The farmer is hard at work in the fields. Whatever it takes.

We have a real problem with education in the UK. Too much potential is missed. Too many pupils are served up factory production line schooling which is about the needs of the system rather than the needs of the individual child. If you don’t fit the expected mould then you are discarded.

The farmer chooses to focus on the crops that provide him with what he needs to keep going.

What a perfect indication of the health of the UK’s education system than hearing one of the loathsome, self absorbed candidates standing to be our next Prime Minister talking about a disabled child needing to go to a special school because ‘disabled children are generally aren’t intelligent enough’ to go to a mainstream school.



Lost for words……

Sadly it’s not an isolated view……

Had a long video meeting with school today about Hawklad. Call me NAIVE but I thought school might have been just a tad POSITIVE. A pupil against the odds teaching himself to read when school told him it was beyond him. From having a reading age of about 6 years behind the expected school standard to now reading History Texts without assistance. All achieved through his hard work in just over 2 years. A pupil who is getting really great marks in the exams and tests he sits at home. Definitely NAIVE I am.

‘We are concerned that his marks aren’t reflective of the true position”

“Are you sure that you are not helping him, or he is using GOOGLE to answer questions”

“He is performing way ahead of his predicted attainment levels”

“So he wants to go to college. Has he thought about some more vocational routes rather than college. He may probably not meet Our College’s entry requirements. College might be beyond his academic levels. Don’t want to disappoint him .”

“Other colleges and places might have offerings more suited to his level and requirements.”

“Unless he can demonstrate he can perform in formal exams then there is little we can do, course work and home work doesn’t really count these days. That’s how the system works….”


School can’t seem to get their head round the sad irony that he learnt to read and overcome his dyslexia when he was REMOVED from their CLASSROOM environment. Like too many pupils with dyslexia, with special educational needs, they are just dumped into the bottom set with minimal help. Assumptions are made on low attainment levels. To get even the most minimal help they are required to put their hand up in front of the rest of the class and admit they are struggling. That is never going to happen long term, occasionally when Hawklad did that, other kids poked fun at him. The teachers often focusing on those pupils with the worst behaviour so even if the hand went up, help never arrived. So he stopped putting his hand up and he started to fall behind. This is not an isolated case, it’s sadly reflective of modern UK schooling. It’s all about EXAMS. Schools become EXCELLENT because of exam results not because they meet individual educational needs. This school is no different to most schools here.

In the UK we have a looming food production crisis because we have become too dependent on factory, one big size fits all farming….

The school term finishes in a weeks time. Then it’s a 6 week break. I’m discussing with Hawklad what he wants to do. It’s his future. It’s has to be his call but I know what I would do in an instant if it was my call. Why does it feel like the school system is working against him.

42 thoughts on “Harvesting

  1. My son had his own issues with the public school system. They failed him miserably. I was able to fight for him up to a certain point and grade then it fell on him. He ended up leaving the public school part way through high school and finishing up at the local college. The public school said many of the same things you heard, after escaping that nightmare he has moved on and forward. He did go to a trade school as that was his choice but he graduated from their Dean’s Honor roll. I wanted so badly to go to the high school with a ‘so there!!’ attitude but didn’t.
    You and your son know and are discovering every day his strengths. You said he has improved doing it himself. Let him plant, grow and harvest his education the way that works for him. Because as you said, the system seems to be working against him.


  2. This reality of the failings of your public education system (and other places as well) is a travesty for you and your son, a travesty for all the other families with similar struggles, a travesty for all the teachers who went into their profession for the right reasons and ended up frustrated and discouraged at the very least, and a travesty for your country. It just shouldn’t be this way. Our children – everywhere – are our future. They deserve the best opportunities.


  3. Hawklad is clearly a bright and intelligent boy with a seeking mind who is a bad fit with his current school. You may find that a different educational institution, in this case, college, may help him flower as he should. That’s what happened with my extremely timid and shy child when she joined college, after graduating from a well known school where she got no support and faced teachers, who were mostly indifferent even harsh. In college in a completely different atmosphere, she found her metier and flowered, went on to do her postgrad, got excellent grades and eventually became a qualified, practicing psychologist. Don’t give up. Encourage him to continue studying. You believe in him and that’s all that matters.


  4. I would absolutely write to that school and remind them. I’m so sorry, the UK should be better than this, by now. They’ve only had like how many years now, lol. If I had gone to a different high school, I would probably be in a different place right now. Your boy is going to learn so much more than the ones they favour. I honestly think you should get parents together who are facing the same issues, and try to get it on a front page on a well known newspaper.


  5. I think everyone learns differently! Everyone embodies unique talents! He is clearly thriving in an environment that is individualized to his needs, as it should be! I am sorry he was unable to receive the type of learning that aligns best with him at the school but I am glad he has surpassed expectations!! 🙂


  6. One of the disturbing things about the ‘disabled’ remark is how such statements can be made at that level. Thirty years ago it would have remained buried in the rubbish heap that it started from. Now it’s happening around the world. What is happening to us?


  7. Yes, I agree – the media really are falling short of what we need them to do. I can’t help reminding myself though that the media of 30 yrs ago didn’t have to deal with a sea of misinformation surrounding them. This is a very difficult world now.


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