Thursday, 5 February 2009

No Child Left Behind...

Last week my wife and I were given a guided tour of a primary school at which we may want to try to seek a place for our daughter. And so I felt cold fingers close round my heart... Absolutely nothing to do with the school itself, which seemed an entirely first-rate establishment, full of well-behaved kids and lively teachers and fine facilities, a place any parent would be pleased to send their child in the hope that they'd be well educated and... 'happy'?
But there's the rub. It just seems to be a core existential moment, this: the dawn of the commencement of your child's formal schooling, following fairly hard on the heels of their getting the knack of talking. And whatever the ostensible merits of what you're presented with on your First School Tour, larger and more complicated thoughts are liable to obtrude, forcibly and perhaps for the first time - thoughts to do with your child's capacity for happiness or sadness, their willingness (and their ability) to function and to develop when separated from you, whether they will be liked and appreciated by their peers and teachers, whether they will struggle, socially and/or academically...
But there's no turning back or not facing it, is there?
'My mother groaned, my father wept / Into the dangerous world I leapt...'

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