So, some of you more regulars here may note that I use this blog for a variety of things, but often for working out stuff in my head, whether that be work things, or sometimes more personal. So don’t read this if you hate the personal stuff.
I know for sure that I will get bashed a bit for sending my children to private school. They didn’t always, it was only when I moved to Guildford and could not get them both into the same State school that the local private village school seemed a nice and not too pricey alternative, I had made some savings on my move out of London and I was working all the hours God sends.
The problem with a lovely, not exclusively expensive junior school, is that then it gets you into the not so nice and cosy private senior school, that costs an eye-watering amount of money – but you feel compelled to make that happen, somehow, in order for your child to have the best education – because what could be any more important?
So I have spent the last year scrabbling and stumbling my way through paying fees that I simply couldn’t realistically carry on paying, unless I ditched all morality or suddenly became a millionaire – something that I had always hoped would wonderfully happen one day (the millionaire thing not the morality ditching).
Truth be told, I was never completely sure what exactly I was paying for anyway, as we never really did fit in a grand private senior school and our lifestyle and values were sometimes in direct contrast with those of the school. But yes, you could say this is all very well in hindsight.
Anyhow. The savings stashes and ebay-able items eventually ran out and I had to throw myself on the mercy of the school, to hold on to my eldest for the next term – or until I could find her a place at a local school that would also work for my youngest – who enjoys a multi-coloured variety of educational variant needs – for when she ascends into the dizzy heights of senior school.
Today I find out that said educational business – and I was reminded that it was a business (fair enough – although they give themselves a charitable status officially!) won’t actually fathom having her there without the fees for any period of time, and so it was goodbye and good luck. I left the bursar’s office with advice ringing in my ears such as: ‘Use this to your benefit, cry to the Council to get her into a school’.
And so I have a week to find a school that my daughter can go to – much to her utter delight, I have to say (with some relief).
I am writing this as I am experiencing a myriad of confusing emotions:
- relief that I no longer have to fear the beginning of every term and the massive bill
- relief that I no longer have to send my child to a school where she feels ill-at-ease socially
- horror that my dastardly decisions have got us to this point
- disappointment that I can’t make a choice about any education in the land for my lovely daughters
- fear that I may have no option about what school she goes to now
- fear for her future – she has had to go to a total of seven schools because I have moved so much – can she cope
- social horror at my own attitude – wishing I could relax about this
- disappointment that was not the perfect Mum – gifting my offspring with security and stability at school and home
And so, I suppose, whilst I work through these things (helped along by the skipping joy of my eldest) I would say one thing to any young parents out there thinking they would ever one day be in my position: choose the safe option with education, go for the security and stability. Be as playful as you like with your own lives and living, but make sure your children get the good stuff, regular friends and regular education.
Playing the rags and riches thing with education will really do your head in – even if it is not necessarily as big a deal as we think.
Right… go ahead with the mauling *hides*