Highschool decision 2012

O dear - I have a great sense of deja vu.  Back here again.  We've just spent the last few weeks trying to think about a high school for our second child.  A daughter and different to our oldest child.  We always knew she'd go somewhere different to our son, so we had to start from scratch when it came to looking for a school.

We've decided to send her to the local school that we're automatically in the eligible area for.  All I had to do was tick the box on the form and send it back to the school.  It felt a bit too simple.  Just our local comprehensive girl's high school.  She can walk to school, or ride her bike if she wants.  It's public.  It's all a bit too low key and straightforward.  Surely this cannot be right.  Where is the endless visiting of school's open days?  Auditions?  Tests?  Scholarships?  Have we taken the path of least resistance?  Have we not tried hard enough to get her into a 'good' school?  I've asked myself all these questions.  And it still feels like the right decision.

It's funny.  If you choose your local school, you do feel like a bit of a slacker.  In our area it seems that the culture is that you try anything - a n y t h i n g - to get your kid into a school that ISN'T your local.  And my poor daughter has been actually hassled about it by her friends over the past few weeks.  Even her friends think she should be trying out for more stuff (well, they are, so why isn't she?).

But we've visited the school numerous times and been impressed.  Sure, the grounds aren't beautifully manicured and the kids aren't immaculate in their uniforms.  But the principal knows the names of all the girls.  The kids and teachers are happy and friendly.  Parents, teachers and students who work or attend there are all consistently positive.  Their end of school results have improved steadily over the past 5 years.  There are lots of extra curricular activities to be involved in.  It isn't a massive school.

I think she'll enjoy it and enjoy not being exhausted from travelling a distance to school.  Frankly, I just think she'll like it.  And if she doesn't, well, we can always rethink it.


Motherhugger said…
This being anti-bullying week, with Harmony Day and all, the friends who are hassling her may get the message that being inclusive means accepting other peoples' decisions, respecting them, and making sure everyone feels they belong. Here's hoping!
Heather said…
Hi Jenny. Can I quote you (as an anonymous parent) in an assignment on schools and communities please? You articulate both your own thinking and the general mood so well and I always appreciate your example of thoughtful decision making and general sanity.
Jenny said…
Sure Heather - go for it.
Meredith said…
It all sounds good to me. Too much choice makes it all very difficult, but unless there are serious, specific issues either with the child or the local school, then I don't think we need to over-think these things. But, can you quote that back to me in a couple of years time when we are making similar decisions?
Beck said…
sweet! all done then. you're laughing. So great when the local school is good. (or good enough!)

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