|<< February 2004||April 2004 >>|
Offered at place at Park Hill School yesterday. We did apply there, but now I rather wish we hadn't. Wasn't as impressed by the head as I was at Kings Heath. Quite the opposite - rather underwhelmed actually. Don't know what to do now.
What a fucking hassle. Which arse ever thought "the market" could be applied to compulsory education? I wouldn't be feeling miserable about the whole business if the word "choice" wasn't slung about. I *know* it's a lottery, but in spite of that in the back of your mind there's this idea that you do have a choice because all the literature tells you that you do. Basic marketing that - say it enough times and eventually it becomes the truth. Even though it isn't! Gah!
Letter yesterday from King David School. Congrats happy parents, it says (I paraphrase), your child has secured a place here. Very curious, because we didn't apply to send Daniel there.
This time last year, we applied for a nursery place. In fact, they wouldn't let us look round the place until we had applied, unlike everywhere else we looked. Presumably they have merrily carried that application over.
Moseley was, and still is I assume, the centre of Birmingham's Jewish community. King David School is an orthodox Jewish school, to my knowledge the only Jewish school in the city. The reception class takes 30. To offer Daniel a place, they've got down to "F - anyone else" on their acceptance criteria. This says something about the local Jewish community, I suppose, but I'm not sure what. Increasing secularisation? Shift in the balance between reform and liberal Judaism vs orthodox? More dispersed population, unwilling to schlep across the city in the rush hour? It also shows a marked contrast to the local CofE and RC schools. At a time when Britain is meant to be one of the most Godless in the world, people are fighting in the aisles to get their kids in. If you don't turn up their with a note from your priest certifying to your devoutness, you don't get a look in.
On the other hand, I may have just come over all Daily Mail and be spinning something out of entirely nothing. Stu - any opinion?
KD is still a very good school. Don't know why they might have picked you out, though (did you recently change your name to/from Higginovitch or something?).
There is a large Muslim contingent in the school (possibly more than Jews) in small Birmingham Jewish community.
Good hardworking academic ethos.
Given the proportion of non-Jewish intake, I just wondered if the local Jewish community is smaller than it once was, less concentrated in Moseley, or less orthodox maybe. On the other hand, it might always have had this proportion of Jewish and Gentile pupils and I'm just ignorant.
The Bean's just come home with the governor ballot papers. My supporting statement, as I'd feared, looks rather thin and weedy compared with most of the others. I am not confident. Reading my statement, I'd be unlikely to vote for me. Of those I've flicked through, several people seem to be promising things (e.g. "that parents will be fully consulted" and "I fully understand the responsibilities of being a governor") that they can't really deliver, or that governors aren't involved in. Hopefully people will read between the lines a bit.
To top off that, he also came home with a "sorry, but no" letter. The reception class had 217 applications for 90 places, and he hasn't made the cut. Selection criteria are
1 - Children with special needs requiring facilities provided by the school
2 - Children with siblings are the school. Presumably, there are more of those following the merger.
3 - Remaining places allocated by straight-line distance from the school.
A lot of children will be holding places at several schools, so we'll just have to see how the geography lottery turns out.
The parent-governor nominations are in and there's going to be an election. Now worrying frantically about my supporting statement. When you submit your nomination you get 200 words to hype yourself. I didn't feel it was appropriate to expound some great agenda for the school even if I had one, so I made what a now consider a rather weak statement about how impressed I am with the school, its staff and pupils, and how it seems to be genuinely ethnically, religiously and socially mixed.
To answer Pete's earlier question - I got excited about being a governor because it covers much more than I'd imagined. Governors are involved in setting the school budget for instance, they have input into the curriculum, staff disputes, pupil exclusions, disciplinary policy, all kinds of things. The school itself has just gone through a merger, the infant school and junior school which shared the site are now a single school, which opens up all kinds of interesting things. The headteacher's a champ too, I reckon, and I think she would be a fun person to know.
I probably should have said all that in my statement. Ballot is next week. Vote Jez!
Checked the bus and train timetables to Stourbridge. First train back is at 5:52.
I'm sure the Here and Now Tour finishes up nice and early. Babysitters are so hard to find, and if you keep them after midnight you need to take out a second mortgage to pay them.
I'll do you a deal ...
Tom: I wanted to walk through work singing "Take This Job and Shove It" but they've already laid me off.
Middle class rebellion, here we come.
My throwaway comment about Dead Kennedys seems to be going somewhere. We're now a party of three, growing to five assuming Tom's company have booked him a sensible flight back to Brum. It just seemed like too ridiculous a thing to pass up - seminal Californian punk band, minus their most famous member, gone from scaring the parents to confusing their children, doing a short UK tour that bypasses the nation's second city in favour of a tiny club in the Black Country. For bonus yuks, the gig is on the first of April. How can we not?[Update: Swapped teeny for tiny. I meant "small", not "pertaining to 'young people'".]
I probably am the oldest in our little party, at a sagacious 34. That makes us too young to have been punks, and too old to have had parents who were punks. We are a lost generation who can love and laugh at 70s punk bands :)
Btw, Andy, my 19 year old temping-chum, asked me if I'd been a punk, which was nice.
Spent a few minutes this morning slipping some whitespace skipping into the XPath grammar.
The XPath stuff is in CVS, by the way.
Went to the pub with Pete last night. We agreed that the "problem" with "the Internet" was the lack of threat of physical violence. We agreed the "great thing" about "the Internet" was the lack of threat of physical violence. Pub logic - you gotta love it.
Completely forgot to mention that the Dead Kennedys (well, most of them) are playing in Stourbridge at the start of April.
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