Home Sweet Home ...

30 April 2011

I launched this blog, back in February and I can't believe it has taken until now to write a post about my eternal house move saga. I've probably unconsciously held off writing about it as I have bored friends and family to tears with it all. If you are one of those, you may be best to log off now, as you've undoubtedly heard it all before.

Is anyone still left reading this post now? Well if you are I'd better fill you in with my scenario. 
Back in 2005, when Lily was just three months old we moved from the very edge of West London to Hove. After numerous day trips down to view many abode, we fell for our now home. It stood out from what we'd become used to viewing. It's an old coach house (circa 1880) a stones throw from the sea. I immediately fell for its charm and character.

Sounds delightful doesn't it? Why do we want to move? Well, to be honest, I'm not really sure that I do some days. We've got the beach, our allotment, great neighbours and our work studio is a ten minute walk away. I've yet to really put my stamp on the house - I've only just figured out what I want to do with it to make it more 'family friendly'.
Maybe it is house-hunting fatigue. I'm becoming slightly bitter about the whole thing as I feel we are being forced to move because of the ridiculous school situation we are finding ourselves forever in the middle of. When we were viewing the area we did our homework and checked out our local schools. They were close by and in most cases very good schools. How very naive we were. Our local state school is a ten minute or so walk from our house, but we couldn't get Lily in there. Oh no, we live too far away you see.

In fact Lily doesn't go to school in Hove at all: we take the daily commute to Portslade. The only saving grace is that it is a wonderful school that Lily is very happy at. This coming November we are having to go through the stressful school admission process all over again for Junior school. The forecast is yet again grim. Too many children, not enough schools. It will be harder still this time around as Junior schools linked with Primary schools give presidence to pupils who have attended the said Primary school; which is how it ought to be. But that doesn't help us. If all the current Primary school children take up their place at their linked Junior school we'll be left with just 3 to 8 extra places to apply for, which is done on distance. If we stay here we're almost certainly looking at schooling Lily out of Hove. And that may not even be a school we like this time around.

So our house went on the market some fourteen months ago. After several broken chains and a huge down valuation on our property from our survey we're still house hunting. One plus side is that we have a very patient buyer waiting in the wings (since July!). It's a struggle and the clock is now ticking for us as far as the school admissions deadline. We've toyed with renting, but houses that near to good schools don't seem to come up for rent very often, if at all. We're going to visit the school that Lily is most likely to get into next week should we stay here - maybe that might sway us either way. The uncertainly can drag you down - but I'm still keeping everything crossed that our 'forever' house will come onto the market any day now and this drawn out stressful time will just pale into insignificance. Ironically the council are opening a brand new Primary school just up the road from us this September which Arthur is highly likely to get a place at when his time comes. However the new school won't have a Junior intake for another three years, so can't offer Lily much hope. And how can get I get two children to different schools miles apart from one another for the same time?

So option one is that we stay here in a house we're are frankly quite happy with for the time being and except the school place we given no matter the distance or quality. Option two is that we take a gamble and move, still knowing that it won't guarantee us a school place, but just 'improve' our chances. It could end up being the most expensive gamble we take for our family. The parental responsibility is overwhelming and sometimes I don't feel qualified to make such a huge decision for my children's future. Turning it all over in my mind just makes my stomach churn. But as parents, I guess we just have to make an educated bet and go with our gut feelings hoping that it will all come right in the end which ever path we choose to take our family down.

1 comment:

  1. I know I'm not a parent Lou but I think you hit the nail on the head toward the end. Surely an educated guess and following your gut feeling are the only things you can do? Whenever I find myself in a stalemate of a situation I figure all I can hope is that it will all come right in the end. A fresh roll of the dice so to speak! No doubt such great parents will make the right decision, good luck whatever you do xxx