Define Fine has been created by a small but committed team of parents and professionals who have lived experience of school attendance difficulties. We began developing a local peer support network whilst on the management team of Not Fine in School. Our focus is now on DEFINE FINE: Parent Peer Support for School Attendance Difficulties to support not only our members, but also other parents and carers who are struggling with school attendance difficulties including those who are members of other support groups within our wider SEND and mental health networks. Our aim is to offer direct support and training to empower parents to advocate for their own children, and if they are able , to use their knowledge and experience to help other families. .
We provide peer support using our tried and tested resources and to help parents advocate for the support their children and young people need to be able to learn and achieve. We hope to build up our growing network of peer supporters, who we can train to use our guides for their own family and ultimately to then help other families experiencing attendance difficulties.
Empowering parents to be able to effectively work with professionals, should encourage not only earlier intervention, with much better outcomes, but also reduce the risk and impact of unhelpful, and unnecessary attendance prosecutions and social services interventions. It is vital that children, young people and their families receive appropriate support, and especially in cases where professionals insist children are “fine in school, “ all are clear as to how fine is actually defined.
For us “fine in school” would mean that children are safe, healthy, happy and their needs are acknowledged and supported to able to access suitable education and learn.
Louise Parker Engels, Rebecca Jasper and team