On finally, FINALLY getting into our school of choice

mia schoolingUp until 7am this morning, school choices for us have been a hugely stressful issue.
Our first foray into schooling seven years ago saw Dan refused all three of his first choice places for first school. All three.
We were the victim of hugely oversubscribed schools – even though our first choice was our catchment school and we could walk there in 5 minutes. AND we live in a fairly quiet town, not a bustling city.
He was then refused a place at his middle school of choice at the age of 9, the one actually attached to the first school he ended up at.
School choice felt like a million miles away for us.

Until that day when you are responsible for your little one’s education; where they will go, the friends they will make, the environment they will spent most of their week at, you cannot possibly realise how crushing it is to be refused the place you’ve hoped for.
To be sat there waiting for that email to come into your inbox, all your hopes and dreams for their future resting on one solitary sentence: ‘Your child has been offered a place at XXXXXXX School’.

I cried when all this happened to Dan I don’t mind admitting. First school wasn’t quite so bad because he had no idea what lay before him, just that he was going to school and would make new friends. I just wanted him to be able to walk to school and his friends live where we live.
But at the age of 9 when the middle school places were offered, when his face crumpled because he would have to go to a school where he knew no one and none of his friends were going, we had night after night of ‘I’m worried’ and tears and quiet moments to himself when I knew he was fretting about it.
I would take myself off in the car and cry and rage at the world and get angry and then cry some more.
Then I would come home, go to his room and hug him and tell him all would be OK because we would get through it together and I would make sure all was good.

Today all that changed as an email popped into my inbox at 2.50am to say Mia has been offered a place at the middle school of her choice.
I could actually cry. Again. Actually cry. It’s like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I can finally relax and not think about appeals (I’ve been down that road before) and how to tell her she won’t be able to walk to school with her friends or that we’ll have to try to find somewhere else she likes.

We went through all of this with Dan and it was so so stressful. I felt like I had failed as a parent and I know it sounds melodramatic and over the top but, like I said, until you’ve been there don’t scoff.
I was having to take my kids to two different schools which were miles apart and every day one of them was late and there was nothing I could do about it.
As it is, we took control of Dan’s eduction ourselves last year and he’s blissfully happy now and flying. Which is all any parent wants; to send their child to an environment where they can flourish.

So in September Mia will get to walk to school with her friends and her mum will most probably have yet another tear in her eye, but this time it will be a tear of happiness as my girl gets to move on to the next stage of her life.

mia at school

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12 Responses to On finally, FINALLY getting into our school of choice

  1. LauraCYMFT says:

    That’s fab news Tara! I’m feeling joy and sadness for parents all over twitter this morning and feeling relieved that we don’t have any of this to worry about until high school.
    LauraCYMFT recently posted…A Fun Afternoon with Crafty CooksMy Profile

  2. Iota says:

    Good news.

    I’ve had spells where one or other child isn’t happy at school, but usually very short-lived and not too serious. But it’s absolutely horrible and very hard to live through, so yes, I hear you. At one point, I was having to take my son, aged 6, and leave him standing in the playground, alone and miserable, because if I lingered, or went into school with him, he would cry and it would be much worse. It dominated my day completely – so yes, don’t scoff till you’ve been through it. Hurrah for Mia getting a place where she wants to be, and I hope it works out wonderfully.

    By the way, what on earth were they doing emailing at 2.50am (or did you mean pm?) I’m asking not to be annoying and pedantic, but because I do believe that somehow someone in the Council might arrange it so that emails go out in the small hours, so that parents can’t immediately get on the phone, or for some other ulterior motive.
    Iota recently posted…How to be a successful working motherMy Profile

  3. I can totally understand and I’m so so pleased that finally you don’t have this hanging over you – the over subscription problem is just horrible, and I don’t think those in positions of power realise just how caustic it is to have to live with the fall out from a lack of planning for school places
    Muddling Along recently posted…Have you started to talk to your children about money?My Profile

  4. Susan Mann says:

    That’s great news x


    Aww congrats hun – its so nerve racking! I bet a weight has been lifted from your shoulders! x

  6. Such a relief! It’s incredible that you’ve been giving the wrong school so many times before. We’ve always got the school we wanted, but I know I would have felt just the same as you if we hadn’t. So glad Mia will get to go to school with her friends.
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted…Silent Sunday 19.4.15My Profile

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