Innercitywoman's Blog

  • 10:36:10 pm on November 3, 2009 | 2
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    Don’t get me wrong, I am dead impressed that Pearl Lowe and her drummer husband Danny Goffey have opted for state education for their son Alfie.  It shows humility, proves they are down to earth and they haven’t lost the plot in this fame game.

    However, they lived in Hampstead at the time, so lets be honest guys,  they’re hardly going to face the same issues of parents who are from less desirable areas and still wanting the best for their kids are they? I’ve nothing against Hampsteadites, I have some lovely friends who live there.  It’s not representative of the country on a whole however.

    Today it was revealed that the government is thinking of upping the ante by imposing steeper sanctions, such as fines, to  those parents who are caught lying in order to get their kids into a decent school. It’s like a double edged sword isn’t it?  Tell the truth, send him to a failing school and then stress yourself out everyday thereafter.  Or, Lie and risk a criminal record.

    Last week,  deputy head Nigel Duncan, was caught out falsifying paperwork to get his kids into a decent secondary school.

    However, the government feels that just removing the kids from the school alone is not enough of a deterrent for other passionate parents thinking of doing the same.

    My View:

    Indeed, lying is not cool and certainly not a cool value to be passing onto your child.  I just kind of feel that the point is being missed here.

    I would like to meet however, the Mum or Dad who doesn’t give a hoot about what school their kid goes to.

    Due to financial difficulties, I had to move my child from a private school into the state system.  We were lucky because my son was transferring at year 4.  This meant there was more chance of a decent school having a place available.  Moreover, there is less people looking for a place at this time and more people moving homes which helped things.

    It still took a lot of work however… many man hours to find that decent school.  I  was simply not prepared to send my son to a school where the ofstead results was less than a 2,  which equates to an overall standard of ‘good’.  In fact, if I’m going to be honest, my groove would of been up in the air had I been unable to get him into a a  school that was not a’ one’, outstanding – which is the highest accolade.

    Okay, so ultimately I got him into what is  a ‘one’ outstanding school.  It’s a lovely school, the kids are great and the parents are lovely.  My son comes home happy every day. It’s definitely a more creative way of  learning.

    However, there is a huge, huge, huge difference in the level of the work being taught. It is at the very least, one year behind the Private system, yet its the kids from the Private system that my little un will be up against when applying for grammar school places.

    I dread to think of the levels being taught in a school with an ofstead score of  four or even five for that matter.

    The fact that parents are being forced to lie to get their kids a decent education and to get best for their kids, is tragic.  To have to lie so as not to have to settle for second best is a crime.  Indeed, to have to pretend to be church a goer when your not to get into the school of your choice,  should surely make the government stop and think about the failing schools parents are trying to avoid – by whatever means necessary!

    Furthermore, why should I  have to resort to putting my child into a failing school because it’s on my doorstep, is what’s available and because I don’t live in Hampstead?

    So the question is, would I lie to get my son into a decent school if I couldn’t afford to live in an area such as Hampstead?  Or, would I  risk sending him to a failing school if that was the only option  available to me – putting at risk both my son’s and my own emotional health for one and him reaching his full potential, as the other?  The sheer stress just thinking about it causes me is indescribable.

    So,  if the truth be known, I would either keep him at home or lie.





  • Metropolitan Mum 11:49 am on January 12, 2010 | # | Reply

    That’s a tricky one. Would I lie? I don’t think so, as I hope I’d rather move, sell my car or beg for another mortgage to fund alternative education, if we wouldn’t get the place in the desired school. I understand that you (the general you, not the personal you) are tempted when these options aren’t available. I’d be quick to judge when people who have these options lie. They are just snapping up places from those who are less privileged. I know people who ‘borrowed’ a friend’s address to get their kids into a school outside their catchment area. Disgusting!

    • Ingrid 1:56 pm on January 12, 2010 | # | Reply

      Hi Metropolitan Mum,

      Thanks so much for your feedback. I must say, the whole school one is so incredibly difficult. I was made redundant and had to move my son from a private school into a state school. I live in a nice area in West Dulwich, so my area wasn’t really even the issue, yet I still had to move my child three times in THREE Months because naturally all the good ones were full even though I was in the catchment area.

      The state schools were a nightmare in comparison to the state primary education I had when I was younger. The lessons are replaced with dealing with PC issues, fights in the playground, swearing and really basic work with little or no provision of more advanced children. It’s like having to choose between wanting to your son to be a Doctor or a Thug.

      Fortunately, his Dad and Grandmother are practising Catholics (I was christened one although not practising at the time), which ultimately meant I could get him a place in a really good catholic school.

      Is that fair however for non Catholics for example, to have to settle for what I was running away from? It is a lie too, to pretend your a Catholic or Church goer to get into the school of your choice when your not. It is a nightmare situation because like you said, they are stealing places from those who are more qualified for them. You’ll probably find though the less privilege loose out because they generally don’t live in decent areas hence next to failing schools and these are not the schools that people are lying to get into. They generally live in council homes so can’t just move. So what are the options available to those parents who want better for their kids than the life currently available to them.

      Two wrongs don’t make a right I know. Our schools have gone to pot which is why I feel this is more of the issue.

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