Hello, I am Beth and I have been a member of the School Refusal Facebook group since 2013.
Before that I was admin of the Yahoo group for School Refusal (originally set up by Mike Fortune-Wood who wrote the book Can’t Go, Won’t Go about his research into school refusal). The Yahoo group was my lifeline after my son began to school refuse in 2008, and that initial contact with other parents in a similar situation is what kept me sane in the early days.
My experiences of school anxiety and refusal, combined with the contact I have had with so many families who are struggling within the system, inspired me to enrol on an Education Studies degree in 2012. I was determined to find a way to help and to highlight this hidden and ignored problem. I wrote my dissertation, Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Parents Experiences of School Refusal, Within the Education System, with the help of some lovely parents in the Facebook group and it was given a score of 94%.
I now want to continue to research and I am excited to say that I have just been offered funding to begin a PhD study into Family Experiences of School Refusal; with the aim of identifying and developing a new model of support which reflects their needs.