The Wrong Sort of Child

Do not apply to come to our school
If you cannot comply with every rule
And if your child has SEND
We’re not the place for them to be.

There’s another school just up the road
And we don’t plan to spread the load
They’ll take you on, they love to share
So go to them – you’ll be happier there.

The cost of uniform, as you’ll see
Makes this an expensive place to be
If you can’t afford it, well maybe think twice
Go somewhere else, is the best advice.

Our rules are strict, we’ve very tough
And if you don’t like it, that’s fair enough
We only work with those who support
So go to a school that accepts your sort.

Ofsted have told us that we can be strict
When Spielman said it, well things just clicked
We’ll make lots more rules, claim high expectations
Not have to bother with awkward relations.

This isn’t a partnership – don’t be silly
Find somewhere else for little Billy
He’s not the right sort, he needs careful handling
He’ll ruin our chances of getting outstanding.

Reasonable adjustments? What’s that you say?
An inclusive system that won’t turn you away?
Oh they’ve got all that in the school next door
They’ll have space for you, of that we’re sure.

So don’t come here if your child’s defiant
We don’t do well if they’re not compliant
They’ll be much better off in another place
Somewhere not interested in winning the race.

What do you mean we’re your local school?
That doesn’t matter, don’t be a fool
When the government said that you had a choice
They forgot to say you won’t have a voice.

So go where they want you but don’t come here
Run along now, be quick my dear
We only take children who yearn to be taught
And your child? Well obviously. Not the right sort.

This entry was posted in Compliance, Education, Expectations, Schools, Selection. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to The Wrong Sort of Child

  1. Ouch. Very good, Sue.


  2. Mike Wood says:

    did you write this and can I quote it please?


  3. Aud says:

    Very sad and very true for many schools.


  4. Truth. Has happened to me, and to many others. The system sucks. Great poem though 🙂


  5. Jacqueline Harris says:

    My son has Type 1 diabetes which is both time consuming and costly to the school but they welcomed and nurtured him. A friend also with Type 1, when diagnosed in Reception, the head suggested it was not the right school for him. He did stay but his experience has been vastly different from my son. We never felt my son was not wanted.


  6. That is really excellent and so incredibly, and disappointingly, true. The education system is so broken for almost every child, and every parent, and its turned up another notch for those with SEND. You sum it up perfectly.


  7. hookedandbaked says:

    As a teacher this makes me so sad because for so many schools its true. I would never want any parent or child to feel that a school I worked in didn’t want them. Sadly the way the DfE funds schools means so many schools are poorly funded and SEN children and those who need additional support or accommodations made are the ones who suffer. I fear that the this will only continue to get worse, and if we do see more grammar schools and selective education happening this will only worsen the situation for some of our most needy pupils. I wish schools and teachers would see that working with these children can be some of the most rewarding and inspiring work you can do in a school. Even the tiniest bit of progress can have a massive impact for that child. Good luck with finding the right school for your child.


  8. CJ says:

    A fantastic poem and I fully support your views. However, I feel that we need to be clear about something. It is the appalling cuts in school funding and a return to 1950’s style examinations that cause this kind of attitude from some schools – not the teachers. Successive governments, but especially this one, have put schools under pressure to be ‘outstanding’ by producing CORE exam results that are based on wrote learning and high level problem solving – a system that gives ZERO credit to vocational or alternative curriculums in terms of school judgement criteria. Never mind successes in helping SEN students integrate or progress. They have reduced funding and made the threshold for SEND funding harder to meet and insist that students with behavioural issues are educated in the classroom -often with limited support, before they are able to cope, rather than giving the funding to have specialist staff help them and others understand their value in the school community.
    Lets be clear, as someone who works in the system and have family with SEN’s I am just as angry. But to play devils advocate – if the ‘school down the road’ was consistently judged requires improvement because they are completely inclusive but don’t have the funding to help the students needs in a way they would like to… many parents if honest with themselves would look elsewhere? With the best will in the world – would you want your child in a class where one teacher was made to cover trigonometry or geometry with a class of 30 where half have behavioural issues and have been lets be honest – already failed by the system?


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