Successful Educational Psychology support to re-integrate a young person back into education after being out of school for over a year due to anxiety.
Female in Year 9 had been out of school due to high levels of anxiety for over a year. She was receiving some home education through the Medical Education Team Service.
Attendance started to reduce on transition to secondary school as she had problems coping with the academic and social demands of the new setting.
History of acrimonious parental separation and older sister also being out of school due to anxiety and health needs
Young person was not able to verbally communicate how she felt to professionals.
The secondary school involved the Educational Psychologist to advise on how they could re-engage this young person back into education.
The young person initially wouldn’t engage with the Educational Psychologist during a planned meeting at school.
The Educational Psychologist visited the young person at home several times and gradually a positive relationship was built with the young person, her mother and grandmother.
Creative, practical psychological approaches were used to allow the young person to demonstrate how she felt and what she hoped for in her future without relying on verbal communication.
Using the Sandtray approach, the young person was able to create her world and communicate how isolated and worried she felt at school.
Following this, a member of school staff who had been identified as a keyworker also accompanied the EP on home visits and a relationship between the young person and keyworker developed.
A peer buddy system was also arranged to improve the support network around her when back at school.
The Educational Psychologist attended multi-agency meetings with the family, the school, CAMHS, the Medical Education Service and Family Support Services.
A flexible timetable was arranged which the young person began to engage with, based on her strengths and interests.
The young person’s school attendance improved significantly from not attending at all to being in school and attending lessons for all core subjects plus Art, Home Economics and Religious Studies.
A plan is in place to continue building her attendance to work towards full time.
She started to rebuild social relationships which had suffered due to her absence.
A more positive relationship between the young person and her mother was developing due to less stress trying to get her into school.