Why I chose a 17 mile school run!

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I decided in 2004 that, despite living in the next street to our local high school, Ms Glade was not going there.

It was quite a controversial decision and one that needed careful management. You see, Mr Glade had attended that school and ALL of his nieces and nephews were either there or on their way.

When she was in Year 5, (age 9-10) we took Ms Glade to visit many High Schools in the area and beyond. When we walked into the school that she eventually attended, she immediately felt at home and decided that was where she wanted to go.

This was a bit of an issue because:

  • It was 17 miles from home, that is each way!
  • There wasn’t any direct public transport
  • I didn’t drive
  • There was an entrance exam to pass and criteria to meet

Ms Glade and myself made a plan, she would have tuition to pass the exam and I , despite having been learning for 16 years, would pass my driving test.

For the last ten years I have regularly been asked to defend my decision. I felt it was important that she went to her school because:

  • It was her first choice
  • The school had a lovely atmosphere
  • It was a Catholic Grammar school which was very important to her and Himself
  • It was a single sex school that worked hard to empower the girls
  • She was prepared to and did, work very hard to pass the entrance exam
  • I hoped she would stay for 7 years and therefore, wanted them to be the best years they could be

She passed and I passed!

As it transpired, it was a seven years that were punctured with events and revelations.

However, we both firmly believe they were the best seven years that they could have been. She received offers at every university she applied to for, a very competitive course. She was also delighted for her sister when she was offered a place at her school a year ago, I think that speaks volumes.

Ms Glade isn’t academically gifted, indeed she had learning challenges that were identified within the first half term she was at the school. However, she is a thoughtful, kind girl with a great enthusiasm for life and a deeply touching concern for others. Qualities that the school has nurtured.

How did you choose the school your children went to? Did you have to defend your decision?

I am linking with Mackenzie of  Reflections of Me, a day late sorry Mac, for her Mummy and Us Link.

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Update: Now that Miss Glade has begun her high school journey,  we have moved house and now live on the bus route – well I couldn’t do that again for another seven years! 😉 x

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I am also joining with Katy from What Katy Said and Amy from Everything Mummy for their new link Kids’ Corner.

Have a lovely day!

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19 thoughts on “Why I chose a 17 mile school run!

  1. lovely blog post! Choosing schools is not fun! We have an infant school next to our house, and when we went to the open day we just didn’t feel it! So now they go to one a 5 minute drive away, which is obviously closer than yours but it was the right decision! Although there are days when i think how nice it would be to just drop them next to the house!! Found you on #kidscorner1 link xx

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  2. I applaud you because a good high school is really important. I went to a mixed Catholic/christian school and it was a lovely school – it had good values and bad behaviour wasn’t tolerated. I did well at school and enjoyed my school years. My own littlies will go to the local schools – the huge plus being they are the best in the area and we were very fortunate to buy our house in our area during a very brief market ‘dip’…we couldn’t afford it now! My sister moved to my area because she loved it so much and wouldn’t send her girls to the schools local to her because they are not good at all. Education and happiness at school is really important, they are there for a long time after all!

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    1. That was exactly my point really but I had to be careful when discussing it with my sisters in law. I felt it was so important that she felt comfortable and secure there and, hoped that happiness would come later. Thankfully it did. I think it’s one of the most important things to get right or at least try to. Thank you xx

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  3. We haven’t had to choose any schools yet, only nurseries and we actually went with the one not close to us because we thought it was the best (although I just wrote a complaint email so I’m starting to worry it’s going downhill!). I think that you have to do what is right for your children and clearly this was the right decision for yours. Glad you’ve moved though – my that’s a long journey! #kidscorner

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    1. Oh I saw your tweet earlier, I hope it’s sorted now. It’s so important to feel they are safe and happy in school/nursery. It’s such a big thing to entrust your child to the care of others. I’m glad we moved too, couldn’t have done it again ha! xx thank you for your comment xx

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  4. gosh thats long my girls are only just about to start at school but I’m already thinking of which secondary school they’ll go to its such an important decision, sounds like you made the right choice though she’s done brilliantly and good on you for sticking to your guns. Thanks for linking up to #kidscorner great to have you xx

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    1. It comes around so quickly, I began thinking about high school as soon as they were both in year 2 ha! I am a bit of a planner. I think she has done great, she loves Uni and is desperate to be a primary school teacher. Thanks for hosting this fab new linky x

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  5. Choosing a school for my daughter seems a long way off yet (although I am sure that milestone will be here quicker than a flash). If I’ve learned anything from this post – it’s that we shouldn’t view a school that is 17 miles away, just in case she likes that one best! Only kidding!

    I have no idea where we are going to live by the time my daughter is school age, all I know is that it probably won’t be here (although there are some lovely schools near us).

    Thanks for joining our #HappyDaysLinky

    Jenna at Tinyfootsteps xx

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    1. Yes indeed stay away from the long distance schools ha! It does come round really quickly though, it’s such a personal decision. I am sure you will find a lovely school where ever you are by then xx

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  6. I think that you did the right thing – you shouldn’t need to defend your decision. All (the best) parents hope put their children’s best interests before anything else, and that’s the way it should be. We were lucky to have a very good comprehensive within walking distance so didn’t have any difficult decisions to make. All of my boys attended there, made many friends and did well academically, so no problems. I realise how lucky they were. I attended an all-girls Catholic school and loved every minute – it definitely made me independent and academically ambitious. All the best, Judy. (Going to check out your slow-cooker lasagne recipe over there – intriguing!)

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    1. Thank you Judy, it was such a big decision and did have an enormous impact on our lives for a while, but I think it was the right move too. Oh how lucky that your local school is so good, no wonder people move house xx

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  7. Good for you (and your daughter) in picking the school that was right for her. I can imagine the pressure to go to the one next door both from family and in terms of distance (well done on passing your test too). I hated every second of high school and it is so important.

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    1. Oh it is so important Tara, I think she would have hated the local one too. I knew she had some learning difficulties but because she didn’t have behavioural issues and was in the top 5% in her class, it wasn’t considered an issue. I suspected that the local high school would have had the same attitude. Thankfully, her new school spotted it in her first half term. The issue then was that we were in different education authorities ha! Thank you x

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  8. Lisa I just love you! This made me cry, what an absolutely amazing thing you did for her- putting her needs before anything else. Fab fab post and I would absolutely do the same! Thank you so much for sharing in #KidsCorner x

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  9. This post really resonates with me as we also travel to take our children to the best school we know. I chose my daughters school when she was only 9 months old, I just walked onto the grounds and knew. Despite looking at several other schools over her first 5 years, we never wavered from our number one choice. Now all 3 go here and we LOVE it. They also had to pass an exam and us parents are grilled, numbers are very limited and I pinched myself when my daughter was accepted. The travel is totally worth it. Sometimes it is tricky, friends can’t just pop in, we travel for parties, but I would never change their school. Thanks for linking up xx

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  10. I was lucky enough to go to one of the best girls’ schools in the Liverpool area, in Crosby. I absolutely believe that had I gone to one of the local schools I would have turned out a VERY different person. The single sex ethos where all girls were encouraged to become independant thinking young women was very important, and I applaud your decision to support Miss Glade by learning to drive. Help your girls to be proud of who they are, but always strive to be the best they can be – that’s what my school tried to instil in me…I’ve just got lazy over the years!!!

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