We all want our children in the best schools.
Many of us look to the league tables or results tables to guide us in making this decision – and then we conclude that the schools with the best academic results are the ones to go for.
More often than not, these schools tend to be selective and require very high grades in the exams that applicants are required to sit before they can be considered for a place. This ignites a scramble for exam preparation books, lessons with tutors, and a highly regimented study regime to cover all the topics required in good time.
Some children adapt to this very well. They enjoy studying. The reading and writing ignites a desire for more learning – so it’s all a breeze!
For many others, it requires a lot more effort. They struggle to get through the 2-hour stint at the tutor’s on a Saturday morning. It’s all sums, essays and verbal reasoning tests and they’ve had to cancel football! Plus, they have to carry on with this for two whole years before the exams. Dreary times!!
As parents, we stand proud when our children are offered a place. When they fall we usually experience a sense of failure along with our children. We either blame ourselves or we blame them.
If we are to be objective, the following questions should be raised:
1. Do academic grades sufficiently represent the quality of education?
2. Do all children thrive in these environments?
3. Is the quality of teaching indeed better in selective schools?
4. Why does this mean more to me than my child?
Watch this space over the next four weeks as these questions are tackled in turn…