Small school for 11 year old boy(5 Posts)
I urgently need a suitable school for my 11 year old son in or near the centre of Oxford. There seems to be either bad government schools who are very big or expensive private schools but nothing in between! Please do not recommend Cherwell as we went to visit and hated it. We have been quite shocked since moving here recently of the lack of good local schools. Can anyone suggest a small school as my son does not cope well with big places and lots of people, we can afford to contribute some fees but not a full independent school fee. Please help! Has anyone thought of setting up a free school here, I'm sure there are other parent like me.
I don't think there are any such state schools!! Do a postcode search on the Ofsted site and you'll see where all the secondary schools are. Where I live in East Oxford there are loads of secondaries and people have to travel here - I see the kids changing buses in central Oxford on their way to East Oxford.
Last year I saw a proposal for a small free school (secondary) in Grandpont - just south of city centre. For various reasons it didn't look viable to me, and anyway it wouldn't be up and running in time for your son.
If you are in a position to do so, you could buy yourself some more time to look round and consider your options by home educating for a while. Or you might think about doing it in the long run. It's very popular in the Oxford area, so there are sports, museum trips, IGCSE study groups etc to join in with. http://www.ohed.org.uk/
Thank you Leapinglizard, there seems to be a massive divide here which was very different from my hometown. I am home tutoring but through a combination of me and my husband as I have a very demanding full time job which keeps the family afloat. When I look at the schools here, they look awful and I cannot see my son coping in them. A free school school seems to be much needed!
So, are you already living in central Oxford? Any chance of a house move? There are plenty of areas nearby (or even farther afield such as Reading) from which it might be straightforward for you to commute into Oxford. If it's that important to you and your son is just at the beginning of secondary school I should think it could be worth moving house.
BTW I've just thought of somewhere which might form part of your solution if you continue to home educate in the Oxford area: http://www.oxfordmontessori.co.uk/senior-school/ I know a few people who have sent their kids there part-time for secondary. If you only use it for one or two subjects then it might be affordable.
And here's another idea to file away for the future: did you know that 14-16 year olds are eligible to attend college? Some young people who dislike the school environment find college a different kettle of fish. OCVC do quite a range of courses and have experience with this age group. It used to be that only the LA could approve under-16s for college funding and that there were many hoops to jump through, but all of that is changing and direct enrollment will soon be possible.
You might want to join the local home ed email list if you aren't already on it: home educating families are often very aware of these kinds of opportunities. Of course, we'll probably also be zealous about suggesting ways of making home education work for you which is the price you pay for the info!
Thank you so much again LeapingLizard, this information is really reassuring as I feel I am letting my son down. We can't move unfortunately, that's not an option and my son is only 11 but I will definitely look into montessori and home education. I contacted the local education authority and asked if there were schools appropriate for my son as he really struggles in large environments and big groups, they just said I had to contact each school, but looking at the list unless it is independent the government schools seem unbelievably big. I just thought it being Oxford that education here would be quite good, I'm very surprised. Anyway I am very grateful for your advice and will look at those options now, I still think a free school would be a very good idea for this city!
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