School snobbery gets my goat
We breathed a sigh of relief this Friday after finding out Jack has been given a place at our first choice school. Many of our friends and a great deal more parents up and down the country were not so lucky.
Unlike many families, we live in an area where all the schools are at best outstanding and at worst pretty damn good. Funnily enough, our first choice – and Jack’s new school – is widely considered the ‘worst’ in the area by many parents.
It’s an ‘outstanding’ school by Ofsted standards, but this didn’t seem to stop some parents we know from being really worried their child would end up going there. I mean really, really worried to the point of talking about nothing else.
I find this really odd.
The other schools in the area aren’t that much better, if at all, and in many cases leave a lot to be desired in terms of ethnic and social diversity, available outdoor space, grass and equipment.
But still, friends of ours would be embarrassed to send their kids to Jack’s school.
After some careful questioning, I think I’ve established what’s behind their strongly held beliefs. It’s quite simple, actually. They don’t like the other parents.
When I say ‘don’t like’ I don’t mean actually harbour some personal dislike. I mean that they perceive them to be of a lower standing or – to put it more crudely – poorer and less intelligent than themselves.
Worryingly, this seems to suggest their choice of school for their child is actually not at all to do with the benefits the school might provide their child, but rather how well they personally get along with the parents in the playground.
Maybe I’m oversimplifying the whole thing, but I really doubt it. And here’s why.
Kids from these schools will almost always end up going to one of two secondary schools in the area when they turn 11. So effectively, all of this ‘filtering’ at the primary school stage means very little for the children. They’ll all end up together anyway.
This doesn’t seem to bother the parents though – and perhaps that’s because, by age 11, parents are no longer required to associate with other parents on a daily basis.
Are you upset by the school your child has been given? What did you base your decision on?