Education week

It's education week on our website! We have lots of content to share with you including a 30 minute documentary about Zach, a 15 year old with Down’s Syndrome, who attends a mainstream secondary school in the UK. You'll also get to hear from “The Specials” as they return to their old SEN school and remember how they all first met . So head over to our Education page and then, please come back here to share your own stories and post any questions you might have for Zach, his mum Mandy and Clevedon School's Inclusion lead Ros Pegg who will be answering questions throughout the week.

What is your own experience of education? Did you get a chance to choose between SEN and mainstream schooling? What is the support like where you live?

It is so lovely to see Zach happy and content at his mainstream school. My own daughter was not so fortunate she started at Primary school and although her first teacher was very hesitate about having a "special needs" child in her class my daughter Lucy won her over eventually. We were content with the school on the whole especially with a wonderful support worker she had, who was willing to teach my daughter. Problems arose on starting the last year (year 6) Lucy lost her support worker due to her own family commitments. New support made it clear she wanted nothing to do with Lucy and thought of her as a burden.Especially as all they were concerned with was getting the best SAT figures for the school. Leaving Lucy with nothing else to do but play on her school ipad. Did go to see the SENCO at the local High School who was less than helpful and in fact I felt very rude, as even though we had made appointment to see her and get a tour of the school, we were fobbed off with anther teacher who due nothing about the schools special needs system and when SENCO did speak to us for just a few minutes a secretary came along and told her she had another appointment. Left with no doubt that this school would not be good enough for my daughter to attend. So had had little choice but to put my daughter into the local special needs school. Lucy is now in her third year here, teachers are leaving so quickly and the replacements to not have much if any special needs experience. I just want my daughter to reach her full potential what ever that level may be. I want her to be happy and have friends. Her confidence has dropped and she now struggles with trying new things. I sent her to the special needs school in the hope they would bring out the best in her and see the same wonderful person I see. But all they see is a disabled child who can't do more than colour in pictures and play with lego. That's why I love watching The Specials you give me hope for the future.

Hi Yvette, I am really sorry to hear that Lucy has had such a tough time, It must have been very hard for you all as Lucy had such a good start with her original LSA, Its so difficult when LSA's come and go, especially when the replacement isn't as supportive. Does Lucy have Down Syndrome? If so , have you any local support groups ?

Yes my daughter Lucy has Down Syndrome. I am struggling at the moment as she is now nearly 14 and wants to do all the things her older sister likes to do. But doesn't want to do them with me her mum. Says she wants to do it herself. We do belong to a local family support group that has monthly get together.They have been the family's life line. I got to hear about the specials form a friend of Lucy's at primary school who's family know Megan. It was so wonderful to watch the first series and have followed their stories ever since.