What should a school do when a student has low attendance due to ongoing medical issues?

(15 Posts)
Jivetoes Sun 31-Jan-16 17:22:49

My ds 10 was diagnosed with a disorder in October, which caused him to be in hospital and subsequently miss a fair chunk of school time. Ds has had another flare which started 4 weeks ago, he attended 2 days in the first week, 2 in the second and has been unable to attend since and doubtful he will return for a while, DS has also had 2 hospital admissions in the past few weeks and is having care from physio, hydrotherapy, occupational therapy and doctors. Ds' attendance now stands at 61%.
I am doing work with him at home, but I am struggling as I am exhausted from caring from him, he is no longer mobile and generally up till 11/12pm in pain so I can't wrap my head around it all! I am a single parent, ex is no contact, and only have my dad for support but he works full time.
The school as yet are yet to even send a piece of work home or point me in the direction of help, I have asked repeatedly but it seems they do not want to help unless he is going back. I know DS can always catch up, but he is yr6 and was already struggling academically so don't want him to fall to far behind. An appointment with a neurological phycologist on Monday identified some clear attention/concentration issues, I will get a full report in a month. Ds is also highly sensitive and has anxiety issues around school and pressure.

Does anyone know what school should be doing/ if they should be doing anything? Also where would be good places to access information?

Thank you!

YeOldeTrout Sun 31-Jan-16 18:55:18

bloody hell, why isn't his pain under better control?
Can you get some respite care?
Sod the school attendance figures or academic attainment, you need to look after you as priority.

TheGreatSnafu Sun 31-Jan-16 19:02:09

When he's in hospital term time the hospital should liase with the school to continue any education that is possible while in hospital given the constraints that your child is working under.

Are you in a big hospital with children's wing and a hospital school?

TheGreatSnafu Sun 31-Jan-16 19:06:17

And yes, I second a revisit the pain management for your DS.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sun 31-Jan-16 19:08:30

www.gov.uk/illness-child-education

This might help.

Akire Sun 31-Jan-16 19:10:54

The council have a duty to provide some education if he's not well enough to go into school. Some of them have visiting teachers who will come home and do some tutoring in basic subjects to keep things ticking over.

Sometimesithinkimbonkers Sun 31-Jan-16 19:12:32

Ha ha ha respite care!!!!!!!

Jivetoes Sun 31-Jan-16 19:28:41

Thank you all, the pain thing is tricky because of his age according to the hospital, he is on continuous paracetamol and ibroprofen, i was told to give it on the dot its due, even up through the night to do it, and given dihydrocodeine when he breaks through this, which is everyday! If he can't manage on this we have to go back in for oramorph. We are home at the moment, have been for a week, when we are in it is a local one, only geared up for very short stays/planned routine things, they don't liaise with school, they have play leaders who are lovely, but bring him tv, dvds and play station. I'm not worried about his actual attendance figures, just how far he'll get behind when he struggles enough, I'd love to home ed him, and under normal circumstances I would but my brain is about to explode at the moment, this is all new to us. I will speak to the council as well, looking at the link I wonder whether the issue is he hasn't missed the 15 days continuous yet, although he will this week. Sorry if I rant, and I don't want to sound like I'm putting his education first but I'm trying to keep not top of everything and want to make sure I'm doing it all right.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sun 31-Jan-16 19:47:44

I could be wrong, but I don't think the 15 days has to be continuous.

Presumably he's not far off the 15 days continuous and you know he won't be back for a while, so that should count now anyway.

GinandJag Sun 31-Jan-16 19:49:10

Is there a hospital school?

Jivetoes Sun 31-Jan-16 20:47:09

Thanks rafals I'll speak to the council tomorrow, but yes the 15 days is up on weds so hopefully things will get going! It seems crazy that it does need to be continuous even with such a low attendance. Gin no there is no hospital school u fortunately, I bought and took workbooks in for him to do when he was able. It's hit or miss with the stronger pain killers if he's able to work or is to 'zoned out'

Tiggles Sun 31-Jan-16 20:54:14

DS (secondary age) is off school with a broken leg - hasn't been in since mid Dec and won't be back until March at the absolute earliest. Complicated fracture requiring lots of surgery. Although has been home since the end of December. The nurse he sees in outpatients was saying that after 10days of not being at school the home tuition service should kick in. And she phoned up the relevant department in the hospital to get them to sort it. I should say that she has tried phoning several times - DS has now missed 4 weeks of school and no luck so far. Now she is trying the 'he is in an exam year' to try and chivvy them up. DSs school have sent him exam papers to do both when I have been in and by post but it isn't really the same as teaching. However this does seem to need to come from the hospital end rather than the school.

GinandJag Sun 31-Jan-16 21:50:56

When I have had students off school for extended periods of time - either chronic illness or, opposite end of the spectrum, sports training - students have had a tutor (eg hospital education service) who liaised with school. We would send work to the tutor who would teach it/ pass it on and do all assessment. They would also feedback to school on a weekly basis, so we could all keep pace with the teaching of the rest of the class, and adjust if necessary.

My experience of students who recuperate at home (ie without a tutor) is not so satisfying. I have not found parents to be as demanding (in meaningful ways) or to feedback to the same level of intensity.

Jivetoes Sun 31-Jan-16 22:49:49

Thank you both, sorry to hear about your son tiggles, hope he's on the mend and back up on his feet soon, glad you are getting some work! Gin thank you for your help, maybe I should make more of a pest of myself, this will definitely be an a going issue. It feels like he is falling through the cracks I between hospital and home/school at the moment. I don't want to put him under more pressure with work, but at the same point the longer it's left the worse it will be in terms of catching up. I wish I had a magic wand or someone telling me what to do. Thank you all for your help.

TheGreatSnafu Mon 01-Feb-16 14:50:34

jivetoes For the future I wouldn't worry about the 15 days thing, that is not striclty upheld across the country as an access threshold!

As soon as we are checked into the children's wing of our hospital, no matter how long or short our intended stay, every time we are visited by the in hospital school liaison person (I believe that s/he is a teacher). We don't have to have 15 days of absences before we get help. She knows our school and can check in with them to assign a tutor top up teaching if needed in hospital and at home so that our son doesn't fall behind.

I'm telling you this because there is absolutely no reason that you cannot routinely access this service if your son is in and out of hospital even if you don't have the 15 consecutive days school absence.

I suspect that it is yet again a post code lottery situation where we are just lucky that this service is robust in our regular hospital (we also use a second hospital further away where this service does not visit us when we check in but we are not in that hospital very frequently.)

Once you establish the relationship and get some help I would hope it would be easier to keep it ticking along.

Also can you request a different hospital that does have a school on site? If your son is regularly hospitalised this is not an unreasonable request, especially if his condition is not rare.

All the best to you and your son.

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