Eight years ago I began the secondary transfer process for my eldest daughter. It seemed obvious to me that she should proceed from our local primary school to our local secondary school. I didn't consider it necessary to look at any other schools; being part of our local community carried greater weight for me than any misleading information given on league tables. In September 2002 my daughter started at Queens Park Community School in Brent.
My instinct was right. My daughter is now on a gap year, having achieved consistently good exam results. But exam results are only part of the story. Education is about so much more. My daughter has gained so much from staying in her local area. She has attended a school that reflects the diverse area that we live in. The strong friendship group from her primary years has continued. She has been nurtured by a group of teachers who care about her, and not just her academic achievement.
I have three other children. Two of them are flourishing at QPCS. My youngest child is in year six, and so I am now filling out my last ever secondary transfer form. I will only be putting down one school.