Returning to school with a brain injury

As schools prepare to reopen this week many students will be anxious about returning after months away from the classroom.

For parents of children with a Special Educational Need (SEN) including a brain injury, returning to school will be a worrying time.

With the correct support system in place most children do manage to return to education following a brain injury but keeping an open dialogue with education professionals and teachers is vital.

Make sure that the SENCO, Special Needs Teacher, or Guidance Teacher is aware of the support that your child could need.

The Child Brain Injury Trust says: “It may be helpful if the school has copies of medical/psychological reports before your son or daughter returns to school so that they can prepare. You may need to talk through these records with the teachers or ask a medical professional to do so because they can involve a lot of medical jargon.”

Children with an acquired brain injury can have difficulties within the classroom. Some of the issues experienced include:

  • Concentrating
  • Remembering and learning new information
  • Thinking of new ideas
  • Maintaining conversations
  • Behaving appropriately
  • Getting on with friends
  • Responding to teaching staff
  • Following verbal instructions in a busy, noisy classroom situation
  • Planning and organising their school work and own time

If September marks the start of a new term following a brain injury, a child may become frustrated by their difficulties, particularly if they remember doing well at school prior to the injury.

The Child Brain Injury Trust adds: “To help your child to receive the best possible education and a positive experience of school, it is crucial that everyone working with your child knows about their brain injury, regardless of when it happened. Teaching staff will need to know, be reminded of the likely issues and be given practical information to help deal with any difficulties at school.”

Every family will have unique challenges and the transition back into an education setting requires the correct type of support.

Some of our solicitors recently attended a Brain Injury Special Interest Group, virtual event hosted by The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).

Several useful points were raised and attendees were shown information from the Brain Injury Hub with a checklist for parents of children with a brain injury to address with their teachers:

  • When and how the injury happened
  • The type and severity of the injury
  • How old your child was at the time
  • How the recovery has gone so far
  • Any sensory difficulties
  • Any physical difficulties
  • Any concerns about the return to school
  • Any behavioural difficulties
  • Child’s strengths and weaknesses

The way children are educated going forward will be different for everyone but with the correct planning and preparation those affected by a brain injury, depending on the severity, should be able to return to education along with mainstream pupils.

If you or someone you know has been affected by a brain injury contact us for legal advice and information. Call 03330 112732 or email info@nvlegal.co.uk

USEFUL LINKS

On September 1ST, 2014 the government changed the way children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) are supported in England. The changes were introduced through a new law, the Children and Families Act 2014. https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/6/contents/enacted

https://www.braininjuryhub.co.uk/information-library/return-to-education

https://childbraininjurytrust.org.uk/

https://www.headway.org.uk/media/4126/returning-to-education-after-brain-injury-factsheet.pdf