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Advice needed- what to home school daughter!
  • Hi!
    I have a 14yr old daughter who is ASD diagnosed but awaiting PDA diagnosis, she has refused to go to school this school year. She is extremely anxious and just can't cope with school. She is statemented and receives full 1to1 support. We have an Early help worker and the school has been brilliant, they have reduced her timetable to 1 to 2 lessons a day and she still won't go and the school have said she can just come in for an hour a day. The attendance officer has now been in contact with the council so the next thing is fines and then court!! I've decided the best step is to home school as she is socially anxious so a special needs school wouldn't help! I don't know where to start to go about it. I know I have to write to the school and council about removing her from school. Would I get funding for her as I've looked at the curriculum packs and they're very expensive?? Or is there free stuff! What do i do next? Thank you x
  • My daughter was signed off sick due to anxiety about 18 months ago. She was then referred to our local Hospital Education Service and has been having lessons with them ever since. Tutors come to the house to do one to one with her and they have been amazing, so understanding about ASD/PDA and so supportive to all of us. She’s still on roll at her secondary school, but I don’t think she’ll ever go back there. Need to keep her on roll to get Hospital Ed though. Maybe there’s something similar your daughter could access?
  • HarHer
    Posts: 347
    My youngest son began refusing school at the end of Y9/beginning of Y10. The school tried everything. However, it was obvious that there were profound issues with anxiety and he stopped seeing his friends, going into shops and even going out of the house, so he was signed off school for medical reasons.

    He was kept on the school roll, but received tuition from tutors attached to a local PRU (they took students for medical reasons and/or behavioural problems).

    The one thing that worked for my son was consistency. For too long, the PRU would send any tutor who was available. This do not help my son because his anxiety escalated with people he did not know. However, in the end, he had tuition from a really good tutor who built up a rapport with my son.

    Although my son would not do homework, we would embed educational activities into some of the practical things he liked. However, it always had to be student-led, he would tell us what length of wood, for example, he needed to build a bench and so on.

    Sorry for rambling.
  • Thank u both.
    The next place my daughter can go is a hospital school but it's nearly an hour away so she would taxi there and back but cos her anxieties are manly social I don't think she will be any happier. I'm at a tac meeting on Tuesday and I'm going to tell them.i want to withdraw her from school. I think she'll stay under her school but will be home educated. I've looked at the curriculum packs and they are very expensive. I don't know if i will get any funding but the school gets funding for her anyway. I hate seeing her so withdrawn and anxious. I've told her I'll be trying for home schooling and we did some homework together and she was really happy. Thank u again x
  • webbwebb
    Posts: 2,581
    Hi Kimbo

    You said your daughter has a Statement, are you in Wales?
    I think you should go into the meeting and first of all listen to what they have to say OR offer your daughter.

    There is Medical Tuition Team - for pupils who can't attend school due to anxiety - She would be taught at home possibly 5 hours per week (you could do more with your daughter).

    There are Private Providers - Teams of Teachers who the LA could fund to educate your daughter possibly up to 15 hours per week - The 2 in my county are The Real Team and First Class - your LA will know who they use, you just need to ask them.

    Mainstream you have tried and you don't want Special schools - Have your LA got any very small Independent Schools, either mainstream or specialist?

    If you had an EHC Plan you could ask for a 'Personal Budget' ie £10,000-20,000 to pay for Private Tutors to come and educate her and pay for swimming or music lessons etc.
    A personal budget pays for all books etc.

    If you do eventually decide to Home Educate your daughter, you do need to write to the LA and say that this is what you feel is best to meet your childs SEN.
    (The LA can refuse but this is rare)

