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‘Vulnerable’ children

(15 Posts)
PoppyStellar Sun 10-May-20 20:08:26

My DD is in Year 5. I think I could ask for her to attend school during the current crisis as I’m a single parent and I work in a key worker role but I haven’t done so far as I can, for the most part, do my job from home.

I am really lucky that my boss is very understanding and supportive and so there is no pressure as such from work although I am expected to be working full time and am being paid as such. DD is really struggling emotionally and socially with not being at school and is getting minimal input from me during working hours as I’m having to work. Prior to lockdown we were working with a therapist via the ASF and I’ve just been awarded DLA for DDs significant additional needs. I know the toll the lockdown is having on DDs emotional well-being. She’s great at masking but broke down completely the other night and was voicing fears and anxieties we’d dealt with through therapy a couple of years ago.

I really don’t know whether I would be being completely unreasonable to ask her school if she could attend for one day a week? Would appreciate any perspectives from others in similar circumstances

OP’s posts: |
ghislaine Sun 10-May-20 20:23:27

Of course not. Head Teachers have a discretion to allow children to attend school even if they are not the children of key workers or have an EHCP. This is spelled out in the page on school closures (I would link but am on my phone). DS returned to school for half day sessions a fortnight ago this way. His needs sound much less than your DDs but he is on the SEN register and was really struggling. I just emailed the school and said his psychiatrist had recommended it. They said yes within the hour and then I gave them a letter from the psychiatrist the following week for their records.

Weekends Sun 10-May-20 20:36:15


I'm in a similar situation. My DD is younger (but unfortunately not in Year R/1!) and has been home with me (single mum) a few years. She came home 2.5 weeks before starting school, and so school/forever home started at almost the same time. I'm a key worker too but can do most of my work at home, and have only needed childcare for a couple of days.

We did the first 4 weeks of lockdown without asking for help, then it got too much for her not seeing friends and family and I mentioned to school that we were having significant difficulties (such a shame after all the steps taken in recent years!) and knowing her well, and our situation, a full time childcare place was offered. School knew that I was in touch with SW again so I wonder if they thought there would be some pressure from the SW team. I felt bad about it due to C19 despite us not having symptoms, but my daughter is my overriding concern and it was absolutely right for her. After 3 weeks back at school, she's almost back on track. She's not at risk, but she's still vulnerable in my opinion.

You know your DD. I would ask if you feel it's the right thing to do. There will be lots more key worker children in school now anyway tonight's announcement.

Good luck!

PoppyStellar Sun 10-May-20 20:45:05

Thanks both, that’s really reassuring.

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Jellycatspyjamas Mon 11-May-20 14:48:52

I too am a key worker and both my two are struggling without school but I’ve chosen to keep them at home. The arrangements for kids in my area are that kids are in a central hub in the local high school with staff rotating through so not necessarily teachers from their school much less their own teachers. I felt that being in a strange, much bigger school with unfamiliar staff wouldn’t be helpful to them and would raise anxiety levels even further. They want to go back to school but for them that means their school with their teachers and their friends which isn’t remotely what’s on offer.

We’ve used the time to have space to talk about their anxieties, to do some life story work, talk about what adoption means and putting this disruption in the context of them having already had lots of change and disruption. If school was more “normal” I’d consider it but not as it stands.

PoppyStellar Mon 11-May-20 16:41:05

Thanks jellycat. In my case it would be going to her actual school and one of her best friends is also attending but it’s all become a moot point as we’ve had a very close family member bereavement. Keeping her at home is the right thing to do whilst we try and navigate bereavement and funerals in lockdown.

