Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Keeping my head above water - just!

My life is generally busy

I run around after three kids, work part-time in an ever-changing job, keep a (not very tidy) house, look out for my elderly parents, try to squeeze in some time with my husband and occasionally manage to pull a little me time for stitching out of the hat like the proverbial magician's rabbit

I don't think I am alone with this number of conflicting demands on my time

I'm sure that many, many of you also only just manage to keep various balls in the air too

However at the moment life seems ever more complex and I have to say I'm struggling to keep my head above water

Our younger two children followed their big sister to our nearest senior school. It is a small school which is viewed in the eyes of most of the local residents to be the least desirable school in the town to attend

However we liked everything about it when we first moved here and all three of our children have each chosen it when their turn came and we've never regretted our decisions...
until now.....

Lately there have been changes afoot

The local council in conjunction with the local Church of England diocese have campaigned and been authorised to close our lovely school along with its nearest neighbour (a school we have never liked or considered sending our children to) in order to establish a brand new Academy on the site of this other school

In view of the alternatives (our school would have had to close anyway because of a falling roll) we have given these plans our full blown backing - I even appeared on local television and attended a County Council meeting speaking in support of it

it was announced that the existing Headteacher of the other school was to be appointed as Principal of the newly formed Academy

We have serious misgivings about this appointment and the knock on effects, we feel the appointing bodies have missed the opportunity to bring in a new dynamic leader for a state of the art new school and we suspect that there has been some sort of behind the scenes wheeling and dealing to get the other school on board - hidden agendas at every turn
So to cut a long story short after many family discussions and a great deal of heartsearching we came to our decision

Nick has opted to stay with his supportive group of friends and work his way through the transition period for the new Academy for his all important two GCSE exam years - with his newly diagnosed diabetes to cope with he needs less, not more, disruption and we support his decision

But Louise is to move school, in the middle of her second senior school year, to a different school again which is across town adjacent to the 6th Form College her elder sister attends

This will mean three kids at three different establishments and all the complex taxi driving that entails for me but it is manageable - just!

Today is Louise's first day at the new school

She is an outwardly confident, clever, happy kid who has been looking forward to this day since she made the decision

But sitting in the new school's reception area waiting to be collected by someone from her tutor group this morning her courage wavered - tears were perilously close to the brink - tissues were offered by the kindly receptionist and she just managed to hold it together until one of her peers came for her

Similar tears streamed down my face, held in until I was out of sight driving home

I just hope she comes out at 3.05pm with a smile and a desire to return tomorrow - I'm not sure quite how I can magic things better if she doesn't

Isn't it awful when powers beyond your control pull the rug from beneath your feet - I just hate that feeling of powerlessness


marigold jam said...

Oh dear! What a tough time you are all going through just now. I am sure your daughter will be fine - children (well young ladies perhaps) are more resilient than we think. I know as I changed schools quite a few times including in the third year of secondary school but although it can be hard to break into established groups it was fine for me and I am sure she will be fine too. You will have worried for nothing no doubt.

Let's hope easier times are coming for you all it certainly must be your turn soon!


Amanda said...

Oh Anne, what tough times you're having. There's nothing more worrying that trying to get the right school for your children, but if your daughter is as confident as you say I'm sure she'll be fine. I always admire anyone who manages to juggle family, home and job and then find any time for themselves too. Worries change once they leave home, but at least there's more 'me' time.

Nancy, Near Philadelphia said...

The joy and pride that we take in our children's accomplishments and successes has a flip side -- the terrible pain we feel over their struggles and adversities. Particularly painful when said difficulties seem to be dealt out in a random way. I'm sorry you're going through this right now, friend.

Libby said...

Oh those 'Powers That Be' They do like to toy with us like a kitten and string.
Hang in there - the road is bound to smooth sometime soon. And just remember that no one really cares if we drop a ball in the daily juggle every now and again. A little dust on the furniture and a take-out dinner will never be noticed *s*

sewkalico said...

Oh Anne! Not nice at all. I'm confident that you'll all get through this. Sending you lots of love, xka

mereth said...

I know exactly where you're coming from Anne. My youngest two boys, including Rob with diabetes, had to change high schools, and there were lots of upheavals before that happened. The eldest son wanted to stay because he had such a great group of friends, which worked for him. I used to drive at least 52k each day to get them everywhere, and then more on the days they had band practice and sports. Changing is hard, but it gets better, and there's no way you can live the experience for them. Just support them, that's what we're there for!

Chookyblue...... said...

Hi Anne I find it is a constant game of chase sometimes trying to keep up with gets very difficult at times and things are always changing so plans constantly changing........
I hope all the school changes work out for the kids.......

s'me said...

How did she do? Thinking about her. Same Academy things are happening around here :-(

Gina said...

What an awful time for everyone concerned.
I often find that Council decisions ( any council decisions)are normally made on the basis of who amongst them will profit the most. There is no such thing as common sense where they are concerned.

Love and hugs Gina xxx

Sew Create It - Jane said...

First days are hard...especially when it's part way through the year and part way through your time at a school. We have had a similar thing happen here where we had an infant school and junior school merge leaving the less desirable head in place. As much as I really wanted it to work out, in the end I had to move my daughter and in hindsight it was the best decision. There is no way of knowing if the decision is right when you are in the thick of it, but you have obviously weighed everything up and made the best decision you could with the information at hand...really there isn't much more you can do. I'm sure time will tell and you'll look back and see it was the right thing to do.

Clare said...

Oh you poor love - you have been having a rough time of it.

As far as I can gather from news reports, etc, the UK education system is gradually collapsing. A great friend is a teacher in Norfolk. She is getting so fed up with all the back biting, back handers and cunning that goes on when all she wants to do is teach!

Mes thinks Waterloo Road! Vive La France!

Hope Louise had settled down.

Claire said...

Oh gosh, I hope you'll all be OK. School things are always traumatic - my husband and I are both secondary teachers as well as parents - so we've seen it from both sides.

I am surprised at the appointment of the new Principal, it doesn't seem to be in the spirit of the new academies at all.

That said, you would be surprised how quickly children adapt. Give it a month or so before you start worrying too much.

Take care, Claire x

Screen Door said...

Awww Anne -- Hang tough. Froma mother's viewpoint... my heart goes out to. you. Not an easy situation. My only thought is--- supper time. Keep a meal set aside for everyone to eat together for venting and life's discussion. Growing up the only meal my family could squeeze in was breakfast (even though it mean kids getting up an hour earlier than necessary for school) For my kids we all had supper together. Just keep the kids talking-- be it good or bad, they need ears for listening....

Cascade Lily said...

My goodness Anne, that's just terrible. All of it. I hope Louise's first day wasn't too bad. Kids are pretty resilient - it's the mums who need a hug. Hope it all settles very quickly.