What can parents do to prevent the LEA fining them?
Parents can take several steps to prevent the Local Education Authority (LEA) from fining them because their child is unable to attend school due to mental ill-health:
- Seek professional help: Parents should seek professional help from a mental health professional such as a child and adolescent psychiatrist, a clinical psychologist, or a therapist. A mental health professional can help to identify the underlying cause of the child’s school refusal and develop a plan to address the problem.
- Communicate with the school: Parents should communicate with the school and inform them of the child’s mental ill-health and the reasons why the child is unable to attend school. They should provide the school with any medical or psychological assessments that have been conducted.
- Provide evidence: Parents should provide the school and the LEA with any evidence of the child’s mental ill-health, such as medical or psychological assessments, and any letters from mental health professionals, to support their case. As the GP would have been involved in health of the child – they will be happy to write a letter to support this (there is a cost involved).
- Request an assessment: Parents should request that the school conducts an assessment to determine if the child has any special educational needs (SEN) and if so, request that the LEA provides support under the SEN Code of Practice.
- Consider alternative education options: If the child is unable to attend mainstream school, parents can consider alternative education.
- Follow up and monitoring: Following up and monitoring the child’s progress and providing ongoing support is crucial for the child’s success.