OP’s posts: |
Jellycatspyjamas Mon 11-May-20 17:07:41

Oh that sounds ideal (the school arrangements) and if I could access that for my two I’d definitely send them in. I’m sorry about your loss and hope you’re able to navigate that with all that’s going on. Shout if I can help, we’ve had a couple of bereavements since placement so I’ve walked that road with my two.

kierenthecommunity Tue 12-May-20 10:47:33

I’ve literally just come off the phone with my Y3 boy’s HT and arranged for him to go in two days a week. His dad is WFH but I’m a cop on shift work so it’ll be when I’m on earlies or sleeping after nights

He has been so anxious and his behaviour has gone down the toilet. I know they’re not doing any formal learning but I think even some bit of normality will help. A friend of mine has a younger adopted boy and she made the sane decision and it’s really helped his behaviour

kierenthecommunity Tue 12-May-20 10:49:28

Apols I missed the update, sorry for your bereavement ❤️

Runner31 Tue 12-May-20 19:21:04

I'm volunteering in a hub and we all had worries about the kids adjusting and coping with the change in school routine, social distancing etc but it's really not at all bad. The kids seem to really benefit from it and hygiene is paramount at all times. We have a child with additional needs who seems to cope with the school being quieter and the more relaxed routine. The hub coordinators can bring in extra volunteers for one to one if necessary.
I think they're great and it might work out really well.

gerbilgirl Tue 12-May-20 21:28:38

Definitely ask for any help you need!!

My two are coping fairly well although we are still having therapy sessions over video chat, but my friend has had almost no support since school closed. We are both getting regular calls from school checking in and they had no problem taking hers in on some days to help ease the burden.

I can't see why they shouldn't take her so do ask and don't feel guilty about it.


PoppyStellar Tue 12-May-20 22:20:12

Thank you everyone. @Jellycatspyjamas how did your two cope with grief? I’m concerned that DD seems to be just getting on with things. I know some of that will be that it’s me who has lost a parent and the grandparent bond isn’t the same and so her loss may not seem as massive as it does to me? We have a good relationship for talking things through so I don’t think it’s that’s she doesn’t want to talk more that she doesn’t seem to feel the need to and I’m just worried that she’s masking her real feelings. It’s hard to know. I don’t know where my own head is at. When I think back to how I felt when my grandparents died at a similar age I remember not feeling a great deal beyond the initial sadness but then I didn’t really know them as they lived hundreds of miles away. DD has had a closer relationship, but one that has dwindled to very infrequent visits in the last 2 years due to serious ill health. So maybe that’s it, she’s sad about the death but not feeling the loss as profoundly as she might as it’s been more of a gradual loss anyway? I’m rambling. Any thoughts on how to deal with bereavement gratefully received.

OP’s posts: |
Jellycatspyjamas Tue 12-May-20 22:44:54

In my case it was their uncle who died, my BIL do again they had a good relationship but in the context of a busy extended family. They both initially just got on with it, my DS talked about being sad but really they were more curious about what death was, what would happen at the funeral, and what we did with the physical remains.

In time they both had a cry and will openly talk about missing him, and we give space for that - lots of chat when we pass graveyards etc.

When our cat died, they were both devastated - very tearful, upset and needed a lot of support at school. I think because the cat lived with them day by day, and was a source of comfort and affliction (very scratchy cat), the emotions were closer to the surface.

Initially I’d take it day by day, don’t hide your own sadness from them and give space to talk. Are you taking your DD to the funeral?

PoppyStellar Tue 12-May-20 23:08:59

Thanks @jellycatspyjamas that’s very reassuring. I think the difference is definitely the day to day ‘lived-ness’ of who has died. DD would be devastated about the cat too.

DD will be coming to the funeral as I’m a single parent. We haven’t got a date yet but the social distancing aspect will be really hard. At times like this I just want to hug my best friend and I can’t and it’s shit.

OP’s posts: |
Jellycatspyjamas Tue 12-May-20 23:51:29

Oh hell, of course that’s awful. Will there be anyone that can help keep an eye on DD just in case you find yourself struggling and needing to just not think about children for a minute? My two were fascinated by the funeral, why we did it, what happened - was their uncle really in that box...

Explain it all beforehand and expect lots of not necessarily appropriate questions on the day. Do also explain that you and others might be sad and tearful or crying but that it’s nothing they’ve done, both DC were upset to see my sister upset and didn’t really know what they should do about that.

What we did find was it made my two a bit less secure at home - we had lots of chat about their foster carers and what would happen to them if their dad and I died. Just keep things low key, open and transparent and you’ll be ok.

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