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Should I pull DD out? She's really struggling.(66 Posts)
Anyone who recognises my username will know how much I've struggled with the decision to send my DC's back to school, particularly my sen, secondary aged (year 8) DD.
She was barely in last term as her anxiety is out of control (she hates school generally anyway but it has gotten much worse) She has to get a packed 45 minute bus ride each way in a mask and she finds it unbearable. She then has to wear a mask at lunch and in the corridors. She has just finished two weeks self isolation which she barely coped with because she was terrified she was going to get ill. She has started hair pulling which she hasn't done in over a year .
I'm disabled and she is terrified about getting me sick so won't consider an exempt lanyard or anything.
I am strongly considering removing her from school to home educate but I have some worries.
We could get Covid from my two youngest at primary, so removing her to prevent illness would feel like it was for nothing. Her school is supportive and heavily over subscribed.
I'm worried the council would force us to send her back in to a school and the nearest school she already left once due to severe bullying.
I'm worried her education will suffer permanent damage and secondaries may move online at some point?
I just don't know what to do. She is begging me not to send her back, says the atmosphere is frightening and awful, feels suffocated and scared.
Please give me some advice, the school won't let me keep her off anymore.
I don't have the answers. My DD suffers anxiety at school too and would love to be told she doesn't need to go back. School can be damaging can't it but at the same time giving up a school place is terrifying too. Terrible choices for terrible times. Can you afford tutors? How will you maintain her educational level?
I could maybe afford a few online courses through Wolsey Hall or Interhigh or similar. Maths, English and science at least.
Some questions -
- do you have the time/knowledge to home educate her? do you work?
- how bad do you think she really is - just a bit anxious, or seriously worried about self harm etc?
- do you think it is temporary? ie if you take her out, are you happy to home educate her all the way to 18?
I would do a lot of research online about what home education actually involves and have a serous think about whether you really have the time and ability to home educate her to a good standard all the way to 18. If yes, then I’d consider it. If no then I’d find ways to support her where she is
I think your childs mental health is the most important thing.
I know myonlineschooling let you do individual subjects and my kids have used them in the past. Sounds ideal for you tbh.
You can sometimes get these named on an ehcp if she has one and funded by your LEA, although we self funded.
It's a big decision. It will have long term consequences good or bad. Do not make it without all the facts and take your time. It's easy to want a quick fix but this needs careful consideration.
Have you spoken to your GP? Whatever you decide about school, she needs mental health support? She may even need to be temporarily signed off school for stress.
You are in a very difficult position with no great choices. But I fear for your dd's wellbeing if she keeps on going the way she is.
Was this school ever good for her? Would it be terrible if she never went back to school (any school) at all?
She has struggled with secondary since day 1 after being home schooled for half of year 6 where she was horrendously bullied. She is totally fine and happy at home but when the time to go back to school arrives her anxiety really ramps up and she stops sleeping/feels sick. She has bern referred for support but I've been told it may be a long wait. So no idea what to do until then. The school is a good one and have tried to help but their hands are tied and they insist she has to go back as normal on Monday.
She sounds quite ill. Do you have GP/CAMHS involvement? My year 11 going through v similar but is really quite unwell and according to his CAMHS team this extreme school anxiety is rampant at the moment. It’s so very stressful (I think I’m one of the only people to have lost weight in lockdown ha ha). My advice though for you is to split the day down into smaller pieces and focus on one thing at a time (if that makes sense)- so when you start to panic, focus on what needs to be done next: eg, right now I’m just thinking about breakfast etc. If that makes sense. It’s helped me.
See if you can get some support too if poss.
So sorry you’re both going through this.
She was the most "well" she has been in years during lockdown, which I've read was common in some people with autism etc, since things opened up she has really struggled but her anxiety is totally centered around school. She is a different child on holidays etc when school is removed from the equation.
Would your dd thrive in a home schooled environment do you think? Is that a possibility for her til 16?
If you feel she must stay at school then she needs medical support for her anxiety and may need a break to get her mental health together. So you need to speak to her gp.
She would love to be home schooled but I'm worried the council would force her back to school (no idea how common or likely this is) as the nearest one with space would be one we've already had to remove her from due to bullying.
It's just a huge step to take and she was settling so well before this started (she only started her school in December). It's just a mess .
The head has told me that he would do everything in his power to give her spot back to her next September if I do remove her.
If she was well during lockdown I would take her out. Is there no chance she can be home schooled? It’s really not the best environment for some kids.
I’d take her out of school temporarily and homeschool for a few months.
For her future, she needs the best chance at education she can get, and that means passing at least 7 or 8 GCSEs in Year 11.
Can you provide that environment for her, either on your own or with tutors?
I'd put her back in school in year 10 at the latest I think. She's very bright and I admit I don't think I could do her justice without an Internet school or similar.
You poor love. Could you get your GP to sign her off sick for mental health reasons, thereby keeping your place, and buy yourself a month’s breathing space?
@Beebityboo you know you can self refer to the CAHMS team. We got an appointment straight away.
Is there anything you could do to help make her commute more pleasant? Could you afford a taxi? Even if it’s just 1 way in the morning. Would school let her start at a different time so that the bus will be less busy and she won’t be around the big rush of students?
Does the school have a SEND unit attached to it? I know there are some where students can be taught away from the main student body but still be educated there in much smaller groups.
Basically I think the school need to offer more ways in which they can help, if you try these and they don’t work out then you can home educate knowing you tried everything, it might also help you get funding towards it.
Right now the school just saying she had to come in, I assume on the same terms as everyone else is making you daughter ill and they need to understand that. She isn’t just a bit worried and she needs their support to be able to access her education.
Best of luck OP
By Year 10, she would have missed so much educationally. I would persevere with school but look at other ways of getting there. Can you talk to the council about whether there are children being taken by taxi?
We are waiting to hear from Cahms at the moment. Where we live they are hugely inundated sadly so think it may be a while. The GP isn't giving letters for anything relating to school absence whatsoever. I've called three times and been told it's "against government guidelines" repeatedly each time.
Does she have an ehcp? That would allow you to have a named school if you reapplied. Why is she travelling that distance though? Perhaps you need to break down her anxiety. Is it really foucased on the journey or the school day? Can you acces mh support voa gp or camhs, or the school counsellor!
Don't deregister her. Just keep her home and get gp involved. They can't force you to send her in given the circumstances.
OP, if her MH is really suffering will her GP write her a sick note for a longer period of time? She could then be away from school but still able to access the online learning schools are obliged to provide for those self isolating. I know technically the learning is for self isolating students but my DD was using her school's online learning last week when she was off with a knee injury. If your GP will do this it will at least give you a little breathing space to consider what you want to do long term.
Ring your gp again. Dont ask for a letter to get her off school. Ask them to assess and treat her mental health.
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