23 Nov 2018

Save children lost in the system

boy lost in school system

Children treated for mental health issues too often find their recovery is over as soon as they reach young adulthood back in their normal environment.

The seriousness of their plight can be highlighted both by statistics – suicide is the leading cause of death in the UK for people aged 20 – 34 – and by the specific case of Ned Harris, excluded from school as a teenager, not followed up for support, and who

committed suicide at 20. Mother Jo Marsden has gone public in his memory with ‘Ned’s Fund’, a charity to raise money to help young people who drop out of education to engage in some other way with learning.

On 5 November 2018 She told Evening Standard reporters: “It’s to stop them getting lost in the system, feeling that life is pointless. This is about raising awareness of the child who displays no outward signs, is bright, but can’t compute it to education.”

Timeously, on 12 November, the Department for Education updated its guidance on mental health and behaviour in schools, which urges schools to work across other organisations to line up support plans for when children are either excluded, in hospital, or have moved on from treatment and need support in the community.

“This collaborative health and education support planning is where Ellern Mede School excels,” said head master Adel Shirbini. “We welcome that the Department for Education is emphasising the importance of this. It is life-saving work to ensure that young people receive the type and degree of dedicated support they need. Education itself has a big role to play in recovery at a formative life stage provided it is offered in the right setting and without pressure.”

Ellern Mede School excels in supporting parents, schools and health teams to achieve Educational Health and Social Care Plans for young people who need continuing support after mental health or physical health school absences. These plans can support people through to the age of 25.

If you are interested in talking about EHCPs please call the school office on 0208 9597774

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