    I hope you can decide what is best for her.
  • Hi there,
    I'm in England.
    My daughter was doing really well in her old school, she had all her 1 to 1 hours reduced and was really independent but we moved to a different county and since then she has struggled! Her anxiety is really bad. This term she just refused to go and all the sen teachers are amazing but the attendance officer is awful, she wants things sorted too fast! I've had to get referred to camhs again cos it's a different county and it takes ages. She sent me back to the docs and cos they wouldn't put in an emergency referral she was fuming. They keep telling me the next thing will be fines. The only thing they've said is that the next step is a hospital school but it's quite far away and won't stop her anxieties. I've been reading up about what happens next so I can go into the meeting knowing a lot more. Thank you for the information, I really appreciate it. X
    Posts: 14
    I wonder if you could visit some of the special schools to discuss your daughter's needs, before making the definite decision to home school. It will be a huge commitment for you and your own mental health may be affected over time. The children with PDA in our special school have their own individual room and we find that by lunchtime they are usually requesting to leave and mingle for a bit as long as the option to retreat is always there. Our main aim is to keep them happy in a formal education setting - some days there is a lot of learning going on and other days we spend most of the day trying to reduce anxiety and help them stay regulated. We have more resources and specialist rooms to enable this. That's our job as teachers in a special school and that provision should be available wherever you live. Good luck with whatever you decide - as her Mum, you will know best!
  • webbwebb
    Posts: 2,581
    Hi Kimbo

    Sorry I mistook you for living in Wales, as you had mentioned your daughter has a 'Statement' I just assumed you lived in Wales as they still have Statements.
    I thought all English Statements had been converted to EHC Plans (by April 2018?).

    Be brave, be courageous and ask for all the options to be shared with you.
    The attendance officer can't fine you if you can get a letter from GP or CAMHS stating she can't attend school due to illness ie Anxiety!

  • It might also be worth asking for an early annual review if she has an Education Health and Care Plan. You could then discuss possible support for home tutoring or online courses etc. to be incorporated.

    Please have a read of this information:

    If you deregister her from school and electively home educate then the LA don't have to provide funding but if the provision (home tutor/ online tutoring service) is named in Education Health Care Plan then the Local Authority will still provide funding towards it.

    It might be worth checking with your local SENDIASS service (they used to be called parent partnerships) to see if they can give you any advice or support - if you google the name of the town/city you live and 'SENDIASS' you should be able to find details (or they will be on your town/ city's 'local offer' website)

    Also it might be worth contacting one of the big national charities for advice (e.g. IPSEA,
    or the National Autistic Societys education rights service:
    (these services can be busy but their advocates are trained in the legalities around SEN provision in schools so its worth keep trying to speak to someone).
    Good luck in getting her the right support.
  • Hello

    I have now been home educating my 15 year old daughter for almost 2 years, with a Personal Budget through her EHCP. Her Personal Budget includes 10 hours tutor time a week and therapy (although she currently cannot engage with tutors, so I teach her).

    I would also suggest calling an Emergency Review meeting with your case officer (& their manager if possible) and school to discuss options, particularly homeschooling with either a support package from school or, more flexibly, a personal budget (to cover tutors and any therapy needed).

    I am afraid that I do not have any advice about the attendance officer, as I never had that problem. However asking your GP to sign your daughter off with anxiety sounds very sensible.

    It will probably take a while to organise meetings with the case office and then get agreement to homeschooling. This will give you and your daughter time try some home learning and then you will be able to demonstrate (ie. write a report setting out what worked) to your case officer etc. that this the best solution for her.

    Do not worry too much about following the National Curriculum, focus on getting your daughter to feel success again, plus she may need a lot of time to de-stress from the experience of school. Any learning will likely need to be tailored to your daughter's interests and ability to engage in learning at that time. Ask your daughter to chose topics, perhaps giving her a choice of a few topics you guess she would find interesting. Then look for resources online (e.g. BBC Bitesize, BBC Teach videos, documentaries, museum websites often have educational resources, maths worksheets) or borrow books /worksheets from school or buy a second hand text book from Amazon (but try not to spend too much as your daughter's interests may change!). Also do not restrict yourself to academic subjects, you can do baking, cooking, craft, sport, etc. Just follow any interests your daughter may have. However, if possible, do try to get her out of the house daily for a walk, shopping, sports centre, visit a friend, any excuse, so that you both have social interaction, a little fresh air and do not become isolated. You may be able to find a local home-schooling network for support.

    Hope this helps and gives you a little confidence to get started.
  • Thank you all! You've all.helped so much! I'm going docs in the morning to get her signed off! My daughter is a lot happier since I've told her I'm going to sort something out so she doesn't have to go school. She's a lot calmer already. Thanks again and I'll let u know that what happens tomoz at the tac meeting x
  • Hi all,
    Sorry for late reply! The TAC meeting went really well, the school agreed that she was in the wrong setting. I've got her annual review tomoz and then the education psychologist weds. Hopefully tomorrow the L.A. will give funding for a tutor! I'll let u know. Thank u x

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