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Education: What Really Matters...

Is education more than ‘school’?

Education provision within the UK is under a lot of pressure in the current climate. Teachers are working harder than ever to meet the needs of their students, parents, colleagues, and regulating bodies. Ultimately, schools don’t have enough staff to adequately meet all these needs and without huge amounts of funding (which doesn’t exist) there is no way to fix it.

So who suffers as a result of this?

I am hearing of more and more children who are unable to access education. It usually starts with a child trying to make it in mainstream provision. Reward charts, traffic light behaviour system seems pretty normal right? WRONG! These traditional behaviour management

strategies can be damaging, and some would say abusive, to children who are unable to conform.

The fact of the matter is that children with neurodiversities, or children who have suffered trauma, are not designed to conform. Their brains are wired differently, making it difficult at best, but sometimes impossible.

As an adult, if we find ourselves in a situation we are not comfortable with, we walk away, or we have an understanding of what we need to do to work through the situation and what the outcome will be at the end. For a child, they are trapped in the situation that is causing them distress, forced to remain there by the people who are supposed to protect them. Over time, this can cause a child to withdraw, display challenging behaviours, or it can cause damage to the child’s mental well-being.

As a result, the number of children being home-schooled, or unschooled is increasing year after year, but how is this impacting the child’s academic ability? For many children it will mean that they don’t achieve a high level or academic attainment, and some children will not follow any kind of curriculum that we might see in a school or get any traditional qualifications at the end of it.

The important question here is ho

w much does it actually matter? Do you know what grades your friends, family and colleagues got at school? If you were to know what grades they got, would you judge them on it? Or do you base your opinion of them on who they are, how they treat you, and the life they live now?

My priority for my children is their mental health. It has taken a long and challenging learning curve to reach this point of realisation in a world where social values are based on socio-economic status and material focus.

What use is any of this if our mental health is in tatters? Who can appreciate a flash car or a big house if you spend your time in a state of depression or anxiety?

If a child is not cut out for education, should we be forcing them to continue if it puts their mental health in jeopardy? Or should we be looking for alternatives?

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