A workplace ignoring basic human rights?

Imagine there was a workplace – in this country – where basic human rights were ignored.

Where you were not allowed to go to the toilet, even if you pleaded with your supervisors to let you go. You had set times to go to the loo and the toilets were locked outside of those hours.

Imagine you were not allowed to work part-time. Even if you found full-time hours so stressful it made you ill. You had to work… and it had to be full-time. No exceptions.

Imagine you were not allowed to request holidays. You were only allowed holidays at set times of the year, chosen by your supervisors and not you. If you went on holiday outside of your supervisor’s chosen times, you were fined for doing so.

Imagine you were forced to stay at work after hours if you didn’t finish your work for the day, or speak out of turn to a supervisor, or were wearing the wrong clothes. You didn’t get paid for these extra hours – You simply just had to stay at work until your supervisors said that you could leave.

Imagine having your break times taken away as well for any of the above reasons.

You wouldn’t stand for it, would you? You would even campaign for the rights of those employed by this company to make conditions better for the workers.

Imagine if the employees discussed here are children.

This ignorance of basic human rights is happening every weekday in this country, within our schools.

To our children.

We have conventions on rights for adults, EU working time directives, enshrined in law, but no such thing to protect children’s rest time within schools.

At work, in the UK, your employer legally has to let you take the rest breaks that you are entitled to. Not so in school.

You can take paid holiday from your workplace when you want, as long as you give your employer the correct notice. Your employer can still say no, but you do have a degree of autonomy over holidays. Not so in school.

All employees have the legal right to request flexible working (e.g. changing hours to part-time, changing working hours, compressed hours, home working and flexitime). Children do not have a right to flexible schooling. On very, very rare occasions in this country flexischooling is considered for a child at a state school, but it is considered a temporary measure until full-time schooling is resumed. If a child is at school, it must be full-time, long-term.

Children do not have the right to go to the toilet when they need to. In this country. On this day. And it is a disgrace.

We cannot continue to treat our children in this way. Our children have rights and feelings too. They are humans just like the adults who should be here to protect them.

12th August, 2018 – Family Time

The school holidays are a special time for us as the family finally gets to spend a solid amount of time all together, as the older two (J, 9 and D, 7) go to school, so this week, we focused on family time, with less emphasis on learning and more emphasis on spending time together, as a family unit, but also with the grandparents too.

Having said that, we did go to the London Museums for a little incidental learning, making our first subject this week science…..

Science / Nature: On our visit to the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum, we met Grandma and spent the whole day with her looking at items, using the interactive objects and generally having fun. W’s favourite was the Blue Whale skeleton and we also went through the dinosaur section again, building on the knowledge we gained the last time we visited and the time before that.

At the Science museum, W spent quite a while at the little screens, in the ‘ Who Am I?’ Section and learned about DNA and genetics, amongst many other things.

We did some more learning about operations as I had to go to the hospital for an appointment in anticipation of an operation that I will need to have in the future.

As usual, on the journey home, W told me when our train was coming, by looking at the display and she tried to read signs also.

Later, W looked at her venus fly trap and asked questions about how the plant digests the insects it captures.

Mechanics: A neighbour gave me an old bike that was not roadworthy, so W helped me to fix it and make it work again. She also helped to clean it and got very grubby in the process!

Numeracy / Maths: W counted her money from her money-box and was pleased with the amount that she had saved, as usually she likes to spend her £3 a week straight away (more on pocket money here).

On the train, W did some of her workbook, which was dot-to-dots. She is becoming good at recognising numbers over 20 now. She then coloured in the pictures that she had made.

On Monday, we went to our regular social group, where they sometimes let the children run a little stall, to sell things that they had made. As we were able to bring the older two children this time, D could sell some of her Hama bead designs that she had worked on this week. W helped D to run her ‘shop’, asking people for the money and helping D to count it.

Art: Also at our Monday group, W made a ‘laptop’ and book for her soft toys, out of paper. These were good – the book had a picture on the front and writing inside. The laptop had a keyboard design when you open it up.

Afterwards, the children sat in a circle and drew the person opposite.

Play: As we have been all together this week, there has been a lot of playing happening. W is playing longer and longer ‘small world’ games with her toys now, showing that she can move through lots of steps within a game and then change the direction of the game as it progresses.

Another chance for some good playing was outside the museums, where the regular ‘Bubble Man’ was. D, J and W spent some time chasing bubbles together, having lots of fun.

Music: On the walk to the Museums, we saw many buskers. W’s favourite was the harpist, who offered to let her have a go on the harp, but she politely declined. We did spend some time watching her play, which the children were fascinated by.

PE: On a visit to Nanna and Grandad’s, W played football in the garden with her aunt, who is football mad… W learned some new skills and has got much better at dribbling the ball now.

And that concludes this week – a great week of mainly play with some learning along the way!