Friday, July 11, 2008

Education, education, education

It's the time of year for much parental hand-wringing and anxiety about which schools their offspring should go to. This week involved two visits to school open days, which actually proved to be quite interesting.

To clarify, I ought to mention that Lancaster is one of the last bastions of grammar schools. Until I came here, I hadn't seen one since 1973 when Gene Hunt was on the streets on Manchester and James Blunt was in a club with someone. Now as an old leftie, ideologically I don't believe in grammar schools, but that's the system we are stuck with.

The only alternative to the 11+ lottery is to go down the Church of England High School route. In Lancaster we have an excellent C of E High School, Ripley St Thomas, which seems a bit of a cheat when as a clerge, you know you'll get your child in.

First time round, son was clear he wanted Ripley, and that is where he is and he thrives. This time round, we thought we ought to see the Girls Grammar as well, so that's been two evenings this week.

I have to say both schools presented themselves well, but the C of E High School just seemed more engaging and lively.Looks like the choice is made for Ellie, but I am very aware of the people who were sitting round me, especially those who wouldn't have enough churchgoing points to guarantee a place. Not an easy time for many I fear.
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Emma said...

I agree with neither system, grammar schools or church schools whose admissions policies favour churchgoers. I'm all for going to the nearest school. But then I don't have children, and I'm sure that when I do my outlook might well be quite different. Besides which, if I'm still in teaching when I do have kids they'll probably go to the school that I teach at!

Mike Peatman said...

No. I don't really believe in the Church selection thing either, but I guess it's an accident of history.