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To feel we are all a little bit too obsessed with education and school?

(371 Posts)
TheOddity Fri 13-Feb-15 14:30:14

I've seen threads recently about people remortgaging their house for private education, teachers publicly shamed in front of their peers for results beyond their control, people moving house to be nearer a good nursery, and on and on.
I recently moved to another country in Europe. I asked my new neighbour what the local nursery was like as that's where we intended to send our son. They said "it's very close and convenient". My spidey senses were tingling, did this mean it was a failing nursery? Next I go to the first parents' meeting. Not a word was spoken about targets, the curriculum etc. it was all about food and naps. In the end section for questions, the questions parents asked were and naps! He is there now for half a year, it's fine, And hopefully sometimes he is learning. There is one secondary school nearby so everyone goes there and again, it's fine. I am not overly worried my son will fail, because he is bright and I will help him.
I just think, are we all insane in the UK? Is it worth the stress? At the end of the day, if you are worried enough about them to remortgage your house, surely you could just do a bit of homework with them each night and it will all turn out ok? AIBU to think that school is all a bit out of proportion and life is pretty unpredictable unless your parents already own a fortune?

DisappointedOne Fri 13-Feb-15 14:32:07

No. You are not BU.

Nomama Fri 13-Feb-15 14:35:04

As a teacher of 16 - 19 year olds I can tell you that you are NU in any way whatsoever.

Unless the nursery/school is absolutely appalling the greatest impact on a kid's success is how well socialised it is... lots of studies on that. Pity Goviots don't read them (or those posh parents who just throw money at it).

museumum Fri 13-Feb-15 14:37:30

Not all the UK is like you describe. In the part of Scotland we live everybody goes to their nearest primary and secondary schools. No choosing. Unless you need to send your child to boarding school. It just is. Yes parents care about the school but in a way that's about supporting the local school not about choosing a different one.
I think your op refers to schooling in very densely populated parts of the SE of England only really.

RollaCola Fri 13-Feb-15 14:40:16

YANBU, but it's very easy to get caught up in the paranoia and competitiveness when it's all around you, and everyone is pushing and shoving to get their children into the "best" schools. When half of the perfectly normal and able children you know are doing kumon you start to wonder if you're a bad parent because your child doesn't, and it's hard to take a step back and realise that good enough is often fine.

Waitingonasunnyday Fri 13-Feb-15 14:43:30

I think as we are all embroiled in the recession/cutbacks/whatever you want to call it, its totally understandable to want our DC to have a 'better' future without money worries, and so getting a good education matters more with this sort of perspective/background.

BreakingDad77 Fri 13-Feb-15 14:45:27

i think people do, you get natural variation regardless of the teaching. I went through the state system and from facebook the majority of us have ended up in fairly gainful employment.

DoubletheRage Fri 13-Feb-15 14:46:24

I'm still really confused about all this and my Dc are both at secondary now.

I firmly believe that the single most important thing to affect outcomes for a child is thwr homelife and if this is right/not right, it won't make a lot of difference how good or bad the school is on their final life outcomes.

However, having worked in schools for the last few years, I can say that the behaviour in some schools/classes is so poor I wonder how children ever learn anything, whilst others seem to be able to manage discipline easily.

So, I can see that he quality of the school can have a big impact on the exam results a child ends up with, but I doubt that has much influence over their life chances in the long term IYSWIM, parents do that.

morchoxplz Fri 13-Feb-15 14:51:39

I recently met with a good friend who emigrated when her DDs were pre school. She is exactly the type of person who I would have expected to take a huge interest in her kids' progress a school. Intelligent herself, professional job ambitious etc. After 8 yrs in Perth WA she couldnt even tell us in much detail what exams her 14 yr old would take prior to leaving school!!!

bettyboop1970 Fri 13-Feb-15 14:52:27

Lots of parents are education obsessed but for me the most important thing is for a child to be happy and well adjusted.
Kids that are constantly pushed by their parents are more likely to suffer mental health problems.
Children need to be loved unconditionally regardless of academic performance.

TheOddity Fri 13-Feb-15 14:57:10

Yes I can see that severe disruption by a handful of students could really harm the chances of the others. But are there really so many appalling schools everywhere that we need to remortgage houses and burn teachers at the stake?

flora717 Fri 13-Feb-15 14:59:32

I think if parents put half of the effort in to supporting their local school that they do to worrying about which school there would be many better schools. But then I could be wrong. This is only based on seeing a school 'turn around' because of parents who had that luxury of time and used it.

KnittedJimmyChoos Fri 13-Feb-15 15:00:47

people moving house to be nearer a good nursery, and on and on.

confused Never heard a thread about moving near a good nursery.

How old is your child, I only ask as part of our NCt group who dont have dc at school yet where initially very laissez faire about schools, casual and laid back.

