Changing Schools

People who follow this blog will know the complete fiasco we encountered last year when we didn’t get any of our original school choices. People who follow this blog will remember too the knife in the gut moment when we later realised that this in turn would mean we would not get a place at any of our local secondary schools.

In a nutshell the whole starting primary school thing has been incredibly shit. But despite all that and some initial upset with Alice settling in last year, she now loves school and really enjoys learning as well as being with her friends.


The Offer:

We found out last week that we had a place at another school. Not our local school which is in walking distance (I’ve given up on ever getting in there), but our original second choice which is a  lovely old village school, very small and friendly.

I was completely amazed to get the offer and almost immediately my husband and I felt it was the right thing to do to move Alice. It will still mean we have to drive to school (always one of my biggest bug-bears) but the biggest advantage is that if we move her now she will get a place at the local secondary school which is in walking distance of our house. I can’t believe we even have to think about this when she has only just turned 5 but the thought of going through what we went through last year in another 6 years’ time is unbearable.

This Past Week:

I got the email last Friday and have spent this week in turmoil. I’ve not slept and barely eaten for worrying about how Alice will handle the move. Whilst I feel deep down like we are making the right choice, it doesn’t stop me feeling like the biggest bitch ever for separating her from her friends and the teachers that she loves. She is so happy and settled at the current school. Can I really upset her all over again?

Like most things in life I also got incredibly bogged down in the detail of the process. When would I tell her teacher? When exactly would we tell Alice? When should I mention it to the other mums?  All this and more were keeping me awake every night.


The Deed

On Wednesday after school we took the girls out for Pizza and before we got out of the car I pitched the idea about moving schools using my most excited, super confident voice wearing my most calm mask.

For a moment Alice seemed quite taken with the idea until she realised it would mean giving up her current school, and she then wasn’t too happy. We managed to distract her with dinner and shopping but at bedtime – reality had hit. As she lay sobbing in her bed I couldn’t help wonder, “WHAT THE HELL ARE WE DOING?”


I also can’t help but feel incredibly resentful all over again. Why are we seemingly the only people going through this?  Why am I putting my daughter through all this again because the local schools and authorities can’t cope with the pressure of too many people living here and not enough schools? Why does no one seem to care that the individual school rules are unfair and do not join up.


Next Week

Alice’s last day at her current school was on Thursday. She took it all in her stride and seemed happy to be handing out sweets to her friends. I on the other hand was an emotional wreck watching her wave goodbye to her teachers and friends as they gave her a fab send off. It really did feel sad and unfair to be uprooting her.

We took her to meet her new teacher and the new school. We were anticipating some upset but was totally surprised that Alice enjoyed looking around the school and talking to her new teacher. After an hour and half we had to drag her away from the amazing outdoor space and play equipment. Sometimes, kids do surprise you. It doesn’t always end up as bad as you think and maybe,  just maybe I have totally underestimated how she will handle this.


I know we are not out of the woods yet and I know that we are bound to have some upset next week when we start at the new school and a new routine.

I know it’s natural for all of us, not just kids, to dread and fear change. I know we need to push ourselves to do things sometimes that are hard and out of our comfort zone.  I need to keep telling myself this next week. I need to remember why we are doing this. I need to keep wearing my happy face and practising my bright and breezy voice. I need to remember that it will get worse, possibly a whole lot worse before it will get better.

Wish us luck for Monday.

Has anyone else changed schools? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.





Pink Pear Bear
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

39 thoughts on “Changing Schools

  1. So difficult for you, Cheryl – harder than for Alice, I think! – but you know you’re doing the right thing, for the right reasons. I’m disgusted by the authorities who put you in this situation – nobody has been able to sort it out for you, it’s absolutely ridiculous – so well done for grabbing this opportunity to sort it out for yourselves. We’ll all be thinking of you and Alice on Monday morning. I’m sure she’ll settle really quickly this time. xx


  2. Oh dear I feel for you – we were lucky and got our first choice of school but friends didn’t, went to the school they did get offered and then changed when spaces became available. All going well so far for them…#KCACOLS


  3. Finding the perfect school is so difficult! I found the system really tough in the Uk and so many people are cheating the system anyway! You made the right choice for her. In the long term, it will be all good and if the other school was not the one for Alice, so be it! Children are so resilient and adapt so easily to new contexts at this age. I am sure she will be fine. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday.


