School Refuser - The Blog

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

A letter to EWO

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your ongoing interest in my child. I am pleased to see that we share the same commitment to providing my child with a suitable education.

I would like to direct you to to the 1996 Education Act "The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him to receive efficient full-time education suitable ;
a) to his age, ability, and aptitude, and
b) to any special educational needs he may have,
either by regular attendance at school or otherwise."

My child has school phobia, also known as "school refusal"or "school based anxiety." This is a recognised condition whereby children are unable to go to school due to mental health issues. This is clearly, therefore, a special educational need; indeed, it also can be categorised as a disability according to the definition of the Disability Discrimination Act. As such, we must work together to look at a “suitable education”, which may not at this time be a school-based education. Other Local Authorities provide support for pupils with school phobia such as home tutoring or internet schools and I am keen to discuss options such as these with you (I am a member of an internet support group for parents with school phobic children and can assure you that most Local Authorities work hard to fulfil their legal and statutory duties to provide children such as mine with a suitable education.) I am also keen to work with other agencies that could help my child access his education entitlement.

It is vital that we work together at this time to support my child. (I am extremely unhappy that the Educational Welfare Service for ….Council has failed to recognise my child’s needs and chosen to pursue a discriminatory approach in this instance. I would like to direct you to the case of East Suffolk Local Authority and remind you that there is a legal precedent for a council being found guilty of failing a child like mine who had been diagnosed with school phobia. Should you seek to pursue a case against me, I will not hesitate to seek legal representation and challenge your service under the Disability Discrimination Act .I will also make a formal complaint to the Local Authority, consult SENDIST and approach the media.) If you feel that this is outside your personal experience, I would be grateful if you would refer this to a Senior Educational Welfare Officer.

I feel we need to arrange a further meeting as soon as possible to discuss how we can work together to help my child.

Yours sincerely,

Your name

I am unsure as to the origins of the above letter, but it may be useful to someone battling with their education authority over thier child's education.

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