To allow my son to have a day off school that is unauthorised

(55 Posts)
ReallyTired Wed 24-Apr-13 14:26:16

My son has been suffering from severe anxiety at the age of 11 due to year 6 SATs. He is seeing an NHS pychologist as he is has been threating to commit suicide and having panic attacks. He has had roughly four days off this academic year. I imagine that many adults in his position would have far more time off work. Unlike an adult ds cannot take medication.

The other day he was a naughty boy and pretended to be ill to get out of school. He made a mirculous recovery around lunch time, ie wanted to play with the computer and eat.

He stubbornly refused to get dressed and go to school. He broke down in tears and was shaking like a leaf. I found myself struggling to assess if he was well enough for school or not. I am out of my depth dealing with a child who has not been sleeping at all and having awful mood swings. He is a naughty boy even though he is ill.

School do not accept that my son has severe anxiety. (even though GP and Pychologist have mad the diagnosis.) The school has done absolutely nothing to help him. His absence will go down as unauthorised. No one from senior management will even have a meeting with me.

Am I going to get fined? I really couldn't give a flying f**K about the school's OFSTED at the moment.

shewhowines Thu 25-Apr-13 09:21:31

I sympathise. Our school says they haven't been pressurising them but they have, because it's all revision, revision, revision.

Reiterate that it's just to measure the school, not him. Tell him you are not bothered if he sits them or not and you'll leave it to him to decide. If he doesn't want to make that decision nearer the time, then you will make it for him and not let him sit them.

So the default position is that he is definitely not sitting them, unless he actually wants to.

Cherriesarelovely Thu 25-Apr-13 09:28:11

I completely agree with that idea of giving him the control in that way shewhowines. Still cannnot get over the cold attitude of the school. They should be re evaluating their approach in the light of your son's feelings. I certainly would be.

birdofthenorth Thu 25-Apr-13 10:00:40

As Chair of governors at a primary I'm a bit appalled by both the fact that sufficient pressure was put on your son to allow this level of anxiety to arise, and more so that you feel they don't acknowledge his ill health. Are CAHMS involved? I agree you should ask for a multiagency meeting so school are actively engaged in an action plan around his wellbeing.

And in our school, one unauthorised absence would not be cause for further action. A couple generates a polite letter. A pattern or persistent holidays in term time generates an interview with a governor and involvement from EWOs. But I would say your DS was unfit for school that day.

smupcakes Thu 25-Apr-13 12:12:23

That's terrible that you're son has become so anxious about school. Just wanted to note though that avoidance tends to be the biggest maintaining factor of anxiety in children, so not going to school may make things worse in the long term

He'd need to be off a lot more than 5 days in a whole year to trigger the EWO!

Let him have a 'mental health' day and tell him he doesn't have to sit the SATS if he doesn't want to... he shouldnt be so anxious about them.

Have the school directly said they dont believe that he's suffering Anxiety, or are they just being unhelpful?

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