Facing a recent bereavement and bullying at school, Elizabeth’s attendance was at just 5.5%. She was at risk of missing out on her education entirely. Daily support from our practitioner Jaime became the reliable constant Elizabeth needed to build her confidence back up, and soon she was attending school every day, comfortable among her peers and excited about her future.
What was the situation?
Elizabeth lives with her granddad, uncle and auntie, but had been predominantly brought up by her late grandma. Elizabeth was struggling to cope with the recent loss of her grandma which, alongside facing bullying at her old school, meant that she was at risk of missing out entirely on her education. Due to Elizabeth’s severely low attendance and her need for emotional and academic support Elizabeth was moved to the alternative provision setting in which Jaime works.
How did School-Home Support help?
When Jaime began working with Elizabeth she found her to be very caring and sensitive, but not as confident as she attempted to present to others. Although she was very articulate, Elizabeth struggled to understand the world around her, such as her experiences of loss and bullying.
Jaime understood that Elizabeth needed regular support and so began meeting with her on a daily basis. As she built an understanding of Elizabeth’s needs, Jaime developed activities for her to do during breaks and lunchtimes to build up her social skills and confidence. To support her with all aspects of her social and academic life at school, Jaime provided one to one support in lessons and outside of lessons, and became an essential source of stability and security that allowed Elizabeth to feel more comfortable at school. Jaime would also visit Elizabeth at home, which was an important support for Elizabeth’s grandfather, who was now her sole carer.
As Jaime works off timetable, she had the time and flexibility to make a significant impact in Elizabeth’s life and provide the level of support that Elizabeth needed. Jaime became part of a team of professionals working to get Elizabeth back into mainstream school, including a social worker, the school counsellor and a school mentor. To access the professional help she needed, Jaime made a CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) referral, to support her in tackling the causes of her anxiety and overcome her bereavement.
As Elizabeth’s emotional wellbeing improved, Jaime accompanied her on visits to a new mainstream school, to meet with teachers and grow comfortable with the prospect of reintegrating. In the meantime, Elizabeth was attending her current school everyday, and was enjoying taking part in plays and games with staff and other students.
After nine months of tailored support, Elizabeth was ready to move to her new school. To support her with her move, Jaime utilised the School-Home Support Welfare Fund to buy Elizabeth a new school uniform, which increased her excitement about going and ensured she felt confident that she would fit in.
As she prepared to leave alternative provision for the last time Elizabeth told Jaime: “Thank you for everything you have done. I will never forget you.”