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School transition after bullying

(7 Posts)
redmapleleaves Tue 04-Mar-14 20:33:06

Hello. Wondering whether anyone can share their experiences of reintegrating their children back into school after bullying?

Here DS, year 7, has moved schools twice in a year due to complex underlying reasons + bullying. Am wondering how, if we get the underlying reasons sorted and him more confident, we could help his transition back into the second school, where he was for only a very short time? How do we make the withdrawal which was necessary seem 'normal' in the eyes of other kids? How do we phase the transition back without picking him out even more? Always assuming we get to that stage, which we aren't yet at. School was kindly with pastoral care but ineffective on the reality for vulnerable kids, so I can see it would take us coming in with a range of very concrete suggestions. Thanks for any suggestions/experiences.

redmapleleaves Fri 07-Mar-14 06:53:18

bump

akebah Sun 09-Mar-14 06:51:56

Hi

My son was bullied in year 5 (it was at a moment when he was very vulnerable due to death of a close relative plus he had some maturity issues). Confidence was - and still is a bit of an issue (1 year on) - however was greatly helped by going on a ZAP course (run by Kidscape, a charity based in London but people do travel from all over, the cost was £20 for the day long workshop). I am still worried that it could re-occur however incidents in the playground that he would have internalized a year ago, he is now capable of looking at in a different light, and is able to walk away or avoiding

Zap run age appropriate workshops - so your child would be placed with others of a similar age (there can be a waiting list though we were very lucky and got a space within a month).

http://www.kidscape.org.uk/zap

redmapleleaves Sun 09-Mar-14 12:16:50

Thanks so much Akebah. Did the school offer any useful support to help him integrate back in, or was it entirely you, he and Kidscape that changed the situation?

MichelloBarner Sun 09-Mar-14 12:20:51

Sorry, I am confused. do you mean you pulled him out of the second school and he has out of school altogether for a while? Or that he went to a third school and you wish him to go back to the second?

Could you possibly just go with a story that he had a prolonged period of illness or something? Without knowing more about why he's considered vulnerable and why he was bullied (if there were any specific triggers for it) then it's difficult to advise.

akebah Sun 09-Mar-14 17:09:39

The school in theory did some intervention and tried to be supportive (we did not pull him out - though I was very close - I think the threat of me pulling him out was a major rocket up their backside as it is a fairly close knit community) - the intervention by the headteacher was to be honest against most guidelines for this sort of situation (just thinking about it makes my blood boil) but luckily, despite this the situation seems to have pretty much resolved itself (I did not have the emotional strength at the time to battle with her about this)

I have still elected to send DS to a different secondary school than most of his peer group - partly because it is a better school for him but partly because there are a handful of the kids (and in one case one of the parents) that I want him away from -

but really I think it was home support and Kidscape that helped the most.

I would recommend the kidscape course just because of the work they do regarding self-esteem and confidence during the day (hopefully it will back up what you can do at home) - I would also recommend maybe phoning one of the bullying helplines as they might be able to talk you through how to deal the situation and suggest role play with your son (for when people at school ask or if he is in situations where he feels bullied)

your school should have a copy of the anti-bullying policy readily available which might give you some guidelines (my DS's school never did give me a copy, it is still not on the website - so much for Ofsted outstanding.... ).

I wish you and your DS well with the journey

redmapleleaves Sun 09-Mar-14 17:12:06

Hi yes has been out of both schools, written off sick by GP and significant evidenced social factors. Not really worried about the story to adults as even the partial truth does really explain it, but don't want to mark him out even more to his peers, and the truth does do that. So yes prolonged period of illness would do.

Haven't got a plan for where next as he isn't in that place yet, but am asking about specific tactics for how to ease transition either (possibly) back into school 2, or to ask for if I ever manage to find school 3 at some point in future. What has helped your kids feel secure moving back into an environment that was hostile? e.g. a safe adult; a safe room.

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