“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good (wo)men to do nothing.”
As you’ll know if you’re a regular reader of this blog, I’m quite happy to give Ofsted a hard time when I think it’s due. And the DfE for that matter. I’m not trying to make any friends in high places by writing what I write. But things that I’ve read and heard this week have reminded me that we all have a role to play in letting bad things happen. Of course, there are some groups of people who have very little say in the face of bad education policies – the children, for instance – although sometimes they rise up and make their voices heard. Parents are hardly listened to in the current system (choice is a fallacy for many of us), so if what we get isn’t what we wanted, we are left to express our opinions via the ballot box or to vote with our feet and home educate. (From the conversations I have with other parents, I can’t help but think that the approach at the moment is based on a false impression of what we want, rather than on the reality of it.) Some CEOs and SLT have a lot to answer for, for where we are at, especially when they dance to the DfE’s tune. But someone had to agree to pin that badge on the child’s blazer; someone had to agree to go along with something this awful.
I completely understand how difficult it is to fight against the system when you’re trapped inside it – when your livelihood depends on doing what you’re told. When all you want is to do the best for your children and your own family. History teachers could tell us a story or two about how powerless people feel when they’re at the bottom of the ladder. But there comes a point at which we just have to shout “NO!” And that’s when we are complicit in doing things that might damage children’s mental health (not just our own children, but other people’s as well). So I swear that I will never ever give any child a “most able” badge, no matter what. Because I can’t be complicit in this.