school refusers

a resource for parents 

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School Refusal
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How are you managing?

Hi everyone,

How are you managing?
The forum is quieter these days. I suspect...well I really hope...that it means you are able to find help elsewhere or there is more help out there to support in some way. Hang in there if you are struggling. Always someone here to listen, support and help if you need it.

Re: How are you managing?

Hi Linda, Need help. Granddaughter age 9 Years. Threatened with court. School want medical proof that anxiety is medical reason for non attendance. Emotional wellbeing and gp won't say as they want her back to school. School not helpful. Problems at school and her father. Mother ill.

Re: How are you managing?

Hi Diane,

Things sound really tough for you all right now. So sorry to hear that.

Two things come to mind here.
1. GP does need to recognise this for what it is - and realise that by signing something they are not stopping your granddaughter going to school but assisting you to get the school off your/parents back.
2. Your granddaughter probably needs counselling (whether anxiety or due to home situation)

If you can afford it - I would be looking at counselling for her sooner rather than later - to ensure your granddaughter is able to talk to someone about her anxiety as well as the home situation. The school should be providing this but it might not be the best place for her to feel able to express herself and no good if she is unable to attend. My son was better seeing someone outside of the school.

What is your gut feeling? Do you think your granddaughter had anxiety prior to issues at home or is it a result of the current situation? Is the school aware of this? Do you think your daughter is wanting to stay home because she is worried about her mother?

See if you can make the GP (or another GP?) understand that a recognition in writing from him/her is to stop the threat of court, not to stop her going to school. Forcing a child to school is not the answer either.
Has the school taken steps to have your granddaughter assessed by CAMHS?

Take down notes regarding what the school has or hasn't done. This will be very useful later if the threats continue.
Have a look on previous posts on the forum here about education policy and students that are ill (physical or mental).

As for school work. Schools don't always see it this way but sending work home or via email is a way of keeping a school refuser up to date so that going back doesn't make them feel so left out. And does she have friends? Can she keep in touch with these? Are you able to do some work with her? Have a look on-line and see what is available (via posts on here too as well as in our resource section). Also just doing educational things with her - and trying to encourage her to keep up any hobbies or take up some.

I don't feel I have been all that helpful - but just remember that you are not alone - and assure your granddaughter that you will do all you can to support her and make her feel better. Assure her mother too that this will get better.
The sooner the support is in place - the sooner steps forward will be made. But missing school is not the end of the world. Our kids make it in the end but not in a straight line.
Come on here any time and feel free to ask any questions - it is often a bewildering time and knowing where to turn is difficult but sometimes just sharing helps. Everyone on here knows what you are going through.
Take care

Re: How are you managing?

Thanks Linda. will try a different gp. Seeing psychologist week after next. Education threatening court unless we get someone to say anxiety is a medical condition stopping her from going to school. will look at previous posts.

Re: How are you managing?


Stumbled across the site today.....Where do i start?

14yr old Daughter has had problems since Christmas where she wont go in. Simple question at this threats work?" Tried lots of other things with limited to no success, but i know how much she loves her gadgets....if i take them away will it help or just make matters worse...i know their will be tantrums, but will they be worth the pain?


Re: How are you managing?

I am just going to be practical - and probably no help!
We are all different and all our children are different, so there is no one size fits all here.
We entered into a bargain with our daughter over 'gadgets'. Initially it was the Playstation, but we found withdrawing it was detrimental to the situation, as she lost contact with gaming friends having already lost contact with her school friends, and became more withdrawn.
Later, it was her mobile phone, but we were not aware that her teachers were trying to set home work by texting her, so that was a backward step! Not that she actually did any, but there was a continuing school/pupil contact, and a physical indication that someone actually cared about her. My youngest child has all her homework, revision schedules, etc, posted online, so withdrawing the phone/laptop would definitely be the wrong thing to do, though perhaps a timetabled usage would work, and if that usage were in a public area which encourages the move from out of under the duvet.
You have friends here! Use us!

Re: How are you managing?

Diane, this is your child and you are in charge! Don't let the school bully you (OK, easier said than done!)
Check what they are doing. Ask for outcomes from previous meetings where the school has said it will take action.
Have they offered a special timetable? Have they offered a quiet place to study/teach? Have they mentioned tutoring?
Your part of the bargain is to ensure your child gets an education. Their's is to deliver it. It is teamwork.
Smart, businesslike dresswear; smart businesslike attitude; well prepared with notes to hand - that's the way to approach this. This is your child and you are in charge!

Re: How are you managing?

Thanks Simon,

Appreciate your post. Some of the things you mention make 100% sense to me. I have big fears of removing the xbox and phone as that is the only place that she communicates with the close friends she has...none of these go her school.

Reading through the many forum posts has been really useful to me, to see how others have the issue, to see how they cope and to read practical thoughts and ideas of what to do next!

Tomorrow is Monday, a day the rest of the family fear, how will she be, what will she react like, will she go in, will she sleep tonight???

Afer a big family discussion last week and a further visit to the drs, We are currently on a plan....hoping she goes in for 2nd lesson tomorrow, 1st lesson Tuesday and form the rest of the week, i doubt it will happen but can only try.

One difference i have noted between my daughter and many of the others is that once she does get in to school , her fears and issues do diminish, and generally she does manage to get through the rest of the day without too much problem...that gives us hope i guess!

Lets see what tomorrow brings and i will check back in to share.....Glad i found this place....thanks!

Re: How are you managing?

thanks Simon.School not providing anything. we have asked for any work but they won't go e anything. they don't believe that anxiety is a medical or mental condition. they just think she is naughty. we tried taking away ipad but it escalated the situation.Her sleep pattern is really disturbed. she tries to keep awake at night and sleep in day. everything is unauthorised, even when she had head injury and visited A & E 3 times in one week severe headaches. Emotnal wellbeing now involved again and hopefully they will help. we are going to try a different go to help get education off our backs.

Re: How are you managing?

thanks dj.
She didn't get to sleep until 3am. trying to wake up now. she loves school when she goes but it is getting her there. she goes for a few days then refuses again. she had bad teacher last school year and few accidents at school which doesn't help. Headmaster not helpful. Thinking of changing schools. Has one more year at primary.

Re: How are you managing?

Hi Diane

Just wondering how things are with your grandaughter? Have you been able to find a new GP or psychologist that can help?
Have you managed to get the school authorities off your back?
Hoping some help came your way and your grandaughter is receiving the help and support she needs.
Take care

Re: How are you managing?

Hi Linda. Managed to get granddaughter back to school for the last 3days of term. She says she will go in September as will be year 6. She does get very anxious about the slightest things. Seeing a psychologist monthly but awaiting therapy. They say she can't start until back to school, but needed therapy to enable her to go back.

Re: How are you managing?

Glad to hear she went for those last three days as it might be the link needed for the new start in year 6. Hoping the therapy helos and the psychologist. All the best!

Re: How are you managing?

Hi dj

My 14 year old is the same once I get him to school which is rare he is fine no problems and people just don't see the actual nightmare we have gone through to get him there, I think it's the thought of going rather than what happens when he gets there 😩