Emma’s fostering blog
Harry has lived with us for 19 months and he has an educational health care plan, he is not at school and is getting just 4 hours a week education.
In September despite the fact that I knew this mainstream school wouldn’t meet his needs but the ‘professionals’ decided he would go there anyway, by February School were struggling to meet his needs. Harry couldn’t manage because he needed a specialist provision to help with the emotional and behavioural problems. Now attending for just 2 hours a day it was hardly surprising his behaviour was unmanageable, which resulted in weekly exclusions from school.
In July the headmaster informed me that they were unable to meet his needs any further. I felt like they were giving up on him, just like the last two previous schools and he was just 10yrs old having just 4 hours a week with a tutor at home. I found this totally unacceptable, I knew this would slow up the process, no contact with other children, poor social skills, and the only subjects covered are Maths and English.
It has been so difficult trying to meet his needs all day and every day and is now putting pressure on us as a family as he is becoming increasingly isolated from his peers. Then after 3 months I had a call from the Social Worker, she informed me that 4 schools were approached but unfortunately only one had responded, but I felt so relieved; until I found out that this school had already stated on two occasions that this school was not suitable to meet his needs. Surely if the headmaster thinks this school is not suitable, you have to ask why they are not listening to him!
Here we go again, is it right to attend a school that can’t meet his needs, are education setting Harry up to fail again. I decided to take further action and wrote to a number of people at the council, it was really annoying that my concerns were not noted for some months, so I decided to contact an advocate on Harry’s behalf which looking back was the best thing I did, I felt listened to, and considered as a fellow professional; eventually he got into a specialist provision and went on to achieve so much.
I am not alone, it is a big problem as there are many ‘Looked After’ children that education are letting down and not enough is being done, in mainstream schools teachers are not trained on the many issues that affect our children and I believe they should be, without looking at what’s behind the behaviour, how can they help them.
My thoughts are we need a system that ensures education meets the needs of the individual, enabling every child to achieve their potential, so that every child receives an excellent education whatever their background and wherever they live.
Emma – A Blogging Foster Carer – I Love What I Do!