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If your SN child runs away from school

(14 Posts)
Mitmoo Sun 10-Jul-11 18:43:58

mine took flight after someone hurt him, he ran to a local shop across a main road while very distressed, do you think it is right or wrong of the school to decide to search for him and only call me the mother, once they'd found him.

The school were informed he was suicidal two weeks earlier.

As it happened he found a shop and called me from there visibly distressed and I drove to the shop by the school and had him in the car when two teachers came in looking for him. He was already in the car with me.

I would have thought they'd have called me as soon as they knew.

What do you good people think?

rebl Sun 10-Jul-11 18:53:43

Thats awful. How old is he? I do think that the school should have called you.

But, I'm not sure what the overall policy is on missing children. My ds (aged 4) got out of school to watch the cars and lorries on the road. He was gone about 30 mins. School didn't inform me, my dd informed. School said they didn't think they needed to tell me because they found him hmm.

By not calling prior to finding the child they can try and cover up their failings, especially if the child is a vunerable one who is unlikely to tell their parents. I'm not suggesting that your ds's school were trying to pull a fast one but certainly I would suspect that. A child getting out school is a serious failing in their safe guarding and as such can land the school in very hot water.

Goblinchild Sun 10-Jul-11 18:54:47

They should have informed you ASAP, for all the obvious reasons, but also you might have had a very good idea about where he might have run to.
If he's primary, the school should be secure and he should have not been able to leave the premises. That's a major safeguarding issue.

Mitmoo Sun 10-Jul-11 19:01:40

Sorry I should have said and not expected you to be psychic, he's 14 but has autism and the school were told he was suicidal just two weeks prior, so though 14 and taller than me he was a vulnerable child who they knew was distressed after being assaulted at school.

To be fair to them they did question the children who reported that he had run away and why. They asked them where they thought he would go and they guessed right. By the time that had happened though he had called me and I had driven there.

purplepidjin Sun 10-Jul-11 19:07:48

Policy at the (secondary residential) school I used to work in was to alert all staff, search the grounds and other Houses, inform Duty manager after 30 mins. If student had absconded, alert other House staff, collect mobile phone and follow. A surprisingly rare occurence on an unsecured site, the students were trustworthy unless stressed out!

Most of the parents lived over an hour away though. Unless they were likely to be able to contact the student by mobile phone and help calm them down, we'd tell them later because we would be occupied supporting the student(s)

If it's not residential, there should be better measures in place? Next place I worked there were 9' fences (different needs) and police were informed within 20 minutes

Goblinchild Sun 10-Jul-11 19:08:43

Does he have 1:1 or some support in undirected times?
It sounds as if he needs more support than usual at the moment, so I'd be asking the school what measures they will be putting into place to avoid a repetition of events.
Are you nearly at the end of term? Things always used to get worse for us in the last fortnight, tiredness, change of routines with end of year activities.
One year, we just missed the last week out altogether and went straight to holiday with the school's approval.
Is he heading for GCSEs next year in Y10? Will he still be with the ones who are causing him distress? Are they the main reason why he's suicidal?
What are you planning on doing through to summer? Can you access help?

Mitmoo Sun 10-Jul-11 19:27:30

HE DOESN'T have any 1:1 support at all.

Thankfully it is the end of term at the end of this week so all I'll have him for the next six or seven weeks and he does have two exams so that is more stress, although he doesn't really seem to care very much.

I will be having discussions when he goes back though in September.

Because of the drama of him running away and the school having some excellent policies in place which I do admire, the children who had upset him have apologised and are now leaving him alone. They were collected from the school by their parents and put on inclusion.

The summer will be spent with me taking him to golf and fishing, it's where he is happiest.

Littlefish Sun 10-Jul-11 19:33:28

Our school policy was that if it was known that a pupil had absconded from school, the parent would be contacted first to discuss places where the student may have gone, then the police. As teachers, we were advised not to chase after pupils in case it inflamed the situation.

Goblinchild Sun 10-Jul-11 19:40:54

It sounds as if the situation is redeemable, if you remind them of what needs to be in place. Your summer sounds something like the one I've got planned for my DS, he's finished his GCSEs and school now.smile

Goblinchild Sun 10-Jul-11 19:42:22

Oh, and mine doesn't have any 1:1 support either, but the school have been fantastic about reasonable accommodation, all round support and good communication with me and with his teachers.

Mitmoo Sun 10-Jul-11 19:45:52

My son is in mainstream but school life since he was eight has been colourful!!!

Goblinchild Sun 10-Jul-11 19:50:45

Oh yes.
Do you constantly have him handed back to you by various people saying 'Well, we've never had that happen before'
after he's found something new and inventive to do, rather than what they were expecting?

Mitmoo Sun 10-Jul-11 19:54:32

That one isn't familiar to me but what we get a lot of is my son being deliciously honest.

He started at his new secondary, a different one to the above one, and I paid for him to go on a school trip to a play the teacher asked him if he enjoyed it, he replied "It was the worst play I've ever seen, you've wasted my time and £20 of my Mum's money" ever so matter of factly. I swear he has been here before.

He just says it like it is, political correctness is lost on him completely.

Goblinchild Sun 10-Jul-11 20:08:45

Literal language, no understanding of sarcasm, giving a direct answer to a direct question, finds figurative language and motivations of characters completely incomprehensible and no understanding of mind games and teasing.
Yup.
Although that was three or four years ago. Keep going with the training and explaining and working on situations. It really does pay off, and things have improved considerably over the last two years. He's looking at decent grades for his 10 GCSEs including English literature.
However, girls have yet to figure romantically in his world. He has several friends that are female, but the whole love/lust bit hasn't happened yet.
I'll be on here screaming for help when it does. and I hope vicarinatutu is around to help out. grin

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