NEETs - What happens next?

(6 Posts)
Northernsoul58 Wed 30-Aug-17 16:25:54

DS (17) dropped out of Yr 12 after Easter due to anxiety and other problems (toxic friendships). We found private therapy because the CAMHS waiting list is 20 months here. School were very understanding and supportive. They say he is welcome to come back in September and re-sit Yr 12.
But. DS has spent all summer in his room, on his ipad and gaming. Occasionally he'll go out and meet friends, but comes home exhausted - emotionally and physically. We went on a short break earlier in the summer doing things he enjoys and he was fine for two days, then had an anxiety attack and we came home.
He told me three weeks ago that he doesn't feel he can go back to school - or anything, not work or apprenticeship, nothing. Now he refuses to engage in even thinking or talking about his future, even though his therapist seems to think he's well enough to do something.
We're days off the start of term. What will happen if he really refuses to do anything? Is there such a thing as a sick note? What actually happens when you have a NEET?

OP’s posts: |
Lou898 Sat 02-Sep-17 22:59:52

What's happened about schooling since he dropped out? As he is still compulsory school or training who has been involved in monitoring his absence Education Welfare Officers or School?

EnidNextDoor Sat 02-Sep-17 23:07:00

I have a friend in the same situation. Is anyone going to actually pursue these kids seeing as they only have one year left?

Life is too stressful and if you stumble then you get kicked to the curb and it's awful.

The only advice I have is to put his happiness and mental health first.

ragged Sun 03-Sep-17 08:22:17

The council won't be in touch, I'll wager, he's over their threshold age of concern. Up to you to gently nudge him into making decisions about what to do next.

I don't know if he could sign on for benefits.

Northernsoul58 Sun 03-Sep-17 14:53:27

Lou his school were very supportive and made arrangements to keep him attending, even if he didn't go to any classes. He did make some attempts to go in but it all got too stressful and by mid-June he just didn't go at all. School said he is welcome back in September. But he's refusing to talk about it with me, so I can only wait and see.

Enid I agree, DH and I have to accept that this is how things are, and if he can't go, he can't. His mental health is more important than anything. It's such a vulnerable age. That's why I wondered whether kids in these circumstances get a sick note to say they can't be in education, training or employment because they are not well enough, not because they can't be arsed.

ragged I hope you are right that the council won't follow this up. The less stress the better.

Does anybody know about fees for A levels. If he signs up to a two year A level course in September 2018, when he's 18, will he have to pay fees? For one year or two? We're not pushing him down this route, it is what he wants to do, but he's just unwell right now and it seems counter-productive to push him before he's ready. On the other hand we can't really afford to pay for A levels if he also wants to go to university and we need to support him through that.

OP’s posts: |
Saracen Sun 03-Sep-17 23:21:41

There will certainly be no hassle from officials over this.

Your son finished compulsory school age at the end of Y11 and that's when your legal duty to ensure he was educated ceased. Now he is theoretically required to be in education or training until his 18th birthday (his responsibility now, not yours). However, there are no criminal penalties for failure to comply. He will not get into trouble.

He might possibly be contacted by someone from the council wanting to help, to see whether they can signpost him toward any suitable opportunities. The council is also likely to want to track his education because they are required to present statistics on this - so don't be alarmed if he gets a letter or phone call.

The only serious immediate problem which he and you may face is that benefit eligibility will be affected. If he leaves FT education, you can no longer receive Child Benefit or Tax Credits for him. I have an idea there is some sort of benefit you can claim for a young person who is too ill for education, but that it's quite hard to qualify.

Good luck to you and your son flowers I hope he will start feeling more positive soon.

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