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friend in trouble, dc 14yr won't go to school, court action been treatened

(16 Posts)
hugeleyoutnumbered Thu 14-Jul-11 13:13:43

this is more of WWYD. any I appologise in advance for that.

my friend has a 14yr dd, with a complicated history involving social services, and has put herself into care on several occassions the dd having been moved to serval different schools is point blank refusing to attend school, my friend has now been treatened with legal action, and doesn't know where to turn for help, I have no experience on the subject, and am at a loss. could you share with me your experiences, or suggest who he could contact for advice?

hugeleyoutnumbered Thu 14-Jul-11 14:01:39

am not a troll genuine need of advice

Thingumy Thu 14-Jul-11 14:05:35

I would contact the school attendance Officer and explain the situation.

I have had some experience with my own dd refusing school (and other awful behaviour) but thankfully,we never got as far as being threatened with legal action.

Is her daughter currently living at home?

What advice has social services given her?

altinkum Thu 14-Jul-11 14:06:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JjandtheBeanlovesUnicorns Thu 14-Jul-11 14:07:50

I really have no idea but didn't want to leave this unanswered, I was a serial school avoider and my mum received court threats and ime that is the final straw they threaten it to ensure its not just lazy parenting iyswim we got help from my schools pastoral worker... Hth

harassedandherbug Thu 14-Jul-11 14:10:54

Is the school's educational welfare officer involved?

I had problems with ds2 attending school, but because the EWO was involved and xh were actively seen to be following her advice/recommendations then no further action was taken.

On occasion before I've even phoned up ds's head of year to say I'm trying and he won't budge, and she's jumped in her car to come and get him!

Just like to say he's now a happy, normal and well adjusted 20 year old!

SexyDomesticatedDab Thu 14-Jul-11 14:11:58

There should be an EWO (Education Welfare Officer) involved in the case - have they had reviews with the daughter and mother? Not sure how to help - my DW works in an EBD school so gets to deal with this al the time. Some parents don't give a toss (unless it affects them) - others do care but don't have the skills / support to get the kids into school.

Thingumy Thu 14-Jul-11 14:17:03

Agree with harassed,your friend needs to call the school every time her daughter refuses to attend.I made sure that the school knew we were doing everything physically possible to get her to attend.

I can't see what she can do other than liaise fully with all the relevant authorities.

It's a very hard and stressful situation.I feel for your friend OP.

hugeleyoutnumbered Thu 14-Jul-11 14:18:10

daughter still at home with both parents, sorry if I am drip feeding, the dad is a friend of mine and is really concerned that his serial offender daughter is going to land him in court

hugeleyoutnumbered Thu 14-Jul-11 14:19:14

thankyou all for the advice will pass it on later today

GypsyMoth Thu 14-Jul-11 17:11:52

my dd did similiar. the school really did try everything to get her in,as i also obviously did too!!

what are her 'reasons' for refusing?

hugeleyoutnumbered Thu 14-Jul-11 20:20:59

she has been excluded from one school, due to her attendance and insists that she will only go to school part time?? she has been to centers for challenging behaviour, and has been diagnosed with ADHD, has recently come out of care, now her parents are being threatened that if she doesn't tow the line her parents face prosecution

crazykat Thu 14-Jul-11 20:45:11

is there something going on at school that she is not telling anyone about that makes her not want to go or is she just being difficult because she can

hugeleyoutnumbered Thu 14-Jul-11 20:52:15

she is being difficult IMO, but refuses to stay at school, any school, they take her she gets home,

caesar04 Thu 14-Jul-11 21:15:43

It depends on your local authority as to whether or not the case will come to court. Some (mine!!) rarely prosecute but other are a bit tougher.

In my LA if there are genuine reasons why she is not attending, bullying, mental health issues etc.. AND the parents have been co-operative, attended meetings, done everything they can to get the child to school then the judge will usually throw the case out. Therefore the LA don't prosecute as it is a waste of everyone's time and money.

But if she is refusing to attend with no reason and parents are ineffective then there is a much higher chance of prosecution. Its usually a fine, very rare for a custodial sentence. And don't forget its a court case where both sides are heard, the LA and the parent, its the judge who decides the outcome.

From the info you have posted it seems that your friends DD is a child with very complex needs who should be receiving lots of support from the school's pastoral team and Learning Support Dept (for her ADHD).

I would suggest to start with a multi agency meeting with everyone, school, EWO, social services, SENCO to put a personalised package together for her although this might have been done already?
There are often off site vocational providers eg post 16 colleges/trainer providers than run courses she might find easier to access but usually school would have to pay for this.
She needs to have an adult in school who she trusts and can build a relationship with, a learning mentor/behaviour support worker, head of year?

She is obviously very unhappy, perhaps a referral to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) would be appropriate, it is usually quicker for GP to do this.

And it is illegal to exclude a child for non attendance.

HTH and tell your friend the best thing he can do is be co-operative, honest and make notes of everything school have offered, they should be doing everything they can to get her in before court is raised as an option.

crazykat Thu 14-Jul-11 21:17:25

in that case i'd tell your friend to just keep taking her to school, at least that way she can show that they're doing verything they can to ensure their daughter goes to school. if the daughter leavs achool and goes home tell them to keep taking her back. it'll ba a major PITA but it shows they are not condoning the absence from school.

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