Well, yesterday was my son’s last day at primary school, and all the Y6 kids got a book in their leavers assembly to record their memories in.  

My son can’t read or write, so depends on his TA for everything.  

The kids all signed the book which was nice, and the family support workers Rachel and Kate wrote a lovely message, but apart from that, the rest of the book speaks volumes.  It shows that my son has no friends.  It also shows that the staff have made no effort to help him make friends.  He has left school with not one phone number or email address.  Not one.  

His teachers, teaching assistants, headteacher, office staff, dinner ladies haven’t written a message. I think this shows what they think of Alfie, but more importantly, it shows that no one has thought, or made the effort to take Alfie round school to get his book signed, which is most upsetting.  He can’t do this by himself.  He can’t do much by himself, and he’s completely dependent on someone else to create opportunities for him.  He’s been denied the opportunity to keep in touch with the kids from primary school, and I know there are some kids there who absolutely loved Alfie, and showed kindness and genuine respect for him.  I’m not going to try to understand why no-one thought to do this.  It’s completely unacceptable, but it goes on, clearly.  

Here are the highlights from my son’s leavers book. 

The most upsetting thing about that book, is this picture and caption on the first page.  Oh the double-whammy-negative-irony.  For kids like Alfie, it’s too easy for them to stand alone and often it’s not because it’s easy for them, it’s easier for the adults who should be doing everything to create opportunities.  I’d really love for my son to be part of a crowd, and decide for himself if he wants to just go with the flow, or be a pain in the arse like his mum, but I doubt he’ll ever be able to make that choice.  

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 15 Comments

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15 thoughts on “Recollections

  1. Completely unsurprising. My son refused to attend his primary in Yr 6. He’d been there since YR. No-one from the school made any effort whatsoever to find out why, to set work, to just pop in and have a chat – not even after the surgery I’d informed them about (and don’t get me started on their duty to inform Social Services if a child has not been seen for a month).

    I managed to get him into a tiny village school some miles away for an hour a day, for the last two terms before high school. He left with an autograph book of everyone’s messages. Definitely a tale of two completely different school attitudes.

    I hope that Alfie’s story is a tale of two halves, that he gets a high school that really cares & nurtures.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks. It really shows how common these issues are and how really, it’s not about funding (the usual excuse/reason for poor practice re kids with SEND). I know there is a school out there which cares enough to support and teach a young person like my son, but I’m reaching the point where I’m frightened to try to find it again. Hope your son’s doing ok now X


      • He’s great, thanks. High school returned him ‘back to normal’ and we’ve not looked back. Hope you find one that’s an equally good fit for your lad.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Caroline Hanman

    This is the sort of evidence about a school’s true approach to inclusion that Ofsted inspectors should see – the truth comes out in the end and I hope this child has better educational access and better teachers at secondary school

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, I agree, and I worry they don’t see it when it’s under their noses, either because they don’t know it’s bad, or they think it’s too trivial in the scheme of SATs results.


  3. As a mum also of a child with special needs my heart breaks for you both. I am so sorry 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Being different is to be invisible. If you don’t look, then you can’t see. If you don’t think, then you don’t have to do anything. To be alone is solitude, to be lonely you need a crowd

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So so sad and thoughtless. He sounds a lovely lad and will find his niche in time

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My heart is breaking for Alfie, hopefully things will fall into place soon and he will find a supportive network around him xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A disgrace. It is 100pc about the quality of leadership. It really is that simple.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So badly thought out – or not thought at all. Those teachers and staff should hang their heads in shame. So sad to read this. For any teaching staff or TAs reading (though to be fair, if you are, you’re already probably one of the good guys!), PLEASE make the effort to help those who need it more.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I can’t believe this happened. I’m in tears reading this. I just don’t understand how they could be so insensitive to your son’s needs. Do you have any contacts via social media who could help get numbers in the book? Maybe a message on Facebook would reach some of the mums and you could arrange something. This is a worry I have for my son. He doesn’t have the ability to make friends or do this kind of thing for himself either. My heart broke for you and your son when I read this. I hope he gets opportunities at high school that weren’t afforded him at primary!


  10. One positive about secondary school is that there are more children, and schools normally think long and hard about how to group children in to Year 7 forms to be with children they can get on with.

    Try to make contact with his form tutor early in September, and because s/he will see Alfie every day, you can get updates on how well he is settling in.

    With you as his mum, he is going to do really well. Thank you for reminding us that we have to care for every child.


  11. Pingback: Outrage to action | It's always been done like this

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