Whilst reading through some articles on ‘The Guardian’ website I found something that I thought would be useful to share with you. This article states that ‘Schools Minister Nick Gibb’s lack of flexibility over term-time holidays is not in the interest of children’.
The article focuses on the topic of school holidays and whether or not parents should be allowed let their children be absent from school during term time. Something that really struck me was that Gibb had said,
“Children must turn up to school whatever the circumstances – maybe a day for a funeral here and there might be permissible, thanks, but no moping about grieving.”
The term ‘moping about‘ really angered me because it makes it sound like the loss of a loved one is something people should just get over immediately, when in fact these periods can be the most difficult time in any adult’s life never mind a child’s. Also that it ‘might‘ be permissible to be absent due to a funeral. I believe that if someone wants to say goodbye to someone dear to them by attending a funeral then nothing is more important.
This really made me question the purpose of the education system as it currently stands. The author of this article argues that school, including primary, ‘is no longer a way of rounding out a whole personality: it’s just a way of feeding the economic machine.’ Is it more important that a child is present in the classroom every single day or that they are given space to grow as a person in the best possible environment?
In my opinion it is vital that the whole child is taken into consideration. I’m not suggesting that children only go into school every second week but there are plenty of opportunities for learning outside of the classroom. If a child is really ill and can’t focus properly, is it really worth them coming into school and sharing the germs with the rest of the class and the teacher? I am a strong believer of the fact that everyone is unique and so something that works for one child might not work for another. If a child is really stressed and in need of some moral support then it should be the parent’s decision whether they are fit enough to attend school that day or not.
It is important to realise the potential of each child and that they are more likely to grow and develop as confident young people if they are not under the pressure of society.
A last point which really resonated with me was at the end of the article where the author has written,
“I don’t want my children to be food. I want them to be fed”.
I would love to hear your opinions on this discussion topic.