Time to blow out the candles?
As the 11+ exams begin with the Kent grammar schools today it might be time to blow out the candles and hang up the prayer mat. The pressure is off now. You can do no more. Your child’s grammar school career is certainly in the lap of the gods. After what might have been a long summer of Bonds books and maybe even a spot of tutoring, then it's time to relax... but, perhaps not for too long.
Open Day season is upon us, which might be just the moment to cage those inner tigers and show your child that the grammar school is just one option and that you have other schools in mind. And don’t forget - all importantly - these schools are alternatives, not Plan B.
It's time to pore over prospectuses and visit as many schools as you can and get a feel for what is out there and you might be pleasantly surprised. Your child needs to understand that you are considering everything, and a grammar-school score on the tests does not make the grammar school the right place for everyone. And as half term approaches and that envelope drops on the mat, you want to be ready for all eventualities, and to know you can make positive school choices.
With all the government talk about consumer choice – be it in health, education or pensions – the parents who “choose” a grammar school because it is the school are effectively not making a choice at all. As one grammar school teacher put it to me “there are boys in my school who look like a rabbit caught in the headlights from the day they arrive to the day they leave, but the parents will never take them out because they are at the grammar.” There is no right school, but there is a right school for your child. We hope it's a comforting thought.
Remember: grammar school rabbits could be lions elsewhere.