For my darling girl, when I find the time and the courage to write again:
Dear SENCO, I did notice, I did tell you, repeatedly. I shared all the information. I had about my child with you. But your hands were tied, funding, policies etc.
You "didn't see anything" in school. Although my girl couldn't cope with school dining room, sat on a wobble cushion in class, wore her ear defenders constantly, was always the last one to be ready for PE, left school every day with Mum waiting at classroom door with her favourite cuddly toy and threw her school bag at mum, stomped accross playground, got into car, started to shake and refused to cry until car was on the main road and past all her peers who walked to and from primary school as a group, without their parents.
You never noticed that she ate the same packed lunch every. Single. Day?
You never noticed that on every school trip she needed to sit next to the same teacher, at front of coach and eat polo mints, because she got travel sick.
You never noticed her pulling her hair out in class, scratching herself til her cuticles bled, that she returned to school after summer break with eyebrows and eyelashes and hair ina pony tail. You never questioned why 5 weeks later, after school residential, parent sent photos in of child's depleted hairline, non existent eyebrows and lack of eyelashes?
You made an emergency referral to Social Services citing "Safeguarding concerns" when 3 weeks later parent emailed to say child has had 2 panic attacks at weekend, said she wanted to die and would not be in school because you were seeking an urgent private apointment with a Paediatrician? Because child had been on the CAMHS waiting list for 2.5 years and wasnt severe enough to warrant any input?
You never noticed how Mum stopped talking to anyone at school, about anything? You never noticed how mum sat at the back, nearest the door, at school assemblies? You never noticed the bags under Mum's eyes? Until she broke down in the "Way Forwards Meeting" when you told her child must come to school every day because attendance was really important?
So, you never noticed?
Yet you were concerned enough to contact the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub on a number of occasions that term?
And you could find the time to ring them every other day to ask them for an update?
And you could arrange meetings with professionals but not inform or involve mum because you were "concerned about her mental health?"
So, you saw a silent mum, at the classroom door, every single day. You saw the child for 6.5 hours per day, 5 days a week. But you didn't notice. Until child became too ill to attend school.
Then you found the time to invite yourselves, 2 members of staff at a time, round to my house, my child's safe place, on less than 24hours notice because you needed to do a welfare check.
Yeah, you never noticed...
Well, I'm glad you haven't had to notice the flowers on the grave....
I'm glad that I stopped my child attending school that term. I'm relieved that the Government ordered the schools to shut. I'm glad that my child wasn't classed as vulnerable. I'm glad I am not a key worker. I am glad my child doesn't have an EHCP (yet). I'm glad my child doesn't have a social worker. I'm glad the social worker decided there were "no safeguarding concerns".
I'm glad my child is still alive. I'm glad we can enjoy another day, together.
And you never noticed....
Shared, anonymously with The Author's Permission