This is a Call

For the last week I’ve been trying to work out what’s wrong, why I’m not happy or satisfied, and what it is that’s missing. It came down to this: I like my job, and I like the school I work in, but I don’t like it enough. That goes for the last 6 years too, in Ecuador and Malawi – but this is your abbreviated version of the story.

Gandhi said something like “be the change you want to see in the world” (I saw it carved on the bar in Mabuya), and a guy I saw at an MUN conference in Nairobi a couple of years ago made me really think about what I could contribute to the world. He was awesome.

Long story short, I want to build a school. I want it be a ‘publicly’-funded school for brilliant kids from unprivileged backgrounds; and kids who’ll stay, once educated, and not just leave their country for wealthier pastures. As such, it fits no model I have yet encountered (kinda UWC, but not). And as I’m likely to move to Ecuador in a year or so (it’s where my fiance is from, and thus where I’m likely to settle), that’s where I’m likely to try this first.

Anyone want in?

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One Response to This is a Call

  1. Anne Ridley says:

    I know exactly how you feel, I think.

    I dream, increasingly, of opening a specialist school for BESD pupils whose needs cannot be managed in maintained, mainstream settings or (worse, the poor loves) academies, who just bounce them out to PRUs who, in turn, send them home to their knackered, beleaguered, on-the-verge-of-a-nervous-breakdown mums. I would particuarly concentrate on girls for whom there is practically no BESD provision (certainly round our way, at least) because girls tend to sit at the back and gradually disengage, rather than throwing fire extingishers around and thumping classmates, thereby drawing attention to their need for support..

    It would be fabulous. I’d poach the various disaffected, stifled teachers I know who desperately want to, but are unable to, work with these kids in mainstream settings because the behaviour policy in most schools is along the lines of, ‘if they don’t fit in, they’re out’ irrespective of Statements of SEN, Social Care involvement, trauma, abuse, medical diagnoses such as ADHD… I could go on. And I would give those kids the access to full time education they deserve.

    I just need about half a million pounds to get it started….

    (I’ve spent my Sunday afternoon writing Statements and placement proposal forms for permanently excluded pupils, so I’m feeling a bit militant).

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