Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Education Advice

Category Archives: Education Advice

Action for Social Integration is a registered charity organisation which aims to relieve poverty and advance the social and cultural integration of minority communities from all ethnic backgrounds.  We provide FREE educational advice, GCSE tuition, guidance and information to young people from black minority ethnic (BME) background. We work with families and schools in Barnet, Haringey and Enfield to fight against child poverty and raise the educational attainment of children from BME communities.


 Action for Social Integration also offers the following services:
§  Free advice, guidance and information on education for parents and pupils from all ethnic backgrounds
§  Training and work experience opportunities
§   Support for pupils and parents with filling in documents, contacting schools, writing letters to local authorities, translating documents, opening email accounts, accessing training, etc

To receive up-to-date information on our services and free advice on education in the UK please register to our Equal Education Advice Newsletter by emailing your contacts to editor@afsi.org.uk

How to deal with your child`s permanent exclusion from school?
The government`s guidance on the law on exclusion states that a child can only be permanently excluded from school if they have “seriously broken the school`s behavioural policy or if it would seriously harm the education or welfare of themselves or others if they stayed at school”.
! Remember, the following are not considered legitimate reasons for exclusion: poor performance at school, failure to provide homework, breaking appearance rules, being late for classes, minor incidents caused in protection from bullying, truancy or pregnancy.

! Remember, if you decide to apply to a new school, your child cannot be refused a place because of previous exclusions, unless s/he has had two previous exclusions in the last 2 years.
How to challenge your child`s exclusion?
If you child has been excluded permanently from school, you have the right to challenge her/her exclusion by making representations to the school governors. If you fail to reach an agreement, the next step you can take is to appeal to the Independent Appeal Panel. Displayed below is a short outline of the procedure you need to follow for appealing to the school governors:
1.     Prepare and send a letter requesting a meeting with the school governors. Once you let the governors know that you wish to meet them, they are be required to meet you within 5-16 school days of the exclusion.
(In order to acquire a sample letter for requesting a meeting with the school governors, please contact the newsletter editor on editor@agsi.org.uk)
! Remember to always keep copies of all your correspondence
2.     Prepare a Summary of your case to read out to the governors at the meeting. This Summary can be used again if you need to present your case to the Independent Appeal Panel, has your appeal with the school governors been unsuccessful. Collect as much evidence relating to/challenging the reasons for exclusion as possible, as well as evidence relating to the exclusion procedure. The following is an example of an evidence relating to the exclusion procedures which can be particularly helpful in your case:
! If your child`s exclusion follows from an incident related to discrimination or bullying, and your child belong to the category of children “at risk within the education system” (minority ethnic groups, asylum seekers and refugees, pregnant schoolgirls or teenage mothers, looked after children), you should enquire if the school has taken account of this. What actions has the school taken to help your child manage their behaviour? Has the school requested advice on dealing with your child`s behaviour, etc. Note this down in your Summary.
(In order to acquire a sample Summary, please contact the newsletter editor on editor@agsi.org.uk)
The governors must let you know of their decision in writing within 1 school day of the hearing.
! Remember, your child should receive work from the school for the first 5 days of the exclusion and the school should arrange for it to be marked.  From the 6th days, the Local Authority must provide suitable full time education for your child.

! Remember, it is very important that your child stays at home during school hours in the first 5 days of exclusion. If s/he is found in public space without a good reason, you might be fined with £50. 

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Our Vision and Services

Our vision is of a society where no one should experience discrimination on the grounds of their mental health.

Mental health problems are extremely common across society, with one in four of us experiencing them in any year. Despite being so common, people from all communities will still experience discriminatory attitudes and behaviours that can prevent people from speaking out, seeking support and playing full and active roles in our communities. The impact of mental health stigma and discrimination will vary between communities as mental health has a cultural context that affects the way communities talk about the subject and engage with people who have mental health problems. In some cultures depression, for example, doesn't exist and in others an experience of a mental health problem can be attached to a sense of shame.

For the African and Caribbean communities a key issue is the overrepresentation of young African and Caribbean men in mental health services. Misconceptions and stereotypes have led to a perception that this group is more likely to pose a risk of violent behaviour and, as a result, they are more likely to be treated as inpatients and sectioned when compared to other groups. It is well documented that this has led to a fear of talking about mental health issues more openly and a fear of using mental health services. Research by the Race Equality Foundation (2011) also highlighted fears that discrimination against Black & Minority Ethnic (BME) communities and migrant service users will increase in the austerity climate and whilst commissioning arrangements change.

Our Services

· Provide information, advice, advocacy

· Represent diversity communities in Health Care services, policies and strategies

· Organise training in health and social care in collaboration with local colleges

· Provide human resources ( including interpreters) who are suitable to the diversity communities especially to break language and cultural barriers

· Provides domiciliary care and support

· Provide services such specialised support for people with mental health needs, including people who suffer from short-term memory problems, Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

· Provide visits to elderly people and help them with outings and home services

· Participate in local authority and NHS consultations , research events and programmes to voice the needs of diversity communities.

· Increase access to services and rights for disadvantaged people and the most vulnerable of our society

· Help and support unemployed people to look for work, including training and job preparation

· Provide legal advice in a range of issues from on Immigration and Asylum , welfare benefits, housing, health, education, community care, and training, employment, etc.

· Provide advice and guidance, information and practical help so that our service users can access opportunities they are entitled to

· Organise training and other community learning opportunities that provide new skills, increase confidence and motivation

· Support our service users to overcome barriers to learning, employment and training

· Provide support for young people with their education, training, confidence building, employment and social needs.

Objectives of our Diversity Living Programme:

· To promote the inclusion and participation of diversity communities* in integrated care.

· To inform policy, locally and nationally, and assisting in the formulation of effective policies, strategies and good practices in integrated care in order to contribute to improved health outcomes for the people from the diversity communities (e.g. Black and minority ethnic communities) and to ensure health services are able to meet their specific needs.

· To improve the quality of life for diversity people with disability, mental health problems and their families and carers through integrated care by providing inclusive advocacy and information.

· To provide service that enable diversity groups and individuals with disability /elderly and their carers to make the right choice for themselves and have an influence on decisions made about their future.

· To promote the rights of diversity people with disability, their families and carers and make sure their rights are safe and protected.

· To promoting access to information regarding healthcare issues and to raise awareness of the needs of diversity disabled children, young people, older people and their families.

· To promote the rights of older and disabled diversity people, helping them overcome and enable them to participate in decisions about their future

· To provide support and information to those suffering the isolation and loneliness that can be associated with disability and old age

· To fight against mental health stigma in refugee, black and minority ethnic communities and ensure no one should experience discrimination on the grounds of their mental health or disability.

*Diversity communities are older people, disabled people, Black, Asian, refugees, migrants, asylum seekers and other ethnic minorities.