The school’s Junior Leadership Team – global group – led the campaign across the school and ran an assembly for year groups 7, 8, 9 and 10. Each group tutor was given campaign materials to use with their class and pupils then decorated buddies and wrote messages to be forwarded to the government.
The global group also met a visiting teacher and pastor from Kenya. They found out about how children with disabilities are hidden away, how their parents can feel ashamed, and how the birth of a disabled child can be viewed as a curse. This can lead to the whole family being shunned.
The group also spoke to Claire, a former student of the school who is now studying at SOAS, University of London. Claire had recently returned from Tanzania and spoke about how children with epilepsy are turned away from school. With classes being so overcrowded, teachers feel unable to cope with a child with epilepsy.
In addition, they researched UNICEF and DFID materials about how children with disabilities in the developing world are treated and about the lack of access to education.
Two pupils, Katherine and Amy, led a whole staff reflection with around 80 teaching and support staff about the needs of disabled children globally – this is the first time that pupils have led such a reflection. The pair were also interviewed by local radio station, Spirit FM, about why the school feels the campaign is so important. They spoke about the need for all children to have access to school, and that children with disabilities should be included.
Although not strictly speaking their MP, pupils did meet David Blunkett as part of a Send My Friend to School campaign day. They also visited DFID and were privileged in being part of a handover of buddies at 10 Downing Street with Ade Adepitan and representatives from four other schools. It was a great day!