This post has been created from a private conversation that I had with a good friend of mine who I have known through many years via attending charity organised events.
The parent has allowed me to share the discussion and how she feels the education system are not doing enough to support our children in settings, so that the environment promotes good mental health and emotional well-being.
For the purpose of this article the parent has asked for herself and her child to remain anonymous. With a subject so sensitive I can completely understand why she would want to this confidential. Regardless of that, this story needs telling and unfortunately it isn’t the first time I am hearing it.
“It was interesting reading the post regarding mental health, H now 14 has been suffering with various problems over the last few years which have been exacerbated by her visual impairment and lack of support from school. It’s really strange but Sue Jones who you may know from RSBC has been supporting H with this and has seen how school has not really helped. We just seen to be going round in circles. We cannot wait for June 2022 so that she can get out of there.
Girls can be so horrible and it’s been six against one. As a parent I feel helpless but will always do what I can to challenge anything I feel is unfair. I myself was bullied at school due to my visual impairment but this was back in the 80’s when mental health wasn’t even recognised and now being in my late 40’s, I realise that it affected my mental well being and self belief in my teens and early twenties and left many unseen scars. Mainstream schools have a long way to go to bring out the best in their disadvantaged children.
H leaves school next June, we are on a countdown. I feel so frustrated with state secondary school education talks about inclusion for our kids but it’s so not. 40 years on things haven’t improved as much as I had hoped. Mental health is a massive issue for so many, but there are so many stereotypes particularly around disability. Secondary education is all about results and that is the focus. As part of the curriculum mental and social well being is essential for a well rounded young adult . For H charities like Henshaw’s and VICTA are essential in helping providing opportunities which she hasn’t been offered in school. I have had many conversations with school with little success. Sue has been invaluable and I cannot recommend her enough to any parents/ children struggling at the moment. I an tough cookie I will never give up on my children and will speak up for anything I feel is not right.”
So what are your thoughts?
Do you think that schools should be doing more not only to improve inclusivity in the setting in terms of academia but also addressing the social element?
Do you have a similar story that you wish to share?
Or have any suggestions for the parent in question about how you have been through similar and can offer some advice?