I’ve ranted many times about Bunny’s school, especially since we moved further away and spend £5 a day on petrol and 2 hours per day stuck in traffic getting her there and back. I’ve vented my disappointment with the lack of emotional support she got when I was in hospital. I wrote a school lunch expose and I’ve whinged about the double standards and the rules I don’t like. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
I decided in November, to take the plunge and move Bunny to a school closer to our new home, thanks to the advice of many of my readers who took the time to comment on my post questioning whether to move schools. Unfortunately, the school of my choice, was full to capacity, so our application was rejected.
However, we decided to appeal the decision, and our school admissions appeal date came around on Monday of this week.
I was nervous. Getting Bunny into our nearest school was a big thing for us. Not only did I feel a really good gut instinct about the school, but it would mean we can walk to school everyday. No more defrosting the car and faffing around with toddler seatbelts and putting their shoes on 500 times to get them in and out of the car. The twins would finally be able to go to pre-school, which would help with their development. I wouldn’t be frustrated every morning and Bunny wouldn’t have to be late for school everyday. No more suffering the incessant talking of the radio one breakfast show hosts, whilst sat in the car with road rage, repeatedly begging the twins to keep their seatbelts on and remain seated, because actually no – we are not parked up! Not to mention saving a fortune in petrol each week.
But what did I know? I was up against the school headmistress and a panel of experts, who would decide our fate. Had I prepared a speech? No! I didn’t even have a copy of my application. I did however, do my research and suck it up like a sponge.
I am not allowed to divulge the contents of the hearing as it was all reference as “must remain confidential”, but what I can tell you is this… I asked the principal a well researched question, in front of the panel, which blew the local authorities case out of the water. I felt instantly confident and the principal (who was the person that suggested I appeal in the first place) gave me a cheeky smile of respect. On her way out she whispered, “see you soon!” and I knew then that we had won the appeal.
The news came via email on Wednesday afternoon. Our case was “compelling” enough to “outweigh” the case of the local authority and therefore a place had been created in the school for Bunny. I felt so excited and so relieved all at the same time. I popped into the new school first thing on Thursday morning and the receptionist had already been briefed on my expected arrival. It was arranged that Bunny would start her new school on Monday, so I bought the uniform and filled in all the forms.
This only gave us a day and a half to get used to the idea. Bunny would want to say goodbye to her friends. I panicked. And like any panicked mother would, I quickly typed out 30 invitations to the local soft play centre and dashed them into her current school before home time!
So today, marked Bunny’s last day at school. Was she sad? No. Was she excited? Yes. Overwhelmed? A little. But my strong willed daughter, held her head up high and said goodbye to all her teachers and friends, with not so much as a tear or a sigh. She gave chocolates to her favourite members of staff and the ones whom had been the most helpful over the past few months. Her whole class made her an enormous 3 foot card, which they had all signed (the sweetest of messages coming from two little boys) and some of her friends had brought in small gifts, which I thought was lovely, especially considering the short notice.
We had a party and dinner at soft play, with those children who could make it and Bunny had a truly fabulous last day at school.
Which left me… exhausted from a week of running around sorting everything out, and beginning to question if we have done the right thing?
It’s a typical maternal thing I know… We made the decision to move schools, for the good of our whole family. It would benefit us all emotionally, financially, practically and developmentally. It was not a decision we took lightly but it’s one we quickly realised was for the best. But like any parent, there are moments in life, where you question yourself. I sat there watching Bunny giggle with her friends and wondered… what if she struggles to make new friends in her new school? That would break my heart. What if I’ve got it wrong and the new school won’t make her happier? Then I realised that “what if’s” were silly. Bunny will find her place. Bunny WANTED to move schools. We have done the right thing. I know it in my heart. I just hope the transition is smooth.