It is only a few weeks since the new batch of eager (and not so eager) year 7s, my own son included, started at secondary school. Do the schools breathe a sigh of relief and forget all about admissions for a few months? No, they don’t! Because the secondary transfer juggernaut keeps on rolling all year round.
For those of you not familiar with the secondary transfer process, it goes something like this:
- September/ October – open days
- September/ October – application to secondary schools
- March – secondary school offers
- April – July – reconsiderations and appeals
- September – start new schools
And the juggernaut sets off again…
Round here, we have the additional pressure of grammar school tests, with tests taking place early in September and results out in early October, in good time to make a sensible application (there’s no point applying for a grammar school place if you haven’t passed the test).
With the deed done and dusted for this year, I’ve been hit by the scary realisation that THE NEXT GRAMMAR SCHOOL TEST WILL BE MY DAUGHTER’S. How is that even possible? Didn’t she only just start school? So, while the comprehensives are holding open days for the current year 6s, the grammar schools are actually holding them for the year 5s. The kids and parents need to have an idea of which grammar schools they would be interested in before they sit the test. And the only way to do that is to to go open days in year 5.
For my daughter, the prize is, of course, a place at my son’s school. There is also a girl’s grammar I like the look of. Well, I think I do. We’ve got to have a look round on the open day.
There’s another girls’ grammar school a bit further away (and crucially without a bus from our area). I’d always said my kids wouldn’t travel that far to school and if they couldn’t get into the grammar schools closer to home they could go to the comprehensive with their brother. I already have way too much pressure in my life – driving my daughter 10 miles or more to school and back every day, whilst also juggling her brothers and work is just too much.
But then my husband threw the ‘what if’ at me. What if she only got allocated a crap comprehensive (ie not her brother’s)? What if she ended up there just because I couldn’t be bothered to drive her to school?
Regular readers will know that I wake up early every day worrying about something. There’s no prizes for guessing what I woke up worrying about that day.
So we WILL be going to the open day for the too-far-away-grammar-school and I will be keeping my fingers firmly crossed that she does well enough in the test to go to one a bit closer to home.