So we live a new development- you know the ones? Not enough parking, concrete jungle, garden's overlooked by many houses and flats...oh and lots of family sized homes. So you would have thought the developers/local council would have thought about the future in terms of school places really wouldn't you? Think again, all the schools in the local area are oversubscribed, there are big debates or where to try and squeeze in another primary school, but no where is really suitable, and a lot of the schools have mobile prefabs in the playgrounds to accommodate the overflow of children. Typically the year that Alex starts school is the year that they are panicking about shortage of spaces!
Today we popped along to our local school which is a short walk away-great seeing as I don't drive! It was lovely and my heart was set on it as soon as I walked through the door, they had beautiful woodwork in the entrance hall (there is Oak in the school name), it's bright and colourful and every surface in covered in a vast amount of artwork created by the pupils, some of which is helped by local artists. The playgrounds put some local parks to shame with trim trails, climbing frames, and a massive wooden ship for the reception and year one groups, the nursery had it's separate little park and weird looking jumping areas.
I knew that nursery places would be sought after but was shocked when the receptionist that showed us around said that they already had 90 application forms and were expecting about 120, considering they can only take 52 but heart sank a little. We are only 0.4 miles from the school, but children with older siblings in the school quite rightly take priority, and there area is so dense with children I just have to hope that we are one of the 52!
Alex is already at preschool, but it's a 20 minute walk away and he will have already been there a full year come September which will mean he has another full year there an as lovely as it is I think he would benefit being in a school environment rather than a church hall. The equipment, areas etc are far more exciting at the school, whereas where he is, as lovely as it is can't be as good as the school facility.
Are school and nursery places as hard to come by in your area?
I'm off to write his application form asap!