School Refusal Support Services - SRSS
     for School Phobia, School Refusal & Anxiety In Children

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LETTER TEMPLATES - SCHOOL

It occurred to us that we sign post many parents to other websites for Letter Templates. Due to the nature of School Refusal, not all letters widely available on the internet, were suitable.  We therefore have written three letters.   We have already had a successful response from parents so we're hoping that the same happens for you.  


Remember they are sample letters to give you an idea, so adjust them to suit your own circumstances.


Please note: that you can COPY & PASTE from the letter templates below.  Or if you prefer, you can Email Us for a copy.

Letter 1  :  Use this as the First Approach letter

Your Name

Address Information Here

Date:


School Information

Here




Dear Sir/Madam,

Re:

I feel that it is important to keep in contact with you and provide you with the information I have, based on my (Son/Daughter’s) difficulty in attending school.


My (Son/Daughter’s) is suffering from a Mental Health condition called School Refusal. School Refusal is an extreme anxiety which manifests itself in a child’s daily routine which in this case is school. My child reacts to these extreme feelings of fear in a physical response as any person would as their anxiety becomes intense. Such physical responses can see a child with School Refusal kicking, screaming and physically refusing to enter the grounds of the school in response to this overwhelming fear, the closer to the school premises they get. In our case what happens is ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………


School Refusal has a strong link to Autistic Spectrum Condition which is a Special Educational Needs supported condition. It must be noted that the anxiety side is a mental health condition to which the law protects. Additionally, the accompanying physical symptoms that are affecting my child’s ability to physically, emotionally and mentally attend school are considered a disability as outlined in the ‘Disability Discrimination Act’. Furthermore, the Law is written for Special Educational Needs students and the support and recognition they must receive. It must therefore be noted that it is not “I” as the parent that prevents my child from receiving an Education but the debilitating condition (he/she) continues to suffer.


I am aware that the UK Government provides Home Tuition in circumstances such as these, where a “child can’t attend because of illness or injury”. I am additionally aware that under the 1996 Education Act, that it is relevant for Schools to make policy adjustments for children such as mine, not for such a child to continue to fit the policies. Additionally, I have read the SEN Code of Practice which states the following:


Special educational needs and provision can be considered as falling under four broad areas.

1. Communication and interaction

2. Cognition and learning

3. Social, mental and emotional health

4. Sensory and/or physical




I would therefore like to take the opportunity to discuss this further or request (an official recognised assessment / or acknowledgement to reduce the in school hours via a revised timetable) in order for my child to make an attempt at coping with this condition. It is believed that these adjustments will help my child gain strength, confidence and security and by us both working together; also provide (him/her) dual support.


If you feel that you need further information about this condition, there has become a wealth of information on the internet, including a specialised support group that I am now a part of for advising and supporting parents. You may wish to gain further information from www.schoolrefusal.co.uk which is an Organisation known as School Refusal Support Services whom empower parents like us to work with schools in the hope that a supportive understanding can be achieved.

I feel it would now be beneficial if we could arrange a meeting as soon as possible to discuss proposed plans to maintain my child’s education, make a plan for official support and how we can come together to help my child.

Yours faithfully


Kindly Reminding you of:

  1. 2011 Education Act
  2. : SEN Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years Updated May 2015
  3. :Section 19
  4. Disability Discrimination Act
  5. Discrimination and mental illness - Equality Act 2010
  6. Section 17, or Section 47 of the Children Act 1989
  7. Children & Families Act 2014 – Section 3
  8. Mental Health Act 2014


Nb: Definition of Disability under the Equality Act is

 “if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities



Note: It may be a more affective letter if you issue this out to several parties including your local education authority. I many cases, they don’t even become aware. Please remember to delete this note before printing

Letter 2:  Use if you feel they are ignoring that this is a Mental Health Issue

Name

Your Address Here


(Date)


School Details




Dear Sir or Madam,


Re: (Child’s name and child’s date of birth)


Notification of Mental Illness


If you are awaiting a diagnosis – simply write underneath the header above, (undiagnosed – awaiting confirmation of Appointment) I am writing as the parent of the above child to request that my Son’s Mental Health condition be acknowledged, accepted and adjustments to School Policies be made in line with the Discrimination and Mental Illness - Equality Act 2010.

Recent behaviour, threats regarding (his/her) attendance and lack of support towards my child are classed as Indirect Discrimination under the Act and I therefore wish for consideration is given for the following:

Use the space below to write about recent events:

Example: My (Son/Daughter’s) is suffering from a Mental Health condition called School Refusal. School Refusal is an extreme anxiety which manifests itself in a child’s daily routine which in this case is school. My child reacts to these extreme feelings of fear in a physical response as any person would as their anxiety becomes intense. Such physical responses can see a child with School Refusal kicking, screaming and physically refusing to enter the grounds of the school in response to this overwhelming fear, the closer to the school premises they get. I have taken the necessary steps to contact my child’s GP who is Dr Metcalf Forrage Road Surgery and have a referral with CAMHS (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Team). We are now advised that an appointment with a Psychologist will follow but this can take up to 3-4 months.

