Second Grade Secondary Schools

As parents of children about to start secondary  school, today is the day you have been waiting for to see if your child has secured his/her first choice place.

In recent conversations with parents, securing schools is as stressful as moving or planning a wedding! Parents put everything they can into getting their child into the school of their choice. Some, who can afford to, buy houses close by or rent properties in catchment areas. Others gamble on the lottery system of getting their child into their first choice school.

1 in 6 children miss out on their secondary school first choice according to the Guardian.  Lucky for those who get in, but for those who don’t the painstaking appeal process takes place.

As a parent whose child will go through this process in years to come I find it quite frightening that our local schools may not be good enough and our children are competing for spaces at such a young age. Or is this just setting them up for life where they have to compete for everything?

We all want the best for our children and the fact that we have the choice of where can send our children is amazing. In Finland, you have to go to your local school. But in Finland, your local school is excellent. If our local schools were all excellent, then I do feel more parents would opt to send their children to their local catchment school.

Your views and experiences on secondary school placements would really be valuable and helpful for other parents.


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2 Comments to “Second Grade Secondary Schools”

  1. Although I agree with some of your views above – I have to bring something else into the mix – is it not the parents who create all this in the first place. If they did not move about, fake addresses, use other family members addresses to get their child into their “preferred” choice of school – then the local children would have access to their decent local schools.
    I have two children and I made sure that they went to the local village state school because that is how a community is made and developed.
    Local schools regardless of age groups accommodated are given a bad press by whom – people who’s children do not even attend that school – Ofsted, they come into the school and look at the provisioning on one or two days they then prepare a report on the school based on what they see.
    The best way to determine whether or not the school is right for your child is to go and visit it at a couple of different times, then attend the open days, then speak to the parents whose children already attend the school – not the ones at the open day but others randomly in the playground, school gates, school car park etc. That is when you will get a true idea of the school and the teaching and learning.
    As parents of the next generation we need to be able to make informed choices – but to use the truest form of information we can to make these choices. Remember this, if your child is academic then they will work no matter where you send them and if your child is less able then don’t blame the school!

    • Thank you Bhabiji,

      I feel strongly about community development and agree that if parents would contribute to their local schools and help them continuously develop then we would have stronger communities and not this fight for limited places.


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