A 15-YEAR-OLD pupil, who appears to be suffering from depression, has asked me, her head, to accompany her to visit her GP, but, on no account, to inform her parents. Should I agree?
THERE is no reason why you should not, and every reason why you should.
Your first concern must always be for your pupils'
welfare; if this girl is really depressed, she needs the help of her doctor as well as her school.
The law regards adolescents as "mature minors", capable o taking decisions about themselves, including health matters, without the involvement of their parents, if that is their wish.
Of course, a responsible teacher would seek to persuade a pupil to talk to his or her parents, but too often family relationships have broken down and such communication is impossible.
It is a tribute to the professional care given by teachers that pupils turn to them with their troubles and it is a trust which should be respected.