I read in the news the other day of a four-year-old girl who was diagnosed by her G.P. as suffering from depression and anxiety because she was not allocated a school place with her friends and playmates.
The parents had too long delayed the application and there were no places left.
Whatever the reality in this case, it is undoubtedly true that there’s an ever-increasing proportion of school-children diagnosed or ‘statemented’; and the incidence of autism and similar complaints is ever on the up. Something like 10% of all school children have a mental or nervous complaint.
At the same time, these children are press-ganged into mainstream classes, making ever more unlikely any suitable education for their needs. The education of the other 90% in mainstream is sorely affected too, as of course are the teachers.
The education system is under the control of politicians – who need to minimise spending and investment – and administrators, who must make work for themselves and who care nothing for conditions at the chalk-face for the real educators.
The situation is at a critical stage – but you will always find a wit that can summarise it all with a sarcastic limerick, like the one below.
Please recognise our genuine concern despite our quoting this Modern Nursery Rhyme!
Jack and Jill are mentally ill
Little Boy Blue’s depressed:
Bo-Peep, a self-harmer
Needs prozac to calm her
And Wee Willie Winkie is stressed.