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06/02/2017

School Exclusions

A recent report concluded that SEND kids are routinely "managed out" of secondary schools in order to maintain Ofsted ratings and GCSE results. 
Ironically my own child was "excluded" from school (in reception class) for the afternoon that very day.

He bit a teacher through her coat. He must have bit hard as she had a beautifully coloured bruise to prove it. She gladly showed me said bruise, the head gave a decent speech, his teacher had a lovely discussion with me (that bit's not sarcasm) and off we toddled home. No TV, no music, no trains, just books and housework. I'm not convinced any of this had an effect as he joyfully read his books and told me all the things he'd done that day.
I was in the middle of job hunting at the time. I've been doing this for months but struggle to find anything which means i can do the school run (if i don't he kicks off all day) and be around during the day for incidences & school holidays. Luckily Daddy is now self employed so this may become easier. I have no idea how single parents of SEND kids actually work. It's not surprising that these are the people most affected by economic issues, most likely to be ill and living in poverty.

Exclusions from school for SEND kids are clearly nothing new. While browsing i came across an article from 4 years ago stating much the same thing! I agree with much of what it says, even the part stating 

"the blame should not be placed entirely on schools. "It's not about shaking a stick at schools – it's about saying: 'Look, we need to work together to make sure that these kids get the education they need and deserve.' Kids have a right to be educated and that right is currently being denied to far too many because of these illegal exclusions."

We've been waiting for autism outreach since November, they're due soon. I question whether they have the time & resources to be effective. SALT is similar but progress has been made since starting school anyway. Funding & resources are disappearing as the demand is increasing. It isn't something that people consider, even those in education at times, unless they are directly involved with these children.

Maybe his behaviour has to deteriorate in order to access the support needed? Many times i've heard people have reached that point, exclusions and pupil referral units, before adequate support is put in place. Prevention is key but the situation is reactionary. I've heard it so many times with kids who are trying to kill themselves. You have to prove intent. How do you even do that?!



Advice on illegal school exclusions can be found here.


02/02/2017

The Ups & Downs of Renting

This week we get to view a housing association property. We've rented privately and been on waiting lists for almost 7 years so this is definitely progress! If we get it we'll be around £200 better off every month and have much more security.


Our rental history is not too bad if I'm honest.
The first was infested with rats and had an invasion of ants now and again.
Our first house was a big 3 bed with a massive garden. It was utterly freezing with rotten windows but we put up with it.
The next one was a tiny cottage. After 2 children and black walls we made a very hasty move down the road to an under dwelling. I hate under dwellings. It was dark and smelled damp but we stayed at good 18 months.
All these properties had one thing in common. An owner who had an investment. They'd do the urgent repairs, the properties were liveable. They were never homes and there was always the risk they'd like to cash in on their investment.

The next house was beautiful. It was very well maintained, in a lovely area but further away from family. We ended up moving back!
So here we are in a small but liveable house. It's near schools and family, in a good area with plenty of kids. But there's always a but. Our landlady does the essentials. It's an investment and she'll maintain it as much as she needs to. She allows us to decorate which is great. She also has children and is at an aget where retirement is considered. It's not truly our home.

The property we're viewing is the same size minus the garden. It's newer, has solar panels and a decent boiler, is on a good little estate with room to play and is only down the road. It's well maintained and then there's the price and stability.
How could we say no?