My son went to secondary school two years ago and we agonised about it extensively. Do we go for the local comp (failing school in recent history but now well on the up with significant investment) or do we take the lottery of opting for another school and seeing that fail and him going to a shit school? We opted for the local school. I't's a mile away. He can, and does in all weathers, walk to school. He's the standout player in his year rugby team, he is in the debating club, plays bass in a band and is a popular member of his year. when I asked him if he was bullied at school for being smart he said, "Nah, I'm a rugby hardass!!"
Not only that but he is absolutely flying academically. His science teacher told me he asks questions he doesn't expect from sixth formers and his maths teacher referred to him as "a phenomenal mathematician, probably one of the brightest I've ever taught". Ben is 13.
Lesson? Despite this venal, malignent and disgusting government, there are some bloody good schools out there that serve their pupils well.