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School pressuring for ds to return to school - Star, Agnes and other helpful people

(132 Posts)
claw4 Wed 07-Nov-12 16:45:54

Ds hasnt been to school since emergency A&E mental health assessment a few weeks ago.

He was assessed by CAMHS in A&E, after threats of wanting to kill himself etc.

CAMHS told me to decide on a daily basis whether ds was able to cope with school and if school had concerns about him not attending then to phone her.

School receptionist phoned me yesterday and asked when ds would be going back to school. I told her i had already passed on CAMHS number to SENCO and if she had concerns then to phone and speak with CAMHS.

She said they had and CAMHS had said it was up to me to decide on a daily basis, and apparently CAMHS had also said that ds would be ok to attend some days.

She told me that ds was missing education and his absence was being marked as unauthorised and that the EWO would be informed. She asked that i phone everyday to tell them if ds would be attending.

So they expect that ds can go from needing me to go immediately to pick him up from school and take him for an emergency mental health assessment, to returning to school as if nothing has happened.

They expect me to phone the school receptionist daily, which i did this morning and its bloody ridiculous. Conversation goes "ds wont be in today" school receptionist "why is that" me "he wants to kill himself" school receptionist "oh ok, thanks for phoning"

cornybeefhash Wed 07-Nov-12 17:29:42

Is there any info on the thread for children who struggle to attend school that can help?

cornybeefhash Wed 07-Nov-12 17:33:37

Have bumped it for you - there may be some info that could help when you speak to school

devientenigma Wed 07-Nov-12 17:37:21

claw I would phone EWO and tell them the situation, you may be able to come to some sort of flex arrangement which will then make school accountable also. I would not be acceptiing unauthorised absence due to the circumstances and there is another mark they can give.

claw4 Wed 07-Nov-12 17:37:34

Thank you Corny, i have added a watch to the thread and will have a good read later.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Wed 07-Nov-12 17:38:39

claw this is not the only response they could make. Sorry - I can't remember where you are at but I am getting none of this crap. I have done or the context is the following:

1. DS is being statemented
3. Parental contact with SENCO at new school
4. Transtion at crucial stage failed (ms primary to ms secondary)
5. Ongoing assessement by medical experts
6. GP 'signed off' on the first day that DS was unable to attend (1st day of term)
7. Contact with EOTAS
8. Consultant justification of medical absence to EOTAS.
9. Provision by EOTAS.

Is there anything you can do? All happened in the last few months - before that we had nothing. You need to get the absence authorised. SENCO initially asked me whether it was important - well, yes, if you want to avoid this crap!

You can make it all go away if the absence is authorised - and then you will be entitled to home tuition. Eyes and ears of the LEA - my EOTAS co-ordinator is at the next desk to DS's case worker. As long as you have your DC's wellbeing at heart and do not display MBP you have nothing to fear. Don't forget that LEA staff have never met your child, or you - DS was only diagnosed once he had left primary and so no member of teaching staff has ever acknowledged the problems he has had. On the other hand EOTAS staff have said to me (in private after 'talking' to him without me present) 'he's autistic, isn't he?'

devientenigma Wed 07-Nov-12 17:38:41

I was also phoning daily which is ridiculous, so I told them if he's in he's in if not you mark him as his absence but not unauthorised.

Veritate Wed 07-Nov-12 17:40:01

I think you really need to get him back to CAMHS or, in the short term, your GP, for something more satisfactory. If he is still suicidal they should surely be doing something about it anyway, and you ideally need a letter or certificate to say that he is unable to attend school for medical reasons, and that this will be the case until a defined date when they will review him. If the school has something saying he will be medically unable to attend school till, say, December or the end of term, then they have no reason either to go to the EWO or to demand that you phone in every day.

devientenigma Wed 07-Nov-12 17:40:24

psyc signed DS off, could camhs?

mymatemax Wed 07-Nov-12 17:43:32

He needs to be signed off as medically unfit - go to the GP
Then put the ball back in their court, what education are they going to privide to a child with a long term illness & unfit to attend school.

doesnt matter if its a mental health issue or any other chronic condition preventing the child attending school. The LEA will have policy & practice in place.

claw4 Wed 07-Nov-12 17:44:47

Devient, ds is adamant that he is not going back to school and given that they continue to deny that ds suffers with high anxiety and self harms, i cant blame him.

Even after his A&E attendance and me having to collect him from school and him telling CAMHS that his worries are school related and that he hurts himself because of his worries and wants to die, they are continuing with he shows no signs of anxiety or self harm.

The fact they are fully expecting him to just turn up for school, as if nothing happened, i want to scream.

mymatemax Wed 07-Nov-12 17:48:56

Claw, ignore the school. Discuss his issues with the medical profs only & then follow the appropriate process for a child with a chronic condition. School do not have a say in it, they cannot trump medical advice.

devientenigma Wed 07-Nov-12 17:48:59

snap, been off 3 year now, whole situation is a nightmare, which is why you sort it now (apologies if thats harsh)

I'll scream with you, in fact Iv'e said in another post I'm about to park my car in a river on a drive sad


claw4 Wed 07-Nov-12 17:50:13

Mymatemax, my GP already signed ds off of school prior to the 6 weeks holidays.

