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Do you ever have those moments....


... where you suddenly realise that what you are doing might be worthwhile? Remember them, for they are priceless.


I sent out some requests for feedback this morning to people I had helped through Finding Common Ground a couple of months ago to see if there had been any changes in their actions or in the situation with their child and the school. Within a few minutes the first responses came in. They made me stop what I was doing, take a breath, and suddenly realise that the project is really valuable.


I quote the first couple of responses directly - there is no way that you can tell who they are from:


"I now feel more in control of the situation and am approaching school with more confidence regarding what we are and are not prepared to try. When school push a little too hard or try to move things on too quickly I feel comfortable pulling back without any hesitation. For me, I think that was the most valuable piece of advice you gave - tell school what you are going to do, rather than feeling at risk from sanctions, fines, prosecution etc. It has shifted the balance and I now feel we have an equal partnership. My child is attending the school premises on a regular basis now. We still have setbacks and difficult days but they are happening much less. The atmosphere in our house has changed for the better. Thank you."


"I feel I have opened up to school and been honest how difficult things are for our son and us as parents. I’ve offered to go in to get him on the right track and have met with the senco. I think your advice about being honest and keep talking has helped. There will be no quick wins but school know we are trying our best and working together hopefully can help."


I will remember the moment that those landed in my inbox for a long time.


On a day when Ofsted say that the social contract between schools and parents is broken (https://www.theguardian.com/education/2023/nov/23/ofsted-report-england-schools-social-contract-absenteeism-amanda-spielman) then the approach used by Finding Common Ground is a way in which that collaboration in the best interests of young people can begin to be restored.


If you would like to get in touch with Finding Common Ground please visit the website www.findingcommonground.org.uk or email advice@findingcommonground.org.uk or message 07767142877

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