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Vulnerable pupil - what do you think?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by clawthorpegirl, Apr 8, 2020.

  1. clawthorpegirl

    clawthorpegirl New commenter


    I’m a bit torn about one of my school’s vulnerable pupils and whether they should be encouraged to attend school at the moment or not, trying to be brief the situation is
    - Yr6 pupil with EHCP for SEMH, top band funding, managing well in school currently with very high level of support
    - also a LAC currently in a residential setting, team of carers to keep him safe at home, large house in very large grounds, quite a rural setting
    - about 30 mins to school
    - very few children attending currently, none in his year or who he would identify as a friend
    - different staff depending on rota, some he will know well and some he won’t know much at all.
    - it’s very much childcare (rightly so) with as much time as possible outdoors or sitting spread around a classroom on laptops to access work from school blog, drawing or craft activities
    - on days without certain adults I think he’ll struggle in school and may become unsafe ie refusing to do as told when time to come inside or when told to go back to his space.

    I think the advice to schools is contradictory as on one hand children must stay at home and only send to school if you have to because your work is critical and on the other children who have a social worker should continue to attend school.

    So far not been attending school, last spoke to carers (and pupil) on phone Friday and all been fine at home. All the other children (at range of different schools) not attending any setting for next two weeks during what would have been Easter holidays.

    Clearly not just my decision but am interested to know what other schools have done in similar circumstances.

  2. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    He doesn't need to, does he? He has perfectly adequate provision outside school. Better, probably
  3. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Sounds as if he's as safe as possible where he is, as well as secure and happy with people he knows. If it were my decision, I'd leave him there - definitely through the holidays.
    Morninglover and agathamorse like this.
  4. clawthorpegirl

    clawthorpegirl New commenter

    Thanks for replying - on the whole I agree, I don’t want him to feel ‘abandoned’ by school (story of his life) but I don’t think the benefits out way the negatives.

    Feeling a bit of pressure from the carers, although have had a few sensible conversations with them, and had a tricky email from one of the company directors questioning why school weren’t offering an education at this time?

    I imagine the all children with a social worker rule is focused more at children at CiN or CP where they still live in potentially unsafe family situations.
    agathamorse likes this.
  5. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

    So long as you have examined the circumstances and determined that staying at home is the safest and most appropriate course of action that is it. Probably need to ensure you have documented the rationale and have contingency if home circumstances change. Included in this would probably be guidance for the home on what education could be taking place.
  6. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    That is a completely different question
    jlishman2158 and agathamorse like this.
  7. PGCE_tutor

    PGCE_tutor New commenter

    Does it have to be all or nothing? Could he come in on the days that the staff he knows well are in?
    Part of the LAC/vulnerable provision (as opposed to children of key workers) is that the school has systems to monitor well-being/welfare.
    jlishman2158 and agathamorse like this.
  8. Lalex123

    Lalex123 Established commenter

    If the child is safe where he is, surely that’s the best place for him? Coming into school could put him and his careers in danger of catching the virus. Do any of them have underlying health conditions?

    It’s interesting that as a profession we often take on responsibilities that are not our own because we want to make sure children are safe and happy, which is great, but just because he has an EHCP doesn’t mean he is forced into school. There will be children out there who are having a hellish time at home but don’t have an EHCP so are unable to be in school. We are educators. Yes we have a duty of care and want the children to be safe, but if the carers want the child at home and the home is safe for the child, why would school want to force the child to come in when lives are at risk?
    jlishman2158 and agathamorse like this.
  9. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    These points alone tell me he is better off at home.
    School should be offering something approaching education for him to do at home?

    He won't feel abandoned by school if you continue to phone regularly and speak to him as well as his carers.
  10. clawthorpegirl

    clawthorpegirl New commenter

    Thanks again for replies, really helpful.

    I’ve spoken to him a couple of times on the phone and his class teacher and TA are also going to ring on days they are in school.

    Sorry I wasn’t very clear - he has a home learning timetable, work pack and lots of interaction on the school blog - the email was querying why he hadn’t been attending school each day.

    I’ll see what tone the next conversation with his Carers takes ...
    jlishman2158 and agathamorse like this.
  11. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Presumably because his carers haven't sent him in?
    If they felt it was a good idea for him to have a day or two at school, emotional and mental health wise, then have him in school, of course.
    But let them and him make the decision.
    jlishman2158 and agathamorse like this.
  12. lrw22

    lrw22 Established commenter

    We have children who meet the vulnerable criteria as they have social workers. However, they are all in secure, happy, long term foster placements so can very safely remain at home. It sounds like this child is in a very similar situation so wouldn't need to be in school.
  13. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

    From this it sounds as though the Company Director (I presume the company who pays the carers) is not happy that they are having to pay for his care during the day.

    The guidance from the Government though is clear: https://www.gov.uk/government/publi...uidance-for-schools-about-temporarily-closing

    Financial implications are not a deciding factor in whether he should be attending school, the guidance is very clear that he should be in the safest place possible.

    "We have asked parents to keep their children at home wherever possible, and for schools to remain open only for children who are vulnerable and for those children of workers critical to the coronavirus (COVID-19) response who absolutely need to attend."

    Further guidance on 'vulnerable' is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publi...dance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people

    "Those with an EHC plan should be risk-assessed by their school or college in consultation with the local authority (LA) and parents, to decide whether they need to continue to be offered a school or college place in order to meet their needs, or whether they can safely have their needs met at home. "
    jlishman2158 and agathamorse like this.

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