Are we mad?

8 Feb

Our children go to the kind of school that’s held up as a shining example of all that is right with state primary education.  They build dens, dress up when writing to ‘get in character’, eat healthy homemade food, turn classrooms into campervans and ‘travel’ around Australia, have winning sports teams and get visits from circus performers and the Royal Shakespeare Company.  All this and they also pass their exams.

As you might expect from such a beacon of educational wonderfullness, competition for places is fierce.  Despite taking on 90 children a year, the catchment area stretches less than half a km and about half of places are taken by siblings.

So when we started talking about our trip, we decided that we’d only do it if we were able to keep the children’s school places.  We’d be mad otherwise, right?  Hmmm.

About two years ago, we wrote to the Head of the Infant School asking her what she thought about our idea to go travelling.  She sent us a lovely letter in reply, enthusing about the great opportunity it would be for our children, but dealing a killer blow.  The school isn’t allowed to keep our places open, the council automatically gives them away after six weeks.

For months, we tried to think of ways around it by trimming our plans to fit.  But it just didn’t feel right.  I was already in mourning for the trip that we weren’t going to have.  After talking and talking and talking, we decided to go ahead anyway and keep our fingers crossed that we’ll get places on our return.

Yesterday we wrote to the headteachers informing them that we’d bought our tickets and would be leaving.  Gulp.  Are we mad?


7 Responses to “Are we mad?”

  1. Little Brown Bird 08/02/2010 at 12:41 pm #

    Nah….go for it. If it’s meant to be the places will be available when you you get back.

    And imagine how enriched your lives will be.

    LBB x

  2. Crystal Jigsaw 08/02/2010 at 12:42 pm #

    It’s a chance of a lifetime right? A chance to give your children something more. I’ve never been travelling so can’t really say. But you’re not mad, you’re adventurous and living your life to the full.

    Enjoy it.
    CJ xx

  3. Brit In Bosnia 08/02/2010 at 2:05 pm #

    Probably, but it is amazing how often it all ends up fine in the end. You’ll always yearn and wonder if you don’t go. So you should.

  4. yummymummyno1 08/02/2010 at 5:56 pm #

    I do understand the factor but you’re not mad! You are brave and what an adventure and amazing thing for your little ones to experience!

  5. amy 08/02/2010 at 6:04 pm #

    wow what an opportunity!! i hope you enjoy travelling and i hope you have your places when you come back xxx

  6. Freia 08/02/2010 at 8:17 pm #

    Not mad at all. Also, although the school is oversubscribed, that doesn’t mean the individual places will get filled as parents tend not to move school once their kids are happy and sorted elsewhere. The school you described sounds like many primary schools these days- the only results you have to worry about are your children’s.

  7. Tanya 10/02/2010 at 6:49 am #

    the world makes a much better school than the inside of a classroom 😉

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