Hamble Campbell's Home Page

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Friday, October 21, 2005


My daughter and I have been thinking about where she will go to study after her GCSEs. She needs to choose a sixth form college for next September as her school only takes children up to the age of 16.

The government are fond of telling us that we have the freedom and right to choose an education provider for our children. Frankly, I think that during the years of compulsory school attendance, children should attend their local school. (And I would ban private education, but that argument is for another day). However, for post-compulsory schooling I think it is more important to choose the right establishment for each individual because this is when the students specialise in particular subjects - some academic and some vocational, (while some leave education altogether of course).

There is a sixth form attached to a comprehensive school which is a specialist languages centre quite near to us but not near enough. As my daughter is considering studying French and German at A level I rang the school up and yes there would be a place for her. Good.

Next I rang the school transport people. Children who go to primary school in the next village have an automatic place at the school and on the school bus. Unfortunately our village is just outside the catchment area and so we don't have a right to a place at the school and therefore no right to a place on the school bus either. Apparently the school bus is already oversubscribed by children within the catchment area. Presumably the local education authority provides a taxi for them. So there is no way my daughter would get a place on the school bus. Bad.

So parents who have the money to buy and fuel a car and the leisure to drive it to and from school each day get to choose but those who have to work and don't/can't/won't drive are denied choice. (And apparently the school transport costs £100 term - a penalty for living in the sticks I suppose).


  • At 25 October, 2005 14:32, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Irene, how very annoying. What are you going to do? How far away is the school?? Had you thought of complaining to your local MP? Or how about seeing if there are any other children going to the school from your village??

    I know when my boys were at school I couldn't afford the bus fare at about £60 a month each so they had to cycle. Presumably not an option on windy country lanes.

    Perhaps life is telling you to learn to drive!!!

  • At 25 October, 2005 18:02, Blogger Irene Adler said…

    Anon - thank you for asking. I expect she will go to the local tech. college. It just would have been nice to go to the specialist language college seeing as she'd be studying languages. It's way too far and dangerous to cycle there and I'd be cautious about entering into an agreement with other local mums in case the arrangement didn't last the two years of the A level course.

    Driving should not be the answer. I don't think people should be driving about, they should be on public transport Besides, I have to be at work when she would need transport.


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