Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Not very appealing

So. Big talks last night. What should we do? (apart from cry and drink wine.)
I've been looking into the appeal system. I thought it would just be a case of having to write a letter saying, Look, this is going to be really impractical and all the rest of it, and then some independent bod saying, you're right, okay, of course your children can go to the same school. But no. Actually you have to go through a formal tribunal where there's a panel of 3 adjudicators and first of all the LA/school present a case as to why they don't want your child to go to their school (the fools! she's lovely! Just let her in, for crying out loud!) and then we would have to present our case for why we think she should get a place there. So that all sounds very scary and official. Not very appealing at all. Grrrreat.

Obviously we are not letting slip to the kids that there's anything wrong at all (so if you're reading this and you know me and you know my kids, then please ssssshhhh! keep it to yourself). We are pretending that everything's going to be great and they won't be able to start school until September now after all because...well, we can't get the new uniform in time, but not to worry, you get an extra-long summer holiday, aren't you lucky?? Ooh, let's go to Legoland before the school holidays start, eh?!
I hate lying about it though, it makes me feel sick inside but I don't think there's any point telling them the facts right now. I think my daughter's head might spin off with worry.

Having said all that, I am oddly comforted by my choice of reading at the moment - my classic novel for the month is A Farewell to Arms by Hemingway. It's brilliant - and a stark reminder of how much worse life could be - I could be an ambulance driver on the frontline in Italy in the First World War, after all...

Someone else who's having a nightmare is the lovely author Milly Johnson, who also has a battle on her hands. You can read all about what she's going through here. She's single-handedly taking on a giant corporation, so if you know anything about industrial tribunals or are able to offer any support or advice, she would really appreciate it. Cheers.


Jane Henry said...

Just keep telling yourself. All will be well. Things happen for a reason. It WILL work out somehow. The other alternative is: you could home school till they are both in the same school....

Nah, I wouldn't go for that option either!

I know it's different to the shenagigans I had with my eldest a few months ago, but I do sympathise. You just so much want to get it right for them. I think sometimes you have to say, I did my best, and I did it with love. That's all that matters really.

As a wise friend of mine says, are you a good enough parent?

Lucy, I'm sure you are.

Drunk Mummy said...

Hello Lucy - didn't know you were back. I thought you had gone for the summer!
What a nightmare you seem to be in at the moment, but you know it will pass and that eventually things will sort themselves out. That's why I'm 100% behind you not telling the kids. I am the same with mine - they fret so much that its just not worth explaining the nuances to them. I just let them know the final story, and do the in-between fretting on my own (or in the company of a trusty wine bottle!)
Keep your chin up - a bottle of prosecco always does it for me!

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Ouch. Sounds grim. Although I get the impression from friends' experiences that if you're sufficiently articulate and adamant, you're very likely to win an appeal. Best of luck.

Am doing my semi-official rounds of the novel racers today (delayed by teeth-gnashingly frustrating computer problems over the last few days). Thanks for helping to get it all going, it's a great group!

Kate.Kingsley said...

Sorry to hear that you're no further forward with this Lucy ~ I am keeping fingers crossed for you though! Petty beaurocrats ~ one more lovely little girl isn't going to burst the classroom at the seams, surely?

Best of luck
Kate K

bootsie said...

sorry to hear about this- if it's any consolation about 20 kids appealed at my very popular school and i think almost all got in. Good luck!

Lucy Diamond said...

Thanks all of you, it's great to get your messages of support.

Jane - I did briefly consider home schooling - for about five seconds - but I think there would be a nuclear meltdown... Sociable eldest daughter would hate me for it!

Drunk Mummy - Hello! You're right, I did (rather dramatically) say goodbye for the summer but... well, a woman can change her mind, especially if she's got a chance to whinge on to the surfing population... ! Prosecco sounds good. I shall stock up immediately!

Zinnia - thanks. I can do articulate and adamant (would also have *done* Adam Ant back in the 80s but that's another story...) Cheers!

Kate - you're absolutely right - my lovely girl would be an addition to any class in this country. I thought everyone knew that?!

Hello Bootsie and thanks - that's very encouraging.

Must take a few deep breaths and start fighting!

JJ said...

I don't know if it's the same in Bath, but where I lived in the UK a whole host of sibling kids didn't get into our school, and their appeals were basically a formality. They were turned down initially because places weren't available but they (the local ed auth? Or School? Or Dioscese - I'm not sure) believed that siblings must go to the same school, so let all 6 or 7 families in on appeal.

Whatever you decide to do, I am sending lots of luck and hope that you feel happy about it.

Lucy Diamond said...

Oooh - that's encouraging. Thanks JJ. I am feeling more positive about this by the minute!