I don’t like my son’s school but he loves it. Should I move him?

Categories: Boys | Primary | School


My son has just started junior infants last September. I am very unhappy with several things related to the location and the large and impersonal nature of the school since he started. I want to move school but my husband doesn’t agree. My husband works full-time, while I am at home with him and his younger brother. My son appears happy where he is. I would like a smaller school in a rural setting for him. My husband and I researched four schools at great length before starting him and ruled out this rural school concluding it was too dated, but now I am having regrets. Please help.

I wonder if your issue is less to do with how to best meet your child’s needs and more to do with your own process of decision-making.

You say that your son appears happy in his current school, even though you perceive the school to be impersonal, because of its large size. To my mind, his general happiness in school would be the primary factor for consideration in terms of making any possible change. As it stands, however, it seems to be you that has issues with the school and not him.

It is interesting to hear that yourself and your husband did a great deal of research about four different schools. It sounds like the process that you went through, at that time, was detailed and considered. While you may have had no actual experience of any of the schools, it sounds like you went through the various pros and cons that each offered, and this led to your final decision.

It may be that your response to your current dissatisfaction may be more of a “knee-jerk” reaction. Sending your son to any school, if you have been at home with him for five years, may have been a big change for you too, and it may be that you have found it difficult to let him go, and difficult to let other people take responsibility for him for periods of the day.

This is a very natural experience for many parents when their children start school. We can carry high levels of anxiety about how they are doing, or how they are being treated by others. This too may be a factor in your current worry about him being in the bigger, urban school.

In truth, there is no guarantee that the smaller rural school would be a better environment for him, especially since he seems to have settled happily into the current school. Change comes with its own potential problems too, since change can be disruptive and possibly stressful. It may be more helpful to think about his needs rather than your own in these circumstances.

Choosing schools is a big deal, and we do need to give any school a chance in terms of how well a fit it is for our children. If you remain unhappy at the end of the school year, and there are signs that your son is unhappy too, then you might revisit your choice. Until then, I think staying put and focusing on the positives for your son may be more helpful.