So we dressed our best (easy for recently-personal-shopped-sharp-Mr-C, oh sooo tricky for she-who-grew-out-of-her-work-suits-two-babies-ago), and clutching our paperwork off we trotted.
Twasn’t terribly positive…
They got very caught up on NO.1’s CFS, despite us NOT appealing on medical grounds. We got told off for no supporting medical evidence from a doctor (despite being told AGAIN we were not appealing on medical grounds). But did get told that the Chair was a retired Psychiatric nurse and he had grave concerns over the suitability of shipping a child in No.1’s situation 9 miles away from his support base (WHAT ABOUT IGNORING THE MEDICAL GROUNDS?????). They didn’t seem to comment on the whole academic achievement thing at all, which we felt was bad news, and it’s probably a foregone refusal.
But then came Stage 2B – the Playground Commiseration. Two other mums also had their appeals – one today (after us), one Monday. Both were quizzed in detail about their own occupations (?), which was never even touched on for us. One Mum had applied on Denominational grounds – two years ago she joined the village church, got her children to be Servers, made friends with the Vicar, and forced them to attend regularly against their grumbling and muttering… All because she knew it would help with the school application (WHAT??). Anyhoo, she was firmly told that her letter from her vicar really hadn’t helped her case at all, as he had implied she wasn’t really a regular church goer (once or twice a month around cricket practice). Felt a little happy about that, as had been cross they were trying that route to kind of sneak in the back door.
The other parents had tried on the grounds their son is gifted with sport. Got a vague hand wave and a “yes, yes, yes, never mind the cricket, ALL schools have cricket teams”. Then they tried the “we have cousins living in the town” to which they were told “yes but your family has been in business in a rural area for 150 years – you’ve probably got cousins in every town in the county”! This Mum came away acknowledging that beyond their own desire for a ‘better’ school, they had no real reasons to say their son would be better off there.
Neither set of parents was looked in the eye on arrival, smiled at or acknowledged when they left, neither set of parents feels they have a cat in hells chance.
I didn’t tell them, but we had lots of eye content, a warm welcome/goodbye, and didn’t once get shot down when talking about Cams education, his cleverness (more smug parenting on that in a while), and the reason we want him to attend this particular school is the wide ranging curriculum and the sheer number of opportunities that will be available to him, their Gifted & Talented programme, and their specialist status in science.
So, following Stage 2B, we’re eversoslightly a teeny bit more cautiously hopeful. More than they are, anyway. But still not much.
All shall be revealed after 3p.m. tomorrow. Positive universe thoughts welcomed.