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 (often inaccurately or unfairly referred to as 'school refusal'). This struggle 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 difficulties are poorly understood, are compounded by current challenges within education and health systems, and 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 support offered, and changes too systems to reduce the numbers of children experiencing difficulties at school.
No-one should be alone in coping with school-based anxiety and attendance difficulties. 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 for school attendance difficulties, 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 school refusal and raise awareness of related issues.
We are really pleased that recent legal action taken by two families has resulted in written confirmation from the DfE regarding their expectations for coding of absences, and school and local authority provision for children who are unable to attend school.
Create a new independent, transparent & objective body to enable a fair complaints process across the education system. This body must be empowered to monitor practices & investigate complaints fully, with the legal authority to apply consequences if schools or local authorities behave illegally or misinterpret government guidlines.
Create a new legal attendance/absence code that will measure the scale of school refusal, ensure a consistent school response and alleviate parents from the threat of prosecution.
A new attendance code is only part of the story, and must be supported by comprehensive research, successful school refusal response plans and national guidance.