My daughter became ill at the beginning of this year and has been given a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. She is in year 10 and has missed so much school and I am worried about her education and the lack of it due to her condition.
This must be very worrying for you all, Year 10 is an important year. If possible we would suggest in the the first instance you talk to the school SENCo about your concerns and see what the school can offer by way of support. If she is missing school for extended periods, 3 weeks or more, then she is entitled to home tuition.
Check this link for more information: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/education-for-children-with-health-needs-who-cannot-attend-school
However the home school is responsible for ensuring that she is supported to access as much education as she can despite her medical condition.
My daughter is 16, and started her A level course this year. Last year she became ill and has not really attended school since. She sat her GCSE's in the medical room crying. She's only attended school about 5 days in total this term.
The hospital are doing tests to find out what the problem is. She is in constant pain, and I'm at a loss what to do. I constantly contact the doctors and the hospital for answers, but all the time she is sick she is not at school. All the while they are looking into her illness, she is missing vital lessons. The school have been great, sending work home, but I’m worried they'll lose patience with her, and even though she works hard, she's losing vital interaction with her teachers. I'd appreciate any advice you can give.
Your situation sounds very stressful for you and your daughter. The situation you describe and the feelings you have at the moment are not uncommon. It sounds as if your daughter’s school is supportive by sending work home. Please do not feel that this is a favour, all schools have a duty to support access to education for students with a medical condition. The school should have a policy on this and certainly your education authority should have a policy statement. If you have not already met with the school to discuss the current situation and your concerns I would suggest that you do this. This meeting could be with the Head of 6th form and the schools special Education Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO). At this meeting you could discuss the best way for your daughter to plan her time in relation to the subjects she is studying at A level. It may be helpful to focus on one or two subjects until she is well enough to attend school regularly. Having subject teachers email addresses so that work can be sent for marking and your daughter can ask questions about specific tasks could be helpful. Having access to text books and other teaching resources can be discussed. Also, do you have a school learning platform so that lesson notes and resouces can be accessed by your daughter when at home? Talking to the subject teachers directly can help in making sure that your daughter can undertake tasks appropriate to studying independently. With the rapid development of online teaching resources working independently when your daughter is feeling well enough can be interactive and fun. Stress about falling behind is not going to help. We suggest that the key thing to remember is that if the situation continues and daughter continues to miss a lot of school now, all is not lost. Many students spend more than 2 years getting their A levels and universities will take into consideration personal circumstances when looking at applications. (If university is something she wishes to pursue) If the situation continues and ultimately she needs to take more time to get her A levels, please be assured we have worked with many students at the hospital school who have been in this situation but have ultimately been successful, it’s just taken a bit more time and organisation.
I'm looking to find a list of alternative education establishments more suited to my daughter's needs. She has recently received a diagnosis of Autism, and even with support is very unhappy in mainstream school.
The simple answer is that there is not a list of alternative education establishments. Your local authority website should have details of all maintained schools in your area, mainstream and special schools and units. Some specialist units will be based in mainstream school. You may have done this already but we would suggest that you talk to the SENCo at your daughter’s school to see if adjustments can be made. There has been a growing demand for specialist provision for children diagnosed with Autistic spectrum disorders some schools now refer to themselves as serving children with complex needs. There are some independents schools such as those run by the National Autistic Society. In most cases your daughter would need an Education Health and Care Plan to be considered for specialist schools/provision.
You may find these links useful.