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school refusal / prosecution

(33 Posts)
Carbonel Mon 15-Dec-14 11:09:24

Has anyone been called into a meeting at the LEA for non attendance at school?
My dd has EBSR and because it is psychological not medical (?!) it goes down as unauthorised so they are pursuing a prosecution against us.
Have been called into a meeting next week under caution and would like to know what to expect ..

MEgirl Mon 15-Dec-14 13:00:58

What is EBSR?

RustyParker Mon 15-Dec-14 14:03:42

Emotionally based school refusal?

I don't have any experience in this I'm afraid but wondered if you have been offered any support CAMHS? Education Welfare Officer? Have the school looked at what might be triggering your DD's anxieties and worked with you to find a solution? It seems as though the situation has gone a long way done the line if they are looking at prosecution. Has it gone too far to ask for help?

Sounds like a very difficult time for you and your DD

elportodelgato Mon 15-Dec-14 14:09:51

Never heard of EBSR, can you explain?
What strategies have you and the school been employing so far to get her there?

Runningtokeepstill Mon 15-Dec-14 14:35:31

There is some existing case law where a local authority that tried to prosecute parents of a child with school refusal had the case thrown out and were made to apologise for their discriminatory behaviour as the child had been diagnosed with a recognised psychological disorder.

Also for others with similar situations visit

Also try Coram Legal Centre for advice - they have a telephone line (should come up on Google) but it is hard to get through.

lljkk Tue 16-Dec-14 11:02:26

Unless he has a formal diagnosis (paperwork to confirm signed by professionals employed by the LEA or at least NHS) then he's a straightforward truant in their eyes (sorry). Sucks, I know. Keep us updated.

Carbonel Tue 16-Dec-14 13:25:38

Thank you, that case is helpful altho in our case the GP is not accepting there is a 'medical' condition.
The school are appearing to be helpful but say that the only way she can access help is at school - hmm, not much use then ...!
We have finally got a CYPS and EP referral from the school but do not expect to hear from them for weeks and the school also made a referral to social services.
Apparently EWOs do not exist anymore and it is dealt with thro the school
Only (slightly) good thing is that my doctor has told me not to go to the meeting and described their actions as 'heavy handed' so there may be light at the end of the very long tunnel (for me even if not dh) ...

Floralnomad Tue 16-Dec-14 13:28:20

Have you considered HE ?

Alonglongway Tue 16-Dec-14 13:38:55

EWOs do still exist - though some academy chains provide their own. When we were in similar situation, EWO was helpful and sympathetic and got the school to back off and be less about their stats.

What kind of school is it mand have you spoken to the local authority?

Who has a power to place you under caution btw? That sounds like EWO/similar exercising a statutory power

JoanHickson Tue 16-Dec-14 13:42:36

Have you spoken to your GP?

juliascurr Tue 16-Dec-14 13:45:50

these people were great re dd aged 8 with same problem

good luck

MEgirl Tue 16-Dec-14 13:48:10

Some schools are so heavy handed about this. We have been extremely lucky with ours. As soon as my DTs started refusing to go to school I got in touch with the Pastoral Care Manager. Eventually we had a CAMHS referral and a meeting with the school and we have had not trouble since. We once had a letter regarding attendance way back in Year 8 or 9 but even though this year's attendance (Y11) has dropped all the way down in to the 70% range at no time have the school made any threats. Would your GP be willing to write to the school stating that your child is suffering from stress or psychological issues (if that is actually the case) and that is the cause of the school refusal.

My DTs have missed controlled assessment and exams and our GP has been incredibly helpful.

Wishing you well in this battle.

cestlavielife Tue 16-Dec-14 22:59:45

You need a Camhs referral.
Download guidance for children with medical conditions and

Look at the best practice. Ask lea who is person dealing with children with medical conditions.

LambethWalk Wed 17-Dec-14 07:03:15

Have you contacted Parent Partnership at your local council? They can provide information about the legal obligations that schools have to provide an education that meets your child's needs.

schoolnurse Wed 17-Dec-14 08:27:05

"You need a CAMHS referral"
This is the best and ultimately only way forward for you, if your GP won't make one for what ever reason (why?) ask to see another GP in your practice preferably a senior partner, ask the receptionist if someone in the practice specialises or at the least is interested in mental health, and or adolescents or ideally both if you get no joy complain, every GP practice has a complaints procedure. I'm afraid in this day and age with the very considerable financial restrictions everyone is under it's only he who shouts who gets what he wants.
If the wait is very long could you pay for a consultation? Although having said this private adolescent psychiatrists are like hens teeth, in many areas.

cestlavielife Wed 17-Dec-14 22:51:17

If she has been off school,for more than 15 days then small group or alternative provision should be offered. But you might need a Camhs appt to get this set up. They need the paperwork.

cestlavielife Wed 17-Dec-14 22:52:21

This is what you need.

cestlavielife Wed 17-Dec-14 23:07:34

Sorry this one us more comprehensive
"Children with long term medical or emotional problems "

Basically you need to be asking lea for help including alternative educational provision and working with you and school to support dd back into education. But you do need a diagnosis of sorts. An urgent Camhs assessment could get u that help.
My dd was out of school, for nearly two years got support from lea small group provision for "vulnerable children " then local hospital school.. Now back in full time. Paed referral and Camhs assessment ticked the boxes to get the support tho her condition was medical. Not psychological in the end.

cestlavielife Wed 17-Dec-14 23:09:22

Not going to the meeting won't help you need to go and ask for lea support for your dd.

cestlavielife Wed 17-Dec-14 23:11:32

Also this guidance on health needs

cestlavielife Wed 17-Dec-14 23:13:35

It is the last one I was looking for

apotatoprintinapeartree Wed 17-Dec-14 23:14:10

Hello OP

This is a dreadful way to be treated, but unfortunately what the education system often does.
It must be hard enough for your child atm without having to worry about you being prosecuted.

Have you considered H.ed or are you in the position to do this for a while whilst you access the help your child requires.

It will keep the LEA off your back for a while and will no doubt improve your childs life as well.

cestlavielife Wed 17-Dec-14 23:15:06

Sorry psychological is medical I meAnt physical medical.

2rebecca Thu 18-Dec-14 06:16:36

Your child will need to have some form of education so avoiding discussing achieving that with the school seems odd.
If my child refused school I would be working with the school to try and look at ways of making school less stressful to get them there or changing school and looking at how they can learn whilst off. I would also be pushing for a child mental health referral to get the situation sorted and my child back at school asap.
The longer the child stays off school the harder it is to get them to go back.

Carbonel Fri 19-Dec-14 20:49:30

Thanks all. We have considered h.e. but talking to dd she used to enjoy school and I think she needs the social interaction so I would rather not lose her place yet. Hoping the various referrals and things work out

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