LA wrote to my GP telling them that a 'panel of experts' had decided that ds doesnt show any signs of anxiety or self harm in school and was fit to attend.

My GP said he had no choice but to agree with LA findings ie 'panel of experts' as mental health is not in his remit, which is why he referred to CAMHS.

Then in the meantime, i got a phone call asking me to pick ds up from school and take him for emergency mental health assessment.

Maybe another visit to my GP.

Inaflap Wed 07-Nov-12 17:51:46

This is silly. The school should be actively working with you to have a plan of reintroduction. So on one day he attends one lesson that he feels ok with and thus it slowly builds up over the year until he is attending all morning for five days. We have had kids who never did any more than that. It can be done. We had one just like your son and he was given lots of input, safe place, named teacher who he saw each morning, part time timetable. Within a year he was full time and doing well. The EWO can be helpful and can be a useful intermediary between home and school. I have 'taught' school refusers but seen them only twice in a year. I wouldn't be presurised by the schhol and why the bloody hell has this sensitive and confidential situation been given to the school receptionist to handle? Poor woman. It's way beyond her remit and it should be the head dealing with it with support from the senco. Grrrrrr. Blood boiling now.

Keep strong and don't let him back. His health is far more important than a few poxy exams and I'm a teacher.

devientenigma Wed 07-Nov-12 17:54:09

tell school to come and get him but bear in mind, when I offered and they couldn't, they walked away and said nothing. Have a paper ready written for them to sign to say they saw his anxiety etc

devientenigma Wed 07-Nov-12 17:54:59

meant also couldn't get him to school

Veritate Wed 07-Nov-12 18:01:42

What "panel of experts" was the LA referring to? Did they actually say what the LA alleges? And was that before the recent breakdown, in which case it's pretty irrelevant?

claw4 Wed 07-Nov-12 18:05:36

Thanks guys, ive just made an appointment with my GP again. Hopefully once they see the advice i have from CAMHS in writing, they will back me again, rather than believing LA 'panel of experts' which did not happen.

Ds is quite vocal about school making him very, very sad and that when he gets very sad, he hurts himself.

My GP will have to do his job.

AtoZandBackAgain Wed 07-Nov-12 18:10:35

CAMHS are the key to this.

You need to write a letter to CAMHS (not email or phone)
1)detailing your son's past difficulties at school including the A&E bit,
2) describing his current mood/concernsietie s about attending school
3) describing the pressure you are being put under by EOTAS
4) stating that it would cruel and inhumane to force him to return to an environment that cannot meet his needs and that causes him unacceptable distress.
5) Tell them that they can assist by declaring that your DS is unfit for school at present.

If you do that you've documented the history and the put the problem firmly in their court.

They can (and they do) ignore phone calls and emails. They cannot ignore a very strong letter. Always copy that letter to someone else - such as your GP or similar - someone who cannot deny having received it.

DS was signed off by CAMHS as 'attending school would aggravate his current distress'.

Take care, Wet

AgnesDiPesto Wed 07-Nov-12 18:10:37

I would say its not convenient for you to ring every morning and you will email them each morning instead, at least that way you don't have to speak and can just cut and paste.
He should be marked as being too ill to attend - whatever silly code that is - that way he is entitled to support at home after 5 days. Tell them to mark it as authorised.
Why are they marking it as unauthorised? Is that so they don't have to set any work / provide home tuition?
You can say once your son has been seen by CAMHS you are sure he will be formally signed off but it is not your fault you cannot get a GP letter (GP refused to get involved in dispute with LA) or an earlier CAMHS appointment.
I would say you would welcome a visit from EWO so can discuss what support the LA will be offering! Call their bluff on this one - they don't want to pay for home tuition so can't imagine they actually want to send the EWO round as they may actually have to put in support then.
What are you doing about the EP? Will be have to go back into school for that?

claw4 Wed 07-Nov-12 18:14:41

Veritate, the 'panel of experts' was referring to SA refusal, although they worded it in such as way, as to mislead.

"He has been assessed by the multidiscliplinary team and it was agreed school are meeting his needs well. In our opinion ds is very settled in school, shows no signs of self harming or anxiety and is making progress"

They then go on to say "on your advice, ds's mother has withdrawn him from school and he is missing education. Could you please explain why ds is not well enough to attend school"

My GP has no idea of the statementing process etc, so he was saying mental health, not his remit, he has referred to the experts CAMHS etc and has no choice but to agree with the findings of the 'panel of experts'

Yes prior to recent breakdown.

claw4 Wed 07-Nov-12 18:22:56

AtoZ CAMHS have literally done just that or so i thought?? "Should ds attend school - we advised that ds's mother will need to consider whether ds going to school would cause an increase in his self harm or thoughts about wanting to die"

Agnes I have no idea why they are marking it as unauthorised. School refuse to give me an email address. EP is in December and can be done at home.

mymatemax Wed 07-Nov-12 18:29:02

Claw, change schools, start afresh, not all schools are the same. You need a school that is going to work with you.

claw4 Wed 07-Nov-12 18:41:34

Mymate, that is what i am currently trying to do. This is ds's second ms school. Ds needs a specialist school, which i cannot do without a statement. I have applied for SA.

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