Our family has become a statistic.
An unpleasant statistic.
My 9 year old has been refused a place at the middle school he wants to go to. The school that’s attached to the one he’s currently attending.
We’ve appealed and done everything in our power as parents to meet his wishes, but it is not to be.
The LEA don’t care about him or his circumstances or our family’s circumstances.
They don’t care that I gave up a career so I could take my kids to school every day.
Or that I’ve now got to rely on someone to help me get both my children to school because I can’t physically do it myself – unless I happen upon a time machine between now and the start of term.
They don’t care how amazingly well he’s done at school up until now because he is confident around the friends he’s made. What an exemplary student he is. Or that he’s desperate to go to that school because of their rugby links.
They don’t care that at 9 there is no way I’m going to let him walk the 2 mile route to the school they’ve offered that takes in main roads and a busy town centre. And that during the winter that would mean negotiating quiet alleyways and that same busy town centre in the dark, because there is no bus that takes in that route.
None of that matters.
We’re just another number to them. Another statistic. They have found us a place and have done their job.
It’s a fabulous school, no two ways about it. But it’s not the one he wants. And it’s in the opposite direction to the school his younger sister is at.
It’s going to be a challenging time for us all.
He’ll be fine. He’ll made new friends, have new adventures and find new horizons. He’s that kind of kid.
But right now I feel utterly devastated for him.
Right now, we’re dealing with the anxiety, the uncertainty, the upset, the fear. The tears. Lots of tears. The questioning, the ‘why is it so unfairs’. The silences.
And as a mother, it’s really difficult to experience.
Dan’s school report as he’s reached the end of Year 4 is exemplary – I cried when I read it.
A in every subject for effort. He tries so bloody hard.
A in all but one subject for achievement. He got a B in a subject that “is just about talking about your feelings and I’m not keen on doing that in class”.
He’s a great kid.
And he’ll be absolutely fine.
But right now, it’s heartbreaking.