Ibrahim was referred to School-Home Support because of his low attendance. At the point he was referred to us his attendance was at 64% – meaning he was missing out on over a third of his education.
Ibrahim at home
Ibrahim’s Mum, Rehana, had been finding it difficult to enforce boundaries with her son. He wasn’t going to bed until 11pm at night and he was sleeping in her bed. Rehana was really struggling with her mental health, which was compounded by her husband being emotionally abusive to her. They were separated when we were first introduced to Ibrahim and his family.
How did School-Home Support help Ibrahim and his family?
We identified from the get-go that Rehana’s mental health was a priority if we were to get Ibrahim ready to learn. We supported her with writing a CV and personal statement – and also helped her to apply for college.
In October 2020, Rehana told her School-Home Support Practitioner – who work directly with families to support children to be at school, ready to learn – that the plan was for her husband to move back into the house. So we did some safety planning sessions in school. This meant speaking to her about what she felt the risks were, what she is looking out for as signs of controlling or emotionally abusive behaviour, and giving her resources and useful contacts if she wants to leave the relationship. We tried to engage the husband but he didn’t want to talk with us.
We also arranged a meeting between Rehana and the school’s Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) – as she had raised concerns that she didn’t understand the interventions that were in place at school, and didn’t feel they were working. Together they went through Ibrahim’s Education and Healthcare Plan (EHCP) and helped Rehana with strategies that she could use at home.
When COVID-19 hit
Ibrahim’s attendance had increased by 7% by the time the COVID-19 lockdown hit in March 2020. School-Home Support Practitioners were designated as key workers, and were some of the few people that vulnerable families saw in this period during regular doorstep visits.
Over this period, Ibrahim’s Practitioner delivered tailored work packs for him and his older brother.
A more resilient family
Ibrahim’s attendance at the beginning of the academic year in September was 100% with only four lates. This has been an enormous increase.
Rehana is in a much happier place, and started an Early Years Education Course in January. She told her Practitioner how much it meant to her that we supported her, in particular with her CV and personal statement.
The case is now closed – but Rehana still sees her Practitioner at the school gates regularly and seems to be doing well. Ibrahim’s attendance is still much improved – and Rehana knows what to look out for and who to reach out to if she feels unsafe.
Help families like Ibrahim’s during Ramadan
This Ramadan, children like Ibrahim need your help. As the pandemic continues, and with so many people being plunged into poverty, many more families are in need. Please consider donating to help other families like Ibrahim’s.