I have just read the Cyrenians internal newsletter and an article caught my eye, written by a colleague in our Key To Potential service, titled ‘Housing and homelessness now a leading cause of school non-attendance’. The article highlighted, as the title suggests, the top 8 reasons (sourced from their own service experience) for non-attendance at school. The impact on the young person can be and often is life changing, disrupted education, further conflict, additional adverse experience, social isolation, emotional wellbeing, school exclusion or referral to an additional support agency or resource and so forth. Growing up is difficult enough (heck, we have all been through it!) but for some it can be more difficult (even traumatic) than others.
So, let us look at schools in a realistic sense…not in a dictionary definition context. School is more than just a place to learn. It is a place to grow up in, meet others, make friends, have fun, to be yourself. It is a place where you can talk, share, shine (we are all good at something) and where you should feel safe. A place where you can build confidence, find and be supported, be a role model, find a role model and be inspired. A place where you can sit and eat with others, find a quiet or fun space, a place where you can challenge yourself, fail and learn, succeed and achieve. A place where you can embrace diversity and understand others - a place to be kind. It is a place to live, as well as learn.
In school, you should have opportunity or you should be empowered to seek out opportunities. In school, you should be able to grow in confidence, ability and intellect. In school, you can start and build positive and meaningful relationships.
Give yourself permission to enjoy your time at school. You should never feel alone or isolated as there will always be someone there to support you, try to find out who that may be now or ask someone you trust.
Also check out the SCCR website where we have advice for young people all about exams and school - it’s all stressful stuff. Arguing about studying and school happens a lot in families and often people will have different ideas about what is best.
If you have had a positive experience in school why not share it with us, so other young people can feel more confident about school or how schools can become better in creating that positive environment for all young people? Live, learn, love and be happy.