• 1marthasmith

Stop it. Stop it NOW.


To Whomever it May Concern


The next time I hear about children being 'behind' because of the pandemic I am going to scream. Kids have missed out on a stack of school - we parents know that. You have gone from telling us what a brilliant job we have been doing to bleating about how the prospects of our children will be damaged forever. That they will know less, earn less, suffer forever blah blah blah.


Many of us who have children who are different are well used to being told they are 'behind'. It is plastered all over reports, brought up in meetings with practitioners, an essential yet perverse qualification for accessing additional support. And it is often measured in years, not months. There is not a single parent among us who would sit our children down and tell us that their life prospects were rubbish compared to other children and yet suddenly it seems perfectly acceptable to broadcast this news daily. Kids hear this stuff - the news bleeds into them. Stop it. Now.


You can fix this. There are a million things you could do to help but maybe, for starters, stop leaning on teachers who are on their knees. Don't tell them they have to work later, work in the holidays, work smarter. Amend the curriculum and take the pressure off. It is not set in stone, it is not so perfect that it cannot be changed. Make some space for the children to breathe, to grow and to fall back in love with school. Let teachers and parents decide what is best for their children. For god's sake use your brains.



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MS Parent Advocate is a supportive blog focusing on the challenges and wins of parenting children with additional needs. Based in Hampshire Martha runs workshops for schools and other education providers in Surrey, London & Hampshire on how to improve empathy between teachers and parents.

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