Choosing a School – My Difficult Experience

The 15th January was the closing date for primary school applications in England. This should have been a relatively easy decision for us, but It surprised us by being more difficult than we imagined. 
We got the letter about applying in October and found out what our priority school was. As we sit between two primary schools, we hadn’t been 100% sure which one was our closest but had the right inkling. Not that, that really mattered, as we are lucky to have an abundance of great primary schools in North Leeds. 

November 17th 2016 was the day the problem of choice occurred. Our two closest primary schools had decided, very handily, to have their open days on the same day and we decided to see a third nearby school in the afternoon. 

In preparation, we noted down things that we wanted to know – bullying policy, religious views, after school clubs etc., looked at their website and had a rough idea in our heads what we though about each one. 

That date will now be remembered as the day that the confusion began. All three schools were good, in their own way. We had hoped that at least one (and the one that we thought) would drop off our list or at least drop to a lower priority school to us but no, the one we planned not to like, threw a curve ball at us. 

Here began two months of umming and erring, what if we do this, what about that, pros and cons. Hubby worrying more than me – he’s a natural born worrier. I probably buried my head in the sand for a bit as 15th January seemed ages away. 

The biggest issue, was, that one was a religious school. My husband, isn’t a big fan of religious schools but like me, liked this school and it’s head teacher more than we had expected. How Much did we want her to go here and how much does going to a school the same religion as her really matter. There is no real right or wrong answer to this, just an opinion that you believe in.

Sensibility, finally helped us to come to a decision. A lack of after school facilities, and no retired family member able to collect her 3 afternoons a week consistently (after much discussion), meant that we had the decision made for us in the end really. We couldn’t find a local childminder either, who Take and pick up from the school, with space. Our first choice is our local priority school, that we can walk to, that has good SATS results, is Ofsted Outstanding, people say good things about it and has before and after school club facilities. Not a bad choice at all really. 

Am I completely happy. No. Is this irrational. Yes. Will it be the right choice for my daughter. I’m absolutely sure that it will be. 

Roll on 18th April, to see where she has been allocated to.