One day, in the future, I am certain we will look back at our education system and cringe.
Just like we do now when we think about how they used to discipline in the not-so-olden times. Every parent or grandparent can tell you a barbaric tale about themselves or someone they knew who got the cane. From being belted to strapped to the Victorians’ use of the dunce’s cap, you name it, our education system has done it.
That’s without the most damaging use of punitive punishments: humiliation.
I can recall an eleven year old boy in my French class who had not done his homework. He was told to stand up behind his desk and repeat after the battle-axe teacher (who by the way bathed in Picasso perfume and had an out-dated perm), the following words “I am an inbecile and one day I’ll end up on the dole.”
It could’ve been French for all we understood at the time, but the punishment for him would’ve been mentally ingrained.
The old crow never considered that if he could’ve done the homework then perhaps he would’ve.
Which leads me back to the subject of using exclusions.
Who ever thought the idea up of using exclusions as a tool for discipline? I know let’s segregate you, that’ll teach you a lesson. Well, I’d like to stick that brainiac in the corner, facing just a wall for company and stick a hat on them with a capital D.
Sanctions like this only just fuel the fire because kids that are punished like this often get back to where they need to be – home.
Excluding a child is not a magic wand to rid them of their unwanted behaviours. More often than not it sets the wheel of negativity to the point of no return; a permanent exclusion and psychological issues that develop overtime.
If we look at statistics, a child with #SEN is seven times more likely to receive a permanent exclusion than a neurotypical child. This is data straight from the Department of Education and not to be discredited.
So does this mean then that a child with SEN is seven times more likely to be badly misbehaved than the average child?
Or could it just really show that they are just part of a higher percentage of children whose needs are not being met in our out-dated #education system? After all, behaviour is better understood as the child communicating this anyway.
I have one of those SEN children that makes up the statistics. She was just turned six when she got her permanent #exclusion and it’s taken months to talk about it openly.
More alarming then that she has an educational health care plan in place – a legally binding agreement drawn up for school to follow so that they can meet her needs to ensure this doesn’t happen. A document I identified wasn’t working and asked to be reviewed last December. Lots of procrastination happened but very little action and in the mean time school had gathered enough evidence they felt they needed to warrant a permanent exclusion.
I’m in the process of appealing this and although I can’t write too much pending the results of the independent hearing – a lot of new information has come to light. And, it wasn’t good from the school’s point of view. Let’s just say when you try to cover your tracks and you’ve broken SEN laws it would be better to hold your hands up and accept it, don’t fabricate evidence to bump up your appeal because that just opens up a can of worms.
At the trial I shook with a mixture of nerves and adrenaline. For the first time in two years the truth was being told and I felt elevated. Its damaging on the soul when you know you’re being oppressed.
My case never fell apart and I didn’t stumble because it was the truth.
Either way, it was singlehandedly one of the most traumatic things I have been through. Sadly, I’m not alone and it is a common reality of the loopholes us army of SEN parents find ourselves forced to go through.
When a child is prohibited from integrating with their peers, it doesn’t only affect them but their parents too. SEN parents are continuously excluded just like our children.
Ostracising an already vulnerable child (or family for that matter) just makes the problems worse. It’s ludicrous this use of punishment still goes on when it’s quite clearly failing. If it worked then these kids would still be in school now wouldn’t they?
Maybe one day our grandchildren will come home from school and say do you know what they did in the olden days? They used to kick the disabled children out of school and say they were naughty!
It used to be called exclusions.
My word, those were barbaric times, lucky we don’t discriminate like that now.