Ayah’s experience

Hiya! My name is Ayah, I’m a 15-year-old female who is passionate about politics and reforming the education system. I am also physically divergent!

Why are you starting this blog/article?

Well… I’m starting this blog/article so I can express my opinions and concerns about the education system and share my experiences within the education system.

What is a physical divergence?

A physical divergence is just another way of saying ‘physically different’. Though I prefer using physical divergence because it sounds way cooler and makes people ask more questions. I also don’t like the word ‘different’ because I feel like it separates me from society.

About my past

I was born with Cerebral palsy, growing up with Cerebral palsy was hard, I remember I would throw tantrums and get into fights with my peers (sometimes physical). I didn’t really have friends when I was young and so, therefore, I only communicated with adults in my primary school. As I grew older I learned to suppress my emotions about my CP and my frustration about my peers as well as my CP. This lead to me more becoming emotional and having frequent outbursts at school (which I still have).

After I left primary I went to a special secondary school (until the end of year 9). I saw kids bullying other kids, teachers paying for whiteboard pens out of their own pockets, and staff shortages. My classmates were frustrated due to their label as ‘special needs’. This led to people storming out in lessons and often having physical fights with each other. I remember hearing that person in my school brought a knife into school (and was trying to stab my other classmates ). It sent chills down my spine, the thought of a person in my form trying to kill another classmate.
After I left I heard that a boy (who was in the year above me and now in college) was stabbed multiple times and sadly passed away. Surprise surprise… he was excluded many times in primary and (permanently in) secondary. He was branded by his teachers as ‘disruptive’ and a ‘troublemaker’. When I received the news I collapsed. The education system had failed him and continues to fail more vulnerable students like him.

I left my special school towards the end of year 9 as I would be moving to a mainstream school. When I started in my mainstream school I could see it at first, the signs of a school in debt and teachers’ mental health plummeting and students not getting the right help they need. EAL students getting handed iPads and told to attend English lessons they don’t understand, my school not being able to afford trays, teachers having mental breakdowns while teaching and then being told they will not be paid their 3% pay rise because the school can’t afford it and instead the school would offer a three-day holiday extension and finally vulnerable kids not being listened to and getting 30-minute detentions for not wearing their blazers but having their blazers in their hands.

As a result of all this, I emailed the former education secretary Damian Hinds 3x to outline my concerns with the education system including matters such as teachers’ pay, funding, and their mental health. I received 3 emails containing utter nonsense.

That will be all! Thank you for taking your time reading this, if you liked this please share! I hope this will be the first of Many.

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