I pride myself in the fact that I lead an inclusive school. It is a happy, vibrant school for all pupils regardless of their ethnicity, needs, religious beliefs or economic backgrounds. I am not an individual am I @JarlathOBrien? There are many great schools around the country whose head teachers subscribe to the premise that the local school serves the local community, who embrace diversity, who welcome and respect all @BeyondLevels.
We all heard the collective sign of relief after the General Election when the government put an end to their plans around the reintroduction of grammar schools.
Yet here’s a thought, selection, whether we like it or not, is already present in our education system and I’m not talking about the areas where grammar schools are thriving. I serve a deprived community, one of the most deprived in my borough and though we openly welcome all pupils with special needs and successfully move their learning on whilst growing them and giving them the opportunities required to become independent learners, to become global citizens- we are gradually becoming a minority. I am tired of hearing that my school, “Do special needs much better than we do” or “Our provision is more formal to that school across the road which will not help your child…” or even “We cannot meet your child’s needs because of *insert: safeguarding/ toilets/ stairs/ whatever the reason.
Schools set conditions on the kind of children or parents they welcome formally or informally. Some schools are upfront but I am tired of those who give endless excuses, those who are hiding from the fact that they are selective and deliberately refusing to meet the needs of their community. I am tired of the way that great inclusive schools are currently under a great deal of pressure because other schools are choosing to be selective yet pretending they are inclusive.
I am not however tired of serving my community and want to share this sense of pride. I feel privileged to work with great staff who daily impact positively on our wonderful children and their families #proudtoteach #lovemystaff. This is what teaching is all about isn’t it? #bestjobintheworld