(David’s) attendance has become reduced and this is due to the severe anxiety he experiences almost 16-24 hours a day. The physical symptoms include (Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sleep disturbances, violence, panic attacks, distress, stomach pain, low mood, depression etc Only put here what you’re child experiences) I have researched the condition and understand that School Refusal has a strong link to Autistic Spectrum Condition which is a Special Educational Needs supported condition. It must be noted that the anxiety side is a mental health condition to which the law protects. There is no reasoning with a child much like an adult with a severe phobia, so rewards stickers, removing the ‘PlayStation’ or mobile phone has no effect. I understand that the psychological team will be able to work with (David) to hopeful help him resume his schooling, but that recovery may take a very long time. They offer Cognitive Behavioral Therapy but I understand it will be down to me, (David) and yourselves to put theory (CBT) into practice at a gentle pace.

Have you spoke to the School already about these details? Who did you speak to and what was said?


Example:I spoke to the Deputy Head who gave me a look and said “you’re too soft with him” and she went on to say he must have 100% attendance or steps can be taken to prosecute. I just went home and shook. I have looked into this though and I know that due to the Mental Health Act that this is Discrimination and I cannot be prosecuted on these grounds. It is actually the act of saying this to me which is breeching the law. The SEN Code of Practice states that policies must be adjusted for children who fall into the SEN categories. Mental Illness is one of the four. At the minute, I feel like the adjustments are not being made and instead they are forcing my child to fit their policies. I have video evidence of (david) refusing against me making attempts to ‘drag’ him to the school. However, I have been informed that this will exacerbate the anxiety, much like an adult being dragged to a pit of snakes, and can be more damaging. Furthermore, this video evidence with me making such attempts are evidence that I am NOT preventing my child an education which is the terminology for prosecution. I am also providing (David) with work at home during the times he isn’t able to attend which is also evidence that I am not preventing my child an education.

What would do you need from the School:

Example: Some understanding over (David’s) condition and recognition for the distress this causes all of the family and that threats over attendance aren’t going to make a Mental Health Disorder vanish; it makes the distress and pressure worsen. The pressures from school are making me consider de-registration and home tuition until David is able to gain strength, recover and face schooling again. Therefore, I request that you stop issuing threats over attendance and help us work with David. Provide school work for home. Some support or sign posting to support David. Recognition that it is the debilitating symptoms that David suffers that prevent him from attending school, not myself as his parent; the latter being correct grounds for prosecution, if this were the case.

Yours sincerely,

(Sign and print your name)


Copies sent to :

  • LEA
  • Governors
  • GP
  • CAMHS


Kindly Reminding you of:

  1. 2011 Education Act
  2. : SEN Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years Updated May 2015
  3. :Section 19
  4. Disability Discrimination Act
  5. Discrimination and mental illness - Equality Act 2010
  6. Section 17, or Section 47 of the Children Act 1989
  7. Children & Families Act 2014 – Section 3
  8. Mental Health Act 2014


Nb: Definition of Disability under the Equality Act is 

if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities

Note: It may be a more affective letter if you issue this out to several parties including your local education authority. I many cases, they don’t even become aware. Please remember to delete this note before printing

Letter 3:  This letter is in response to Prosecution /  Attendance Threats

Your Name

Address


Date



School Info



Dear Sirs,


Child’s Name & DOB

Re: Prosecution Threats over Declining Attendance


I have now spoken to yourselves, making you aware of (Lily’s) Mental Health Illness and tried to explain to you that he has a condition called School Refusal which debilitates her and is continuing to worsen. School Refusal is an extreme anxiety which manifests itself in my child’s daily routine which is school. My child reacts to these extreme feelings of fear in a physical response as any person would as their anxiety becomes intense. Such physical responses can see a child with School Refusal kicking, screaming and physically refusing to enter the grounds of the school in response to this overwhelming fear, the closer to the school premises they get. School Refusal has a strong link to Autistic Spectrum Condition which is a Special Educational Needs supported condition. It must be noted that the anxiety side is a mental health condition to which the law protects. However, in my daughter’s case, you appear to be in breech of the Law that protects such individuals. More information can be found at www.schoolrefusal.co.uk.


Despite all of our efforts to communicate with you, your response has been to now issue a (Verbal/ Formal/ Letter) threatening ‘Action’ over Lily’s declining attendance despite the fact that we have given you as much information as possible about her Mental Health Illness and continued updates.


May I advise you that the (school’s/staff) recent behaviour and threats regarding (Lily’s) declining attendance and lack of support towards my child are classed as Indirect Discrimination under the Discrimination and Mental Illness - Equality Act 2010 and it is therefore you that is breaking the law by failing to make the relevant adjustments to your policies for a Mental Illness concern! I am saddened that the Education System has discriminated Lily instead of supporting or recognising her daily struggle with Mental Illness.

I would like to direct you to a number of failed cases that have entered the Courts of this nature which were consequentially ‘thrown out’ once the presiding Magistrate became aware that Mental Health was a factor. I will have no issue in finding suitable representation, both through the legal route and media to expose how our Education System discriminated in such an insensate manor towards a child with Mental Illness.


Yours faithfully


Your Name


Kindly Reminding you of:

  1. 2011 Education Act
  2. : SEN Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years Updated May 2015
  3. :Section 19
  4. Disability Discrimination Act
  5. Discrimination and mental illness - Equality Act 2010
  6. Section 17, or Section 47 of the Children Act 1989
  7. Children & Families Act 2014 – Section 3
  8. Mental Health Act 2014

Nb: Definition of Disability under the Equality Act is “if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities

Copies sent to :

  • LEA
  • Governors
  • GP
  • CAMHS

Note: It may be a more affective letter if you issue this out to several parties including your local education authority. I many cases, they don’t even become aware. Please remember to delete this note before printing


Letter 4: Informing the Board of Governors

Your Name

Address

Date

The Board Of Governors

School Info

Dear Sirs,

Child’s Name & DOB

Re: Ongoing Issues

Dear (Chairman’s Name )

I wish to make you aware of some issues that we have faced concerning my son/daughter.

I have spoken to staff within school regards my child’s issues …………………………………………………………….……………………................

......add what you can here to make things clear................ ……………………………………………………………………………………………………....................................................………………………………………………………

It is clear to me/us as parent(s) of ‘Katy’ that she is suffering severe Anxiety which I am aware is a Mental Health Illness protected by Law. I/we have attempted several times to liaise with the school but have found a level of unco-operation on their behalf. The reasons I make this statement is because: …………………………………………………….…………………………………………………………………………..............................

……add a diary of events so they can see how…………………………

……school/staff are behaving or lacking in action…………..........

……attach a diary to your letter if this is better..……………………

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..................................................

I am aware that the extreme anxiety is debilitating my child to the extreme that he/she is now unable to: ……………………………………………………………………………………………………

……………………list the daily struggles and issues………..……………

……………………include any reports, drs letters as ....………………

……………………………evidence to your claims……..………........……… .............................................…………………………………………………………


As a family, we are now considering our options which are:


  1. Escalating matters to the Education Department
  2. Looking into this matter on a legal level
  3. De-registering my child


I have attached evidence of:

  1. Letters
  2. Emails
  3. Work from home diary (if pending prosecution/threats)
  4. Medical Reports
  5. Doctors Letter
  6. Appointment Cards

(add anything and everything you have in order to prove that you are trying and school are not co-operating).


Even though I have continued to do everything in my power to do everything I/we can, I now feel its gotten to the stage where I believe several laws are being breached. For example, the definition of ‘Disability’ under the Equality Act is “if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities”, my child cannot function daily, due to the level of extreme anxiety he/she suffers 24/7. It is a known fact that this anxiety is a comorbidity to another disability such as Autism, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, ADHD,PDA, PANDAS and more. I believe / know my child has ………………………..More information can be found at www.schoolrefusal.co.uk


I will look forward to your reply. A written response will be required.


Yours faithfully

(your signature and info here)


Copies sent to :

  • Legal
  • GP
  • CAMHS


Kindly Reminding you of:

  1. 2011 Education Act
  2. : SEN Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years Updated May 2015
  3. :Section 19
  4. Disability Discrimination Act
  5. Discrimination and mental illness - Equality Act 2010
  6. Section 17, or Section 47 of the Children Act 1989
  7. Children & Families Act 2014 – Section 3
  8. Mental Health Act 2014


Note: It may be a more affective letter if you issue this out to several parties including your local education authority. I many cases, they don’t even become aware. Please remember to delete this note before printing

Letter 5: Request TO De-Register.

Name

Your Address Here

(Date)


Head-Teacher Details

School Details Here


Dear Sir or Madam,


Re: (Child’s name and child’s date of birth)

Notification of Deregistration


Dear (Chairman’s Name if Known),


Please accept this letter as ‘formal’ notification that I wish to deregister my child from the ‘Registration’ with immediate effect.

The Government states that I am within my right to home school my child and the reason that I/we have chosen to do so is because ………………………………my child cannot cope with the severe levels of anxiety that now debilitate he/r so much, s/he struggles with the idea of leaving the house to come to school which consequently affects her learning and ability to cope………..........................……
………………..……………………………………………………………………...….

I am aware of my responsibilities to provide my child with an Education and will do so at home, where my child feels safe, without distress and is able to cope.  In line with The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006, 8.1(d), please delete my child from the Register, which highlights your legal requirement and ‘Offence Penalties’, should you fail to do so.

Yours faithfully


Parental Signatures required here



Copies to:

LEA

other parties involved


Quoting from: 2006 No. 1751 

EDUCATION, ENGLAND 

The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006

"Deletions from Admission Register " 8.—(1) d.