  4. Oh this must be so difficult, it really does seem that the school admissions system needs a complete overhaul. I am glad that the visit went well and I hope next week is a good one for you all #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s a really tough decision. When we moved here mid year last year, we had to take whatever council school offers they gave us. Neither schools my sons go too are our nearest schools, but they both like them, and my older son basically said, “I’m not switching.” And since we just moved from Australia to London, I will let him stay where he is…unless he wants to switch at 6th form. Kids are resilient and adjust so I’m sure your daughter will be just fine. #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We are just about to move 3 of our children as partner has accepted a job abroad. They love their school. It is really heartbreaking to think about them saying goodbye to friends etc. None of us want to hurt our children, but maybe ‘change’ is a good lesson to learn and a useful one? I hope that she settles in well Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. The thought of upsetting her so much is what kept me awake all last week but so far (day 2) she is doing brilliantly. I agree it’s a life lesson and kids seem to be far more adaptable than we give them credit for. Good luck with your move. Xx


  7. I’m dreading this being a possibility for us. We are currently applying and know there’s a good chance we won’t get any of our hugely oversubscribed choices. The alternatives would also mean secondary schools miles and miles away. On the other hand you are right, kids are resilient and adapt to change much better than we do,


    • Yes it was awful but whilst I was tying myself up in knots about it all, I never expected her to adapt so brilliantly. There’s been a couple of down moments but on the whole it has been much better than I expected. Hopefully this will all come good now! X


  8. Reading about the horror and stress you have gone through with this school situation makes me grateful we don’t deal with this issue here in Pennsylvania. My son and daughter both switched schools in their very early years. My son because we moved, he was happy and the transition was easy. M daughter started in a private school and we switched to public because they expense was just too much. She loved her first school and wasn’t too pleased to leave her friends and the teachers she loved behind. But, she adjusted just fine, so far. Keep your head up hopefully this is the end of the stress and drama. #KCACOLS


    • I’ve had a couple of comments from people in the U.S who can’t believe the school situation here. I think it’s because we are so hugely over populated here and the schools can’t cope. It’s only going to get worse. We are 3 days into the new school and so far so good. Hope it continues! X


  9. Oh Cheryl, what an emotional and trying time for you all. Losing sleep, and your appetite over it-you must be stressed to the max. I agree that it’s awful you were put in this position in the first place-the situation with schools at the moment is crazy!! And I’m dreading next year, when we will find out the fate of our eldest. It’s so difficult to know how I’d feel about moving him, although I’d imagine that it’d be exactly the same as you! The send off Alice’s school gave her sounds amazing, and she sounds like she’s taking it in her stride. I’ll look forward to seeing how she’s getting on. X


    • Thanks Lucy last week was horrendous! But what I could never envisage is (dare I say this out loud?) just how well the transition has gone. Alice had a couple of wobbles but the school has been brilliant at integrating her and really accommodating. I’m so happy with the school and so pleased at how well (so far) the move has gone. Our preschool leader said to me last week before Alice started at the new school, that we as adults get more stressed as we have more life experience (me more than others?!) to reflect on, whereas our kids don’t, so they just get on with it. And this is so true, I can totally see it now. I feel a new blog post coming on! Good luck with your eldest. I’m sure you’ll be fine, we were extraordinarily unlucky. Thanks for hosting. Xx


  10. This is such a tough thing for you to go through as a family, and such a shame to have to, simply because ultimately school provision is not made in line with new housing etc. Moving schools is something we give a lot of thought to, as ultimately we’d like to move house, but finding the right time to do it to cause least disruption for the children is difficult. I guess there’s no real ‘right’ time, but I’m glad to hear that Alice seems to be settling well into her new school. #KCACOLS


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