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. This is often inaccurately or unfairly referred to as 'school refusal', so we prefer to promote use of the term 'School Attendance Barriers'. These barriers may relate to unmet Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (diagnosed or suspected), bullying, trauma, excessive levels of academic pressure, physical illness or mental illness. School attendance barriers are poorly understood, are compounded by current challenges within education and health systems, and if not removed effectively, can have severe consequences for both child and family. NFIS aims to support these children and families, and raise awareness of their experiences. NFIS is also keen to support professionals who wish to see improvements to the support offered, and change to responses within systems to reduce the numbers of children experiencing attendance barriers.
No-one should be alone in coping with school-based anxiety and attendance barriers. We provide peer-support for family members, and advice for young people and schools.
We share informative resources to help you make decisions, find solutions to remove school attendance barriers, and take positive steps to find help and support for your child and you.
We work alongside other organisations and people to campaign for change. We also seek out ways to share knowledge of attendance barriers and raise awareness of related issues.
Lots of useful advice and information for parents offered by YOUNG MINDS. (A useful resource for reference when negotiating with schools).
A great article from Inclusive Teach with advice collated through a Twitter discussion with a range of parents and educators
Square Peg supported by NFIS have launched a campaign to evidence the scale of the school attendance problem. We aim to build a picture of the number of children experiencing barriers to attendance and the length of time some have been out of school. Please take a look, and add up to 3 children if they have experienced barriers to attendance now or in the past.
"As a parent, what lengths would you go to, to protect your child from harm? By law you are forced to send your child into school but by law, the Government then allow schools to have limited accountability for any harm that your child may suffer physically and mentally, whilst under their care.
This is the story of how over a hundred families, who's children have been harmed or lost to suicide, have fought to end the practice of bullying and violence being covered up in schools."