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Friday, September 02, 2005

I think I might actually be making some headway on the school front.

I went and dropped letters off at two more schools for Stephen and Emily today; one which I doubt we'll get into, as it's over-subscribed (seems very impressive, I can totally see why it's over-subscribed) and a second where we may actually have a sporting chance of being accepted. The second school, while not as knock-your-socks-off impressive as the first one, does at least seem to have a friendly atmosphere and decent GCSE results - certainly far better than some of the hell-holes that the LEA suggested I try.

So now I wait for the head teachers of both schools to call me back.

Sigh. I think I just need to slow down and accept that things take longer to organise here than I'm used to. When I spoke to the head's secretary at the second school, for instance, she said that she'd speak to the head on Monday, and give him our letter, and that he'd call us on either Monday or Tuesday. (Tuesday is when school starts). Then, we'd need to meet, and then, if (I gather) we all like the look of each other, Steve and Em could start school the following week.

I nodded and smiled, but what I was thinking was - for goodness sake, why on earth can't we meet the guy on Monday morning and, if everything goes well, buy the uniforms and supplies that afternoon and have the kids start school on Tuesday along with everyone else? I didn't voice my thoughts, though, because the secretary had already made it very clear that that wasn't an option - lots of talk about "we can't rush things" and "it would be terrible to just throw the children in at the deep end" and "we'll move as soon as we can, but don't worry if you don't hear from him until late on Tuesday".

So I've given up on my aim of having the kids start school at the beginning of the school year. What seemed like such an obvious (and reasonable) assumption - that they'd be able to start on time - is just not correct. I'm not even going to call Sophie's first choice school until Tuesday, as I'm hoping that they will have had some kids moving away during the summer, and so may find themselves with an unexpected place or two to spare when school finally begins.

Oh, and the other thing I found odd. At both schools, there was no-one at the front desks, no-one in the secretary's office, so that I was able to wander into the main administration block without coming across any staff members. It was a little disconcerting to have to walk around aimlessly until I bumped into someone who could help me. In the second school, I was actually joined in my wanderings by a DHL delivery person, so the two of us spent quite some time meandering along together, following the distant sounds of voices down endless empty corridors. Despite a sign asking visitors to sign in, there's clearly not too much emphasis on school security there.

I'm going to try not to think about any school stuff this weekend. We're going climbing tomorrow (if the weather holds) which should make a nice change from all the tedious things I've been doing so far this week.

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