I attended a school in the London Borough of Hillingdon, Douay Martyrs School.
A school riddled with bad rumours as well as a few bad realities, no more than you would expect at a secondary school, that does not take part in selection/or cherry picking and full up with teenagers.
Like many others who have published articles on this website. I believe that your childhood and your education is not about just reproducing a well trained, well educated human being. But the social skills, the ambition, and the love of learning that makes you wish to pursue your life in which ever way you wish.
On paper I got average GCSE's, average A Levels... but the combination of inspirational teachers and a great mix of friends was priceless when I finally attended a Russell Group University and obtained a 2:1 in Sociology, and a 1st in my dissertation on the Academies Programme and the Marketisation of Education.
I understand parents want the best for their children, and maybe I will feel that way some time. But as a 22 year old who went through State education I believe the difficulties throughout school really do prepare you for your future life (even if it did include working at a post office for one hour a day for £2.00 for extra tuition).
I'm not saying we all should accept the failings that ALL schools can have but to take a leap of faith and work with your local school and the local community, rather than take time and money 'playing the system'. BE POSITIVE, I truly believe it will be the best result for everyone.