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Just started HE 12 yo DD, other people's reactions

(23 Posts)
Onamincepiebreak Wed 07-Nov-12 11:55:51

Have made me doubt myself.

I have had constant criticising from all but my DM, even HV has called a meeting about it! The main consensus is that I'm going to damage and isolate her and she will end up jobless.

Even her father (my ex p) has reacted angrily and has told me that I can't educate her as I'm not well educated myself. When I told him that she has come up with her own plans like volunteering at elderly charities and homes whilst being home schooled, he has told be that I'm not making her aim high enough even though his eldest DD (18) is studying to become an elderly care giver!

My argument is that I believe emotionally, she is better off HE and is committed enough to push herself academically.

I felt great about our decision until now.

Onamincepiebreak Wed 07-Nov-12 12:33:21

He also said - all kids are bullied and they have to just deal with it angry

morethanpotatoprints Wed 07-Nov-12 12:46:40

Do not let their words and actions bully you as your dd has had enough of this. sad
I am convinced you are doing the right thing for her and the comments you seem to be attracting are just plain ignorance.
Hold your head up tall because you can do this and really what does it matter what others think.
I am fortunate that to date I have only received one persons objections my fil who can't resist criticising. It may stop or at least not bother you after a while and as you gain confidence you will have a witty retort the the usual ill informed snipes, I promise grin

SDeuchars Wed 07-Nov-12 12:52:39

hmm How they deal with it can be a problem - cutting, dropping out, drugs, suicide... Which would he prefer? I've just looked back at your earlier thread (glad to see you've moved on from diet cola to mince pies).

What has an HV got to do with it? Remember, the law (Education Act 1996, section 7) makes it your responsibility to educate your child. If you choose not to delegate (or to stop delegating), then you do not have to meet with anyone else about it. The HV has no power to "call a meeting" and you do not have to attend.

Where are you based? Are you in contact with any home educators? Have a brew and your favourite biscuit and find someone supportive to talk to.

loobywench Wed 07-Nov-12 12:57:06

I haven't had any neg feedback yet about HE my son because only my DM knows. She was sceptical at first but is coming round more to the idea now.
I am sending my de-reg letter off today and am expecting some reactions like you have had very soon.
I think you are doing exactly the right thing and they will see that in the future. Your DD looks like she knows exactly what she wants to do and thats great.
There are lots of groups to join and activities outside school, we are already planning to meet up with people next week.
You will do a great job I'm sure - good luck!

macred Wed 07-Nov-12 13:12:11

FIrst of all, I now crave a mince pie!

It is a huge step to take your child out of mainstream school, and even when that child is hugely unhappy, as mine was, and nowhere near achieving their potential, as mine was, there are some people who think you're wrecking their life chances.

OP - please don't let them worry you. Once you start getting involved with local HE groups, you'll realise how right you are to take this step, and how 'normal' it is to live this life!! A child will not learn in an environment where they don't feel safe, so if you had left her in school, you would be pretty much writing off her chances of academic sucess. You are not there to teach your daughter, but will facilitate and guide her on her educational path - so your academic success is neither here nor there. What's more important is to have the balls to get out there and show her stuff, and help her!

It is sooooo frustrating when people make ill informed comments about HE. I wish they would take the trouble to read up on the subject before they start wittering on about socialisation, and keeping up with the curriculum!

Onamincepiebreak Thu 08-Nov-12 13:05:18

Thanks all, I do feel I have made the right decition for her.
But it turning out amazingly stressful for me!

Just had a education welfare officer and police turn up on my door step! I'm literally shaking! And very angry I have Informed the school twice and have sent a letter to local ed, I'm not the type to have police at my door, I'm hoping neighbours didn't see!

They wanted to come in, but, dd2 is asleep, so they said they have to come back!

macred Thu 08-Nov-12 13:51:55

that is outrageous - they have absolutely no right to do that, morally or legally. Check out the legal info on the Education Otherwise site to gen up on it.

Not sure how you want to deal with it, but frankly, I'd be thinking along the lines of written complain to local education dept, and possible MP involvelment.

Police?????? What a waste of manpower, let alone anything else! Hopefully someone will be on soon who'll advise.

Are there any HE groups locally you can contact? There are bound to be people there who can give you more direct experience.

SDeuchars Thu 08-Nov-12 14:18:37

Just PMed you my phone number, OP.

maggi Thu 08-Nov-12 16:13:25

My word that sounds so OTT! Either your council have absolutely no idea what the law is, or someone is out to get you and is making allegations along the lines of abuse/neglect.

Read up on the law. The law is quoted on EO website so you can print it out and have it handy to read to them or to give to them. If you have the details of the person who came to the door, then you could give them a call with all the details of the law. You can also, if you choose to, decline meeting with them at all. They have no right to enter your home just because you choose to home educate. If they believe they have evidence of something sinister, then other laws apply.

