Jake was first referred to me by the school due to low attendance – he had missed 72% of Year 10, a huge portion of time that should have been devoted to studying for his GCSEs. At the time of referral, Jake lived at home with his father. His mother and father had separated many years ago and Jake had a very strained relationship with his mother and wished to have no contact with her. I later found out this was due to Jake discovering a sexualised video on his mother’s phone of his mother and her new partner. Jake’s mother also refused to have any contact, stating that Jake is the responsibility of his father and grandmother.
Upon his referral, I arranged a school meeting with Jake and his father to discuss Jake’s attendance and behaviour around school. Jake’s father revealed some background information to family life, indicating that Jake had been brought up in a chaotic and unstable environment, and had witnessed many violent incidents between family members. Indeed, Jake’s mother had previously reported the father for domestic abuse and children’s social care had been involved.
Unfortunately, the meeting eventually broke down and Jake’s father, unimpressed with his behaviour at school, became verbally aggressive towards Jake – demonstrating clear issues with their relationship. Whilst the meeting did conclude with Jake’s father providing verbal consent for School-Home Support (SHS) to support Jake, I was unable to follow up as his father then went abroad for several weeks and did not provide written consent.
During this time, Jake informed the School that he had moved to his maternal grandmother’s home. I therefore attended a home visit with Jake’s grandmother, who revealed that she was very concerned for Jake and confirmed that he had been brought up with violent, abusive, unstable, and unpredictable parenting. I followed up with several more home visits, creating plans with Jake to increase the stability in his life whilst at school.
Meanwhile, while Jake was at school it became evident that his behaviour was getting worse and becoming unmanageable. I observed this happened particularly when Jake was hungry. To resolve this I applied to the SHS Welfare Fund and secured finances to ensure Jake could eat a healthy snack at break times. I also secured funds to provide Jake with revision materials to supplement his GCSEs.
Jake also suffered from asthma but did not own any inhalers, and sometimes turned up to school struggling to breathe. Unfortunately, none of his family members were willing to support him so together we arranged a review with the doctors to get the inhalers. He is now also in the position to get more inhalers when he needs them.
Since receiving support from SHS, Jake has made fantastic progress. His attendance has risen a huge amount from 28% the previous year to a massive to 84.85%! It was also great to hear straight from Jake how much of an impact I had had – not just his attendance, but also his asthma:
“If Adele did not contact my Nanna, I probably would not have come to school. They have both discussed my options and encouraged me to attend when no one else did. When I do not attend school, Adele rings me and I get myself into school, I have really made lots of effort to get into school with her support. Adele helped me to get a doctors’ appointment and even took me to the doctor’s. I now have my inhaler which I have needed for a long time.”