Tonight is open evening at the school where I work. This means that in the last week, every photocopier in the school has had a queue of people waiting to use it and the laminating machine is on melt down. Teachers' tempers are on a short fuse and everywhere looks unnaturally neat and tidy. The display cabinets are polished and everything inside them is new and perfectly presented. Invitations have been sent out to the parents of all Year 6 girls at the local primaries so they get preferential access to the head's speeches. A lot of Year 5 parents try to sneak in to have a look round a year in advance!
It is a stressful time for all. And my heart goes out to those parents looking round and trying to make a decision. We are expecting around 500 families tonight, and normally over 300 parents actually make appointments after the open evening in order to get the application forms to apply to the school. To put that into perspective, we only have 160 places on offer.
It seems only yesterday that I was an anxious parent and we were so lucky that both our children went to our first choice of schools. So if there is anyone out there nervously completing their forms and chewing their finger nails until decisions are made public in March - good luck, hope you get the school of your choice.
As for me, well my work is done, INSET day tomorrow so a nice long weekend ahead!