I have wanted to pen a column about education for a while. The problem is that it is all become rather confusing.
Some middle schools are staying open, some are closing. Some schools have grouped together, others have changed their name but remain the same. Have I got that right?
It has all changed so much since the days me and my four older brothers all went to the same primary school, where we had to pair up with another village just to have enough boys for a game of football.
I can only imagine that there is a fair amount of angst among some parents, especially those whose children are at an age where they might be directly affected by the changes.
But in the last week, I have been touched by a number of examples showing the hard work and out-of-the-box thinking that is still going on in our schools.
Let’s start in Cambridgeshire – admittedly not quite hitting the target audience of this newspaper. But stay with me dear readers.
I was at Cottenham Primary School on Friday to be precise where teachers had, in conjunction with the Secretary of State no less, managed to get the village roads closed off for a couple of hours and 600+ pupils got on their bikes to take part in the Tour de Cottenham.
It was a truly inspirational and uplifting feat, perfectly described by my six-year-old son who spoke with shock and awe over how the whole village had lined the streets to cheer them on.
Much closer to home was the presentation of fundraising cheques to a number of local charities at St Benedict’s Roman Catholic Upper School.
Like with Guildhall Feoffment Primary School in recent weeks and so many more, getting children engrained in fundraising and charity and/or volunteer work gives them so many life skills at such an early age.
Even closer to my own home was an invitation to a nursery parents evening for my two-year-old son. Yes that’s right, a chance for a key worker to say what they thought about my son – my two-year-old son.
Now I would do anything for my boys. But as I left work early to attend George’s assessment, I was wondering whether it was all worth it.
I was wrong to be sceptical. His lovely key worker sat us down and went through his development, what he is progressing well with (including kicking a ball – well done son) and what they would focus on more going forward.
This are just a few brief examples, of which I know there are many more.
I might not understand what the future holds for every local school. But with such dedication on our doorsteps, I feel certain that it will remain bright.