Tuesday, 27 April 2010


Thought you should know that I am terribly stressed right now.

Because, on Thursday-and that is only in two days!- I will know what happens. And what happens is terribly important. So important that I already had a nightmare about it.

On Thursday, sometime before 6pm, an email with appear in my mailbox. It will tell me the name of the school my child has been allocated to.

Nothing else matters more to me right now. I know the whole country is discussing hung parliament issues but I am not interested. I can’t even enjoy the good weather or the fact that my mother had managed to get a visa and is coming to see us soon.

Somewhere there, on the local council computer system, locked under a thousand powerful cyber locks, the fate of my child has already been marked down. It has been calculated purely by the distance from our house to the school we so badly desire. One step too many, and someone else would get in before us. One meter further- and we are in the other school.

Here I have to add, that none of the schools in our area are bad, per se. That is precisely why we pay a fortune to live here. That, and the ladies in tight riding pants.

There are two state schools, both are very good, and we will end up in one of them -for sure. There is also the church school, but Ha! And Ha! again.

So, most of my conversations this week involve subjects such as:

How many places are there?
How many kids do we already have in the nursery class?
How many outsiders are likely to suddenly appear with a better postcode and snatch our warm seats?

I have to say, I hate the outsiders. The Others. They are like some evil aliens, lurking on the borders, trying to get in. Nobody knows who they are, everybody only heard of them. There is a boy who lives near someone, and there is a girl who went to a private nursery but now is coming to our school...There is a house that just got built across the road, and there is someone sleeping with the headmaster....

OK, I might have made the last one up, but it could be happening? I know I would sleep with him if it guaranteed my child a place. But the truth is, short of murder, there is nothing, absolutely nothing I can do.


  1. Good luck! Getting your kid into public school is a huge issue in NYC too. Right now there seem to be a lot of problems with kids getting assigned to schools across town instead of the school down the street. There are also a lot of high school students who make crazy commutes to get to a particular school that specializes in something.

  2. Well, you can share with us the answer you'll get in two days from now. Up to then, just wait.

  3. You've become a real english mum now, thinking about these issues!

  4. Scary, Headmaster here. Give me a call

  5. Headmaster? hmmm,this idea reminded "Forrest Gump"with Tom Hanks and his Mommy,but I think your child will be the best in any school.Saludos!

  6. Thanks for the nice chuckle to go with my morning coffee!

  7. Scary, this comment is just to confirm your worst suspicions about men. While I understand and sympathise with your anxiety (not least because I have 2 daughters who are going through exactly the same ones vis-a-vis their own kids at the moment), the image that leaps out at me from this posting is that of the tight riding pants. My profound apologies for that and also my sincerest wishes that you get the educational outcome you want.

  8. @Shannon: To add to the confusion, when we say "public" school in the UK, we mean private. I still dont know why, makes no sense. :)

    There also are grammar schools,church schools, Montessori and who knows what else! And getting into good private schools is just as hard, only they use different criteria than paved roads/distances.

    @Anonymous: Very funny. :)

    @Bill: Of course. You think women are any better? I have not mentioned the sexy butcher, have I?

  9. Interesting... Here in California we know exactly what school our kids will be assigned to. Just punch your street address into the district's website, and it returns the list of schools (elementary, intermediate, and high). We actually used it to narrow down the list when we were house-hunting.

    But frankly, I don't think it matters much. The curriculum is the same everywhere. The only thing that makes a difference is a great teacher - and they can be found in any school. I hope that your daughter will be lucky enough to have a few of them...

  10. @Riyad: Well, it will sound shallow to you, but of course the curriculum is pretty much the same, and both schools have very good reports, etc...It is more about the social groups. The school she goes to now has most of our friends, it is sociable and everyone is local. The other school has some rough kids from the nearby areas, and some mothers I dont know and might not want to get to know, if you know what I mean. :)

  11. Oh well. Did not get it. Not only that, they are sending us somewhere outside the village, very bizarre. So now we have appeals and other exciting events to look forward to. Husband wants to immigrate.

  12. At least you won't have time to feel bored...

  13. I'm a U.S. guy, in Baku now for a few weeks on some business and just stumbled across your blog -- not sure how actually -- but I'm glad I did. I love the few things I've read -- well-written and an interesting perspective. You've got me hooked and I'll keep coming back for more. I'm glad you're taking the time to do this.

  14. @Anonymous: Thanks for this, appreciate it.
    Glad you liked it! :) Tell everyone. :)