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What is your school for?



I attended a conference today all about closing the gap.  One of the workshops I went along to focused on building resilience and the mental health of young people.  Consider the following statistics:
How important are exam result to some young people? I know that I'm often frustrated with some young people who seem reluctant to work.  Sometimes they may 'kick off.'  In a secondary school it's especially difficult to really get to know individuals.  
Three of the stats above applied to me when I was 16.  I doubt very much that any teacher was aware of this.  
Makes me think.  How well do you actually know your pupils? Does every vulnerable young person in your school have a key person that they can have a personal relationship with? Someone who understands them.  Who is in their corner?
In longitudinal studies of those who have resilience are asked in adulthood to name the key factor in breaking out of a dire situation, they consistently nominate a key adult who believed in them.  That adult is often a teacher.
With the recent drive on standards, knowledge, educational change perhaps we are guilty of forgetting the whole school curriculum.  The curriculum that is basically everything that happens inside a school.  Gove may be gone (the average tenure of an Education Secretary of State is around 2.5 years), but our young people are constant.
Certainly makes me critically reflect upon whether I am meeting the needs of the young people in my charge.
Our job is far more important than chasing examination gongs. Today I'm thankful of the reminder.

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