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Has anyone had a visit from the attendance board?

(26 Posts)
Purplerainbow2 Tue 23-Feb-16 09:45:52

Ds1 is nearly 10 in year 5. He was diagnosed with asd when he was 5 privately. The nhs have been no help and won't diagnose him as he's too complex hmm he suffers with severe anxiety that isn't getting any better, he is under Camhs. He has a drama therapist each week at school just him. He has anger management at school. He is in a nuture group. He has ocd tendencies and bad sensory issues (under the OT). There have been times over the years I couldn't get him on school. This last school year his attendance has slipped as school refusal became more often. Before Xmas I was told if it didn't improve they would contact esbas or whatever they are called. Most of January he was at home and the school eventually gave me some work for him to do at home. Attendance board were called and they went in to 'observe' him for a morning. I heard nothing and he got better and was going more regular. Half term was the worse ever, he didn't leave the house once. Yesterday refused school and I had call from attendance board saying someone was coming to see me Friday. She didn't even know he was under Camhs?! I spoke to school this am and they said of course they know as it went across on the paperwork. The lady on the phone was The one who observed him. She said she didn't know if e comes under behaviour or attendance.

She said when she observed him there were no behavioural problems so it would go under attendance?! I'm going to get his folder out Friday Nd let them read every single letter regarding both his mental health and physical health (under incontinence nurse due to soiling caused by anxiety). What can I expect? Are they going to have a go at me?? I don't feel like anyone is on my side apart from the OT. What can they do? I don't want to get in trouble with the law. My other son is in school so they can't say it's me stopping him can they??

Purplerainbow2 Tue 23-Feb-16 12:08:58

Anyone ?

zzzzz Tue 23-Feb-16 13:09:36

I've had the EWO out to the house. She was really nice, sensible and very helpful. You haven't done anything wrong. Just relax and see what they can come up with to help.

GruntledOne Tue 23-Feb-16 15:08:57

Can you get your GP to do a note saying he can't cope with school for medical reasons, i.e. his anxiety? Or is there anyone else like a paediatrician who can certify that If they will, not only will it get rid of any threat of prosecution as it will become unauthorised absence, but it will also mean that you're entitled to ask for home tuition.

Has he got an EHCP? It sounds as if he would definitely qualify for one.

Purplerainbow2 Tue 23-Feb-16 16:13:22

The school have always refused the statement said he doesn't need it as they were coping with him. When. I heard the changes and now EHCP and that I could apply, they agreed at Xmas they would apply but said he prob wouldn't get it. The paediatrician is a waste of time, she has contradicted so much, mixed up his and his brothers medical record, a general nightmare so no way would she help!! The gp that knows us left, would other gps who don't know him do that though? Is it like a sick note an adult has for work? Or a typed letter? Not heard of this before.

How bad does it get before they prosecute? He is already under unauthorised absences.

GruntledOne Tue 23-Feb-16 17:16:42

If he can't cope with school, blatantly they aren't meeting his needs. You can apply for an EHC assessment yourself without waiting for the school - have a look at the IPSEA website for details of how to do it. I really think you need to do it, not least because it might at least make the Education Welfare Office think a bit before taking more punitive action.

Yes, it is a bit like a sick note, but ideally you need a letter explaining that he has major anxiety which means that he can't cope with school at the moment and that this is likely to continue unless and until his anxiety is addressed and his needs are met.

ChowNowBrownCow Tue 23-Feb-16 17:34:25

we have been in exactly this situation. Its awful as you have to deal with a child that is so anxious but you start feeling anxious due to Education Welfare putting pressure on you! I begged our GP to give a sick note (ds out of school and under camhs) but they refused. Camhs finally gave a letter this week to Education Welfare and they have now backed off. This gives us time to work on ds anxiety and hopefully get ds in a school that he can cope in (ehcp is just about to be finalised).
To give you a rough time frame. DS had authorised leave up to 1st Feb and by the 10th Feb the EWO was literally banging on our door unnanounced. DS leave turned to unauthorised on the 1st Feb. They then were quite aggresive in their approach, which I was shocked at. They will leave us alone now whilst CAMHS are dealing with ds. If your la is like ours, you have a matter of days before they start talking about taking action. Sorry if this is scarey for you to read. but if I were you start badgering the GP for a letter stating unfit for school. My experience was total opposite to ZZZZ so it may depend on lots of factors. Plus my ds was at 54% attendance, extremely low, so it may be why they stormed in heavy?

Purplerainbow2 Tue 23-Feb-16 17:55:52

Well he was at 82% before Xmas, this year excluding half term he has had 9 days off. So alms of 2 weeks, has been in late a lot also. It is all unauthorised absence by the school.

