For the past six months or so I have been in the grip of a distressing condition. Symptoms have manifested themselves as extreme anxiety, bad dreams and an OCD like preoccupation with Ofsted reports. I believe these symptoms are especially acute in those parents living in London with twins. You’ve guessed it, we’ve been suffering from the great primary school application trauma.
Like all complex diseases we have endured misdiagnosis, in this case an insistence by the London Borough of Southwark that our twins are not siblings and must not be described as such in the application process, increasing the real possibility that our twins might not get into the same school. There’s no way Mr and Mrs Rush Hour could manage those logistics.
I think it was Ben Johnson who famously said that if you are ill it is your thoughts that are the cause. My thoughts turned me into a not very appealing schemer who was drafting the appeal case before the final application was sent. The 5,000 words I wrote in the two application forms have never been equalled by any of the strategies I write at work.
On Monday evening at exactly 5pm I received an email which brought about an instant cure. Both girls got into our first choice local school. I know how lucky we are; there are 10,000 families in London who haven’t received an offer at all. At work we spend a lot of time debating the impact of increased tuition fees on university attendance but the thought of 10,000 families who aren’t even able to begin their education journey puts the tuition fees media into perspective.
Eve and Leah have a new noun Shjonch. I have a new benchmark for relief.