I think that there is only one major factor in how much choice you have over what school your child attends…Money.

Either you have money to pay for them to go to a private school, or you have money to be able to choose where you live.

I have been reading with interest the trials that Emily @myshitty20s has been having over her wanting to maybe move from where her and her little boy live to allow him to change schools and area but it not being a reality due to finances.  Emily  like me is a single Mum who doesn’t share parenting of her little boy either.

There are many single parents in this situation, where there is only one income, and often only a very small part time one as there are not enough hours in the day/week/month to allow for more work.  I know the work/life/money ratio thing is universal though at the moment and it is not just single parent households that are struggling.

So does this equation of schools mean that us ‘poorer’ folk lose any choice in the schools our children will go to, as we live in the areas that are cheapest, meaning that usually they are the less sort after schools, so our children are destined for the crap end of the education system?

Up until yesterday I was decided that I was not going to get into a fight over what school Ben attended, as was it worth setting your heart on a certain school and not getting it and then always feeling like he was destined to fail as he was at the rubbish school?  But is it that simple?

Does a poorer area mean a worse school?  Why do we want our children to go to the best school?  Does it mean they will be more intellegent, work harder, safer, more polite. Or for me the most important thing, will a better school make my child happier?

I went to a private school from 5 – 16, a lot of money was spent on my education, and well sadly there was this little issue that meant that regardless of how much money was spent I would always be limited.  Dyslexia.

Of course during my school years I was never actually labelled as this, I wasn’t tested as you were just ‘slow at reading’ ‘not trying hard enough with spelling’ ‘just not that bright’ but it does make me smile thinking that yes my parents were doing what they thought best, but did an expensive eduction make any difference to me now?

The fact I went to a school 10 miles away from where we lived was pretty rubbish as I had no friends near where I lived, I do feel like I missed out with this.  One big bonus was the school was very multi-cultural way before the general area was, so I did have a very positive schooling in that way.

So what to do now for Ben who will be going to school in September 2012, do I just find the closest and go with it? Do I use the skills & resources I have to investigate the schools and pick the best Ofsted report, or find out where has the best faciltieis? Is on a main bus route? We can walk to? Has the cheapest lunches?

How do you choose?

And why should we choose? Is this not making the ‘bad’ school worse as people don’t choose to go there, or the only people that do are people who don’t have the resources to know they can make a choice (even if they don’t get it)

I think I would like Ben to attend a school that has the biggest mixture of types of people, from as many backgrounds as possible.  Does that mean the biggest school then?

So how did you go about it?

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