Nothing to do with food, just a bit of rant today, readers!

I listened to Woman’s Hour this morning. Jane Garvey was leading a discussion about choosing a secondary school, during which several parents (mostly mums) phoned in to air their worries, experiences and thoughts.

I was half listening, as I was working at the same time, but I distinctly remember Jane reading out one tweet, which said something along the lines of we must remember that all this “middle-class angst” about choosing a school was unnecessary and her three children went to the local secondary, and one’s now doing law, another dentistry and I forget what the other was doing (possibly training at NASA?). At the time, I didn’t think much of this comment, but 12 hours later I feel exercised enough to write this.

All I can say is lucky you, mystery tweeter, your sons were obviously bright enough to shine at the local comprehensive, they clearly had good teachers, they may have been well supported in their learning, they may have loved school, or they may not even have had to try very hard to succeed. Jolly good for them. Jolly good for you. But to criticize other parents for their “angst” is unfair.  You’ve come out the other side, however many years on, smiling. Not everyone is in your situation.

Every parent wants to do the best they can for their child, middle class or not. And if you are presented with choices, then why shouldn’t you discuss them, whether it’s in the pub, in the press, in an online forum, or indeed on Radio 4? Whether it’s the local academy, the comprehensive down the road, a grammar school ten miles away, or, hell, even private school – whatever your feelings, worries or doubts about a school, a parent shouldn’t feel ashamed for wanting the best for their child, especially if they have limited options. I am miles off sending mine to secondary school, but already Year Two mums are starting to talk about it. Yes, that may be to soon, and it isn’t the be-all and end-all to life, but let us discuss it if we want to. And don’t judge us for doing so.

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