Twenty-five days after the review meeting, we received a vague letter from the council referring to a vague report and telling us that our daughter’s statement would not be changed, ie it still doesn’t have a named school on it. At the same time we also received confirmation that the school we were interested in was full and to admit another pupil would be detrimental to the education of others (legal jargon that could mean anything). It was suggested however that perhaps we would like to look round the other special school in the other part of town. So we did.
This school is located in the part of town that is statistically poorer than the rest of the borough. It is an area that the council are bothered by and if, rumour is correct, gets thrown an awful lot of resources to try and improve the outcomes for the people living there. I was always unsure about these rumours; I mean if people are in ‘need’ then surely they ‘deserve’ support? Why would people be jealous of that?
I just didn’t get it, that is until the day we toured the school and the area it was in. To put it simply, I was blown away by the amount of resources and money plied into the area. Every school we saw was a gleaming new build with the most incredible facilities that made the schools in the rest of town look very neglected. Even going round the special school was an eye opener. Large spacious classrooms, a wonderful courtyard and outdoor space, loads of staff and other resources made my eyes water with envy. I have NEVER EVER seen a state special school so well equipped.
Unfortunately the school wasn’t right for our daughter even though, ironically, there were places. This is no fault of the school or the dedicated staff working there. It’s just the way it is; some schools are right, others aren’t. Even so, I couldn’t help but wonder why we have such a unfair distribution of resources where some children have access to well resourced schools and others (like my children) can’t even get a basic education.
Something is going wrong.