Many months ago I posted about the long struggle to get both our children into the same school. After deciding to take our chances and gamble that Lucy would get a place at Oliver’s school, even though the local authority had changed the admissions criteria, we got the bad news in April that our gamble had not paid off.
So faced with having our children in different schools – not to mention a whole host of exacerbating circumstances that I won’t go into here – we decided to appeal.
Yesterday was the day of our appeal.
It’s the closest thing I have ever experienced to going to court. The local authority put their case as to why our daughter should not get a place (which is basically that they have allocated 30 places and can’t go over that), then we got the chance to question them on that.
Then we put our case. I drafted it in full to make sure I missed nothing. All in all it only took about30-40 minutes to present it, but I can tell you that the months, weeks and days leading up to it as we compiled our case were some of the most stressful I have ever experienced. I’m used to presenting arguments to meetings at work, but never with so much hanging on the outcome. (My apologies to those I work with who may feel my daughter’s school is not as crucial as their multi-million pound contract…. but it is.)
The panel make their decision at the end of the day of the hearings for the school in question. And today the result will have gone into the post.
Tomorrow we find the result.
The criteria to succeed is so demanding – and the success rate in cases such as this that are covered by Infant Class Size regulations so low – that even the specialist firm of solicitors we contacted basically told us we had a 50-1 chance and virtually told us not to bother hiring them. (So we didn’t.)
Nonetheless we felt we had a good case and consequently went ahead. There’s really no knowing how it went. The panel played poker faces and at times seemed distracted. Their questions too were limited and somewhat seemed to have missed the point of what we had been telling them. But all these impressions were shared by others who had appeals yesterday, so it tells us nothing for sure.
So we await tomorrow’s post.
Meanwhile, I have been told this week that my job is under threat of redundancy. About 1 in 7 of my department is to be made redundant. The assessments were made today in private for ratification tomorrow and Monday. From Tuesday onwards everyone is told their fate. My appointed slot to find out is not until Thursday afternoon. So I have a further week to wait to find out my future.
So all in all, much of my life is in limbo. Thankfully the kids are oblivious. So if you’ll excuse me I’m off to put them to bed. Because that’s a pleasure no limbo can spoil.