The feeble child: why being feeble is a neat strategy to survive school.

Feeble children don’t fit and don’t come up to the mark of what is being demanded of them by their teachers or politicians. The feeble child isn’t – and doesn’t aspire to be – independent – or develop skills as an independent learner. They are highly dependent on others, whether consciously or not. The call to be prepared for an independent life fills them with horror.

The feeble child may not actually have many aspirations at all, is content to muddle through the day and has no view to the future. The feeble child is neither gifted nor talented – or is even in special measures and has no serious weaknesses. The feeble child is just that – feeble, weak, and dependent – and as such sits outside of the gaze which is directed at their peers who may variously be described as gifted and talented, ‘hard to reach’; dysfunctional or socially excluded.

The feeble child is not hard to reach at all, indeed their feebleness and utter dependency means that they are hard to shake off. We might harbour desires to exclude the feeble child as their dependency is so exhausting for us – but their strength (for they have many) is their instinct to be included, to include themselves in others co-dependent lives.