An Open Letter

We need to allow children to evolve at their own pace.
As a parent of 4 children – 3 of which were boys, I can say from experience that girls tend to learn quicker than boys. My friends would agree. Why hurry what will evolve anyway?
One of my children had moderate learning difficulties, associated with being on the autistic spectrum, whilst he didn’t feel to much pressure during Primary years ( he was within Mainstream, but in a Specialist Support Class – once he got to High School, he was out of his depth. High School didn’t ‘click’ for him until far too late. If Teachers, Support Staff, and indeed the Schools themselves, had less pressure, and if Examinations could reflect pupils abilities – NOT disabilities, then I believe more would be achieved, and ultimately, pupils wouldn’t feel such failures if they don’t meet such standard near little government boxes!!

Freeing the Angel

As parents and educators we find ourselves increasingly concerned at the pressure that is being placed on our children and young people. We worry about the long term impact that this pressure may have on our children’s emotional health, particularly on the most vulnerable in our society. We are concerned to hear of children crying on their way to school, upset that they will not be able to keep up; of parents worried that their four year olds are ‘falling behind’ or of six year olds scared that they ‘might not get a good job’. And we wonder what has happened to that short period in our lives known as ‘childhood’.

The pressure that is put on schools to achieve results, particularly in the tests that now form such a regular feature of a child’s life, has inevitably led to increased pressure on the children themselves. This is not to…

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