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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Eleven Plus Appeal

I heard a story yesterday. I am not quite sure where it will end – but it looks as if it could turn out to be an on going saga.

A young mother had a kidney transplant in early January of this year. She had been ill for some years. Luckily she was offered a new kidney from a suitable donor. You will have guessed it by now – the donor was her sixty year old mother.

Both women are not very well at the moment. The new kidney has worked but not quite as well as could be hoped.

There are two children in the family. The boy is aged four and the girl has just turned ten. The girl has been doing very well at school. She is not doing any extra work towards the Eleven Plus examinations, at the moment, because of all the turmoil in the family. It can not be easy for the children to have their mother so ill.

The dad walked out on his family towards the end of January. He explained, I understand, that he could not take the pressure any more and needed some space.

He has the children one day a week – and had them as usual on Wednesday of last week. Last Friday the mother telephoned him to say that she was not feeling well and would have to go back into hospital for some checks over the weekend. She told him that her mother was also `not too good’ at the moment and simply could not manage to look after the children. He was asked if he could help.

Dad explained that he was off to Ireland for the weekend with his mates and could not change his arrangements. He would be letting his friends down.

So when is the ten year old girl going to find time to do her Eleven Plus preparation? How will an appeal panel react to the mother if the little girl does not pass her Eleven Plus examination? Will the appeal panel take any of the `circumstances’ into account?

How will the little boy ever learn to read with all the upset in his family?

Is it really fair to ask both children to be `brave and understanding’?

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