The system is broken. Full bloody stop.
We can fight amongst ourselves and try our best to get those individulal wins, but we are just lone warriors – trying to wage our own version of a resistance.
It just is one, big losing battle.
A war with pocketfuls of parents, here and there, who are made to fight the system for what their children need.
If we have the opportunity, and fortune, to be dealt the right cards, we may succeed.
The reality is we are mentally drowning, as we execute every last drain of energy, into securing a provision that can educate our children.
We have no option but to take county SEN representatives to court so that a solution can be mediated and agreed upon.
But the truth is, everyone’s hands are tied and there are not enough spaces for the level of needs that keep on coming through.
We require schools for children with autism and anxiety, or units which give them sancturary, if they are unable to access mainstream education all of the time.
A nurture-style teaching approach, that could embrace their challenges, as well as incorporate their strengths, so that they can become valued members of the schooling community.
Perhaps we wouldn’t have to find these alternatives if the system was more befitting and taught in a way that incorporated all types of Neurodiversity.
Sadly, it doesn’t, and we miss out on educating all of the waves of independent, curious thinkers that could be the next generation of doctors, scientists, artists or inventors.
Instead, we let their talents and capabilities to create new ideas fester into the waste ground.
As parents, we are therefore forced to find a specialist unit because the system is purely not built to accomodate certain additional needs.
Occasionaly it works and for those lucky few I am so pleased that they have been so successful.
However, it leaves a bittersweet taste in my mouth, as I question why it is not equal and accessible for all of the other children who deseve the same chances too?
We have explored every avenue available to us and our children often can’t find a place that they can fit in.
And that is not forgetting the toll it takes on established schools and the limited resources they have in place.
Some are pushed to their limits and will do their best to accommodate anxious, non-conforming students with additional needs, until they are forced to accept they can’t do anything more.
This is even more devastating when they have tried, using their own sheer determination to make things work out to help children succeed – with absolutely no intervention from SEN teams who sit at their desks, in plush county offices, and don’t answer their phones or emails.
Trust me. I’m not even exaggerating.
Over the years I have seen many professionals who will go that extra mile because they want all children in their classes to succeed.
The methods that schools are forced to follow do not allow everyone to fit in – no matter how hard they try.
So as parents, we may win so to speak, and negotiate an agreement before it finally goes to court.
But who really wins?
The money, that’s ‘not’ in the funding pots to provide these placements, instead goes on fighting whether a parent will or won’t take it to the final stages, leaving the financial deficit even greater.
There are simply not enough solutions.
As one child gets moved on, another one fills their place, left needy and wanting on one of the many long waiting lists.
These forgotten children who are still hoping that one day, they too, will get the chance to go to a school that can help them fit.
That they will learn to read and write, or make a friend in their class – maybe even dream to know what it will feel like to hold a certificate up in front of the school because they could do it.
Yes, they did something important enough to validate praise or success!
No longer be a vacant, ghostlike face, clinging onto survival, by a system that has done nothing else but to break them.
There are children in this SEND war who have never experienced the simple things that their childhood should provide them with.
Children who are deemed just too difficult to educate, so they get thrown away as if they were a piece of rubbish in the trash can.
Those with the educational purse strings are not living these lives and seeing how families crumble under the fragmented structures.
Those filing the papers and making those decisions, do they know what it’s like trying to pick up the pieces of a discarded child’s aspirations?
Yes, the system is well and truly broken.
There are just too many children who are not able to conform to the style we are forced to be teaching them with.
And, there are even more children, on reduced timetables, excluded or without provision, not because they have failed, but the system has failed around them.
We need changes to be made.
We need a more robust operating system – one that is just not flawed.
Education is not inclusive at the moment – it really has a three-tiered hierarchy.
Those that can achieve.
Those that could achieve but don’t because they simply cannot fit.
And those who get a chance because their parents have been successful enough to fight for it.