by Anthony Rodway.
ISBN 0 9531724 3 0
This is an account by seven pupils of life in
Tylehurst School, an independent residential school for boys with
serious emotional and behavioural problems. Now adult, they write
movingly and unsentimentally about their troubled homes, the school
and its effect on their lives. The editor and co-author is Anthony
Rodway, formerly the school’s principal and still central to the
continuing network of support.
With present-day emphasis on keeping all
children in mainstream school, we need to be reminded that some
children suffer serious hurt that needs skilled and dedicated help.
Tylehurst provided this – the authors are in no doubt that without
it they would not have gone on to academic achievement, or have
been able to give their own children the loving homes that were
denied to them. Traumatic beginnings need more than short-term
Formerly many such schools gave support that
did not stigmatise families on the edge of breakdown, unable to
care for their children. Policy has moved against this for reasons
more to do with professional divisions than the needs of children.
As the problems of children in care continue to cause concern, this
intelligent and moving commentary on what can be achieved by a
clear vision, dedication and public support will stimulate useful
Marion Bennathan is director of the
Nurture Group Network.