There is rejoicing in the Stan household this week, because Stanetta got a place at her first choice of secondary school.
She went to the Open Day at the local High school, loved it and didn't want to look further. As a result we missed out on all the interviewing and entrance exams at the independent schools where they all wear hats and suck money out your pockets until they hit lint.
Some of our (usually level headed) friends have been consumed by this madness and I'm glad it's all over because I'm dying for there to be another topic of conversation.
We moved down from Scotland, where mostly the local education authority assign you a school and that's where you go. The extra degree of choice in England doesn't seem to bring any more happiness.
And let's get this in perspective - should you be denied your first choice you will still receive, free gratis and for nothing, five years education. The vast majority of the world would envy that.
Also, between 8:00 and 9:00 the roads of my bit of Cheshire are jammed with skinny blonde mums in big fat cars taking their Jemina, Roderick and Porsches to three different schools. This makes no environmental sense and also makes the blonde mums very late for their anal bleaching and coffee morning appointments.
Here's the Stan solution :-
(1) You go to the nearest school. If there are two equally close then maybe you can choose, but you are not going to drive your kids 30 miles each way because the mauve uniform doesn't go with their eyes.
(2) We invest so that there isn't this crazy gap between good and bad schools in this country.