School-Home Support works with a number of children who have ADHD, like Thomas, aged 11, whose attendance was just 32.5% when he was referred to us. Thomas was struggling to make positive relationships with his peers and his behaviour often caused conflicts and distraction within the classroom and in the playground. At home, Thomas’ mum found it difficult to maintain boundaries, and often allowed Thomas to stay home from school to avoid conflicts.
School-Home Support’s expert practitioner Sean worked with Thomas and his family to identify some strategies to help him engage better in school and increase his attendance, such as implementing a rewards chart: when Thomas is in school for five consecutive days, he can choose a reward, which he finds highly motivating. Sean and Thomas also worked together to create a ‘To Do’ list, to act as a reminder of how he should behave and react to others in school. Thomas often refers to the ‘To Do’ list and likes to have it on the playground to show his willingness to improve.
Sean visits Thomas in school every lunchtime, which gives a daily session for Thomas to talk about his emotions and how his day is going. Sean can then help to tackle any worries or concerns that Thomas is feeling on any given day and ensure he feels safe and comfortable in school.
Money is tight at home so Sean has also applied for funding from School-Home Support’s Welfare Fund to help with gas and electricity bills, as well as signposting mum to other sources of funds.
Thomas will soon be starting high school and Sean has helped him to feel confident about the change, as well as organising practical details, such as identifying open days and arranging school visits.
By building trust and positive relationships with Thomas and his mum, Sean has supported Thomas to increase his attendance by over 10%, which is the equivalent of 19 extra days in school per year.
“As schools are struggling to make ends meet, the tailored support our practitioners can provide has never been more needed for children like Thomas. Education settings need budgets for dedicated staff, trained in safeguarding work and properly supervised to ensure that no child falls through the cracks.” Jaine Stannard, Chief Executive