My kids have been back to school now for a whole week, and after a long break (longer for Simon) it's amazing that things settle down quite fast. After a couple of days of readjustment at the beginning, things have, thankfully, gone back to normal The summer is already a distant memory, and the realisation of its twilight period (darker evenings, christmas cards in the shops etc.) is starting to kick in. Ben is in a much better form class than last year, where it was the worst that teachers had seen, which says something about the general behaviour of the kids going there. Simon, being in the sixth form, was taken aback at the 'pep talk' given to them by the head teacher, who basically warned that some of them were lucky to be there and laid into those taking history as there were too many taking the subject! I, as a parent, would have liked a few encouraging words for them and congratulations for getting there, inspire them rather than drag them down. What do I know, eh?
Is this a record I wonder? Barely an hour and half into his new school, a lad was permantly excluded from John Bright School, for setting off a fire alarm. They are pretty strict on this misdemenour because of an epidemic of such incidents when the new school was started. Mind you, fire alarms were being deliberately set off in the middle of exams last summer term. I have some pretty strong views on school policies but I know that complaining and giving an opinion to those 'in charge' is a waste of breath; I've tried and it makes no difference and it just frustrates you to hell! Simon was attacked by a pupil in the middle of a PE lesson, with 2 teachers present, and the person we reported it to kept it quiet from the head for 3 MONTHS! And all the time we thought that the school were dealing with it! By the time the head did find out it was near the summer holidays, and she excluded him for just 2 weeks. The teacher who was at fault was retiring so she obviously tried to ride her time out and had no concern for Simon's welfare. This an incident that has affected Simon deeply, and for a long time was very bitter about everything. By going to 6th Form is a sign that he is getting over these experiences.