How much further can we go before we are forced to admit that continuously saving money could mean we have to rescue education? The conversation must continue, but its focus needs to change. Let's stop talking about cuts and start talking about investment.
My husband had checked the email very early in the morning. I had laughed when he read out the name of a school that I'd never even considered, assuming that he was joking. This soon turned to total shock. Not only had we not gained a place at our first choice of school, but we hadn't gained a place at the other three choices either.
The run up to a child's first day of school should be exciting and encouraging for parents, as they plan ahead and wonder what life might have in store for their family. Yet for far too many this experience has become a negative one, riddled with anxiety and ultimately, disillusionment in a system that can only be described as broken.
If politicians are going to promise building new homes, and thereby expand a population in a town, for goodness sake build an extra primary school and require new GP surgeries to cope with any increasing population in a given area.
I started questioning whether the school was right for us. I was gobsmacked. After all that agonising, all that thought, I couldn't believe we might have got it wrong. Perhaps the new direction the school was taking wasn't right for us?
Defining children according to wealth or merit in specific subjects sits very uncomfortably with me. What about supporting kids' interests, building on enthusiasm? What about maintaining friendships between kids of different social backgrounds rather than keeping them in separate worlds? Isn't it heartbreaking when children are separated from their best friends...
Don't Let School Places Become a Political Football When We're Already Building Classrooms in Playgrounds
Fairness starts with a good education for all; we all know this, as if we learnt it by rote. Why, then, are we in a situation where schools are setting up classrooms on playgrounds, in school halls and even empty offices?
The danger is that because the Government is failing to manage the bulge, schools will be forced to cut down on outdoor play space, close music rooms and libraries, or crowd children into unsuitable classrooms. All this threatens the quality of teaching and learning for young children. Labour would address the primary crisis by focussing spending on the areas of the country where there is a real need for extra classes. We would end the Government's nonsensical rules which stop councils addressing the capacity crunch head on.
Quarter of a Million New School Places Needed Because of Uncontrolled Immigration - Has the Government Factored in the Unknown Number of Bulgarians and Romanians Arriving on 1 January?
The latest report from the National Audit Office warns that a quarter of a million extra school places will be needed in England by autumn 2014 to meet rising demand because the past decade has seen the biggest increase in birth rate since the 1950s.
One in seven pupils in England missed out on their first choice of secondary school this year, official figures show. The