School Refuser - The Blog

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Site patterns

I have noticed that visitors to the site peak mid-week, with a distinct fall in numbers at the weekends.

Are we all relaxing at the weekend? Do our problems go away? Or are we just avoiding the issue.

The fall in site visitor numbers during holiday periods is to be expected, but I am wondering if doing enough for our children at the weekends. Perhaps we are getting the support we need from elsewhere, and we only revert to the Forum when desperate for peer support.

It would be interesting to know.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Getting help - or not

From a previous life, on an operational tour in the army, I recall my boss returning from a visit to Headquarters, where he was seeking support for a particular task the regiment had been given.

Looking totally frustrated, he reported that he had been offered all possible assistance - apart from any practical help.

Why is it that so often this seems to be what happens to us, as the parents of a school refuser? Reading a recent entry in the Forum, I see that this is once again the case.

Oh dear!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Mum fined because child 'refuses to go to school'

The Burton Mail reports that Kathleen Harvey appeared at Burton Magistrates’ Court to plead guilty to failing to ensure her son, XXXX, regularly attends school.

Magistrate, Tony Winterton, said: “Your son’s records are very poor. It is your responsibility to make sure he goes and you’re going to have to try something else to get him to go.

“We are sentencing you for a small period but you will probably find yourself back before the courts because he hasn’t been back to school once since you were handed the fixed penalty notice.”

Harvey was handed a £100 fine and made to pay £50 in costs and a £15 victim surcharge fee.

This seems on the surface as an example of a family in real need of help, and just being punished for their situation.

Another concern is with the Burton Mail, which published the boys name (deleted above)?

You can read the article here:

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Hosting problems

Apologies all around to those who were unable to find the site today.

I changed my hosting arrangements and lost some of the functionality whilst this was in progress.

Hopefully, we are back up and running again now.


Thursday, 9 June 2011

More resources (US based)

I am aware that lots of resources are being shared in the Forum. Here are a few that I have come across recently:
OCD Chicago serves adults and children with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, their families, and the professionals who treat them. The organization also works to boost public awareness of OCD.
A service of New York University, Child Study Institute, provides information on a wide range of children's mental health issues.
The Academy of Cognitive Therapy provides information and referrals for therapists in your area.
Anxiety Disorders Association of America website provides information and referrals for therapists in your area.
The Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy provides information and referrals for therapists in your area.
The Obsessive Compulsive Foundation provides information and referrals for therapists in your area.
Association for Comprehensive Neurotherapy provides information about alternative and complementary treatment for Autism, Tourettes and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
National Association of School Psychologists website offers excellent crisis intervention resources in multiple languages on such topics as war, terrorism, suicide.
National Institute of Health site offers links to information about Pediatric Autoimmune Disorder Associated with Strep (PANDAS).
An interactive site about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder for kids, parents, and therapists.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Anxiety Action - giving support by email.

Anxiety Action was founded 21 years ago with the help of some very dedicated volunteers. They have helped many people suffering from Anxiety, be it Panic Attacks, Agoraphobia, Social Phobia or free floating Anxiety. A non profit making voluntary organisation, Anxiety Action has helped many people towards recovery.

Support is provided via email, with one to one contact, helping towards recovery.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Support for Learners - Scotland

All children and young people from birth-25 are entitled to support with their education, wherever they learn. Some children need support throughout their education linked to disability or health needs, social or emotional factors. Others may need help at a specific time, for a short period or a number of years. It doesn’t mean they lack skills and abilities.

A new leaflet has been issued by the Scottish Government outlining the support learners are entitled to.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Is there such a thing as school phobia? - BBC

Writing in the BBC Magazine, Finlo Rohrer asks 'Is there such a thing as school phobia?'

Most adults can remember days when they vehemently didn't want to go to school, he writes.

There would be protestations of illness, and of the danger of passing on an unpleasant disease, before the eventual acceptance that the journey into school was inevitable.

So many might react with scepticism to the idea that there is such a thing as "school phobia".

But, says Nigel Blagg, author of School Phobia and Its Treatment, (Available in our Book Store) it is a condition that has been recognised since the 1960s.

"They will experience extreme anxiety. They are off school, typically with their parents' knowledge and approval. And they often have symptoms like tummy aches, head aches and nausea. Some of them suffer severely with depression.

"Any attempts to get them to school, when they are at their worst can lead to quite extreme behaviour - temper tantrums, screaming, kicking. It is very distressing for the adults."

Ann Newstead, a spokesperson for the home tuition charity Education Otherwise, says school phobia is a "very real condition".

"I see a lot of families where they are in that situation - you only have to meet the children and families to see that it's not a made up condition. It's genuine. Not sending your child to school is something parents can be prosecuted for. You don't risk prosecution lightly."

"You wouldn't dream of forcing an adult to engage in an environment that wasn't beneficial to them. So why do we think it's ok to treat children in this way?"

You can read the full article here>>>

Monday, 31 January 2011

Parent Partnership Services (PPS

Parent Partnership Services (PPS) are statutory services offering information advice and support to parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs (SEN). PPS are also able to put parents in touch with other local and national organisations.

PPS have a role in making sure that parents’ views are heard and understood and that these views inform local policy and practice.

PPS are based with a voluntary organisation, with the Local Authority (LA) or Children’s Trust.

All Parent Partnership Services, wherever they are based, are at ‘arm’s length’ from the LA and the services they provide are confidential and impartial.

The services offered by individual PPS will vary but all will be able to provide information and advice about:

How special educational needs are identified and assessed by schools and the local authority
Who parents can talk to in a school or LA about their concerns
The SEN Code of Practice, the statutory assessment process and statements
Parents/carers rights and responsibilities
Meetings and reviews about a child’s needs
How progress is monitored and reviewed
What parents can do if they are not happy with a decision made about their child’s SEN

Each PPS develops its own local aims based on national guidelines.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

When school is too scary

As a teacher, Charlotte Morbey had always been sceptical about school phobia until her son threatened to jump from the window sill.

She thought she knew about school phobia. In common with colleagues, she used the terms "school phobia" and "school refusal" interchangeably. She was sympathetic but sceptical. She felt it was probably exaggerated and pandered to by parents who colluded with difficult children for a quiet life.

Then Charlotte's son developed school phobia. It started with headaches and stomach pains every day. Her first thought was that he was making them up, but they seemed genuine. They talked about school - was he being bullied; was the work too hard; did he have friends? Everything was fine, he said. He just felt ill.

You can read this story here>>>

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Support our Forum

Our Forum has just exceeded the capacity allowed for the current free service. To continue to provide the service, I have had to go 'Pro'.

Sadly, I am not in a position to provide for all the costs associated with running the School Refuser website, and must ask for assistance with covering the running costs.

If you are in a position to provide a small donation to defray the costs, please use the donation widget below. You can make donations in any currency. The system will transfer the money to me.

Thank you! This will have the added advantage of removing the ads from the Forum, which has got to be a good thing.