Taking time out of school for illness(2 Posts)
Hello. My 16yo daugher came down with glandular fever in September last year and has been incredibly ill for the past few months.
Prior to catching it she was middling academic-well she had an interest in subjects that interested her, very sporty, and very involved in things that were going on in school. Since the glandular fever it's as if she has become a different person. She's given up all sports, is chronically fatigued, and yesterday, after a call from the school, it seems that she's only actually attended school twice this month- she's been wandering about the town then sneaking back home and playing on the computer/going to bed. She's also come out with avarages of about 30% on her 5th year Higher exams (We're in Scotland)
Back towards the start of the year the school were initially very unhelpful suggesting that rather than being ill she "needed a shot across the bowes" however once we insisted that our child had in fact been ill and was receiving care from the doctor, and produced a letter, they offered to put study support in place and monitored her. E. hasn't taken it up, and, as we discovered yesterday has been avoiding school. She reports feeling stupid in class because she's missed so much, feeling judged by her peers, and feeling very self conscious. She's also reporting very high anxiety levels. We are going to visit the doctor again regarding this.
E would like to leave school right now, saying she hates it, it's boring and she can't learn anything while she's there. The school, I feel, would be happy to see her go. Her Dad and I don't want her to make any irrevocable decisions while she is in this frame of mind, however we don't want to place further stress on her by forcing her to go to school. What we'd like is for her to take a break from 5th year, and reconsider over a long recuperative break, returning, if she chose to, in 6th year to do some less academic Highers.
Our rationale for this is that she's been sick, continues to be fragile both mentally and physically, and facing important exams is a massive stress when she's been so ill. What I don't know is whether this is possible or whether the school are within their rights to ask her to leave.
We feel very intimidated by the school management team. Her Dad and I are not the most academic people in the world and they have a habit of talking over what we're saying or starting a conversation and never actually stopping talking so we can get a word in..
It would really help if someone could advise so we at least sounded as if we knew what we were talking about.
Can anyone advise? We are in Scotland, and E. is in 5th year at a state school.
Mostly bumping, here - I don't know what the realistic options will be.
My first thought is to wonder if she could drop out, or perhaps formally be signed off sick, and then start somewhere else for next year, rather than go back to the current school. She'll now have a reputation it'll be quite hard to live down, and a clean slate might make it much easier for her.
It's totally understandable that glandular fever has knocked her for six, but the truanting is much harder to understand. At 16, she might be expected to be problem-solving better than that. If it's new that she isn't, I'd really emphasise this to the doctor when you talk about her mental health. If it isn't new, well, that explains the school's attitude somewhat, and now's a great time to turn over a new leaf. Either way, if you could manage to supplement whatever the NHS can provide with some private counselling/life coaching, going on into when she's back in education, that might be really worthwhile.
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