It was Thomas' induction day at High School today. They're supposed to make their own way there either on the bus or by walking but as we're not on a bus route and it's just short of 2 miles away, Mark dropped him off and he made his own way in.
He's not even walked to the shops so there's no way I'd be happy letting him walk on his own just yet, not knowing whether he'd arrived safely or not. Amy started walking with a friend in Year 8 so it will come. Plus it takes about 30 minutes at a good pace - Thomas would take a lot longer.
Anyway, he had a great day, he likes his form teacher, he's with some friends from school and he's met up with a couple of friends from his old school again.
Tonight I'm going to the parents meeting. Here I will be told how wonderful the school is and get to meet his form tutor. If it's a repeat of Amy's induction evening I will also be told that the school is in the top 12 in the country. When I first heard this I thought 'that can't possibly be true', so I looked it up. What they'd omitted to say was 'in the most deprived boroughs'. It's really not what you say but what you don't say isn't it lol. It doesn't bother me. I tend to think all schools are as bad as each other. Amy was pretty happy there and we didn't have any issues from a teaching/staffing point of view. She came out with good grades and the staff seemed dedicated, supportive and on the ball.
Just while I'm talking about school again, I received an e-mail from the Deputy Head about the £35 trip money.
She answered all my questions and said she understood how frustrating it was that 'disadvantaged children' (her words not mine), would be getting lunches and trips for free. I replied that yes, it was frustrating on a number of counts - that certain children will always be financially favoured throughout their school life yet aren't necessarily 'disadvantaged' - that a lot of working families are struggling but don't meet financial criteria for help and they're expected to find the funds - and that most frustrating was school had in effect spent £35 of my money without asking me and now wanted reimbursing for a trip that seems unnecessary.
I also mentioned that as it was educational and taking place in school hours no child, regardless of whether they receive free school meals or not, had to pay and queried why that information hadn't been forthcoming yet the information about free school meals was typed in bold.
She offered to ring me and discuss the matter or meet with me. I politely declined both offers because I'd made my point and I'm sure she knew where I was coming from.
I will obviously pay for Thomas as I can afford to. But once again, it's not what's said but what isn't said....I guess now she knows that I know that.