Tonight Thomas Starkey spoke about feeling like …’ an empty atom in an empty vein’….the dark thoughts which can invade our hours between sleeping and waking and leave us with half formed impressions of helplessness and vacuity…..I am normally one of life’s ‘glass half- full’ optimists but this week I feel like I am existing in a parallel universe where the darkness is rising steadily and inexorably.
Last week I blogged some random impressions of events from the preceding few days and wondered what we are doing to our children. This week I am feeling this even more strongly and not in a good way.
Firstly lots of political things going on at the moment, locally as well as nationally; I don’t want to be too specific so I will stick to generics which I am sure will be replicated up and down the country. At county level there are major concerns about the number of perm exes from schools…and don’t we know it! We are nearly full!
At SEND level there are problems with Educational Psychologist referrals; we are a large county and the conversions to EHC plans are clogging up the system!
So how is this affecting us? Well, the powers that be at County level are trying to reverse the trend of exclusion and are working to this end with mainstream…..but in the process are not acknowledging the good work we do already, and are putting us under pressure to achieve the impossible. The fact is we are funded in the main for perm exes so the system is wrong not us!!! We do take respite places but the plain truth is schools don’t want these children back! We are short stay provision not a special school !!
In order to move on children to specialist provision we need EHC plans…but we can’t get EPs due to pressure of conversions….It has been suggested we buy in independent people…We don’t get funded!…meanwhile pressure is put on us to take kids on placement on an ad hoc basis…..#parallel universe
Other concerns include ….still more perm exes in the offing and back door deals being done! Swapping dual role for perm ex. Anxious parent saying she is scared for her bright child who is struggling and excluded; I was crying at the end of our conversation…
He had been through so much. By Friday I was swearing audibly in the privacy of my office and feeling I was in a #parallel universe
I have also supported a struggling NQT this week with behaviour. This depressed me because it brought back old feelings of inadequacy in my career when I too have struggled and felt unsupported. A colleague asked if this was now in our remit and I feel it so damn well is; fortunately my lovely HT agrees!! At this point ’empty atom’ thoughts creep in…being a new teacher now is a bloody big ask! I will do my utmost to help this teacher! #sharingiscaring
On a positive note am going with colleague to do some behaviour training at a village school which has taken all our advice on board and finding this is making a difference. If we can only get our message across to others in the same positive way then I might feel we are living in the real world rather than a #parallel universe