I’ve just got back from picking my daughter up from school. Thursdays are a busy day, what with swimming and music lessons, so I always walk up the road to meet her, even though most days she brings herself home, because she has so much to carry. Today we just about managed to dodge the raindrops (it always rains at 3pm, always), so we were unencumbered by tilting umbrellas as we walked together (well, I walked, and she skipped and swung her swimming bag around in circles) and she informed me, with absolute certainty, that when she grew up, she would like to be a writer.
Now being a writer is a very fine thing, I think. I am very pleased that she has moved on in her ambitions from ‘famous YouTuber’ to writer, and the conversation came about because today (not tomorrow, as I was convincing myself) is Publication Day for my book, Inclusion for Primary School Teachers. This is a massive deal for me, so massive, in fact, that I went out earlier and bought myself a bottle of proper champagne (the lady at the till told me that she has a bottle of the very same brand sitting unopened-for-thirty-years upon her mantel shelf); I fully intend to drink it tonight in celebration (especially as I am too ridiculous to organise myself a party, I don’t like the social anxiety and would far rather be the guest than the host).
I hope lots of people read the book. I hope that it makes the complicated world of SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) a little clearer. I hope that the words ‘grandma’ and ‘sucking eggs’ aren’t put together. I hope that people, teacher-people, think a little bit more, and a little bit more kindly about inclusion in our schools; what it means, and what they can do about it.
I haven’t written a book for leaders, although they are welcome to read it. I haven’t written a book for parents, although they are welcome to read it too. I’ve written a book for teachers, the ones in the classroom, the ones teaching all the children, every single day.
Because whatever you think about inclusion, whether you think it’s a waste of time, or it’s OK for some kids but not others, or whether you think it should be for everyone and the system needs wholesale change, regardless, the reality is that kids with learning difficulties rock up in mainstream schools every single day, and they have a right to do so, and they have a right to a good education.
If you buy it, you won’t find any tales about Sam. You won’t find my other children, or the children I have taught over the years. You won’t find any heart-warming or tear-inducing anecdotes. You won’t find anything that hasn’t been tried and tested. It is a book that talks about ideals but, no matter how hard you look, you definitely won’t find any magic wands.
I hope you like it. I hope you find it useful. You can buy it here: http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/inclusion-for-primary-school-teachers-9781472921147/