Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A Letter to Sir Albert, The Children's Commissioner


Thank you for your work on the issue of bullying, particularly focusing upon the problem as it manifests itself in schools. As you observe in your reports, the problem is far from trivial with ChildLine recently reporting a sharp rise in the number of children contemplating suicide, often as a result of bullying. Whilst we sincerely appreciate efforts to improve the situation in schools, it is clear that this is an on-going problem which may take a long time to sort out and it is sadly the case that some children don't see a resolution to their difficulties.

In this situation, what is a family to do? It seems that they could either change schools, though often this involves stepping from frying pan to fire, or they could continue to pressure the school to try to resolve the problems, despite their previous experience that this has had little or no effect. Both these options could have severely damaging implications for the mental/physical health of the child.

I chanced to overhear a conversation in a chemist only a few days ago where the mother put exactly the above situation. She was at her wits' end and had run out of ideas, having enlisted the help of teachers and the headmaster and then resorting to changing schools only to faced by the same problem. Her boy was with her, a seemingly bright, sensitive child who at the mere mention of school, clearly felt quite desperate about it. I felt compelled to tell them that home education was a very valid and reasonable option in the situation that a parent/guardian can be made available to help. You could see that both mother and son knew immediately that this was the right thing for them, despite some difficulties with practicalities.

We would very much appreciate it if the option of home education could be clearly offered to families in such situations and if possible that this could be written in to your reports as a valid solution to many problems that children face.

Yours faithfully,

1 comment:

Leo said...

This is very good! Congrats!