Sheffield mum’s join education debate

Nancy Fielder with Sheffield mums
Nancy Fielder with Sheffield mums

Sheffield mums have joined the debate to give a parent’s view on education in Sheffield.

Mums Sarah Halliwell, Katie Green, Melanie Slack, Kamida Khan, Natasha Green and Filomena Miguens came to The Star office yesterday to share their experiences.

Mother-of-three Natasha Green, aged 33, said she felt forced to move house to ensure her children got the best education possible.

Natasha, of Ecclesall, said: “I am pleased to have got both of my children into the school I wanted them to be in.

“Luckily for our family it was possible to move house. I know it’s not an option for everybody, but as parents you do whatever you can for your children.”

Mother-of-three Melanie Slack, 34, managed to get her children into a neighbouring school – despite being in a different catchment area.

Melanie, of Lowedges, said: “A lot of parents where I live are quite happy not to work.

“If I’m trying to instil a good work ethic in my children then I don’t want them hanging around with children whose parents tell them they don’t need to work.

“I’m not sure how you tackle the issue of parenting, but it’s there.”

It was a similar situation for mum-of-two Katie Green, 31.

Katie, of Batemoor, said: “I hear the language some of the children round here are using around here and it really concerns me.

“A lot of problems in schools boils down to parenting. But, again, it’s difficult to suggest what can be done about it.”

Luckily for mum-of-one Filomena Miguens, 32, her Catholic faith meant she was able to get her son into the school she wanted.

But despite this Filomena, of Gleadless, still makes sure her son knows what he is going to school for.

She said: “I say you go to school to learn – not to mess around.

“If children are misbehaving it’s up to the parents to find out what the problem is. It’s all down to parenting.”

Class sizes was another issue raised in the debate.

Mum-of-two Kamida Khan, 46, said she had to change school for her autistic daughter as she could not cope with the 40 plus class sizes.

Kamida, of Fir Vale, said: “To hear my daughter crying every day before school, not wanting to go, was terrible. All I want is for my children to be happy.

“But after changing schools and being in a class less than half the size, she is so much happier and learning much better.

“I think it’s very important that children get enough attention. Keeping class sizes small is very important.”

Mother-of-four Sarah Halliwell, 45, said closing special schools for children with learning difficulties and behavioural issues was having a negative effect on education.

Sarah, of Ecclesfield, said: “When children are disruptive, for whatever reason, it is often because they need more specialist attention.

“Forcing children like this into mainstream education is not fair for anybody. But due to cuts, many special schools in the city have closed.

“Putting more funds into such schools would help.”