Monday 2 July 2012

What I said to the school yesterday

Following on from the bunches of flowers and cards I've taken into school, hubby and I decided it was time to write a letter to the Head to thank the school for its support over the last three years. I thought I'd share it with you...

We would like to thank you and the school for your help and support during Ben's illness. Everyone, without exception, has been amazing and many staff have gone way beyond 'the call of duty' to help us, especially Mrs XXXXXX, Miss XXXXXX and Mr XXXXXX who have all been outstanding.

Ben's tutors, too, have been exceptionally supportive, especially during the period when he was away from school in year 11 and when he attended part-time in years 12 and 13.

The Plan of Action you suggested worked flawlessly and, with the support of tutors and Heads of Year, Ben was able to study for - and sit - his GCSE exams without any stress. We are also grateful for the assistance received during his AS and A level exams, and with university entrance applications.

As parents it hasn't been easy watching Ben transform from a boy who was going from strength to strength in every way between years 7 and 10 to a boy whose illness robbed him of many of the positive things in his school career.

Ironically, just before Ben's anorexia manifested itself, we were going to write to thank you and the school for bringing Ben out of his shell and boosting his confidence and self-esteem. We were both delighted and astonished at the transformation we were seeing. Following a difficult period at primary school, which included some psychological bullying, Ben appeared to be thriving on the 'SchoolName treatment'. Then the anorexia struck, so we never got the chance to write that letter.

One of the primary motivators that kept Ben going through his anorexia was his academic study. It gave him focus and purpose during those dark days when the anorexia had him in its grip. Most importantly, it showed him that his life has a purpose – and a future. In addition, knowing that his tutors genuinely cared about his progress, and about him as an individual, helped him enormously. The SchoolName was very much part of the success story that was Ben's recovery. Additionally, the school's flexibility allowed Ben to ease himself back into his studies and social life at his own pace. And throughout, Mrs XXXXXX and Miss XXXXXX went out of their way to help in every way they could.

Like the parent whose letter was read out at Prize Day, one of the main reasons we chose SchoolName for Ben was because of its reputation as a caring school – a school that nurtures and values the whole child, whatever that child's strengths or weaknesses. During Ben's first four years, we witnessed SchoolName at its best as Ben's confidence, self-esteem and happiness went from strength to strength. During the final three years when Ben was struggling with anorexia, we witnessed SchoolName at its 'better than best'. SchoolName supported Ben - and it supported us, his parents. As we remarked to each other after Prize Day, Ben couldn't have been in a better place.

We would like to thank you again and would like to wish you and the school all our very best wishes for the future.

Kind regards

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