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Advice on how to get social worker onboard with HE(9 Posts)
My DS is 8 and has struggled with school since day 1. Lots of issues going on, previous school dealt with him terribly. I feel so angry about how he was let down by them. He has moved to a new school and while is more settled he is still struggling. We have a social worker due to issues with DCs father. She isn’t supportive of HE. (Otherwise she is extremely supportive and helped arrange the new school) she has repeated several times she has no concerns with my parenting, I am a good parent. I have been researching and rolling the idea of HE around in my head for almost 2 years. I have met with local HEing families. I have joined the two local HE fb groups. I have researched curriculum etc. DS has started refusing school again and honestly I am ready to hand in the deregistration letter. If it wasn’t for the fact we have a social worker it would be deal done but I am terrified that this will be seen as me not being a good parent. There is little understanding of HE where I am. Even amongst both the head teachers my son has had. People are sneery and dismissive. It comes from a place of ignorance but that doesn’t stop the SW having the power to put a complete stop to it if she decides it shouldn’t happen.
What can I do?
To be clear, my sons mental health is suffering in school and that’s why I think he needs to come out.
I know very little about HE.
In your position I would be asking the local families and fb group people for their advice on this.
They must be able to put you in touch with expert advocates.
Also make sure you know and understand all the legal aspects so that you cant be accused of breaking the law.
I expect the SW knows nothing about HE.
Does your son see a therapist or psychologist? A favourable report from a hcp would be helpful.
What is your son’s legal status with regard to Social Care?
Yes he sees a therapist weekly. It’s paid for by social services although she doesn’t work for them, it’s private therapy. I can ask her about a report.
Currently we are at family support level with social services. The social worker advised 6 months ago that if Exp continued his aggression towards me then it would be escalated to child protection level. Exp hasn’t been involved since. Exp does have PR though so I suspect SW will say I need his permission to remove DS from school?
Hi Donny, I know an excellent Facebook group where such topics are often discussed. There are people on there who have been in situations similar to yours, and some who are very knowledgeable about the workings of Social Care. AFAIK it is usually recommended to get some sort of "expert" on board with the home ed idea if possible in order to help you persuade the SW. Sadly, even though you probably know more about home education by now than any of these people, the SW is likely to give more weight to a professional's opinion than to yours.
Likewise, that FB group would be a good place to get advice on how to proceed with your son's father. My understanding is that although you don't need his permission to home educate, since he has PR you are expected to consult him on all major decisions which affect your son and give serious consideration to his views. I think the usual advice is to write to the other parent explaining why you think HE is the best option and give him the opportunity to have his say. If he rejects the idea, ask what his concerns are and respond to those. Ensure everything is in writing so you can prove you consulted him. If he isn't happy for his son to be home educated, he could take you to court to try to force him back to school. But this is just what I have "overheard" there; I am no expert and you should get it from someone who is.
The FB group is called "Home Education and your Local Authority: Help with dealing with officialdom".
Have you considered flexi schooling, where he goes to school for some of the week and HE the rest?
She is a social worker. She's not involved because of you. She really has no right to dictate how you choose to educate your child unless there are genuine concerns. I'm not 100% on HE but I can understand why people would do it and I have met many people who were HE at least in primary and did really really well. You need to be assertive. This is your choice, you have a right to make this choice. Unless your son developed problems as a result of HE you would be well within your rights to tell her to stay out of it.