The initial furore over National Offer Day is over - although, of course, the next one - Primary School Offer Day - is only six weeks away and we'll have to go through the whole miserable experience again. We, at The Good Schools Guide, along with everyone else, get worked up on behalf of children who are not allocated their first choice school or, far more worrying, children who get offered none of their six choices. It isn't good enough and shouldn't be happening.
Successive government initiatives have made things harder, especially in over-crowded London boroughs such as Hammersmith and Fulham in which land on which to build is in short supply and in many other areas around the country.
There is no easy solution but we offer three thoughts for parents who are having to confront the reality of not being able to send their child to a school of their choice.
- Go and see the school you have been offered - even if you have been before and decided against it. It may be that its reputation has lagged behind the reality. There could be a new head, new staff. There may have been recent investment. Your child will not be the only one whose preference this wasn't. Sometimes parents can join forces to work for school improvement. Sometimes a school with everything to prove makes far greater efforts to succeed than one that has been coasting for a while. It may not be the disaster area you fear.
- Do not over-estimate the importance of school in general. Do not under-estimate the importance of the role of home and family in the real education of your child. School - any school - plays only so much of a part in your child becoming who she or he is meant to be. You - parents, family, community - play a far more important role in determining the outcomes of your child's childhood. If you are unsure what this means, click here for a more detailed discussion of this point.
- If the school offered to your child is one you cannot accept in that you are concerned that it would be:
- too far away
- would not offer him the support and opportunities he/she needs
Then do not accept it. You can look at the possibilities of appealing - we can help you with this - or other options. However, you are, by law required to educate your child - either at school or, in a proper, regulated way, at home.
Call us if you need to discuss an appeal or your other options: - 0203 286 6824 or email: [email protected].
Your Child - Nothing Matters More