Thursday, 16 April 2015

Schools in the UK

Another year, another bundle of parents not getting first place primary schools. The media love the stories. There is another group of parents of which I was a part of a few years ago - the parents who do not get any of their choices, nada, nienta, nothing. How about them??

Every parent want the best for their children which starts with their education. Parents take the time to visit schools and select ones they feel suit them and their child. They submit their application and hope for the best. The day arrives, the email comes and parents excitedly read it only to discover they have not been given any of their school choices and are given a school not even on their radar! 
Parental worry starts here. What to do? Who to turn to? Unfortunately the answer is there is no-one to turn to. So what are your options?

You can appeal to your council. The problem here is that you need a really valid reason to appeal. We personally appealed to a few schools and got rejected still. Appeals only work if there is a valid reason - saying you do not like an area is not seen as valid - you really need to think outside the box. Is the school too far away and you do not have transport? Does your have an undisclosed medical condition meaning you need them to attend a certain school? Really think about your appeal and back it up with evidence. 

If the appeal process sounds too daunting then sit on the waiting lists. We ended up sitting on waiting lists and did eventually get a space at one of our preferred schools. You need to be proactive with the lists. Call the council on a regular basis and keep asking where your child is on the list; this keeps you in their minds. Don't ever be rude to the staff there, they are just doing their job and really do not deserve abuse. Remember at the end of the current academic year - so in the summer - the lists get wiped and taken over by the schools themselves so you have to call each school and place your child on their list. 

The issue does come down to the fact that not all schools are the same. This is something the UK as a whole need to change. If they want children to attend their local schools, they really need to make those schools good enough! 

It is a time for limbo in this circumstance but you need to take control and keep on top of what is happening. Stay on as many lists as you want. Stay calm and collected so you can make the best decisions. It is not the end of the World and it will hopefully all work itself out. 
Good luck guys!