Ben Twist is an 11 year old boy living with autism. He goes to Lansbury Bridge School and Sports College, in St. Helens, Merseyside. Ben’s mom, Gail, got a big surprise one day when Ben’s teacher sent a letter home after Ben failed his SAT exams, as the content of the letter was absolutely not what she expected.
Anyone would be forgiven for thinking the letter would say something along the lines of Ben working harder and improving on his academics, however that as not the case. His teacher knew that what Ben needed was support and encouragement, not condemnation, so that is what she gave him, in a healthy dose we might add!
The letter read:
I am writing you to congratulate you on your attitude and success in completing your end of key stage SATs. Gil, Lynn, Angela, Steph and Anne have worked so well with you this year and you have made some fabulous progress.
I have written to you and your parents to tell you the results of the tests.
A very important piece of information I want you to understand is that these tests only measure a little bit of you and your abilities. They are important and you have done so well, but Ben Twist is made up of many other skills and talents that we at Lansbury Bridge see and measure in other ways.”
“Other talents you have that these tests do not measure include: -Your artistic talents, your ability to work in a team, your growing independence, your kindness, your ability to express your opinion, your abilities in sports, your ability to make and keep friends, your ability to discuss and evaluate your own progress, your design and building talents, and your musical ability.
We are so pleased that all of these different talents and abilities make you the special person you are and these are all of the things we measure to reassure us that you are always making progress and continuing to develop as a lovely, bright young man.
Well done Ben, we are very proud of you.
Mrs. Clarkson certainly makes an excellent point and we hope the whole world learns that a person’s value can not be measured by a school test.