Much Ado About Nothing
You must first understand how wildly damaged I am. I have this horrible habit of not stopping, not giving up, ever. When I was a kid I lived in London and would always run for every bus, every train. I found myself getting really anxious if I didn’t. There is a simple explanation. If I always did my best, then if it didn’t work out I didn’t have to blame myself.
It’s a pretty naive idea but it’s stayed with me. Now when I work I get horribly obsessed. I won’t sleep until I’m done. And to be done I have to go above and beyond. Max’s transition is under my skin in the same way.
Contacting the shortlisted schools for more information was going to be a minefield.
So I did the only thing I could think of and got all grown up about it. I structured the questions based on some ‘fun’ bedtime reading namely The Children and Families Act 2014 and The Equalities Act 2010. The letters were formal, enormous and incredibly detailed.
I waited…then I waited some more. I got two responses after a week,
“Thank you for your email requesting details regarding our post 16 provision for your son. Unfortunately we cannot provide for many of the requirements, therefore I have to regretfully say that we would not be an appropriate provision for him. If you need any further details regarding which aspects we could / could not provide then please do come back to me.”
The other school answered each question in the same amount of detail I’d sent them. They were surprisingly kind and open, they seemed to see him as a person. For the first time I felt as if Max’s promise might be able to be kept.
OK, one yes and one no. I sent out reminders to the other five schools through their main emails as well as the SEN department ones. I got two responses from PAs saying they would pass my message on. They either didn’t or the departments in question didn’t want to respond.
Instead I spent my time pouring over the school’s websites in shocking detail. Two felt right. I know, a terrible thing to trust your gut instinct but there was something that felt personal about these two. Less cattle like, they felt as if they were aiming at their kids having a future and weren’t looking at warehousing them. They didn’t’ even use the word ‘cohort’ in their about page.
I chatted to Miss Bob, Max’s Transition officer, about it and she arranged to speak to the rest herself. She has suggested visits and assessments. She wants more paperwork from Max’s school, from Max’s doctors, from his carers…it's endless. But at least it’s something I can get my teeth into.