grades at the new school?

You’ve probably got a choice of 2/3 secondary schools, the decisions around that transition (moving house an obvious consideration) are always difficult. If you will be moving to a new school with the only disadvantage being your new child settling into that school, then that may well be a good trade-off for the stress you will have saved yourselves in a few years time when it comes to moving up to secondary education.

On balance, I would say very much you should take the new school now, saves a lot of grief later. And, as has already been mentioned, if the good lady wife has made her mind up…

Moved from the Sutton Coldfield to Salisbury when Kids were just going into yr6, yr3 and yr1. They all coped really well, with no issues at all. Daughter changed school in yr7 as she didn’t like the one she was at, my son changed 6 months later for the same reason. When we went to Switzerland, daughter went into yr9 and son yr11

Being walking distance to school is a massive bonus, reduces stress for both kids and parents. Used to love the walk with kids when they were in primary.

Kids make friends really fast at a young age, however, I think that it is harder as they get older. My Daughter took about 12 months to settle into school in Switzerland and to make good friends, however, she now has a really strong circle of friends

If you are in Winchester, I guess you are talking about Kings as secondary, in which case, well worth it if you can get a place. My nephew started there last Friday, he didn’t expect to to get a place, but was really lucky

Thanks all.

Matt, we aren’t talking about Kings. (they take in kids from Stanmore and I’ve heard that makes it pretty tribal. Plus, the aggressive streaming isn’t for us, well maybe Mrs FP would like it).

We are looking at Westgate, as it’s a through school, which means we won’t need to move (well we might move but not in catchment). Other catchment for us is HB, which seems ok but does suffer from transient military families a little but still pretty good.

Definitely thinking sooner rather than later and we have an appt this afternoon with the Head Teacher and we are taking Little One to see.

The school where LO goes now is a link school for Westgate but they aren’t taking any from the link school these days. My feeling is, depending on what we see, to go for it. Her friends are all still close and she knows some in Westgate anyway.

When the high school decision comes, we’ll have three options, Westgate, HB or move back to Oz.

I sense the longer term i.e. the High School is part of your equation; how far away is that?

We’re imminently applying for Secondary for our eldest; tbh as long as the local school is decent enough, she will stay local. We don’t want to be spending ~£2k/year for both kids on a bus to the other decent option, to have them complain it’s a long school day… and all their friends live 10+ miles away!

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Yes, very much so looking at high school option. An all through school gives us that assurance. LO is Yr2, so a few years away but I think it’s easier done now.

We were always heading towards this school but plan was to rent our house out and rent in catchment, or buy a house in catchment but like I say, that’s another 200k for not much more space.

We’ve been on the waiting list for a year, never thinking we’d get offered a place. Apparently, we are the closest/next on list for out of catchment and with all the developments spring up, it will only get worse.