Life on the Frontline – Week 19


A weekly blog from a family made by adoption, warmed by the laughter, broken by the sadness, held together by love with a big dollop of hope, oh, and often soaked in mummy tears.

It’s been a hard week, but also one full of enlightenment. Having fallen apart, putting the pieces back together has been cathartic and strengthening, and strength is very much needed, as I think we have a fight on our hands.

“I wasn’t prepared to be impressed” mused Small from under his floppy fringe, “but actually I was a little bit, impressed that is.”

Inwardly I punched the air and performed a big celebratory dance. Outwardly I gave a small smile and said “I’m pleased”

We have found another school for Small, a special school for those with emotional, social and behavioural problems and also fee paying and out of area. It is going to be a battle to secure him a place at the expense of our local authority, but I’m prepared to fight.

Taking Small to see it was very important, I needed him to be on board, and knowing he was happy with the choice will make me even more determined to ensure he goes there.

It’s a new school, which is a twenty minute drive from our home, currently has less than ten pupils but at the most will only have about forty. They have a very creative and nurturing approach to learning and have a psychology team to support the children. The headmaster has demonstrated, to me, an understanding of Small’s anxieties around school and spoken very positively about how they can support him.

I think Small was sold when he told him, that when it snows, they all go sledging.

The visit took place two weeks ago now, so this week came the big meeting.

The many people currently involved in his education all sat around a big table,  to discussed his future and how we go about securing the right KS3 education for Small. It was a brain rattling meeting, with lots of information to take on board and process.

It came to light that Small had sat some SAT papers the previous week, unbeknown to us. He scored 5 in two of the English papers and 4 in a maths paper. This is even though he has only been accessing a reduced amount of the curriculum.

This for some around the table is an argument to pursue a mainstream education for Small. To me it’s an argument in favour of Small’s great intellectual ability, which will be fully realised when he starts to feel comfortable in a learning environment.

This new school to me seems like an opportunity for Small to wake in the morning and not dread the idea of school. I read a brilliant phrase this week which I know is so important to Small’s education. The educators need to “connect not correct”. For me this school will give him that, a space to develop emotionally and experience positive relationships within education.

So I’m stretching my limbs, flexing my muscles and preparing for battle.


In Other News

The snow is still here.

We are now on half term and as I write a wonderful friend has both my boys, for the night, with her own three boys. I don’t think I’ll answer the phone if it rings.

My friends have been brilliant and really here for me in this moment of crisis and I have realised just how lucky I am.

My husband and I are having steak for tea, because we can and we’ve got no children, so on that note, I’m off.

One thought on “Life on the Frontline – Week 19

  1. Kirsty

    Hi, I am interested in your progress to date and would love to know where this school is.
    My 14 year old stopped going to mainstream last Feb, finally got a place for 3 days a week at a very small alternative provision which in theory sounds lovely…and she enjoys it. But her complex needs, according to therapists, means she has to sabotage the placement and U.S. again refusing. The LA will pull the plug very soon I’m sure.
    Think I have to find something….possibly residential which makes me sad. Do you know of Frank Buttle Trust. We can apply for funding for private ed which gets us out of L A care.
    I bet there are loads of KS 3 kids really struggling……kirsty


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