In under a week the illustrious results will be out. I for one have never tried quite so hard and done so much research for something I have absolutely no power over the outcome of. Yep you guessed it I’m talking about primary schools and finding out if you got your first choice – or indeed any of the choices you put on that simple but oh so complex form before the January deadline.
Trying hard to make the grade for someone else is the hardest thing. Add to that pressure the fact you have absolutely no control over the outcome of your efforts and you have one pretty stressed parent on your hands. I’m pretty sure I filled out my personal statement on the UCAS form quicker than I managed to complete the primary schools admissions form for Houdini – and that was the rest of my life at stake (or so I felt at the time). But this is someone else’s life I’m talking about, and that is the issue.
As a parent I feel it is my duty to ensure I do the very best I can for my children. We aren’t in a position to pay for schooling, so we’re in the rat race for primary school places that in the last few years has made headline news.
Thankfully I’m married to the coolest cat on the planet when it comes to these things; who meets my neurotic “but what if he doesn’t get it, what if he has to go to the other school, what if he becomes an avid collector of 90’s pop memorabilia that kills people in his spare time???” with a “what will be will be, he’ll be fine”. He may not be that chilled internally but he’s not joining my bat shit crazy party over the school issue. He won’t let me make cakes for the board of governors, he ignores my comments about it being a low birth year at best replying with “you don’t seem to struggle to find people to drink coffee with who had a child at the same time as you”…
We did our research, I went to visit all the schools – not literally all of them, like five of them – talked to parent liaison representatives, deputy heads, heads, teaching assistants. Asked about the extra-curricular activities on offer for my darling boy should he attend their school (gabbing on like they had to work for us to want them, like we actually had a choice). I pawed over Ofsted reports, looked up the back catalogue of SAT’s results, thought about moving house (thinking was as much as I could do as we haven’t got the cold hard cash to move). Considered committing fraud and pretending we lived at my parents’ house; even considered a brief separation from Mr B so the smalls and I would be residents in the catchment area!!??
I’ve tried so so hard to tell myself it doesn’t matter, the primary school you go to does not define you. I’ve googled ‘Nobel Prize winners who went to a primary school with a bad Ofsted rating’ (results come back, I dare you google it and see what comes up!)
It matters, of course it matters. But in this instant my skills as a parent have no bearing on the outcome. I could be the fastest mum in the south west guaranteed to win every mothers race going (hypothetically, my hypothetical self is really good at sport FYI) and I’m still not necessarily getting a slot for my delightful son. He can be as helpful as he likes at the school church service (You’ve read the blog, you can imagine how helpful this is) he still may get a “thanks but no thanks”.
So what will be will be…. but oh my this week is going to be a long one as we wait for next Monday and the results to be in….