Pushy parents shun our local school not because of teaching but because of intake.
Posted: 13 Jul, 2011
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I live in Honiton, a market town in East Devon and our school has recently had a "good, good" in Ofsted, is improving, has academy status and has an excellent head and community links. However, it used to be a secondary modern and suffers from a reputation that "the right sort of people don't send their children there." In order to keep their numbers everyone, including me with a Honiton address has been sent to the school despite the fact that most of us didn't even list it as a choice. Those with resources have appealed and are ferrying their children up to 25 miles each way to avoid going there. It is my belief that the school's reputation is entirely unfounded and after a very successful transition week my son is very happy to be going. However, it is difficult not to feel that I have let him down when everyone I meet is saying that they will move heaven and earth to avoid their child going there, the implication being it's OK for my child but not theirs. The pressure is becoming very difficult although there is nothing I can do. I chose not to appeal because I felt it would be unsuccessful and also unsettling for my son. We cannot afford private and above all he seems positive happy and settled with the decision. Do others feel they have to defend their choice and how to they deal with the barrage of snobbery (the school is in the top 20% of the country for results and rapidly improving, it is a science college and my son is gifted and talented in science so the middle class flight is not based on fact but on perception) and the feeling that by implication if I am prepared to send my child there I come into the category of "not the right sort of person." I am finding it very difficult and feel I have let him down.