Monday, 14 January 2008

On the scrapheap, aged eight

I've not been happy with Alice's progress at school. I've written about it before. Her current school is statistically very good, the ideal village school. The trouble with statistics is that you have individual "blips", and unfortunately Alice appears to be one of those blips. Her current teacher left us under no illusion that Alice was there to make up the numbers, and not a whole lot more.

It was a very difficult call, I'm not sure I support private education, not least because I have paid for one education already, I don't particularly want to pay through the nose for a second. Also, surely a state-provided education should be good enough? But, when it comes to your own? At the end of the day, there's only one chance with an education - there's not much point saying "oops, got it wrong", because at the age of eighteen she's basically got zero prospects for the life ahead.

So, having got over the psychological hurdles, we set about looking for a private school for Alice to attend, one with smaller classes and hopefully better teachers, and just before christmas went to visit a school which appeared ideal. All very friendly, good facilities, they didn't even seem to have a problem when I described Alice's limited academic ability. So we set Alice up to have a Taster Day there, hoping against all hope that - albeit at significant cost - we might be able to turn the corner with Alice.

The Taster Day was Friday, and speaking to Alice it seemed like it had gone well. However, not so from the school's perspective, as Jacqueline got a call this morning saying that the school thought she was just too behind to be able to fit in. Clearly despite their overtones they do care about abilities, and spotted Alice as a poor statistic and therefore a liability. And they're obviously sufficiently well-funded to turn away poor prospects.

So, basically, where does that leave us? Sadly, the state education she is getting is leading her nowhere. And I can't even dip into my pocket and buy her something better - why should any other prep school take any different an attitude?

What the fuck do we do?

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