Boy2 and his job at the library

Thursday saw Boy2's first proper session of training people how to use a computer via a course at the local library.

Whilst being all matter of fact and brisk about it during the day, in order to help him quell the butterflies he was naturally feeling, it is at times like this, when I am the only one awake and determined snow flakes are settling outside, that I can dwell on the amazement I feel at what an accomplished young man he is.

The English State School System very nearly broke him by the time he was just seven years old.

He was trapped for a while in a scenario with a power-mad brand new Headteacher, with a dithery, bouncy, clueless NQT for a class teacher, and a heinous bitch of a classroom assistant.

He was bullied by staff and pupils alike, and made to feel like he was stupid and naughty.

Governors, including the Vicar of the picturesque Yorkshire village and a local County Councillor vowed to help us, but did nothing.

The LEA, including a Behaviour Support Teacher, spoke a great deal, arranged many meetings (most of which they failed to attend) but offered nothing in the way of practical support.

Medical personnel flip-flopped from diagnosis to diagnosis, adding symptoms as they went along, but nobody spotted the bleedin' obvious - he was a little boy with hearing and vision issues, and he was Dyslexic.

The second school was wonderful to him in comparison, but the damage already done was too great.

So we took him out of school, battened down the hatches, and started the slow process of asking him to trust us again.

I am thankful every day that he did.

His resilience and strength of character takes my breath away.

He has the strongest moral compass of anyone I know, and the kindest, most generous heart.

He is patient, witty and self-effacing - perfect for encouraging and instructing new learners.

I am not a violent or aggressive person, but I will always bear a grudge against those adults who actively damaged my child, who were complicit in isolating a four year old child from his peers. I will also always loathe those who stood by and watched it happen, but didn't speak up until it was too late.

I will always regret not listening to my instincts.

I knew after the first half term that I should take my child away from that place.
But the school had been brilliant up until then, led by a former Headteacher who held the admiration of staff, pupils and parents. My eldest son had already been there for two years, and we had been delighted with his progress.

It is frightening how an excellent school can be dismantled and trashed by one newly-appointed, power-crazed Headteacher. Within two years the school roll had dropped from 95 to 67, and there was not one single original member of teaching staff left (although her faithful teaching assistant minions stayed, growing in self-importance, if second-hand tales from the PTA are to be believed!)

She was poison. It took me a while to believe it though, as she had been my eldest son's teacher in YR, and she had been excellent.

But a good teacher does not necessarily make a good Head.

I ignored my instincts, and allowed those who should have helped, but didn't, and those who should have known better, but didn't, and those who were being paid to care for my child, but didn't, to convince me that the problems lay with my child, with me, with my husband ....... with anyone except for them!

I trusted that they knew best; I won't ever make that mistake again.  

As I watch my beautiful child grow into a wonderful adult, I imagine that his every tiny success is a sharp and strategically-positioned pin in one of the virtual Voodoo dolls representing the staff involved in the carnage surrounding School 1.

I should probably get some therapy for that - or just name and shame them and be done with it! ;0)

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