Need advice please(5 Posts)
Not sure if this is the right area for this, sorry if its not.
My 10 year old daughter was getting bullied at school. It started from day one of her starting and almost every day she would come home upset. I went to the teachers and head teacher countless times, nothing ever got done about it. She started suffering anxiety and panic attacks and would fight me every morning to not go to school. It got to the point where her attendance was suffering as it would sometimes take me until 10 am to get her to school. The Doctor put a referral in to CAMHS, but they turned us away.
I decided to home school my daughter starting just after Christmas this year. The head teacher who appears to not like me due to recent bad experiences with her told me if i take her out to home school, she will call social services on me as i will fail at educating my daughter. I decided to do it anyway and i notified the head teacher before Christmas with a letter explaining what i was going to do.
Today i find out she called social services and told them im failing to be a parent to my three children and im depriving my daughter of an education. She also had another professional (her friend) call social services and tell them the same thing. She also told me she is refusing to dis-enroll my daughter, so now it looks like a bunch of absences on her record which i could get in trouble for.
Back in September 2016, the same head teacher called social services on me saying i had loads of men living here and there was drugs in my house. Only me and my three children live here and she knows there are no drugs in this house!
I honestly feel like im getting harassed by this head teacher and i do not know why. She has not been nice to me from the start.
I have a lot more to say about what she is putting us through, but will save that for when i can collect all my thoughts together.
Thank you for listening.
Fight fire with fire and report her to ofsted. You can do it online.
She CANNOT refuse to deregister your child if you have given her a letter stating you are taking responsibility for her education. It is your legal right as a parent. Copy your letter to the Local Authority Education Welfare team - they will also have a Home Ed team/advisor. I would also inform Ofsted of the Head's actions (and the local authority if the school is maintained).
Social services will soon leave you alone if it is a malicious report - I'd advise you're open and honest with them about the situation. They will probably want to know that you engage with the Home Ed Advisor if there are any concerns although legally you don't have to.
This is terrible and totally against your rights. I would make sure you have everything in writing. If you are on FB then join the Home Education UK group - it is a huge group and there are very helpful people on there who would be able to advise you well.
In the meantime, I would work out a rough plan of how you are going to educate your daughter at home. Home education is a big responsibilty and although there are many different philosophies, there are some that social services and the LEA will look more favourably upon! You don't have to accept a home visit from the Elective Home Education officer but sending samples of work and being able to let them know what you plan to teach will certainly help to keep them happy and therefore keep them off your back.
A possible draft of a letter to the head/LEA (that I got from the FB group) could be..
As you are aware, (X) has been home educated from (date)
Please refer to the government guidelines to LAs paragraph 3.11, which advises LAs to allow a reasonable timescale for the educational provision to be developed.
We suggest that you contact us again in six months/one year at which time we will be pleased to provide further information in writing.
In the meantime we can confirm that (X) is continuing to receive a suitable education otherwise than by attendance at school, in accordance with the Education Act 1996, section seven.
In law, education and welfare are quite separate. The headteacher is showing herself to be quite clueless if she does not understand this. If she contacts Social Services about anything to do with education, they will take no interest whatsoever but will simply pass any information on to the home ed team at your LA. On the other hand if she makes any fresh allegations about you mistreating your children, as she did in the autumn when she claimed there were drug problems etc, SS will be obliged look into it and you'll need to be prepared for a discussion and maybe a visit from them.
On the education front you have little to worry about. If you live in England or Wales and your dd is not at a special school, it is your absolute right to HE her. No permission is required. The headteacher is breaking the law and is liable to a personal fine if she hasn't yet deregistered your dd (not that I think the LA would fine her). I suggest you contact the LA's home ed team and ask them to set her straight.
LA home ed staff are likely to ask you for some information about how you are home educating your daughter. It is worth knowing that you have a lot of options for how to educate her and how to communicate with the LA. You don't have to meet with them. Post back here if you have any questions after they contact you. Provided you are ready to give some information about what you are doing, it is very very difficult for the LA to force a child back to school. So you can relax about that.
if you have hassle with social workers later as a result of the headteacher's actions, or even if you are quite worried now, I suggest you join the Facebook group "Home Education and your Local Authority: Help with dealing with officialdom" which is brilliant for advice on this sort of problem. There are some very helpful and experienced people there who will be glad to advise.
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