Define Fine has been created by a small, committed team of parents and professionals who have lived experience of school attendance difficulties. We are developing a local peer support and advocacy network, as was planned and agreed as co founders and co producers of Not Fine in School. For us this is the next next step, our Not Fine in School Network organisation to run alongside the growing number of facebook support networks – to be able to offer direct support and also empower parents to advocate for their own children; and if they are able, to go on to help other parents.
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