Teachers have needs too


Celebrating the Special School #Edfest part 2

The Diary of a Not So Ordinary Boy

Silence is golden.

Silence is deafening.

Silence can be pregnant, a moment waiting to be filled.

A baiting of breath.


We can be rendered silent by shame,

Or fear,

Or confusion.

Sometimes, silence speaks volumes.

There are 98,000 children being educated in special schools today.

89% of the schools they attend are good or outstanding.

Two secretaries of state are silent on the state of special schools.

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The Diary of a Not So Ordinary Boy

I don’t usually win things.  I never won a race at Sport’s Day (in fact, I was never even in Sport’s Day at secondary school), I buy raffle tickets for the summer fayre safe in the knowledge that none of the prizes (except maybe for the out-of-date toiletries that no-one wanted at Christmas) will be winging their way to me.  OK, so I won a couple of mugs and a strange shaped hat as a prize for coming not-last in a sailing race once and a teacher-made (hand drawn, no less, none of your fancy-pants desktop publishing in 1985) certificate for disco dancing (I think it still lines the bottom drawer of my desk), but I’m not counting them.  My record at Winning Things has been poor, frankly.

So, with that in mind, I was delighted to trot along to the TES Awards dinner and disco on Friday night (dinner…

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Hope for the Future

The Diary of a Not So Ordinary Boy

I was asked recently what my hopes for Sam’s future are.  I don’t usually think about them; I have become accustomed, as he is, to living in the moment, responding to the every day. The future, which once seemed so frightening, a black hole into which my fear fell, amplified by scary sounding medical terms, is no longer so distant.  Sam will be leaving school in just two short years.  OK, so I know he’ll be off to college of one sort or another, but there you are.  He won’t be my small boy any more.

So at the future I was forced to look.  And the idea of hopes and dreams, which I so long ago abandoned, returned, changed immeasurably by Down’s syndrome, and yet, funnily enough, not so very much at all.

We want the same things for Sam that we want for our other children, namely, that…

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The book is coming! 


Everyone who knows me knows I’m rarely quiet. I have much to say on the subject of education and I blog profusely on anything I feel passionate about. At the moment I am itching to have my say on coasting schools and the topic of teacher mistrust which is looming large at the moment.

However, just now, I am fairly quiet. The reason is I’m absolutely honoured to have been asked by Bloomsbury to write a book for them on SEND. It is aimed at all teachers rather than just those in special schools. More information on the contents of the book another day.

I am asking questions on twitter to gather your expertise. After all, a good deal of the things I have learned have come from the wonderful people in my timeline. Thank you everyone for your support.

Watch this space.
Book signing at Bloomsbury HQ, London.

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#SENexchange: The Storify Collection


photo SEN exchange

Once again Mary and Cherryl would like to thank our growing group of followers for joining and supporting us and for their exchange of ideas and experience – that’s what it is all about!

We started our weekly discussions each Wednesday evening on 15th April and are pleased we have a regular group of contributors.We would be delighted if more followers felt able to join our discussions – particularly encouraging parents / carers and those from other agencies who are able to offer a different perspective to the things we talk about. The more people who join us – the broader and richer the exchange of information / experience and ideas….

We always storify after each of our weekly discussions, some of which were collated in our blog ‘Our story so far’ published in May 2015. We thought people might find it useful to have our storify collections in one…

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