School Refuser - The Blog

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Guide to parents' legal rights on school attendance in England

I was disappointed to discover that The Advisory Centre for Education had closed due to lack of funding.

However, ACE Education Advice CIC & ACE Education Training LLP are new ventures set up by ex-staff to continue some of the advice and training services provided by The Advisory Centre for Education.

Advice and information for parents is available via an adviceline and the popular My Child in School advice booklets are still available for download.

Amongst these is the pdf format leaflet 'Guide to parents' legal rights on school attendance' as it applies to England.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Alternative resources

Keen to help anyone who needs support and advice, we think that some may find the Facebook environment suited to their needs.

Set up by Kay Mawson, who has appeared on UK TV, the site is closed, so offers some privacy, depending on users' privacy settings.

Kay is a mother of two children. She has experience of her son's condition but also of her daughter's... ADHD and her learning difficulties/troubles. She has a BSc Forensic Psychology Degree and MSc Forensic Psychology Degree. Currently she is working on a voluntary basis supporting offenders as well as supporting parents of school phobic children and pushing awareness.

The linked School Phobia, Refusal & Anxiety In Children website has some resources not covered here, and also offers a 'Guestbook' enabling parents and others to exchange views. There is also a link to Kay's TV appearance.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

'School phobia' promotional video

Braodcast on Today Tonight, an Australia TV programme, on 1st August 2013

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Reigate support group meeting

Parents of school refusers, and those who have similar issues, meet on the last Friday of each month, from 7.30pm to 9.00pm at Reigate Baptist Church.

I am told that it is a very informal meeting – a chance to support each other, share learning, swap books and occasionally hear from guest speakers. 

Run a local support group for families of 'school refusers', based in Redhill, Surrey, it was established by two mums whose children are unable to go to school. Understanding the stress this creates, and how hard it can be to access the right help, they believe the best support comes from other families and their own experiences, and this group was set up to facilitate this shared learning.

Everyone is welcome, and you don't have to be local!

Further details from fran @ (remove the gaps).

*image taken from a new website due to be launched soon.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Ensuring a good education for children who cannot attend school because of health needs - Government policy for England and Wales.

Statutory guidance for local authorities.  January 2013

The Government’s policy intention is that all children, regardless of circumstance or setting should receive a good education to enable them to shape their own futures. Therefore alternative provision and the framework surrounding it should offer good quality education on par with that of mainstream schooling, along with the support pupils need to overcome barriers to attainment. This support should meet a pupil’s individual needs, including social and emotional needs, and enable them to thrive and prosper in the education system.

This is statutory guidance from the Department for Education. Local authorities (LAs) must have regard to it when carrying out their duty to arrange suitable full-time education (or part-time when appropriate for the child’s needs) for children ho are unable to attend a mainstream or special school because of their health. This duty applies to all children and young people who would normally attend mainstream schools, including Academies, Free Schools, independent schools and special schools, or where a child is not on the roll of a school. It applies equally whether a child cannot attend school at all or can only attend intermittently.

Read the Guidance

Friday, 26 April 2013

Empowered Parents Inspiring Change in Schools - EPIC

Klarity Belle is the mother of two teenage girls. Her eldest experienced bullying in primary school and has long since recovered from these challenges. She is now a compassionate, caring yet assertive and confident young woman. Klarity's  youngest had no significant problems in primary but in the first two years in secondary she became the target of a bullying campaign by a very manipulative and callous girl. Klarity has ten years experience in most matters bullying and anti-bullying and has begun to Blog about the family's journey through those years.

If you can help keep this website alive, please make a donation.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

ipad users

There is a technical problem with mobile devices, particularly Apple ipads, attempting to access the forum.
I have added a new link on the meu as a workaround which views the forum outside the website.
Or you can click here:

Keeping the website going is a rising expense.  I would be grateful if those who feel able would make a donation of whatever they feel is appropriate.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

ITV screen school phobia item

Amanda Egan revealed how sitting in her car outside her son Ben's school all day, every day, for three years, ensured he stayed in school.
Like many parents, Amanda was no stranger to the stresses of the morning school run.
However when her son Ben, now 17, began his first day in a new secondary school her world was turned upside down when he became terrified at the thought of going. Ben had developed crippling school refusal, an irrational fear of school or school situations.
To help her son beat his condition, Amanda sat outside the school grounds for three years. She joins us on the sofa with Ben and psychologist Laverne Antrobus to discuss school phobia.
The recording can be seen here:  - possibly UK only

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

New laws on attendance in Victoria, Australia

Linda has published news of new laws in her neck of the woods in an article in the Forum.

If a child is absent for more than 5 days per year without a reasonable excuse, then the school will be able to fine the parents $70. Reasons for absence that can be accepted include illness, disability and School Refusal. This acceptance of School Refusal is, I think a breakthrough. However, as Linda points out, it is the difficulty we have in explaining School Refusal to the school, especially in the early days, that could easily leave parents open to that fine.

Linda highlights other concerns that we should all consider.   for more.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Why force teenagers to get out of bed early?

On Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays 14- to 18-year-old pupils in a Tonbridge, Kent college start lessons at 11.30am – because research suggests that that teenagers' brains work better if they get up later.

There are few more powerful urges than the teenager's need to stay under the duvet when the morning school bell goes. Jon Barker, headteacher of Hugh Christie Technology College in Tonbridge, Kent accepts this and goes with the flow.

"Their punctuality and attendance has improved, their questioning and answering is better because they are more alert and the pace of lessons is often much quicker," Barker says.

Would this help a school refuser?  Read more in this 2009 article: