I was a cookie cutter kid and I just drifted through school the top end of average at all but English where I was strangely significantly below average. Or as I reflect now plain lazy and a slow writer. I had the wherewithal to manage the usual issues at comprehensive and was socially able enough to not be bullied or ostracised. The world of education has changed since the early 80’s. My parents were more than pleased that I didn’t follow in my brother’s footsteps. He had a flamboyant and quite remarkable distain for the requirements of the schooling system and infamously skipped one of his final exams to go and see the Rolling Stones. By comparison I was probably just white noise to most of my teachers, neither ‘nowt nor summat’.
This is not going to be the case for Flossy. She is many things but she is not white noise in a school environment especially a comprehensive school she definitely a Rolling Stones kind of pupil.
In relation to Flossy’s education my attitude stinks. She can get her GCSE’s anytime between now and the end of her life. But she only gets one pass at adolescence. She’s going into year 6 in September and that gives us a year to find a ‘safe’ comprehensive. Mrs C and I decided in May that Mrs C that we were going to give no consideration to the looming issue of school til we’d moved house. As we know you should never open a European land war on two fronts.
So, we’ve moved house and now is the time to start to think about the future schooling shenanigans. We want a safe place, Flossy needs a safe place. On a most fundamental level what can she learn in a scary place? Her feeder comprehensive, or Stalag Luft VII as I affectionately renamed it, is exclusively for ‘cookie cutter kids’* or so Ofsted concludes. Our preferred choice, a Catholic school Sarah and Gracie went to, is unfortunately in a ‘no go’ area for a range of reasons geographic/family reasons. So, we are plotting and scheming, consulting a range of professionals and casting our net further afield to locate more nurturing and sympathetic environment. We get ones pass at this and the increasingly punitive education system, or so it seems, needs to be negotiated with the least trauma possible for Flossy. We’ll travel if we have to and we’ll go where we have to and do what ever we have to do.
What do I aspire to for six years from now? To be the father of a child that feels included and welcome in society rather than excluded and alienated. Doesn’t seem like much but I’m taking nothing for granted.
*Clearly there’s no such thing.