So we had our meeting yesterday and < happy sigh >. We seem to have found a good school, indeed.
That said, nothing was all that concrete, so we'll have to see how it pans out - but as we went in not very keen on the obvious concrete step, having him skip a year, that's fine. The Head's approach and attitude was everything I could have wished. There was no mention of any need to concentrate on DS5's accuracy or speed or ability to write numbers the right way round, for example. The Head did seem to get how maths is for DS; it was he, for example, who said that DS didn't need much if any repetition of things. They'd had the head of maths and the special needs teacher talk to DS and consider the year-skip option carefully; the Head opened the meeting basically by warning us that he thinks DS will need to skip a year at some point, but not right now. Apparently this does not necessarily mean that he will come out the other end of this school a year early. For arcane reasons I won't go into, the final "year" of the school is already multi-age and flexible enough to allow some children (and most of the brightest) to be there more than one year; if DS "arrived" there early, he could stay there for 3 years if that was the right thing. (Or not - but at least he wouldn't *have* to leave this school because he'd got to the fixed end of it.)
So no year skip for now, but probably next year. For now, the head of maths will work with DS's class teacher to make sure he has maths that challenges him, and may also talk to him and give him puzzles etc.; the head may also get involved, he sounded keen :-) They don't currently have a recreational maths club, but starting one was on the agenda anyway and they will try to get that going. If that's not possible (or maybe anyway) they'll look at putting DS with a higher year maths group ("we'd put him with the top set obviously, no point otherwise") either sometimes or systematically, next year, so that he gets a chance to work with other people at his level.
No problems with us continuing with ALEKS at home as long as it interests DS; I handed over a worksheet and mentioned the possibility of DS doing them in class, so we'll see, but I'm not bothered what it is he gets to do in class provided it's not boring to him, and that seems assured. Some useful discussion of senior schools, too.