For a long time, since she was in year 2 or even earlier, I’ve had a very clear view of which school my daughter would go to – a girls’ grammar school.
The school in question is in another town. From what I can make out, it’s a good school. While some parents undoubtedly choose it for their daughters, for others it is definitely a ‘second best’ for those who don’t get into my son’s grammar school.
Like any good schools, it has those who are willing to knock it. Those who think that a single-sex education is wrong. That it can’t produce well-rounded girls.
If I’m honest, I have no view either way on the rights or wrongs of a single-sex education. But if the last few months of having a son in grammar school and a son in a not-as-good-as-it-used-to-be comprehensive has taught me anything, it’s that I want my daughter to have the best possible education she can get. And if that’s in a girls’ grammar school, so be it.
But with the best will in the world and no matter how much importance I place on my kids’ education, I can’t sign up to 18 mile round mum taxi trips twice a day for the next seven years. Sadly, I have to earn money and I also have to juggle the needs of all of my three children.
A big plus point of this school for me is that it has a bus going from our village.
But in recent months, my mind has started to wander. More and more, I am picturing my daughter at her brother’s grammar school. I know I have to nip that in the bud to prevent disappointment for all of us. Getting into my son’s school isn’t impossible for her, but it’s a long-shot.
And while all of these thoughts had been going through my head, I hadn’t even seen the girls’ grammar school. I really knew nothing about it.
So last week my daughter, my husband and I all visited. And we thought it was fantastic. We were shown round by two delightful, enthusiastic year 7 girls who could talk for Britain and clearly loved the school.
It shares a lot of the values I love from my son’s grammar, but also has more of a focus on individual education and attainment. I could hardly believe I was thinking this, but there were some aspects which I thought might be even better than my son’s school.
I’m pleased to say that the girls’ grammar school isn’t second best, it’s very much an equal to my son’s school. If it wasn’t for the small matter of actually having two kids in the same school at the same time, I could almost choose it over my son’s school.
Now she just has to pass the entrance exam…