So as soon as you have calmed down give them a call and have it dealt with today rather than hanging over you and worrying you.

maggi Thu 08-Nov-12 16:16:32

Maybe the Welfare officer couldn't find another member of staff to accompany her? Lots of officials are now advised to travel in pairs when they do home visits. Perhaps the only person they could find happened to be a police officer? But that sounds a bit far fetched. Do you live in a dodgey area?

InNeedOfBrandy Thu 08-Nov-12 16:19:13

I wouldn't HE unless my dc wasn't getting on at school or the school was failing her. Good for you for not making her get on with it and pro actively helping her.

Saracen Thu 08-Nov-12 17:01:30

It is entirely unacceptable for an EWO and a police officer to turn up on your doorstep and ask to be let in to discuss your child's education. I suggest you take SDeuchars up on her offer to speak with you, or else contact your local home ed group or a helpline from a home ed charity ASAP. They will help you to rebuff this attempt to bully you. There is no excuse whatsoever for you to be treated in this intimidating manner. You don't deserve this. I am furious on your behalf.

First you'll want to verify that this is definitely related to education. If someone has referred you to Social Services then you may be wise to let the socail worker in, even if it is the result of a malicious referral. But if it was an EWO then that's education rather than welfare (despite the misleading job title of Education Welfare Officer), in which case there is never a need to allow them into your home.

bochead Thu 08-Nov-12 20:06:59

Do establish whether this is an education department with no clue as to the law, or a SS CP visit asap.

Copy the letter you sent to the school about deregistration to the Director of Children's services for your council and your MP.

Join Education Otherwise, and prepare your formal educational philosophy. Print out the "rules" on home education from the Education Otherwise site to have immediately to hand to refer to if they come back. Give them a copy of the rules and your educational philosophy when they leave with a huge smile.

(If the pressure is on for her to adhere to the NC, don't forget there are 3 online schools in the UK running formal 8 subject GCSE courses when she hits years 10 & 11, do remind them a teen suicide may not get as far as exams!). If she's volunteering the whole "socialisation" aspect is being taken care of and it's obvious you aren't hiding her out of sight doing something dodgy iykwim.

Tidy your house in case it IS a SS CP visit, just so everything looks OK if they turn up. If it is that sort of visit they'll ask to look inside your fridge (are you feeding the kid?) & at where the child sleeps - they have no right t enter your own bedroom.

It's very unusual for the police to be in attendance for anything other than a "OMG child at immediate risk of serious violence!" type call, simply due to the demands on their time - unless you have a criminal record for being very volatile and violent.

If it is, it may be instigated by your ex rather than the school - watch your back in this case and be VERY strict about adhering to any visitation agreements. Men that do this often don't realise that if a child is removed from the mother then that child may not end up in their sole custody but in a complete strangers care.

HV's are there to help with under 5's and it is not compulsory to have them involved in your family at all. If you do not find the one you are assigned supportive of your family life then you can ask for a different one, or just tell her that her services are no longer required. So long as you still take any sick kids to the GP's, have regular optical and dentists check ups etc noone can make anything of it. It's very common for Mum's to ditch the HV after the first, simply cos they don't feel they need any additional support for their second child onwards if everything is going OK.

As your child is no longer on the school roll, she is no longer their concern, so you do not have to tolerate any interfernce from them.

Stand strong & trust your gut - a happy thriving child is obvious to everyone.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 08-Nov-12 21:09:18

I am so angry reading this too. From the sounds of it something is afoot. Maybe it is your x making life hard. Surely no council would have it that wrong in relation to H.ed.
I know its easy for me to say don't worry and stress because its not me in your position. But in context if it is an ss cp issue, your x is the one out of order and completely wrong. If it is H.ed related then they are breaking the law and not you. Either way you have done nothing wrong.
I would print a copy of the education act highlighting the H.ed sections and have a copy as near to your door as possible. Then if they call again and it is H.ed related you can have it close to hand and not even let them through your door.
Please keep posting as there are many who can support you on here and if you haven't already please call SDeuchars.
Sending you best wishes and hugs. Hope it works out soon.

Jamillalliamilli Fri 09-Nov-12 12:05:07

Is there any chance you’ve either failed to properly de-register her, (A de-reg letter should have gone to the school, rather than ‘informed them’)
that the school has failed to, or chosen not to* remove her from the register, so it’s sparked an automatic EWO truancy alert, and they’re treating her as a parental backed truancy and the police are there to take a truanting child off to school?

It’s one explanation as to why an EWO would suddenly arrive with police, rather than a CPO.

*Our school tried to ignore my de-reg letter and refuse to remove the child from role ‘until LEA gave them permission’, (conveniently claiming another years funding!) and my LEA continued to try for months to list my d/s as ‘missing from education’ and involved the EWO, (who had no idea they were being abused until I told them) three times, with the HE officer claiming not enough time to open and read my ed phil, resources etc, (no time to put it in writing either!) and there was also an attempt to claim that as the school now had the funding, the child had to attend.

