Rossendale Free Press
Richard iRvine The many schools of thought on choosing Where to educate your child
FIRST TIME DAD OF TWINS
The internet’s happened since I was a four-year-old so it’s not entirely clear how primary school selection worked before the computer.
My mum thinks you simply went to the closest educational establishment on the first day of term and waited for a desk, suggesting selecting a primary school now involves more work than it once did.
The first stumbling block is selecting the top three options. Once you’re done with that, you rank them in order of preference, which leads to the next question of how we accurately assess a school’s suitability for our children.
And the answer is you attend an open day, but you can’t because COVID. Hence you watch videos from the school websites of the headmaster talking, children drawing things and photos of noticeboards to guide your decision.
They’ve done their best in challenging circumstances but it’s difficult to capture the true substance of a place from a video clip.
Once you’re narrowed it down, it’s time to hit the league tables, online reviews and OFSTED reports to find your favourite.
Unfortunately, they can be controversial because it might be a brilliant school in a difficult area, but that isn’t taken into account.
As an example of this, I noticed quite a few top primaries are in well-known wealthy areas, which is either a tremendous coincidence or they have a different clientele with
more money, resources and spare time.
Once we’d got our list, I then discovered the religious connotations to the name mean something, as opposed to it just being a historic thing.
Obviously, we’re happy for the twins to learn about any types of religion, but we didn’t want them not getting into a school on the basis neither Victoria or I have any affiliation and therefore wasting a crucial choice on the form. Something we also had to bear in mind was differing policies towards twins.
‘This one breaks them apart’,
Victoria suddenly shouted.
‘Like the Marines, they do that and build them up as a fighting machine, might not be a bad thing,’ I suggested.
We decided to drive around the school exteriors to form our final decision and let the twins decide. The top spot was handed over to the school with a big bath in the playground and a large climbing frame.
It also happened to be the closest one to us thereby rendering all that agonising over a myriad of choices pointless when we should have just done what my mum did.