The battle for school places – are our kids being put under too much pressure?

I feel so sorry for those families who missed out on a secondary school place yesterday – it’s estimated that 16,000 kids won’t have been given any of the choices on their application forms.

To me it’s utterly ridiculous that there should be this kind of formal rejection at such a pivotal stage in a child’s development.

I think the system as it stands needs an overhaul – it’s grossly unfair. I’m not sure how it works where you are but where we live I’ve known of parents who’ve rented houses in a catchment area just for a year or so to get their kids into a particular school; or start attending church a few years before admissions start.

Of course everyone wants to do the best for their kids. But what I worry about is the effect all this pressure puts on the children themselves. Whether you voice it or not, they will be aware of how much is riding on their ability to get into at least one of the schools of your choice, not least because of talk among their peers.

So I’d love to know your thoughts. Do we put our kids under too much pressure? Is some pressure good for their development? And what’s the solution to the shortage of school places?

written by Liz Jarvis