Starting school is one of the biggest steps in any child’s life. While many children take it in their stride, there are plenty of others who find it a stressful and difficult experience.
For Mikey Strachan there was every potential for it to be doubly hard – the youngster has an undiagnosed life-limiting illness, which in many instances would see him sent to a special school.
Do not for a second think that The News is criticising the work done in these fine institutions – they help many children in our region gain the education they deserve.
However, in Mikey’s case, it was important for him to stay with his siblings.
It has not been an easy task to ensure he is able to remain in mainstream schooling, but what has happened at Crofton Anne Dale Infant School in Stubbington is a huge credit to all involved.
Schools in general come in for criticism on several fronts – whether it is failing standards on one hand or over-testing on the other – and it is no surprise to hear that many teachers feel beleaguered by the bureaucracy and demands made of them.
So to be able to report a positive story about the efforts being made for this lad is a joy.
All the classrooms have been made wheelchair accessible and a special room has been created for him to be able to change in private.
And it’s not just the physical changes to the school – all teachers and pupils are being taught Makaton, the sign language Mikey uses to communicate.
It would be churlish to complain of any cost incurred to implement these changes – some things transcend the financial bottom line.
It is truly heartwarming to hear the lengths that are being gone to for the sake of this one boy. We at The News wish Mikey every success in his new school.