All my children have been to the schools closest to where we live - Gospel Oak Primary School, William Ellis and Parliament Hill. People are often shocked when I tell them that we didn't look at ANY others. They have all thrived, achieved well academically ( two have now graduated from university) and benefited from being part of a wide community of local young people, many of who have known each other since they were in nursery. This has given our children a sense of belonging, an understanding of what the real world is like as well as an excellent education.
It hasn't always been easy; two of the schools have been through difficult times but it never crossed our minds to leave. I joined both governing bodies and have made many friends in my neighbourhood as we worked together to make sure those schools improved. The Big Society has been going much longer than David Cameron might care to admit. It is alive and kicking in many local schools, which are already the backbone of their communities and play a crucial role in creating a better, more socially cohesive society.