Posts Tagged ‘schools

Well, that’s the hardest thing
That I’ve ever tried to do.
Was it my idea to bring
One child, or maybe two?

Let’s not forget the tot
Who kind of stole the day
…yes, smallest one, who’d got
To scream and shout, not play..

But then it helped to show
The plight that we are in
To prove home school’s no go
Like the last three months have been.

I think they got our point
(if they heard us past the screeching).
Which school they may appoint, though,
And who will do the teaching
Will now have been decided
(Though they haven’t told us yet –
We have to wait a week before
The likes of us can get
Any outcome to our pleas,
Whether good or whether bad.)

So with no guarantees
And the trying time we’ve had
We feel as if we’ve run for miles
– a marathon, or such.

Indeed, as they closed our files
I almost couldn’t clutch
Our toddler on my hip..
I felt so drained and raw
I could barely get a grip.
I felt I’d had the straw
That broke that camel’s back.

The moral of this fluff
(you should put this on a plaque)

Appeals are really tough.

My nerves are shot. Let’s hope we succeed today, for the sake of our sanity…


I have to say, I look with dread

Upon this Thursday hence.

Appeal day will be ahead

– We’ll need to make some sense.

For oldest one and middle child

– through no fault of their own –

We’ve had to get appeals filed

It makes me want to groan.


It seems we’ve moved into a place

Where schools are all so good

That even with a catchment ace

Right in our neighbourhood

Our kids a place there must forego…


According to admissions

“The class was full three years ago

You really ought to listen.

The other children got here first.

They come from miles away

And just ‘cos your position’s worse

Don’t mean that they should pay.”


That’s fine, we say, just put us in

the next school round the corner.

“Sorry ma’am, but with chagrin

I really must inform ya

That they’re full too. You’ll have to send

Your oldest one right here

The fact that it would then depend

on buses far and  near

is rather academic…. Look,

according to this table

It’s under three miles in my book

So you really should be able.


“There’s more! As if to play the fool,

The place for kiddie two

Will be at quite another school

More miles away from you.

It would be fine to take a car

Each school?  Ten minutes flat

Walking might be rather far..

we don’t consider that.”


Yes – that is why I heave a sigh,

anticipating terror…

How can we get our kids to school

And make them see their error?

Wish me luck you lovely folk…

I need all you can muster

To make them see it’s not a joke

And get through all the bluster.






What would you choose?  A great house in a convenient location, with so-so schools, or a less great house in a trickier but more beautiful location, with amazing schools?

Do you put the children’s education above the other desires for where and how you want to live?

Let me show you the dilemma.

House one – discovered a couple of weeks ago.  Slightly too small to be the perfect house, since we can’t easily tweak a chalet bungalow, and a considerably longer commute for the loved one.  But has amazing views, nice garden, lovely village location, and amazing schools too.  Infant school at end of road.  Picture-perfect; just a bit small and rather far away from the station.

Agent: Philip Green & Partners

House two – fresh on to the market in an area we love for its convenience and beauty (town location, but between large park and woodland) – though not a patch on the beautiful village location of house one.  Great for commuting.  Gorgeous art deco house with lots of potential to expand and suit our family perfectly.  So-so schools up to age 11+, after which same schools as all the others.  Schools some distance away regardless.

Agent: Wye Residential

House three – found a while ago, probably beyond our budget. Enormous. Hideous and needs a lot of work (previous owners divorced whilst renovating).  Good schools nearby.  Shops nearby. Reasonable views but definitely suburban location.  Commute not too bad, but not as good as house two.

Agent: JNP Partnership

How do you prioritise your priorities?  Bearing in mind that whichever house we go for, we plan to be there for an extremely long time.  I don’t want to be moving the moment the children complete their schooling, I want to stay forever. So I don’t want to regret the decision.

And just how important is the school in this decision?  If I go for the biggest house with the good schools, will I regret continuing to live in suburbia?  If I go for the smallest house with the best schools, will I be constantly tripping up over everyone with loved one coming home exhausted every night from such a long commute?  If I go for the nicest house with the fast commute, will my children turn into thugs from the catchment school in the not-so-nice area across the other side of the park?

Seriously. How do you choose?  I’m flummoxed on this one, and I need to make my mind up about what’s most important to me so that when loved one gets all excited about the convenience of house two, I’m not regretting being dragged along for the ride because I didn’t have a strong enough opinion.

And can you make up for a so-so school in other ways?  Tutoring, and the like? You may already know that I don’t like the idea of fully-fledged home education, but perhaps a little extra home education is a way forward.

Maybe I should be a pushy parent.  Ensuring my children’s teachers are on their toes, challenging my children.   And hassling them should their efforts not be adequate.

What makes a good school anyway?  Are Ofsted reports really a good guide?

So much to consider.

We were so excited when we started readying our house for market.  Six months previously, an identical house round the corner had sold within a fortnight.  A month ago a similar house sold within a week.  Excellent, we thought.  We’ll be receiving offers in no time.

We put our house on the market three weeks ago.  In the first week we had three viewings.

In the second week we had none.

In the third week we had none.

Prospects are not looking good.

It doesn’t even help that one of the first three are interested in making an offer, since they can’t sell their own house.

Evgeni Dinev /

More houses are selling here than in our area right now

I’ve been speculating as to whether the then impending budget meant that people were waiting till now to get off their bottoms and try and sell their house. To be honest the budget has done so little to change the situation for first-time buyers that there is no new market stimulus.  So I’m not going to hold my breath expecting the phone bristle with prospective viewings.

Nevertheless, all this time, we have to actually keep the house clean.   With three small fry this is no picnic, and I don’t mind telling you that so far we have had help twice a week to keep it in its beautiful state.  It no longer feels like our house.  Unsurprisingly, we’re now cutting down to once a week help; it wasn’t sustainable otherwise.

In hindsight, we shouldn’t have been quite so naive as to think that our house would sell this easily.  Everyone knows the market is not good at the moment.   Now I’m starting to wonder if we will be moved come the start of the new school year, which is tricky since it is more disruptive for the children.

But at least I have come to terms with this possibility.  A few days ago, this thought had me waking in a sweat.  Now I realise it’s not the end of the world.  I should really be thanking my lucky stars that we are able to move at all.

Whilst I’m not a fatalist, I do feel myself wanting to burst into Doris Day impressions at times like this.

Que sera, sera…

Smallest one in the early days

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