Our lives are currently consumed by deciding what secondary schools to put our child in. You’d think it was pretty straightforward – if you live within a catchment, you’d go to that state school. Not so in England. There’s a complicated system here that determines choices based on sibling, link schools and distance. Your best chance of getting into a school isn’t necessarily living next door to that school either. If the school is over-subscribed, that is, lots of people want their children to go there, then you may not get in. Plus these schools cap their number, so what the council does is send your child to another school they can put them in.
It’s okay provided the next school on your list is a school you don’t mind. It is a problem if it’s a school you absolutely do not want your child to go to. Well, then, there’s not a lot of options left. You have to accept the offer, and then put yourself on a waiting list.
Like everything in this place, so complicated and lots of forms to fill in. There are rules for everything. It annoys me sometimes. I know you need rules, but they really have a lot of rules over here. Anyway, I digress. Back to schools … If you forget to put your application in on time, you get put aside, until they allocate all the other applicants who were good enough to put their application in on time. Which means …. you get the schools nobody wants to go.
Unfortunately, there’s a need to pay attention to schools nobody wants to go to. I have such a school in my mind, but they have enough bad publicity, why add to some more? So I won’t mention names. Suffice it to say, a student of the school got recently stabbed, by someone outside of the school. But anyway whatever. Don’t care for the reason, just now care not to go to that school.
Of course, grades are important and there is a real focus on grades. Like how many percentage of students passed the GCSE, which to me used to be the GCE O’levels, and which I learned this year is no longer. Then you have to balance that with whether grades are everything, and really it isn’t … but it is. See how confusing it gets? Talk to other parents, and you start to freak out about whether you are like such a bad parent for not sending your child to a private …, sorry, independent, school. That’s of course, supposing that you can get in, which now you can, as all the bankers children have left the country, but they’ll come back soon enough and then you might not be able to get in.
And then, there’s trying to get into a faith school, funded by the council. You have to fill in another form and send it to the school to see if you can get in on a foundation place. We are looking at one, but we are not Church of England, so well, this also counts against us. Guess the argument, RCs were here first might not cut it. King Henry VIII made sure of that. Which is really so stupid when you think about it … all he wanted was to divorce his wife and marry his mistress so that his issue would not be illegitimate. But anyway, that’s another debate which I’ll definitely lose, not being educated in theology and all.
And so, here I am currently navigating through this. Of course, in the end, I think it will be alright, but in the meantime, we’re caught up in this flow.