Life on the Frontline – week 44


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.

Whilst we wrestled with an external exclusion for Small this week, it has on the whole, still been a very good week. Tall has been in school every day, and whilst he is not access all his lessons or staying in them for the full duration, he is using his exit card appropriately and remaining in a manageable emotional state.

The meeting which followed Small’s exclusion was with the school’s head teacher. This was a first for me; we had not previously met, not once during Tall’s entire first year at the school. However four weeks in for Small and the Head Teacher is in charge of his back to school meeting. Small thankfully didn’t have to stay long and went off to start his school day. Myself, Small’s support worker, a SENco and said head, then had a long meeting.

I shared my opinions of how things had gone wrong for Small on the day that lead to his exclusion, triggered I felt by a mismanaged conversation on their part. I had indeed said just that on collecting him the day it all went wrong.

“You’ve got this wrong, not him, it’s you that’s messed up” I rather publicly ranted in the school entrance, by the office and with Small in tow.

Not my most contained of moves or considerations and even in the meeting there was an insistence that they had done what they, could within their resources. However, I know and I know they know, that there was an alternative which would or could have diminished the possibilities of a control standoff, which is what happened.  I haven’t dropped this point  just yet, a meeting with the SENco next week will see it revisited in line with his EHC plan.

The Head Teacher was very keen to point out the huge success rate the school, with children which require additional support in school, in attaining a high academic outcome. He however emphasised that this is a mainstream school and therefore there are certain aspects of the school which cannot be as flexible as they might be in specialist support schools. One of these mainstream aspects being discipline and consequence.

So it was proposed that the set consequence for Small, when a certain level of inappropriate behaviour is displayed, will be an external exclusion. However, I have been reassured that these exclusions are not to be seen as a ticking time bomb going off unexpectedly with a permanent exclusion. There would much effort and consideration, including working close with us, the parents, to keep Small in this mainstream setting. However, if we all recognised that is wasn’t working then necessary action would need to be taken, in that the LA will not accept his need for an alternative education without a permanent exclusion from the school.

So whilst not all this fits with my idea of an attachment aware school and therapeutic support, it has left me feeling strangely reassured. There is always that fear with a disciplinary structure of where is all this heading?  Especially after we were almost in the five strikes and you are out situation with the primary school only a year ago.

It feels like “I can handles this” and when it does occur, which I’m sure it will, we will see it as a bit of down time and nurture time to nourish Small after a difficult experience.

In Other News

I have been very impressed with Tall’s attitude towards his school work recently, he is, without resistance completing his homework and keeping on top of what he needs to do.

In other great news about Tall, he still has the majority of the contents of his pencil case and it’s all intact. This time last year, when he had just started year seven, it had all either gone, lost or was snapped into tiny frustrated pieces.

Dad has had acute sinusitis and has been really poorly but is on the mend. It just adds another level of concern to everyone’s day, which is why it’s impressive how well they’ve both done.

My head is all yoga, yoga, yoga at the moment. Found a great new class to go to and feeling empowered and enlightened by it all. I’ll tell you more at a later date.

2 thoughts on “Life on the Frontline – week 44

  1. Safemum

    I totally get what you say here about the message tha hangs over school actions. It’s not inclusive if they don’t / won’t adjust their responses. However, we need to accept a balance and pick out battles with schools as well as children!

    So glad there are positives in your house too and delighted that you’ve found something for you. I too have developed a love of yoga since becoming an adopter!

    Well done on all counts! You do a fab job xx

  2. Martha

    I hope you all manage to have a good half term and everyone’s batteries are recharged.

    Looking forward to the outcome with the school.

    You and your husband are doing an amazing job with your sons.



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