Tuesday 23 January 2018

A Different Type of School

I'm sat in a room with much clever, wiser and knowledgable grown ups than me. The person stood in front of us draws a cautious breath and asks. 'shall we do this then?'

Its a big ask, the 'this' is to start a school for children who are unable or struggle to navigate the school system as it is. 

School and the trials and tribulations of children who have experienced trauma or are struggling to navigate the 'standard' education systems and routes remains one of the most discussed and debated issues for many adoptive families. This is repeated for many other parents and carers, children who are fostered, those with neurodevelopmental conditions, mental ill health or children with a SEND (Special Educational Need and Disability). 

The question before this is if you could start with a blank canvas what school environment would you build? Not an easy question to answer, I'm not an educationalist and my experience is limited but the people in the room have a broad range of experience and know their stuff. 

They aspire to create a safe environment where a child's safety, perception of safety and wellbeing is prioritised over academic bureaucracy. Where achievement is a nurtured, expected and realistic. Where vulnerable children can thrive. Where parents and carers build collaborative,  effective and supportive relationships as a fundamental tool in supporting children. A school that is available to all children and is free. A school that doesn't just take the most vulnerable but those who wobble and waver.  Where this ethos is not limited to or attributed to one person or a group of professionals in a school but is hard wired to the DNA of the school. Where the ethos is inextricable from the function and form of all that the school is an does. 

So, that's where I spent the evening. Slightly daunted and very excited. 

Now we need help, we need to evidence the need within the local area that we hope to develop this school. So, if you live in Tyne and Wear/North East area and see the need for your children please follow this link to the New Blueprint Group's webpage for further informant and the link to the information gathering survey is here.

As you can imagine there are a lot of work to do but a lot has already been done by those involved. 

Your help is appreciated. 

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