Until...they had to choose a school and looked round what was on offer. Suddenly queue scramble, changes to attitudes and values. confused

123upthere Fri 13-Feb-15 15:03:04

Yanbu homelife matters more. Your nursery sounds great! Very nurturing if the focus is on the wellbeing & nutrition of the child rather than targets etc I'm in similar laid back schooling with my kids and they're thriving (but I'm also vay intelligent, which helps)

DoubletheRage Fri 13-Feb-15 15:04:38

Well, The Oddity, IMVHO, there are a lot more bad teachers about that anyone's allowed/prepared to admit and there are some very poor school managers.

Loads of great ones too and that's what makes the difference.

The main reason for moving house for a school is to get your Dc "nicer" friends though. There's no point making a long-term decision based on the current management of a school because that can change. Unfortunately, the main thing that makes a difference to a school is the "quality" of the intake and I don't know how we get round that. There are things that can be done to improve schools in deprived areas, but they're never going to be great schools getting top results - because the homelife thing isn't right for so many of their children.

KnittedJimmyChoos Fri 13-Feb-15 15:09:32

oddity you are aware we have a crisis for primary school places at the moment? schools are either expanding, building over play grounds and so on to try and meet the rise in need?

So, I can see that he quality of the school can have a big impact on the exam results a child ends up with,

Of course...I sat learning nothing in my first school, literally zilch. laid back mother and father thinking the school would do its job. realised after a few years I was leaning zilch and way behind in maths and english and never caught up.

Its great to be laid back about it all, but if you have nothing for dc to fall back on, family money/buisness and so on I would say its quite key to try and get education right.

WD41 Fri 13-Feb-15 15:12:53

People just want the best start for their DCs and when life is so unpredictable, their schooling is one thing you can control.

We moved last year to be in a "naice" area close to a good primary. I agree that home life is more important, but if we'd stayed living where we were, in an extremely deprived area with a rubbish primary, it wouldn't have done her any favours.

I think we've just been sensible, not overly invested

KnittedJimmyChoos Fri 13-Feb-15 15:14:45

I dont think you can overly invest in your childrens education.

pictish Fri 13-Feb-15 15:15:07

Yanbu. It has got way out of hand, the obsessing over schools. The anxiety, the indecision, the competition, the hand wringing...

I want my kids to do well at school...of course I do (and they are), but the amount of all important onus that people put on the subject of schooling is totally disproportionate...not to mention really boring as a conversation topic.

pictish Fri 13-Feb-15 15:17:15

People just want the best start for their DCs and when life is so unpredictable, their schooling is one thing you can control.

I agree with that, but I apply that principle to my children, not the school they attend.
If the attitude to learning is good, they will thrive and progress.

DoubletheRage Fri 13-Feb-15 15:18:45

I do think there are a good number of affluent/MC (?) parents who invest everything into finding the right school and then expect everything to be completely down to the school from that moment on. Almost like they've done their bit and now they can get back to their proper place in life.

Not all, or even most but I do see it quite a bit. Parents with busy careers who only want to know what the school is going to do to fix things, rather than consider what they should be doing.

KnittedJimmyChoos Fri 13-Feb-15 15:21:42

If the attitude to learning is good, they will thrive and progress.

Have to disagree there.

Attitude to learning was excellent in our home and I read from v early age, I love learning.

The school however, was not able to cope with me, I was totally left behind, had no support and fell further and further behind. I remember sitting in class, being so bored, head down, back to teacher doodling for hours every day as I had no clue as to what was going on.

I am Determined with a capital D grin the same fate will NOT befall my DC, I am on the ball and paying attention to whats going on.

Topseyt Fri 13-Feb-15 15:21:48

Yes, we are way too obsessed with it all here in the UK.

The remortgaging thread about private education was totally ridiculous. Private would not have been a realistic option for us financially. We were certainly not prepared to beggar ourselves and go for it at any cost.

I have one daughter (eldest) who went to a grammar school, which was some way away from us. Her two younger sisters have gone to our local comprehensive though, and I am so glad that they are within an easier commute. It makes so much difference to our home life, which is equally important IMHO.

My youngest daughter seems equally as bright as her older sister, and went straight into all of the top sets at the local school. All teachers waxing lyrical about her at the last parents evening. She is doing just as well there as she would at the grammar.

Their middle sister is very different. She is more practical than them, and less academic than they are. She is working at her level, and has struggled. She needs much more help and she is in sets which reflect this.

They are each getting good teaching appropriate to their abilities. Why pay for that or move house for it when it is freely available locally??

chrome100 Fri 13-Feb-15 15:22:04

I left primary school in the early 90s. We didn't do much work. I can remember in Year 6 we had a teacher who just used to disappear for hours on end (God knows where). We played murder in the dark and did colouring in her absence.

I finished school with 4 As at A Level and got a first in my degree. I really don't think kids need to study as hard as we think they do.

KnittedJimmyChoos Fri 13-Feb-15 15:22:37

BTW this was back in 70s but my Primary was not in a deprived area at all, but a very very affluent one.

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