Who’s in School With Our Children?

Posted on September 27, 2010


Remember being a child and your parents have the news on TV?  I do, and I always remember thinking “God this is boring, stick the cartoons back on”, after all what child really understands that the news is one of the many avenues that keep us informed about what is going on and that is something that I am grateful for, without it we would live in a cushioned cloud of sunny skies and rainbows.    I am glad that my son would rather keep his childhood and not get embroiled in all the sadness that is coveted across the headlines but I’m also privileged that I can chose what he is exposed to when it comes to subjects of controversy.

I often worry about what my son can be exposed to when I’m not with him and one of the things that I do worry about is what happens at school.  It is a whole other side of their life that you do not get to see fully into.  Mostly you remember what it was like for you and for me I was pretty much concerned with what my friends were doing and whether I had that ‘album’ that had just come out but in today’s society things are just far bigger than that.

Reading an article in The Mail on Sunday about the Year 11 asylum seeker pupil who was really 23 highlighted this even more to me, not only is it one 23 year old, he was accompanied by another man in his early 20’s pretending to be 14 and his 2 sisters who are in year 8, apparently there is no discrepancy with their age.   The article goes on to state that the 23 year old was in a relationship with a 14 year old girl from the same school.  A 14 year old girl who thought she was dating a 14 year old boy and as much as 14 year olds are thinking about girls and boys they do think differently to a 23 year old.

I wondered if this was a brother’s concern taken too far in order to protect his sisters from the society with which we live in, whether they saw it as an opportunity to get a free education due to their fortunate youthful looks or whether because children are protected by laws that forbid the deportation of minors, they thought they were safe.

Whatever the reason I am not comfortable that our education system was able to allow grown men to enter the establishment where our children are entrusted daily.

There’s no conclusion or reassurance within this article except that they have been removed from the mainstream school following advice from the UK Border Agency.  My question is since when do our schools have to wait to remove adults who have deceived the education system by lying about their age pending outside agency advice?   We have a responsibility as parents and as much as you do not abandon that responsibility when they are at school you cannot watch over them 24/7.  These are our children and we have to protect them as much as we can and for their time in education, we trust that when we walk them into the school gates that the schools are acting in their best interests.  Failure in this way only leads to more questions about who can we trust and who is in school with our children?