Tag Archives: inclusion


I have a confession to make. This blog is loosely supposed to be about the experience of depression, yet when I am depressed I just haven’t got the energy to write, and when I am not, I am too busy catching up on all the things I failed to do when depressed, and I don’t want to think about the preceding depression let alone blog about it.
Which is a roundabout way of saying I have been bumping along the bottom for the last – oh, at least several weeks – and haven’t blogged about it. Suffice it to say that the mostly grey skies precisely reflect my average mood.
And I am about to sign a contract for a new book, which should be a cause for rejoicing, but all I can think about is that I have to somehow write the damn thing before next January.
Being at church often helps, and yesterday’s service had a number of things in it that spoke to me, but I am still struggling hard to make myself do all the things that need doing today. The fact that I have now re-read the official report into SEN at Genius Brat’s school, and that it addresses everything but the core issue of extreme understaffing, is not encouraging (of course I know that the reason for this is that the head got in a load of agency Teaching Assistants during the reviewers’ visit and sacked them all as soon as the inspectors had gone). And we have a meeting tonight at which I have to take minutes, and it is bound to be complex and my arm aches even thinking about it. I just hope the group can cut to the chase and create a strong response to the report.

Laugh when your heart is breaking

On skimming through my emails tonight I spotted in one of the Freecycle mails the following: ‘Offer: trolley’. My immediate thought was: ‘Is she?’

You may conclude from the quality of jokes that life has been a little too demanding lately. I survived chairing the Inclusion Group meeting (10 people came and seem very enthusiastic about taking action), but have been pretty overwhelmed since, with the sheer number of things I have to do this week, and the frustration of knowing that no matter how many letters we write, the Demon Headmaster will go his own sweet way. However we are now considering engaging in a group legal action, which would certainly make him sit up.

Woke up feeling awful today, but with the judicious application of an episode of ‘Allo ‘Allo, followed by a comforting church service, I feel almost put back together. Though still knackered.

The Head from Hell

My only excuse (but it’s a good one) for not blogging since last Monday, is that The Demon Headmaster has struck again and I have been much preoccupied with doing stuff about it. To elucidate, I have discovered that my son is currently getting 0% of the 32 1/2 hours of teaching assistant support that his statement entitles him to. This is even more invidious when you consider that we live in Borough A, which issues his statement, but the school is in Borough B. This means Borough A is giving the school around £20,000 specifically for my child and the school is spending it on something else. In any other context this would be called fraud. And he is by no means the only child not getting their support, indeed one child’s parents are taking the school to the High Court over the lack of implementation of their child’s statement.

Not only that but it seems the school has revived a policy they tried to implement a couple of years ago, to put statemented kids in a ‘special’ class, which may result in all the learning support resources being directed to this group, and no support for those left in the mainstream classes. Which can hardly be called inclusion.

Fired by righteous indignation I have been working with one other parent to revive the defunct Inclusion Group, and we have got a meeting going for next weekend. We also sent details to both the boroughs involved. I just hope parents turn up in decent numbers so we can present a united front to the school. What this head has done to special needs kids is truly appalling. The sad thing is, I was in a café last week with some parents from the school with ‘normal’ kids, and they all think he’s wonderful.

Since you asked…

… I will explain some of the incidents on my list of 18/11/08, in random order and only one explanation per post:

6. It was a well known temple of charismania in the north of England. I was with a team running a weekend on gender issues and Christian feminism. The team had asked me to preach on the Sunday. I chose to preach on the Syro-Phoenician (or Canaanite) woman, the only person recorded as apparently changing Jesus’ mind for him. I talked about issues of inclusion and exclusion.

After the service as I descended the aisle I heard one old lady say to another: ‘This church is going from bad to worse’. But then a man buttonholed me and said he was gay but had never dared tell anyone at church, and my sermon was the first time he had felt included. ‘Ah,’ I thought, ‘that’s who I was preaching for’.