School refusal(5 Posts)
My DS (8) has selective mutism. I have been trying to arrange a meeting with school for about two months to discuss this and implement a plan, school are "too busy". Tomorrow he has a particular lesson which is causing him extreme anxiety. He has said he is not going to school because of this lesson. I'm so torn about what to do for the best. I could make him go to school but without a plan in place he's going to be expected to take part despite his anxiety or I could keep him away but that's just reinforcing he doesn't have to do things he doesn't want to, although it may encourage school to engage with me. I'm just so unsure of what to do. I wondered if anyone in a similar situation had any suggestions please?
I should say he hasn't yet got a professional diagnosis as the dr needs a letter from school prior to referral, naturally the school are too busy to do that as well.
Who is too busy? Is it the SENCo or head? I would suggest contacting them with a very polite note saying you realise that they are very busy but you have been trying to arranging this meeting for a very long time without success, your child's welfare is an extremely urgent matter and you really need a meeting next week; say you really don't want to have to go down the official complaints route but you will be left with no alternative if this can't be sorted out. If that doesn't work, get a copy of the school's complaints policy (get the SEN policy also) and do the complaint - but make the tone more in sorrow than in anger to try to keep them reasonably onside.
Yes to contact SENCO and head. Do it via email to SENCO and cc the head this way there is also proof of your contact with them. Be polite but firm. School refusal escalates easily if the core reasons for it are not attended. Is he in the Sen register, have a one plan, have can, do and review meetings? Suggest to SENCO that these steps may need to be put in place. School refusal should be seen as a mental heat
Other issue. Ask for referral to CAMHS for anxiety. I'm not being a scare monger but this was similar to my son at age 9. He was supported in primary and I was told he didn't need formal ehcp paperwork. He's now 12, has asd diagnosis and hasn't even to school since September. There is a fb group that is for school refusal and school phobia, it's far more common than people would have you believe. Don't let them fob you off, they have a duty to make sure your child can access education. Good luck
If a parent raises concerns the school has a obligation to listen. As the above advice states look at the SEND Code of Practice section 6. If the school are making excuses do as above posts have suggested make contact via email to keep written trail, alternative is do it by letter and get a reciept from reception. If the school SENCO/ Head doesn't respond request copy of complaints procedure. SEND-IASS are great at providing support in such circumstances as they know all the legal side of things and can contact school on your behalf acting as a go between. Your child has a right to have support in place if he needs it and the school has to fulfil that obligation they may just need reminding. Be persistent yet polite. Complaints procedure usually starts with the head then follows to board of governors if your not happy. Also your child doesn't need a diagnosis to get support or even a ECHP, it's on a needs basis. School should start with a meeting with senco and yourself who should start the Asses, Plan, Review and Do cycle. Access their SEND policy, should be on their website or ask reception.
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