'Shocked' Mum criticises school for asking her to de-register absent son

PUBLISHED: 06:58 21 January 2019

Worle Community School.	Picture: Zak Ghent

Worle Community School. Picture: Zak Ghent

Archant

A mum has criticised a secondary school for asking her to de-register her son who has been absent for more than three years on health grounds.

Lisa Worthington’s son Tyler has not attended Worle Community School Academy (WCSA) due to mental health issues.

The family received an unexpected visit at their home from an independent education welfare officer asking whether she would consider de-registering the year 11 pupil from the school.

As the school is an academy, it does not fall under North Somerset Council’s jurisdiction.

Lisa told the Mercury: “Tyler has really struggled over the past three years, he has barely left the house.

“I cannot afford a private mentor and I am concerned other parents will feel they are signing something which they know little about which will only benefit the school and not their child.

“I was shocked to be asked such a thing and could not believe a parent should have make such a huge decision should their child want to take their exams at some stage.

“I don’t want others to agree to it because they are scared of the consequences.”

Parents who do de-register their child could have to provide home tutoring and a school does not have pay for the student’s GCSE exams should they wish to take them in the future.

A WCSA spokesman told the Mercury the academy ‘has several school counsellors to help students with anxiety or other issues’.

The school also runs after-school classes to help any students with anxiety.

Another parent, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Mercury they also received a visit from the education welfare officer as their child, who is also in year 11, has not attended WCSA for 18 months due to a severe form of ME.

Principal Jacqui Scott said: “We strive to ensure every single student has an excellent education.

“Our educational welfare officer always goes through all the total range of options which are available to help students who are struggling to get into school.

“We have several counsellors in school and other support staff that are there to help students get back into full-time education.

“If any parent or carer has any issues we would encourage them to get in touch with us directly.”

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