“If they don’t like it, they can go somewhere else. Parents have a choice.”
I’ve read about Headteachers who say this. I’ve even used a similar phrase for dramatic effect with my students – if you want to belong to this community to have to follow our rules; if you don’t you’ll have to go somewhere else. But the truth is that it’s a bit more complicated; at least, it should be. A serious challenge in schools is to balance inclusion – the rights of every child to receive a good education regardless of their circumstances – with the reality that some children have an unacceptably detrimental impact on the learning of others. However, not only is it a lie to suggest that all parents have a genuine choice of secondary school, once they get there, it’s not a straight-forward to chuck kids out when they challenge the system.
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