A few weeks back I came across an article in the Guardian… Unruly pupils ‘hidden’ from Ofsted inspectors!
Was I surprised? This isn’t news! Well at least not to those parent’s of the “unruly child”
Headteachers are employing an arsenal of tricks to keep naughty pupils hidden from inspectors, MPs were told today.
Unruly children may be temporarily suspended before Ofsted teams arrive, or supply teachers brought in to cover “terrible” classes of disruptive pupils because inspectors are known to be unlikely to observe those lessons, the education select committee heard. As a result, witnesses claimed, inspectors underestimate the extent of bad behaviour. The Guardian 18,11,2010
I should count myself lucky as my son wasn’t part of the statistic… despite his constant exclusions and isolation! There was one occasion I thought little man had been excluded for the benefit of gaining that oh so great report! However it turned out to be normal everyday inspectors… Well that makes it Ok then!
Well this hit the headlines on the 18th November 2010, and at that time as mentioned above Little man had not yet been “hidden” But how things were about to change! On the 23rd November, just a few days after commenting on the article I received a letter…. Ofsted were coming to the little dudes school on the 26th and 27th of November.
I just knew, from the moment I saw that letter that my son would have yet another crawl exclusion or sprint in isolation.. Like some kind of caged animal. Little man had only just returned to the classroom in the afternoons and back into school on a full-time basis while awaiting the decision on a statement of Sen and a placement in an “autism specific school”
Monday when I had collected him from school he wasn’t waiting in the office as I was told he would be. Instead he was in the hall hiding under PE equipment. He had hidden there purely because he wished to finish school at the same time as his peers. Not aware of the time due to him leaving his watch indoors, he had got in his hiding place far to early, meaning he was sat down there for sometime all in an attempt to stay with his class that extra ten minutes.
Tuesday we visited Camhs. It was near on impossible to have a conversation with the Dr, Little mans anxiety levels were scoring and it was heart breaking to see him so distressed. However he went to school that afternoon and joined his all time favourite lesson… French! He seems to have a bit of a thing for the French teacher bless him. That afternoon he didn’t need to hide. He stayed till the end and left the classroom side by side with his peers. Little man had a smile so big it lit his face and in his hand he held a plastic trophy and a small packet of sweets, prizes he had won from the teacher.
Wednesday again little man wasn’t in the office but in his classroom. The bell had not yet gone so I walked down to his classroom and waited outside alongside the other parents. Did they even know who I was? It had felt like forever since I stood amongst them all. Lucky for me I knew one or two so chatted in till the bell went. I noticed that the teacher wasn’t somebody I had met before, but a supply teacher. I worried that maybe things hadn’t gone well, so went in for the kill and asked her outright. I was told that all though she had not been in the class the whole afternoon, he was Ok… Just a little swearing. While speaking to his friends (Partner in crime) father, his class teacher appeared. After telling little man that he was still recording his behaviour (little man was becoming impatient with waiting and was banging the back of his foot against the wall) I asked about his behaviour and was told that it was not perfect… However most of the afternoon that he was there it wasn’t to bad and he had even produced four pages of work. I’ve been told he isn’t on the gold card system anymore yet the teacher pointed out that little man had turned his card but not to red 🙂
When leaving the school with little man’s partner in crime and his father, before waving good-bye I said to his father that I could see one-off our boys, or even both of them being pulled from the class tomorrow.
With that I went home and emailed a few people stating my concerns about the Ofsted visit and how my gut was telling me little man was going to suffer.
6.45 pm having just finished a meal over at my mothers came the call I dreaded but whole heartedly expected. I was told that little man being in his class with his peers in the afternoons wasn’t working….. I was then told that the plan was to isolate him for the whole school day! Of course I wasn’t shocked but to say it was to do with the behaviour he was demonstrating in class was a joke!
The anger and sadness I felt was so intense! For once why couldn’t they have proven me wrong? Done the right thing by the child. The constant exclusions from school and trips/activities, the days spent isolated were too much. His transfer to a school that understands him and includes him could not come soon enough. Yes I will admit at that moment in time I hated the person on the other end of the phone. Yet hate is a strong word, looking at my child it was the right word…. I hated them so much for proving me right, for letting little man down as always and yes I still hate them now.
I wont go into details about what was and wasn’t said during that phone call. But what I will say is that in a roundabout way it was confirmed to me that my child’s presence in that class room would have an undesired effect on any inspection reports.
I’m not blasting the over all performance of the school, In my opinion there are a handful of teachers who are pleasant and teach to a high standard. Others simply don’t make the cut because when it comes to the educational and mental well-being of children such as little man, the ones who are seen as “different” from the children without Sen or a disability they just don’t care! Then their are the ones merely doing as they are instructed to by those above them.
Since this day my son has been staying at home or going into school half day (Just how they like it) His routine! What routine?
It’s the Christmas period and I have already mentioned in a recent phone call, if Little man is removed from Christmas activities then his staying at home. Im awaiting an appointment with the GP because when your child turns around and says, “Mum, it would have been better if I was never born” it’s clear that the school are having a huge impact on his self-esteem and chipping, flaking confidence.
Looking at little mans educational reports, it’s clear to see his school are more interested in the contents of this blog! If that is the case then how cold one must be to carry on this treatment towards my child. I will not stop writing this blog as it’s my escape and though his school have referred to it as some kind of “hate campaign” against them! It is not! Given little man received the treatment that every child deserves then they would read words of prise and gratitude. If this blog was about my daughter… A Girl Without Aspergers! It would be just that! Sadly it is not!