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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Haven't got the school you want? It happened to us. And here's what you should do now...

Trembling, I looked online, to see which primary school we'd been allocated. And that's when it hit me. Worst case scenario. We hadn't got any of our preferences. We were allocated the school at the very bottom of the league tables. Not the lovely little school around the corner - the one we naively assumed we'd get into, when we moved up from London. 

I spent the day in a daze. And then I got angry. I'm still angry 12 years later. That's why my partner and I set up SchoolGuru – to help other people avoid this fate, by providing them with fast access to information. And it's why we will do everything that we can now, to help you find a way forward. 

You may feel sad, angry, shocked, bewildered... or all of the above. We know someone who found it so tough, that they ended up in hospital. And we understand. However you're feeling, we want you to know that you're not alone. It may seem like that, right now, but thousands of parents up and down the country will also be in the same position. 

If you're a Premium Member, contact us at any time for email support and advice. 

Here's why you need to stay positive right now: 

1. Yes, ours was a sob story... but it came out well in the end. Your story will too. We fought hard and got our son into one of the best schools in the county. You can do the same. 

2. Don't let this crush you. You're going to need all your energy to fight back - and devise a Plan B. 

3. This is the start of your journey, not the end of it. There's a lot you can do between now and the start of the school year in September, to get a school that you're happy with. 

4. Many parents trade up schools via the Continuing Interest system - you should also lodge an appeal if you didn't get what you want. Having an action plan will make you feel much better and in control again. 

5. The pushy, proactive parents end up getting what they want... even if what they want changes over a period of time. We've seen it happen countless times at SchoolGuru.

6. Accept support from your friends right now. When we didn't get the school we wanted, a friend came round offering sympathy and 12 donuts. It made us feel better, knowing that someone cared. If we could personally send you 12 donuts right now, then we would do!

7. Be confident that everything will work out in the end. We've helped hundreds of people over the years - and none of them have ever ended up sending their children to a school that they're unhappy with. 

8. Don't feel alone - you're not. 

9. Don't feel a failure - you're not.

10. Don't think you're powerless - you're not. 

Please email us and we'll reply as quickly as we can, in confidence. I's only £50 for a year for our Premium Membership which includes email support. If you're a Standard member, and want to upgrade to Premium Membership, just let us know.  

Big hug... and lots of donuts. 

Catherine x

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