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Bucks County Council Schools selection
Welcome to my first ever article/blog.
For those that have never heard of me (which would be most of you!) I am Darren Hayday.
I have lived in the district for all of my life; I am a parent, married, self employed and a former Councillor from Wycombe District Council (for my sins!) I aspire to stand in the next Bucks County Council elections for May 2013 as an Independent candidate for the newly formed ward of ‘Cressex, Booker & Castlefield’.
For my first blog I would like to write about my experience of seeking to find a new primary school for my son who is now the grand old age of ‘3’ and will be looking to start big school next September.
Unfortunately our local schools do not have very good reputations or OFSTED ratings. So we are seeking suitable schools further afield. It is proving very difficult to find x3 schools that we would have a glimmer of a hope of getting him into.
Travel has to be taken in as a factor and I am extremely fortunate that I work from home and would be his primary taxi driver.
However what I am finding is that most schools have their own set of admission rules and also the Bucks County Council admissions department only tend to look at the distance and ‘postcode checker’ from your home to the nearest school’s catchment area.
Meaning that if you can afford to live in a nice area that’s next door to a good school – you will more than likely end up sending your child to that school and be happy.
However that’s not always the case and as some years seem to have a population increase and also that new houses are being built in the surrounding area’s even parents that live within the catchment area are finding out that their children do not get a place and have to look elsewhere.
In the ‘good old days’ when banks actually lent money to people it would mean that when you start having children and they are approaching 3 that you would look to move house and see what the local schools were like.
Are houses selling? Are the bank’s lending much money to people to help buy a house? – no they are not.
We always get a lot of noise from Central Government but no actual movement. No action.
I’m very sceptical about the Chancellors new plans for the Bank of England to lend to the banks (how about cutting out the banks/middle men and giving the money directly to us?) I’ve personally been told from my own bank (that I’ve been with for a very long time) that if I applied for a mortgage today that I couldn’t even get the same amount that I originally got (less £50k) – so any chances of looking to move into a nice area / bigger house are out of the picture and we are stuck where we are (in our house that would never sell for more that the cut off point for Stamp Duty.
So whichever way that you look at the situation that I’m in (and I’m sure that one or two of you may also be in the same/similar position to me) – we are getting shafted by the government – the same people that we pay all of our taxes to help solve problems like this – in all directions.
They wonder why less of us bother to vote and are not ‘connecting’ to the main parties….???!!
So this leads me back to my original point.
The school system.
I believe that it starts with the Head Teachers in every school and if they do not aspire to get their school to be an ‘excellent’ status – which in my mind that all schools should be – then they should not be head teachers.
We should also grow good and strong teachers to do a good job – we should improve the way that we teach our children, we should have after school clubs, bad schools should be made to improve their ratings and bad teachers/policies kicked out, etc Grammar schools in my mind are good for kids – they tend to encourage them, give kids confidence and choice. (Yes I also know that they are going to phase out the 11+ and each academy will hold their own entrance exams) Because in my mind – the world is getting tougher and an education is the best start in life to get on and achieve and to be successful.
I want my children to have a better start in life that I got and to have more choice. Surely this is what the majority of parents want for their children?