Monday, 18 August 2014

Moving Our Child Up A Year - Part Four

You can read Part One, Part Two and Part Three if you wish to catch up.

After Husband spoke with the Chief of Education, he felt a lot better and that made me feel better about our decision to ask to move Z up a year. The CoE had told Husband that they would get back to him but it wouldn't be before the end of the week and if not, it may be the following week. School was finishing in three days and, whilst their offices would still be open over the holidays and there was still time for a decision to be made, we really wanted to finalise everything before the end of term.

You can imagine my surprise, on the day after Husband's phone conversation, when I had an email from the CoE telling me that they had spoken with the Senior Education Officer, the person we initially met with who said no to moving Z, and the SEO had come up with what they felt might be a good compromise for us. I wasn't sure what to make of this and I was feeling a bit underwhelmed and anxious that they had decided to put Z in the composite class even after the school had told us there was no way Z could go in to the composite class this year because he was far too ahead of the children going in to that class.

I called the SEO but they weren't in their office. They called me back about an hour later. It was an interesting conversation and one that definitely surprised me. The SEO suggested that we move Z in to a Primary 4 class and arrange for him to be monitored by the Educational Psychologist for the first term of school. The other option was to put him in Primary 3 and have him assessed however, they felt this would be a pointless move if they were then going to move Z up to P4 after being assessed.

I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I was delighted, of course, but I kept thinking, "what's the catch?" There was no catch. Z was going to be moved to Primary 4 as we wanted.

I had a phone call from the school the next day and they confirmed that Z would be moved in to the P4 class with all of his friends. Z was delighted as were his friends.

Our child is skipping a year at school.

This wasn't an easy decision for us to make. It is still a huge decision that weighs heavily on our shoulders. We do feel it is the right decision for Z however, it is also a decision that can't give definitive outcomes. We don't know what will happen with Z in five years or ten years time.

He will start high school a year early. He will be the youngest in his year instead of being one of the oldest children in his year. He won't be able to leave school when the rest of his friends can. He won't be able to learn to drive at the same time as his friends. He will sit his exams a year early.

However, he may thrive and continue to excel and maybe mainstream education won't be suitable for Z. Maybe he'll need to go to a specialist school. Maybe he'll be sitting his exams and getting a degree before he's 18. A crystal ball would be fabulous right now.

What I do know is, we fought for what we believe is the right decision for Z and we made it happen.

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