Welcome to my first foray into the world of blogging. I hope it will be something that develops and improves with my writing style. It is my experiences of foreign cultures, many similar to my own and some completely alien as I live an expat life and throw in the odd journey or two along the way.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Highs and Lows of being back in Britain

Having lived in places of the world where the sun nearly always shines (though the temperature differed) getting re-acclimatised  to the grey, hanging weather was not going to be easy. It did seem to be going on forever - and then the sun came out this week!!! Temperatures of 25 degrees C and blue skies brought the smile back and Britain was beautiful. Just wish this could be guaranteed for the next 4 months. Maybe if I wished really hard?.........

The low point is more a veritable deep sea trough - the school admissions process. After having received the feeling that the LEA did not care about the boys' education on the 10th May, I left them to their 20 school days. When nothing had been heard by day 23 I phoned the school we want the boys' to go to. Only to discover that they had been contacted by the LEA on 19th April and told the Education Authority that there was a place for the youngest but not the eldest. So my youngest could have been in school 4 weeks ago, and the Appeal process could have been started (and maybe even finished) for my eldest! That same day I phoned the LEA to ask when I would hear only to be told "We've been very busy. I have your application on my desk. It will be actioned this week." Whilst I can understand that offices get busy, I was hurt by the fact that they couldn't even send an email or phone to explain the situation that they were trying and would get it done. But nothing was sent and no apology offered when I phoned. Today (school day 26), I received a letter in the post, postmarked 23rd, letter dated 22nd, giving our youngest a place in the school of our choice. This is great news. However, I felt a real sense of "being had" by the system as the letter is a stock letter sent out to everyone. There is no mention of taking too long, not meeting their own self-imposed targets, nor the fact that because of their incompetence my children are on their 5th week out of school.

There was no letter for our eldest. Apparently, according to the LEA this afternoon a letter for him was sent at the same time! Let's hope tomorrow's post brings news. If he doesn't get the school of our choice I want to Appeal but currently have no idea how long that process might take. The only thing that is certain is that it will probably entail some emotional heartache for me as I have to explain to a bunch of strangers why he should be in that school! If anyone reading this post has had experience of the process would be grateful for advice and tips on how to win!

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I'd love to hear your thoughts! Maybe something I've written about has sparked memories of similar experiences? Maybe you too have travelled off the beaten track? Send your comments for others to share!