Not attending school while at mum's(4 Posts)
Hi. I am divorced and remarried. Have one child and I'm a dad. Hope that last bit is ok. Haven't found any dad based forums that I expect to get and sensible advice from.
For first 3 years post separation our son split his time 50:50 between us doing alternate weeks. After this, for the last 3-4 years, he has spent much more time with me due to a deterioration in her physical and mental health. This was a joint decision and one that suited all at the time. I have no problem changing this back to any arrangement that works up to and including the original 50:50. Part of the arrangement working for me would be our son's needs are met including him attending school.
There was three months when he went to stay with his mother at the end of last year. During this period he barely attended school. Educational Welfare became involved. He returned to me at Christmas and went back to school although his punctuality was poor. During that three month period his mum spent a lot of time taking him to GP appointments to have his absence from school explained by some underlying emotional issues. These efforts where mostly unsuccessful and other than a rather vague letter from a young locum nothing was diagnosed. In fact other than dyslexia and in spite of strenuous efforts to obtain a diagnosis nothing else ever has been. Indeed I made myself an appointment to discuss my concerns with the GP at the time. They agreed with me that what she was doing was damaging and fundamentally there were no good reasons to keep him off school.
Our son has never been a keen student and on the whole is not keen on school. He is also dyslexic which makes certain aspects difficult. He is however very active and social and enjoys this aspect of school life.
I am now been investigated by the local authority about his attendance and have been interviewed under caution. To make matters worse his mother has kept him off school last Monday after he spent the weekend with her and is intent on doing so again this week. She was said she has concerns about his mental health and wants a GP to sign him off for an unspecified period of time. She also thinks the school is poor. While I agree the school is not the best I don't think keeping him off is helping. I have had issues with the school myself and with some individual staff members. I have preferred to contact the school to express any concerns and I'm of the view all school will have members of staff one might not like. I can recall a few from way back I was at school.
I also can't help but feel that her own health issues, including bi-polar, cloud her view and many of the emotional problems she sees in our son are actually her own that she projects on to him.
In short while he is with me he attends and doesn't complain about it too much. While he is there he can have as much time off as he likes and his mother will support in this.
I've sent an email to the school, the EWO and local authority outlining my current concerns. I intend to contact the GP and her care-coordinator soon. Is there anything else I could or should be doing?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
No advice, but giving this a bump so that it stays in view.
have you a record of how many times you've kept him off and how many times your ex has?
Is there any way you can renegotiate things so that he sleeps at yours Saturday to Thursday. And at hers only Friday and Saturday night plus some holidays
What sort of progress is he making at school? I would suggest having a meeting with them to talk through that sort of issue and whether he needs support at school to improve his motivation and with regard to his dyslexia.
Otherwise, for your own protection, it could be worth seeing a family law solicitor to talk about what you can do to ensure your son attends school regularly - which might include having him to live you with full time and his only going to his mother at weekends and during the holidays.
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