Very kind feedback from an Australian client who has moved to Manchester.
Two great pieces of client feedback this week:
From an American client – “Thank you for all your assistance. With a huge move like this, it was so helpful and we greatly appreciate it!”
And from an Australian family – “We very much appreciate your help and expertise. You have made our job of finding a school significantly easier.”
At the heart of an education assessment lies the creative tension – common in many aspects of life – of what a family want, their “aspirations”, and what is actually feasible on the ground, the “reality”.
Aspiration is sometimes viewed as a bad thing, certainly in the state sector, but I definitely see it as a positive – parents wanting the best for their children.
We want the circles Aspiration and Reality to overlap as much as possible – the wider the overlap grows the more school choices a family will have to work from.
There are many factors that impact on the overlap – global mobility policies, for example funding of independent school fees, would be one.
Yet there are other factors that can be manageable with good guidance and advice, some out of the family’s control “on the ground” , others within their “family influence”.
Over the next few weeks we will take a look at these factors and how to mitigate and adapt.
We received wonderful feedback from a client, moving from Australia, shortly after Christmas.
“Thanks so much to you for all your great advice and motivation – your insight has really brought results – I appreciate your professional and well considered assistance through this process, it has helped tremendously.“
It was a complicated move. One child moving into Year 11 (GCSE year) and one into Year 8. The younger child had also had SEN requirements.
State schools were the only option and they had to be in London, where places in the stronger schools are always at a premium.
The first thing Dean Associates always aims to do is establish an agreed strategy with the family.
This needs to be both positive and realistic. Spaces can open up in schools that are full but you also need to have a workable Plan B in place.
For this family, we looked at the longer-term aim – ie which school would they like to have their children in September 2017.
The home search was conducted to find a place close to the school, not just in catchment but around the corner from the school gate so that the children moved towards the top of the waiting list.
We then worked on gaining entry for the younger child on appeal, given the child’s SEN requirements. This meant drawing together a strong case as to why the child should attend the school above others in the area.
This being successful it then gave the older daughter sibling priority on the school waiting list.
By chance – and luck always works for the best prepared – there was some movement in her year group and she also found a space.
Throughout this process we kept momentum through constant communication with the local authority, the schools and the family.