Not Fine in School is a parent/carer-led organisation set up in response to the growing number of children and young people who struggle with school attendance.
As well as providing support for family members, and advice for young people and schools, Not Fine in School works to raise awareness of the issues, and campaigns for change.
They are calling for a change in law so that parents are not threatened with fines and prosecution when their children struggle to attend school.
The key issues are explored in this Channel 4 news story:
Square Peg is the sister organisation to Not Fine in School and was launched to effect national change for those with school attendance difficulties (also known as school refusal).
It aims to connect professionals, practitioners and policymakers to make a positive difference.
They are concerned that within current data collection systems there is no means of evidencing the scale of school attendance difficulties. Pupil absence may be authorised or unauthorised under a number of different school registration codes.
This does not recognise the current challenges in the system, and unauthorised absence subjects families to fines and prosecutions. Square Peg believes it is unacceptable that parents can be prosecuted if their child is too anxious to go to school.
You can support Square Peg by signing their petition to create a new legal attendance/absence code that will measure the scale of school refusal, ensure a consistent school response and alleviate parents from the threat of prosecution.
Supported by a growing number of MPs, the Ban The Booths campaign calls for:
Isolation booths are used in some primary and secondary schools in an attempt to manage disruptive behaviour. The use of these booths is currently unregulated and unreported. Ban The Booths says:
“The use of isolation booths are a breach of the UN charter on the rights of the child, disproportionate and unnecessary.
Booths are not used in custodial settings yet some schools have large isolation suites where children might be held for long periods.
Recent ‘Freedom of Information’ requests by the BBC show that in 500 schools using isolation booths 200 children had spent more than 5 consecutive days in isolation in the past year.”
You can support the Ban The Booths campaign by signing up to their website.