I have already tweeted about the Four Corners Growing Up Poor documentary on ABC on Monday 24th September which was about poverty in Australia and in particular its impact on children. It was heart rending to hear tales of abuse, violence and alcoholism in the community in which these families lived but what stood out for me was the story of the young girl whose two brothers had died in a house fire who was then excluded from school for bad behaviour. As any psychologist will tell you, anger is often part of the grief process and children who have experienced loss often lose control. I would say almost all the students with behavioural difficulties that I taught for many years had lost someone significant in their lives – either by family breakdown or bereavement. The grief was often complex and almost never mediated well. Surely schools can do better for our vulnerable children than this? We know what makes a difference – why don’t they care enough to actually do it? Some teachers do – but rarely get credit for turning kids lives around.
Another double whammy
About the Author: Sue Roffey
Sue Roffey FRSA FBPsS is a psychologist, academic, author, activist and speaker. She holds posts as Honorary Associate Professor at University College, London and the University of Exeter and Adjunct Associate Professor at the Western Sydney University, and also affiliated to the Wellbeing Institute at Cambridge University. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools, and was a member of the Editorial Board of Educational and Child Psychology.