No don't apologise for scaring me, I really want to hear others experiences. She sounded nice enough on the phone but she said she noticed no behavioural problems whilst she was there which says to me she already has made her opinion of the situation. She obviously didn't pay attention to the fact he doesn't have break in morning or lunch time with his peers in the hall and not allowed on the playground hmm. It's hard at the moment as if he was crying saying he can't cope with school I would be ok ish about it. It's his sensory problems with his clothes that are stopping him going. The school said he can wear what he likes just to get him in but he won't wear different clothes to the others as 'it doesn't feel right' which I can understand. He says school is boring as they have taught him this stuff already. He is high functioning so very clever thankfully but he is now behind as they say they have no evidence in his work as he isn't there. Which I get. So he's gone from being a year ahead to at the moment not meeting the minimum expectation of his year. I said then there are major issues they aren't telling me about, they say it's because of the change of curriculum which Again I do understand.

Purplerainbow2 Tue 23-Feb-16 19:10:37

What happens if they decide to 'prosecute' ? Is it a fine or a legal issue?

Purplerainbow2 Wed 24-Feb-16 06:55:08


OneInEight Wed 24-Feb-16 07:32:51

I would be amazed if they decided to prosecute in the circumstances.

As difficult as it must be I would try and regard it in a positive light.

Their job is to get children into school. Use them to get the school and the LA to support your child properly.

Welcome them into your house. Acknowledge that you share their concerns.

Show them all the efforts you have made to get your child into school - CAMHS letters, diagnosis, school meetings etc etc.

Then put the ball in their court and ask them how they are going to HELP.

P.S. If you haven't already put in a parental request for an EHCP plan - the school refusal is evidence enough that needs are not being met even if academically he is above average. He obviously needs a lot more support than he is currently getting to reduce anxiety levels so that he is able to attend.

zzzzz Wed 24-Feb-16 07:39:24

As One said they will help you not prosecute shock. It's their job to make sure school is accessible to your son. Great them like a glass of water in the desert. They will be a brilliant advocate.

Purplerainbow2 Wed 24-Feb-16 08:34:43

So it isn't them that actually prosecute? Is it the LA that prosecutes? He's gone in today.... No issues what so ever. I just don't understand him at all at to moment. I think this is the reason why the school just don't believe me as one day he's hysterical and the next, no problems!

zzzzz Wed 24-Feb-16 10:31:04

No idea who prosecutes but you AREN'T keeping him home without a reason so you should be using them as a resource to help you.

Purplerainbow2 Wed 24-Feb-16 12:00:22

I hope they can help although I don't see how . Short of dragging him there...

zzzzz Wed 24-Feb-16 12:07:19

They should have VAST experience of school refusers (for all sorts of reasons) and have lots of strategies to try. I doubt any of them will include dragging anyone anywhere.

Purplerainbow2 Thu 25-Feb-16 21:34:08

Can't sleep for worry. The woman rang me this afternoon. She sounded annoyed she had to come tomorrow! Said she had to get to another school for 10am and we would only have 45 mins, as though I was putting her out!

zzzzz Thu 25-Feb-16 22:39:51

She's setting your expectation for a short meeting. What do you want to get out of the meeting?

think of it like this
you want them to know you want ds in school
You want them to know what you have done to try and achieve that
you want them to know what school have done to try and achieve that
you want them to know what you think will help
you want them to know what help is pending or assessments you are waiting on
you want them to tell you what strategies they have seen work and if they can support you trying them
You want to have a written plan by the end of the meeting detailing what they will do, what school will do and what you will do to support ds back into school.

Write this all on a A4 piece of paper with gaps to take notes and ask her when she arrives if you can use it to keep track of the meeting as she only has limited time.

Make her a cup tea, it will give you something to settle your nerves

Purplerainbow2 Fri 26-Feb-16 05:38:14

Thanks zzzzz. She said we would have another meeting to go over this meeting ?! She also said she would need to do a pupils voice with ds at some point also. She said didn't matter if that was at school or at home. I don't want it taking place at school without me there, they can't stop me going can they? I sps they can if its on school ground? sad

zzzzz Fri 26-Feb-16 07:36:06

No of course they can't. You just say you want to attend any assessments or meetings with your son. You can see any paperwork, any reports and attend any meetings regarding him and any assessments he has. They are all on your side, treat them as though they are.

Purplerainbow2 Fri 26-Feb-16 08:12:37

When they went in to 'observe' him last month in school for apparnatly 1.5 hours I wasn't allowed to tell him (fair enough) but wasn't allowed any information about it, I kept asking the head (as I was worried) and she just kept saying 'they will be in touch'. I will tell her today then that I want to be there when she does the pupil voice with him if he's at school that day.

zzzzz Fri 26-Feb-16 09:46:09

Write and ask for the information you want.

brrrr Sat 27-Feb-16 19:58:46

Why not ask the attendance person to press school to do the EHCP? Result?

brrrr Sat 27-Feb-16 20:02:15

I have been threatened with court due to lateness in the past, so do understand. If they want to help, now is their chance.

brrrr Sat 27-Feb-16 20:04:02

Oh, and smile sweetly when asking wink

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