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Wednesday, 14 August 2013

We didn't get the memo!


I love living in Glebe. I must, hey? I write a blog about it! So because I love Glebe it doesn’t enter my mind to leave the suburb, say if I had children, for example. Some would say that children need space to run around and do stuff. The great Australian dream would have us living on the quarter acre block in a 3 bedroom low set brick house in “the suburbs”.

Arran and I have decided that we very much like living in Glebe in a Terrace house with a very small yard. We have a larger yard than most in Glebe but it’s still small by Australian standards. It’s a very convenient place to live. Within 200 metres of our house we have:
  • an Indian Restaurant
  • 3 Thai noodle restaurants
  • A cocktail bar
  • A pub which claims to have Sydney’s coldest beer and fantastic pub food
  • Two small supermarkets
  • A fish and chip shop
  • 5 cafes
  • A French inspired restaurant
  • A bank
  • A drycleaner
  • 2 Japanese restaurants, which we never go to because I don’t “get” Japanese food
  • A German bakery
  • A Vietnamese/French bakery
  • A nail and waxing shop – best mani-pedi’s going!
This is in addition to heaps more restaurants, shops and facilities within a 1km walk. It’s very convenient for two people who are not particularly organised. Over the years we have been living in Glebe the City of Sydney council have spent many rate payers dollars upgrading the street scapes and parks which means that there are many many beautiful places to be.

So this is all pretty nice isn’t it? Except we didn’t get the memo, that we were supposed to move to the suburbs once we had kids! Apparently that’s what the city planners expect us to do. Young professional couples move into the inner city suburbs to live and to work and to get married.  All good. Then when you decide to have kids you are supposed to need more space and you then move further out of the city.

But guess what? Arran and I don’t want to do this. Apparently there are lots of other parents living in the inner city who also don’t want to do this. Hmmm….so?

Well next year Aiden starts school as do many other kids in the area. This topic has been consuming mother’s group conversation for the past 6-9 months and frankly, I’m over it. I’m over talking about the same topic over and over and I’m over not having a range of education options. You see the small inner city schools are not able to cope with the fact that we didn’t choose to move out to the suburbs and send our kids to schools that are probably better equipped to enroll larger numbers of kids.

So here we are in Glebe. When Aiden was about 4 months old I paid $250 to put him on the waiting list for an Independent school in the area. Because we turned down a place for Aiden for pre-school we have to wait until October to see if he is going to get into Kindergarten. Welcome to Sydney people. Apparently I should have put him on the list when I conceived!

We are in the catchment area for a public school that doesn’t have a good reputation and doesn’t compare well academically with the other schools in the area. Every parent wants their child to go to a good school and I also want a school that is going to be able to AND happy to provide extra support for Aiden’s vision impairment. I don’t get the impression that this is the school for Aiden.

 The school that is within a 5 minute walk of our house and we are NOT in the catchment area for took 6 “out of area” enrolments last year. The admin person at this school happily informed me that there was no chance of getting Aiden in at this school as there is 44 kids already on the waiting list.

I attended a Kindergarten information evening at another school in a nearby suburb, which comes highly recommended and has a good reputation. I was solely there to find out the chances of getting Aiden in as an “out of area” enrollment, as were half the parents there. This topic was not covered as part of the “information” and I found myself with 10 other desperate parents grilling one of the teachers and Administration Managers. One parent was so desperate she was enquiring as to when she would be considered “in area” if she bought a house in the catchment. But when would she be considered in area? Would it be when she signed the contract to buy the house? Or would it be when the sale settled? What date would matter to get her child into Kindergarten in 2014? That’s commitment.

I have found another little school in a nearby suburb which is lovely and the principal was willing to meet with Arran and I. It would be a great school for Aiden and I have filled out the “out of area” enrollment application. Crossed fingers.

I know it will work out and the best option will come up for Aiden, but gee wouldn’t it have been handy if we had got the memo?

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