School attendance concerns
Unless a child is genuinely ill, there should never be any discussion about whether or not a child will be going to school on that day. Parents should give their children a positive attitude towards education and school from the earliest opportunity. If a school identifies a child as having low attendance, letters expressing their concern will be sent by the school and to ask parents to get in touch. The attendance service is also notified.
Challenging behaviour at school
Children who are stressed, worried, or unhappy will struggle to engage with school work, whether the issues are school related or not. This might result in:
- school non attendance
- truanting and exclusions
- challenging behaviour such as aggression, physical and verbal abuse
- falling behind on schoolwork or homework
If you are concerned about your child's learning or behaviour, you may be unsure about how best to support them. It's important to have a good line of communication between parent and teacher, with each of you seeing your roles as complementary and inclusive. You have a right to expect and ask for help. Sometimes things happen that make going to school difficult for your child. Common problems include falling out with friends, finding schoolwork too hard and being bullied, and tackling these early on makes all the difference. You may be able to help them by:
- Letting them know that you care and want to help.
- Asking if they can think of anything helpful that you could do.
- Speaking to their teacher and ask what the school could do to help.
- Encouraging them to join after-school clubs or activities.
- Taking things slowly, one step at a time.
You could ask the school to introduce a home/school book which gives you the opportunity to communicate with your child’s teacher on a daily basis. They would write updates, successes or issues in the book for you to read and you can do the same about things at home. This ensures that you are both sharing information and being consistent.
Parents' evening is a great opportunity to speak to your child’s teacher about how they are getting on and what support you can provide at home. It is also a platform where you can talk about your concerns or things your child is interested in. It is important to ensure you attend the meetings with the teachers so you are aware of what is going on at school for your child.
Accessing alternative provision due to behavioural problems
Peterborough Pupil Referral Service works across the city with over 500 children and young people aged 4 to 16 each year who are not accessing mainstream school for a variety of reasons, including:
- being permanently excluded from school
- being at risk of permanent exclusion from school
- having additional emotional, social and behavioural needs which are best met in a non-mainstream education setting
- being in KS4, without a school place and meeting one of the other criteria listed above.
Headteachers can exclude your child if they misbehave in or outside school. Your child’s school will let you know about an exclusion as soon as possible. They’ll follow up with a letter telling you how long your child is excluded for and why. More information can be found on the GOV.uk website.
Missing from education
Children Missing Education (CME) refers to ‘any child of compulsory school age who is not registered at any formally approved education activity (eg school, alternative provision, elective home education) and has been out of education provision for a substantial period of time (usually agreed as 4 weeks)’.
For every referral of a child missing education the Local Authority will run checks on education/social care databases and liaise with relevant professionals regarding potential child protection/SEN concerns.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01733 864028
How to access support
Most children experiencing difficulties in school, putting them at risk of exclusion, will be offered support by their school. This may be in the form of an Early Help Assessment completed with the family to identify any concerns and subsequently identify services to provide support to the child, young person and/or family.
If you have any concerns please speak with your child’s school in the first instance. There are also local support services accessed:
- Via school such as counselling for the child and/or parenting support for parents
- Via Behaviour Panel or the Multi Agency Support Group
However, in the first instance, please speak with your child’s school to discuss how to access these.