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.
My grandson who is 11 has just been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Unfortunately he is not coping with this very well. He has always had a very bad temper and has been quite uncontrollable at times. Now he has taken to smashing up his room and he is hating school and it's getting more difficult to get him to go, his mother has just managed too. His mother is a single parent and I'm not sure how long her mental health can stay stable. She really needs some help, what can you advise please? If you cannot could you put us in touch with someone that can?
Sorry to hear that your grandson is not coping well with his diagnosis - the specialist nurses for diabetes are a great support for families and schools - as children find it more difficult to deal with a new diagnosis if families feel worried.
What are the steps a school can take to promote mental health among students?
The mental health of children and young people is increasingly seen as a fundamental consideration for schools. This is a step in the right direction for all students but even more so for those living with chronic medical and mental health needs. A place to start is by looking at these resource https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/supporting-mental-health-in-schools-and-colleges. Lots of useful research based information on how schools can promote the mental health of students through policy and practice. Additionally, the PSHE association produces guidance and a range of teaching plans and resources for schools. https://www.pshe-association.org.uk/curriculum-and-resources/resources/guidance-preparing-teach-about-mental-health-and