Remember EWO’s and police, often don’t know the law and act on what they’re told, and often they are turning up to deal with truancy, educationally disinterested parent etc. It doesn't occur to them they've been made Patsy’s off.

Calm measured ‘I'm sorry you’ve been told X, I'm sure it’s not your fault, could you put the information you’re acting on and who gave that to you, it in writing please, I’ll be needing a paper trail for the solicitor/ court,’ has always gone a long way.

I'm hoping you've phoned SDeuchers and or EO by now.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 09-Nov-12 14:29:49

Hello OP.

Hope all is ok and you managed to get in touch with somebody who can help. I have been thinking of you and your dd and know I would be so mad in your situation, hope all goes well. Please give us an update sometime as genuinely interested in how this works out for you.

musicposy Sat 10-Nov-12 12:53:07

They have absolutely no right to do that. angry Home ed is a valid and perfectly legal choice.

Of course you can educate her if you're not well educated yourself. My DD managed to get As and A*s in GCSEs I hadn't even studied at school, subjects I knew nothing about. We learned together and it's made her brilliantly independent. At college now, she is the only one who isn't having trouble thinking for herself and not having all the answers spoonfed. The others are all needing far more support than her - because she is used to teaching herself, not having an expert ram knowledge down her throat.

If you want to grow a confident adult, you take them out of bullying, not leave them in it. Loads of adults have had their confidence destroyed as children by bullying. children commit suicide, take drugs, self harm because of bullying. People talk such rubbish about this.

Make sure your de reg letter was sent to the school and was very clear. If you're unsure about this send another one signed for. Send a copy to the EWO/ LA and state that you will not have any truck whatsoever with people turning up unanounced at your doorstep as home ed is a legal and valid choice and they have no juristiction to do so. Quote the law at anyone who turns up.

musicposy Sat 10-Nov-12 12:54:46

Oh, and they will all eat their words one day, I promise you wink

<been there, got the tshirt grin >

Onamincepiebreak Sat 10-Nov-12 19:47:05

Hi all, sorry have not updated you all, I have not wanted to think about it, as was getting myself a bit upset.

They never came back (so far)
I got myself a bit upset at first as seeing the police on my door step, my first thought was there had been an accident involving a loved one!

I am prepared to speak to them if they return, but calmly inform them of the stress they have caused and I know of my rights regarding HE.

My poor daughter offered to go back to school as she could see how worried I was! angry now she feels guilty, as if she hasn't been through enough!

There is a chance they hadn't received the letter by then as I sent it on Wednesday even though I phoned them on the Monday because all three DCs had a lovely vomiting bug. so now I have calmed down, maybe it wasn't meant as aggressive as it came across. Yes, I do live in shitehole dodgy area, so maybe that why the PO was there. I sure it wasn't SS as I called them 6mnths ago because DD was suffering from a problem behaviour towards herself, that has been mentioned a few times here, and I wanted to get her help, but was told they couldn't help and ask her school! angry

Wow Justgettingonwithit that's awful! angry

Thanks Musicposy that's what I thought, if they solve the problems themselves they are then equipped to be self reliant and confident smile well done to you and your DD.

Monday I will be phoning the school to confirm they have received the letter, if not I will hand deliver another copy and phone the LA to make them aware that it is in the schools hands. I used to letter template from EO.
I will update you all then.

thanks to you all.

Badvocsanta Sun 25-Nov-12 10:35:25

I home schooled my son for all of 2010 due to issues with bullying and it's effect on him.
My pils didn't speak to me for 2 weeks after we told them.
Fast forward 6 months and my mil said (and I quote)
"Home ed was the best thing we ever did"
!!!! smile
My son is now back in school in a small village primary and is happy.
Middle school next year so not sure what will happen...
But I know that I have a back up plan if I need it.
Good luck x

Badvocsanta Sun 25-Nov-12 10:36:30

Op...send the letter tracked and signed for.
Then they can't say they haven't receiver.
The ignorance of even the educational professionals and the police force wrt home ed staggers me!

imnotmadijusthavekids Sun 25-Nov-12 17:36:24

Hi there,
I thought I might add my thoughts ... I'm new here some please bear with me :-)

We have just withdrawn our DD from senior school (She is 13).
She has ADHD and NF1 and simply does not understand children her own age or social situations.
I have been getting the predictable barrage of confidence wilting comments.

The last one was similar to your ex's mindless "everyone gets bullied" I was told it strengthened kids and was character growing. I politely asked them how this was to achieved when my DD was dead, then informed them that She had attempted to overdose her adhd meds.

The problem does not lie with you or your decision, it's their ignorance showing.

We have signed DD up with ICS .. it's not ideal but ticked the boxes We had.
As for her missing her exams ... She will be sitting 6 GCSEs a year ahead of her piers and with much more chance than if She had stayed at school .

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