He stood before me, his expression was one of seriousness & confusion…
“Miss xxxxxxx I don’t know what you’re trying to suggest here, but we both know that you made the decision to collect and take your son home, nobody requested you do so!”
Speechless, I felt my whole body tremble. It wasn’t fear but a mix of both anger and shock! This surely wasn’t how it was meant to be! This was… Well, just wrong!
“Excuse me, but you called me and had me collect him, you know you did!”
He stared blankly at me as he made a continuous shaking motion with his head. Suddenly it hit me… If this man could stand before me telling porkers then he could surely do the same when discussing any situation relating to my child. Now, I always believe my child when he tells me something though he does have this unintentional habit of exaggerating a situation a tad so. Now, I’d never again question his words, especially if it had anything to do with his head teacher!
You don’t really ever expect to receive a call from your child’s head teacher requesting you collect your child immediately because they are unable to contain his unpredictable and challenging behaviour, especially when they have always claimed he has no issues at school, implying it’s a “Home Thing!” This is even more surprising given the fact it’s suddenly a recurring event, one that is now being denied!
This was the kick up the behind I needed to learn everything education related. This included, school’s and LEAs statutory requirements, the SEN code of practice, Education act and anything else related to SEN.
Of course my first discovery was that of “Illegal Exclusions” I therefore quickly got legal advice before putting my findings to the Head teacher and those other professionals attending the current meeting. I half expected to be thrown a few excuses but to stand and look me in the eye and lie… No, I didn’t expect this!
Feeling a mixture of sickness and disbelief, I asked myself where we’d go from here. Deep down I knew this was the beginning of a battle… I guess I just never expected it to be so tough!
Yes, this is one of many incidents that happened during Little man’s mainstream schooling, in fact this is a pretty mild example!
Some of the events that followed were truly horrifying! Exclusions on a weekly basis, especially on days of school trips or special events… He even got hide away while ofsted inspected the joint! He was taught in isolation like some cage animal and the bull shit keep following.
On one particular occasion when I was collecting Little man from school as a result of yet another exclusion, it was claimed my son had called the head teacher a “Wanker” and I openly agreed. Now… although I did pretty much by this point consider him to be just so, the incident was one that never actually occurred whatsoever, it was all based on lies. Another occasion was in relation to a weekly trip the children made to the local allotment. It was agreed I’ll attend so little man could go! However, on this day I was informed of a staff shortage with the result being a cancelled trip.
As I sat enjoying the mid-days sun while sipping a lemonade through a straw as I enjoy my last few hours freedom which I happened to be spending with my sister in my mother’s garden that lays directly opposite the allotments. Suddenly, I’m greeted with the most worrying sight. Sitting up I flick my sunnies from my head down to my eyes in order to get a better look! Surely not… No stinking way is that them! But it was, it was all of them, the whole class minus one!
I wasn’t mistaken as a child recognised me and waved… though they were no more than 15ft away the teacher failed to spot me, though I spotted him and god that made me angry!
I felt my eyes begin to water beneath my oversized sunnies. My sister looked a me, her face a picture of pure horror, she asked… “Claire… what are you going to do?”
“Nothing!” was what I answered!
On collection from school I asked the Little man’s Teaching Assistant what the children did instead of attending the allotment… as expected, I was feed so more bum fluff!
Of course now I was pushed to a limit… With this and a whole host of other sad events I filed a claim of “Disability Discrimination” I had my fighting boots on and I was adamant that I’ll pull them down and show them to be the “True Professionals” they really were!
I’d be lying if I said it was easy! There was tears, lots of tears. Lies… so many I’d lost count months ago. Reading the schools response to my claims I truly saw how corrupt they were as I saw a filed document being used as evidence. This document was a timetable of the allotment programme, it claimed that 2 schools (one being theirs) had agreed to swap days that week, they claim it was this group of children I see!
A week before the hearing I agreed on a settlement. I removed my son from the school but I needed to not only have the schools lies revealed as just that… Lies! I also wanted my child to be given a full apologise while it was of great importance that this terrible treatment didn’t continue on in this manner.
Having rejected a series of written apologies while suggesting alternative wording for the next, we finally got there. The Letter apologised for different incidents as well as stating it would review it’s policies and train its staff in SEN with a certain date attached as a deadline.
What exactly did I learn the hard way? I learnt that those we often put our trust in are the ones we sometimes should fear most. I learnt how money and funding truly comes before the child when it comes to that of education. Lastly I learnt that I’m stronger than I ever thought I was!