Anyway, I digress. I was happy with Small Sprogs progress and told him so. However I couldn't help comparing his report with Tall Girls one at the same age, at the same school.
Now I know she's a girl and perhaps this accounts for some of the discrepancy but although his levels were similar to hers at the same age, his predicted grades were much lower. Tall Girl has exceeded some of her targets this year and some are going to be roughly what was expected. But do you know how they are worked out? It's not just about her, 'they' take into account family circumstances and whether she's on free school meals etc.
When Tall Girl was in year 7 she lived in a nuclear family. Small Sprog at that same age does not. Small Sprog is registered for free school meals because of my low pay, even though I make him sandwiches every day. (The school benefits from extra cash if you register your children even if the children don't have the dinners.)
It seems that Small Sprog is not expected to do so well at school because he lives with his single mother. His scrounging single mother who apparently lowers his life chances. Is this fair? Is it fair that he shouldn't be expected to do as well because he comes from a 'broken home'? Is it fair that women who live alone are portrayed as non working scroungers with little or no education themselves, who have, in turn, no interest in their offspring's education or future? It makes me mad that his levels are expected to be lower now that he lives outside of the
Recently I have neglected him I must admit, but only because I have spent every night for the last weeks -though it seems like months- helping Tall Girl revise for her GCSE's. And all that effort will be his in a few years - is his now when he brings home work from school.
I am determined that they will get the same results as they would have if we were still living in a family unit. In fact, I think I am better placed now to give them more help than when I was in an unhappy place.
Tall Girl completed her Science GCSE today, she has worked incredibly hard -though physics baffles us both! So fingers crossed. I hope, desperately hope, that I can continue to support them in their education until they no longer need me to. The only thing that might interfere with that is if I have to work 24/7 to support them financially and then there will be little time for our family life, but perhaps that's what the government would prefer?