FAO: Prospective London Mayors

A child with sickle cell disorder has a severe painful crisis and is rolling around on the floor in agony. Other children film her on their mobile phones. The teacher does not intervene.

Q: Where? A: A London school
A child with sickle cell disorder is being bullied repeatedly by four other boys. The young boy with sickle cell is excluded from school but not the bullies.

Q: Where? A: A London School
A child with sickle cell disorder is going hungry* and finds a way to gain extra tokens so he can have a school breakfast as well as a school dinner. He and three others are caught and “excluded for 12 months”
*A child with sickle cell disorder burns calories at 115% of the rate of an ordinary child

Q: Where? A: A London School

If you become Mayor, please undertake to do something to better support young people living with sickle cell in schools. 1 in every 600 children born in some parts of London is a child with sickle cell disease. The enclosed Guide to School Policy for Sickle Cell could help. The guide was developed on the basis of research conducted by my unit. The guide was, through the good offices of Dianne Abbott MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia, taken up by civil servants of the former Department for Children Schools and Families and placed on that department’s web-site. It was removed during the time of the Coalition Government when the Department for Education replaced the Department for Children Schools and Families.

In 2015 I worked with the Sickle Cell Society to try to get schools to act. See: http://sicklecellsociety.org/action-request-is-your-childs-school-using-best-practice-for-sickle-cell/. Despite emailing the Guide to all 1,000 state secondary schools in London, across all 32 boroughs , the Sickle Cell Society had only two responses/requests. It is clear that things will not improve unless there is political will to ensure London schools take sickle cell seriously.

The guide is an open education resource, developed as a result of publicly-funded research, and is free to place on a web-site or to print copies. If asked, and if required, I could help with workshops for appropriate education personnel.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Simon Dyson
Professor of Applied Sociology, School of Allied Health Sciences
De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH

AttachmentsSickle Cell and Thalassaemia: A guide to school police