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School refusal, Not due to Anxiety, what can school do?

(9 Posts)
lljkk Mon 17-Feb-14 09:08:19

DS is 14, y9, & hates the whole premise of school. He's had stroppy school refusal on/off since he was 9. He seems to be "ill" a lot this year, too.

Normally gets home from school at 4:30pm; If he's off school with illness he can't go on screens until 4:30 & if he refuses school full stop then he loses up to a week off the screens for each day missed. We don't have any other leverage short of removing all books & turning the heat off in his room. So screens & emotional pressure is all we can apply & both blow up back in our faces a lot.

We asked school for help a year ago but they don't return calls or have anything to say when we phone up to say why he's off. hmm. Today we get a letter to say that over last yr his attendance is down to 88% (no kidding, half of that is due to part-day orthodontic appointments) and the comment "If there are any issues that we need to be made aware of, or anything that we can do to increase xxxx's attendance, please get in contact immediately."

Is there anything school can do? I think that is saying I'm supposed to give them ideas, because they won't come up with any even if we ask. I'm hoping that start of DS's GCSE programme will slightly improve things, but that's not until June.


lljkk Mon 17-Feb-14 09:21:07

ooh, they've nicely broken it down for me.
Out of 41 sessions missed, he was late 10 times, that doesn't make sense unless he's larking about after getting off train, plus DH had to run him down a few times, so I can ask DS about those.

17 sessions due to illness (8 days in a yr?!). But some of those are refusal when he's pretending to be ill (we think). 4 days were after heavy cross country sessions with ATC, so great, we have to make him choose between the one good thing in his life that makes him behave like a mature sensible person & school.

6 sessions or 3 days were straightforward school refusal.

TeenAndTween Mon 17-Feb-14 15:42:40

You've probably already though about this, but is there any pattern to when he refuses? eg on a French test day or something? Could be hard to spot if there is a 2 week timetable.

No suggestions to help sorry, but agree you need to get this sorted during y9 as from what I've read it can be self perpetuating, they don't go in so they get behind and then don't want to go in because they're behind.

TeenAndTween Mon 17-Feb-14 15:45:36

Do I see you on the adopters board? Could there be 'stuff' going on in his head he needs help dealing with? My ADD y10 is using pastoral support quite a bit as she is newly processing her past with a more grown up brain. If so, maybe the new PPP money could be used to help?

ThreeBeeOneGee Mon 17-Feb-14 19:12:13

I think it would be reasonable to make an appointment with the Head of Y9. You are already doing everything you can. Perhaps the school has some things they can put into place to help him?

lljkk Tue 18-Feb-14 08:49:50

Thanks for replies smile.
I since read that he's not a school refuser at all precisely because anxiety not involved (silly me didn't understand the right words). So he's just a straight forward truant. I will contact them but I don't know what they could possibly offer. Cheers.

Daisyjane12 Thu 20-Feb-14 23:58:16

My dds friend has a 57% attendance shock

dementedma Sat 22-Feb-14 17:32:11

We have issues with ds attending first year of secondary. He has missed a lot. He hates PE because he is teased and laughed at. We have tried absolutely everything and are working with the guidance team to get him in school more but every day is a battle.,I am sick of it to be honest.
Next term we have swimming..... Oh,boy!

KayMawson Mon 24-Mar-14 12:33:29

Im the founder of a website which deals with school refusal which you can search for or google my name. Im also running a campaign to help all parents make change so that schools can help, recognise, support parents and make allowances over attendance issues concerning school phobia & school refusal. You can find this petition here and sign it to make a change.

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