Many Parents will have woke up school placement morning with extreme anxiety. I was no exception I felt sick with worry as I would find out what school my son had been given. I was worried that my youngest son would end up in a school where he knew no one and would be deeply unhappy.
I suppose I was one of the lucky ones when it came to school placement in our area! We were given his first choice, but it wasn’t ideal because if i am honest I would have wanted something much different. Ideally we would live in a leafy picturesque village with a small school that was filled with the best teachers and in the Ofsted report was achieving excellent in every single subject and school criteria.
We do not unfortunately, live in a place in which I dream of, where all children get along, bullying doesn’t exist and my son comes home each day, so happy and loves the idea of going to school.
So on school placement morning, no school in my area would live up to what I believe my son deserves. I wasn’t deliriously happy when I opened up the email (some will get letters) telling me the fate of my son for the rest of his school years at High School.
I know some parents will have moved areas, lied on their applications, and practically drawn blood to try and get their children into their first or even second choice of schools.
I really feel for those parents who will have woke up on school placement morning to be left disheartened and distraught by simply opening an email or a letter in the post. It’s not a great feeling! I can imagine.
The sheer thought of the fight to appeal against an education system that sees your child as a reference number rather than a scared and disappointed child will be top of the parents agenda. Questions & thoughts will be running through your mind like!
- Why didn’t they listen to me?
- My Child isn’t going to that School!
- My child will be on their own, they don’t know anyone!
- Can I appeal?
- Who do I appeal to?
Where to Appeal your child’s School Placement UK
Some parents have no idea where to begin looking to challenge a decision or appeal against the decision to send their child to an unwanted school placement. For the record you can actually find out the information here and contact your local council. Stick to your guns and try! It’s not easy getting a School placement decision overturned but you could at least keep appealing because you never know your luck.
The demographics of the UK are changing and communities are growing fast. I am sure Schools would love to take everyone in but it is not that simple anymore. Some parents didn’t get any of their 3 chosen primary schools and from reading the media it doesn’t seem like it’s going to get much better.
What I feared as a parent on school placement day
I think my fear was for more selfish reasons. I just don’t want my baby going to the big bad world of High school. No more primary school life, weekly assemblies and wearing pumps. Instead of he will have to carry his own bags around a much larger school and I feared he would get lost. No matter if it’s primary or high school the thoughts and concerns we have as parents are pretty much the same. I remember having the same or at least similar thoughts when he was starting school from nursery. I just can’t imagine how he will be alone unchaperoned by a teacher with children and young adults up to the age of 18 years old.
Other thoughts that run through my mind as a parent are:
- Will my child get bullied?
- Will my child make friends at his new school?
In my ideal world he would study from home staying safe from harm and cruel words. I know this has happened to him in the past at Primary School, so I am always a little on guard! I then ask the question would this make him happy?
Maybe at first he would lavish the idea of no mainstream school and having the luxury of staying at home, but if I am honest I don’t think this would help him at all. I want my child to make friends and learn to socialise with other students preparing him for the world that awaits him when he finally leaves to get a job or go to university. It wouldn’t be too long before he missed the interaction with other youngsters his own age.
Coping Mechanisms for School Placement
I have learned that it is actually down to me to learn the skills and coping mechanisms to have my primary school child take the giant leap into secondary school. As a parent we are there to help and support our children through tough times. I know everything in my body is telling me let him go, but that doesn’t make things any easier at all.
I know I will have to put a big brave smile on my face the first time I see him in his new school uniform. I will also be emotional to say the least on his first day. I will more than likely as a parent break down when he leaves me at the school gates and feel I have failed him for not finding a better school, one that will suit his needs. I know I will stay strong like you will and keep him afloat when he gets home for however long it takes for us both to get used to a new way of School life.
On top of finding all of this information out about your School placement. You then have to worry about their Sats and GCSE exams. Oh, my goodness no one ever told us as parents that it would be as hard as this! I have done all of this once with my eldest son, who is leaving the same school my youngest has now got a school placement with. He is actually starting college and oh boy! My melt down may start a little sooner.
I hope any parents reading this will have breathed a sigh of relief when they opened their child’s School placements e-mail or letter. Good luck and I hope everything seriously goes well.
Your turn! I would love to hear what your thoughts and feelings are as a parent worrying about this subject. Maybe you have some tips and advice for others in a similar position.