As a mother of 3 children aged between 17 and 33, I have experienced our education system for quite a few years! Sadly, I have also witnessed its decline over the last 15 years to such an extent that it is unfit for its purpose and damaging our children’s prospects and aspirations.
I have Home-Educated my now 17-year-old son since March 2020. It’s been an interesting but necessary journey which has resulted in a much happier and less anxious young man. Harry has always struggled with the school environment due to being borderline ASD. At primary school I found it very hard to get any help for his neurodivergent issues, in fact I was told on many occasions that the school didn’t expect him to do well in any SATS tests or other assessments and seemed to have written him off completely. His confidence was shattered even more when he was never picked for school teams, especially football, which was his absolute passion. It seems such a minor thing but to him it was earth shattering and completely knocked his self-esteem and confidence. I’m not sure his PE teacher ever realised the hurt and damage caused.
His experience at secondary school was not an easy one to witness. I felt the school was just not addressing Harry’s difficulties despite me gently pointing them out. The meetings I had with them were all very positive and I often came away feeling that at last something was going to be done only to find a couple of weeks later nothing extra had been put in place.
I appreciate schools are under so much pressure due to lack of funding and a ridiculous out-dated curriculum. They just do not serve their purpose anymore i.e. preparing our young people for life filled with optimism, compassion and general good mental health. Yes, qualifications are needed in some areas, but they are not the be all and end all of everything.
I believe organisations like RamaLife have got the balance spot on, promoting self-esteem, self-confidence, compassion and addressing and supporting neurodivergence.
I am certainly not anti-school and I appreciate that many children thrive in this environment but what I am most concerned about is the young people that don’t fit into this group, those who are neurodivergent or suffer with their mental health. As the saying goes ‘no size fits all’ and this needs to be addressed as soon as possible before we lose a generation of talented and wonderful young people.