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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:13 pm
Posts: 118
[split from another thread]

To try and answer your question, ‘Why is secondary transfer such a big deal.’

I think that most parents are just trying to do the best they can for their child, after all it is 6-7 years of their life and possibly their whole future at stake. I know that, as a parent, first and foremost I want my son to go to a secondary school where is happy and also where he can fulfil his potential. With the exception of this year (Y6), my son has not been stretched at school and has often been bored. It is really important to me that he goes to a secondary school that motivates and challenges him academically.

Unfortunately, where we live, the only option for naturally academic children is to go down the exam route. As competition for places is now so fierce this meant that my son had to take exams for several schools. I know that I had very strong views about which schools I did and didn’t want to go to when I was 10, so the decisions about which schools to apply for and the order of preference were joint decisions. Where there were differences of opinion then my son had the final say. We applied to 3 state selective schools, 3 non-selective schools and 2 independent schools. This meant a lot of exams, some of them at the weekend so he didn’t even get a day off school! However, he knew that he didn’t have to take them, it was his choice. The only condition was that if he was going to take exams then he had to do the work for them. He went to a tutor for an hour a week from Jan 2009 (excluding school holidays) and his tutor gave him a couple of papers to work through for homework. He really like his tutor and was sad that he wouldn’t have to go there any more after the exams. I don’t think that he ever felt that this was too much and I wouldn’t have wanted him working every night, children need time to play, to have fun and to just relax.

Except for QE Boys first round (which he passed much to his amazement), he took the whole exam process in his stride and positively enjoyed the interview stage of the independent schools. He was rewarded when the exams were all over but before we got the results and I made it clear that I was proud of him for trying whatever the outcome.

It shouldn’t have to be like this. All children should be able to go to a local school that helps them to achieve to the best of their ability. Children shouldn’t have to be tutored, they should be out having fun with their friends but unfortunately we don’t live in an ideal world. If your child doesn’t take the exams then you will never know what they could have achieved. If you don’t tutor when everyone else is then you worry that you might be letting your child down. You can only hope that you are doing the right thing for your child.

Fortunately, for us, it was all worth it. My son was offered a place at his first choice state school and a scholarship and bursary at his first choice independent school. I let him make the final choice about which place to accept. Let’s hope he made the right decision!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 5:22 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 5:44 pm
Posts: 345
Chilled wrote:
It shouldn’t have to be like this. All children should be able to go to a local school that helps them to achieve to the best of their ability. Children shouldn’t have to be tutored, they should be out having fun with their friends but unfortunately we don’t live in an ideal world. If your child doesn’t take the exams then you will never know what they could have achieved. If you don’t tutor when everyone else is then you worry that you might be letting your child down. You can only hope that you are doing the right thing for your child.


Hi Chilled,
Very well said and I could not agree more :)


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