Saturday, November 18, 2006

Molly and the secondary school problem

One of the reasons we moved to Yorkshire was a realisation of the problems we were going to face getting a secondary school place for Molly.

In the grand scheme of things we're meant to have complete choice in which secondary school Molly goes to, but in truth we have practically no choice at all.
We had narrowed it down to one of the King Edward's Grammar schools or St Pauls Girls School. Of course, given how competitive it is at the moment to get into King Edwards, we can only guess at how difficult it's going to be in the future. Which means we had to contemplate what would happen if she didn't get in.
The way it currently works is that you fill out a sheet with your top 5 schools on.
Because all of these schools will be good schools the odds are that they are all oversubscribed.
Which means you only really have a chance of getting into the first school you put down on the list.
This leads to a quandary; do you put down a Grammar school, knowing that your child may not pass the entrance exam or do you put your second or third choice school down in first place instead?

Remember years ago, when you didn't have such wonderful choice over where your child went to school, when you just sent your child to the nearest primary and then the nearest secondary. Well, for some reason, this old fashioned, simplistic method seemed to work. Perhaps it was something so simple as having a good mix of children from many varied backgrounds? I know my primary school had a mix of good kids and bad kids, good parents and bad parents. And because the good parents wanted the best for their children they worked to improve the school, not for themselves, but for everyone at the school, good and bad alike.

But now it seems like there is a terrible social apartheid going on wherein the good kids and good parents go to one set of schools which get better and better and better. But the bad kids and the bad parents go to schools which get worse and worse.

End result; a divided system, terrible schools full of children out of control and parents who come from the same schools, teaching their children the same lessons they've learnt, that there's no point working hard in schools, that education is something to be sneered at, that work is something others do and that your rights are more important than your responsibilities.

Or is it just me that thinks like this?

No comments:

Post a Comment