Isolated child

Q There is a 13-year-old in my tutor group who appears to have no friends, seems very isolated and is increasingly absent from school. How can I help her?

A Children in this situation often complain that they are left out and that others talk about them behind their backs, but they lack an understanding of what they need to do about it.

They may have unrealistic expectations coupled with resulting judgements about themselves (for example, "Everyone must love me all the time or I am worthless"). Most people are not aware of their reasons for doing or avoiding things, which can be subtle and habitual since early childhood.

Since your pupil is now missing school more frequently, you should probably ask the education welfare officer to look at ways of re-establishing regular attendance. This will mean direct contact with the home and opportunities for parents to discuss any relevant circumstances.

If you are lucky, this service will be involved in multi-disciplinary work alongside educational psychologists and social workers to provide a range of support and opportunities to meet individual and family needs.

School could provide a daily meet and greet with a member of staff, work with a counsellor to develop her strategies and confidence, or structured in-school groups to provide peer-support.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now