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  • Katrina Lloyd Cole & Ottilie Armitage-Brown

My morning outpouring blog...

Did you know that 65 per cent of children taken in to Care end up in prison? Has anyone ever costed how much is spent on any one child by the State? Surely it makes sense to invest in the support necessary to give every child the support he or she needs to become a contributing member of our community? Personally, I believe it would be a very valuable costing exercise when more and more cut backs are being called for. Yes, maybe we do need to remain the banking centre of the world, but not at the expense of our community and our core values.

How come we have nothing formally on the National Curriculum that helps children be effectively prepared for surely one of the most important jobs within any society - parenting?

Can a child possibly learn something every 20 minutes, (the Ofsted aim for schools,) if they are being ruled by the chemistry of a switched on amygdalla (the reptilian brain) that is focused on survival alone?

Mindfulness and stress management techniques would help children regain their receptiveness to learning.

Have you ever tried to teach a reptile to read?

Actually, human babies are born nearly a year early because evolution has decreed that learning and adapting is more useful to humans than physical independence. We didn't move from the stage where some mammals can stand within minutes of being born and then run soon after on a whim. There must have been a superior pay off for moving on from this stage of evolution.

Children are the greatest and most adept students: it is we who can learn from them how to keep learning and adapting. Nature gave them this skill for their and our survival. It might be both wise and economically sound to replicate it.

How does that song go? "I believe that children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way."

Should we be so rigidly deciding exactly what and how they should learn in the way we currently do, or is this perhaps suffociating our teachers and keeping them tied up in admin. demands. Are they pulled away from the place where they need to be: stimulating; inspiring and containing children in a safe and welcoming, resourced envonment. Whilst regulation is obviously necessary, could we be trusting our teachers more to create the space so vital for children to learn as well as the freedom to follow the currents that emerge from within the children who will want to learn?

Being told or read a story helps children to access the magic and haven of their creative imaginations. This, in turn, can allow them to leave difficult family situations behind. Starting the day with breathing exercies helps them regulate the peace in their inner world that delivers the receptivity to learn.

Are we living in an atmosphere of societal paranoia perhaps where trust has so been shaken by the ecomonic crisis that we have unwittingly become disconnected from the fundamental values that create a healthy foundation for us to move beyond survivng to thriving? Are we, at this bigger system level, in shock and suffering a form of PTSD?

The rising incidence of mental health issues in our children is not simply down to our increasing tendency to gather statistics. They are indicators: symptoms of a society's unacknowledged malaise and it is not, in my opinion, responsible for any of us as adults to leave the responsibility to politicians to sort this out. Nor is it reasonable to expect social workers to field this either and then be so vulnerable to being blamed.

Children are not paper clips so cannot be audited as such.


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