proud mum x 2 wrote:
If you measure this with the way a school "feels" on an informal visit and then listen to parents who have kids there, you should get a good idea of it's it is the right place for your own kids.
We did the rounds of local schools this year just to get an idea. There's a secondary close to my office that has a really good reputation, is improving like mad, felt warm and welcoming, nice head, good Ofsted & reasonable SATS...
Yet (if DD doesn't pass 11+) we will not send her there. Why? Well, it's a sports & technology specialist school, but quite poor arts provision and average Maths & English - almost all special needs provision is sent towards the much less able (and has a great reputation for that as well). DD just would not fit in there - her bouncy character would make her stand out like a sore thumb.
There's another school with a worse reputation, worse buildings closer to home. We all go there for Saturday Music and it's a dump. Or so we felt until we looked round during the school week. They have some great new buildings, a warm, welcoming library, and strong IT, Music, Drama & English departments. DD would fit in there. Although she'll fit in even better at the even closer girls grammar.
It really comes down to how it feels as much as anything.