A short rant about choosing schools

I have been to visit three potential secondary schools for Belle in the last eight days and I am fed up with it. I am fed up with having to spend an hour and a half doing something that should be over in half an hour because of all the parents who insist on asking so many boring, stupid questions.

I appreciate that choosing a secondary school for your child is a big decision, but with that in mind, do some research beforehand if you must. You visit a school to get a feel for its atmosphere, to see the building and grounds, and to watch children taking part in lessons. You surely do not visit a school to waste everybody’s time asking the headteacher what proportion of children take part in after school clubs?

And not just roughly either. One dad this morning really wanted to know. “I’m not sure of the exact proportion,” the head said, “but I can tell you that last summer when we had a fie drill at 4pm that there were about 150 children out at the fire assembly point.”

“And how many children at the school in total?” asked the dad, clearly not satisfied.

“About 950,” said the head.

“So about one in six then?”

“I guess about that,” said the head, looking perplexed.

“OK, one in six.”

Good grief.

Does it matter? Who cares how long lunch break is? It will be a sensible length for a lunch break. Do you really have to wait until you are in a group of 50 people to ask about GCSE results and options? Can you not just look up things like that on the internet like a normal person?

The best question though, which made me want to smash my head against a wall, came from one very keen dad, who had already asked half a dozen equally stupid questions.

“This is a bit of a circular question,” he said, chuckling indulgently to himself, (I’m doing a Will from the Inbetweeners voice here if you can’t tell). “My question is, will there be any more time at the end to ask more questions?”



  1. Amy
    27 September, 2012 / 10:27 am

    Hahah try being a teacher at one of these events!! :)

    • 27 September, 2012 / 10:31 am

      Oh my goodness, it must be soooo frustrating!!

  2. 27 September, 2012 / 10:37 am

    In a similarly head-against-wall situation, my younger sister (who is almost 20 and should be FAR better acquainted with Google) almost NEVER bothers to look up anything that she wants to know before phoning to ask me. She seems to think I’m some sort of Oracle and fails to realise she could save herself the bother by just frigging well Googling things! My Husband and I get it from various friends and family who seem to think we’re the keepers of all knowledge. Come on, people, we’ve all had the internet for a LONG time now!

    • Simon Howes
      7 October, 2012 / 12:35 am

      Can I suggest you start using http://www.lmgtfy.com for your sister… She should soon get the message. ;-)

      • 11 October, 2012 / 7:48 am

        Haha, I didn’t know what that was, but it is funny :-)

  3. 27 September, 2012 / 10:46 am

    You know what? I think some parents just see these events as an opportunity to win the “which-parent-has-their-child’s-best-interests-most-at-heart” competition. They want to be seen to ask lots of “intelligent” questions because they reckon it makes them look good in front of other parents (little realising they’re just bugging the hell out of everyone). Or am I just being cynical?

  4. rinsimpson
    27 September, 2012 / 11:22 am

    Ahahahahaha!!! Hilarious post Jo, I think you should get cross more often, it makes for very entertaining reading :)

  5. 27 September, 2012 / 9:48 pm

    My friend went to a playgroup meeting this week and she’s still in shock. Apparently they discussed ‘Pom Bears’ or ‘Hula Hoops’ for the Christmas party for a whole actual 10 minutes. No joke.

    • 27 September, 2012 / 9:49 pm

      Gosh – replying to my own comment – I didn’t ask her what they plumped for. I do hope it was hula hoops.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.