Daugther wishes to return to school, father doesn’t want her to.

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  • #40369 Report


    Hi, I am new here and I apologise in advice for my rather lengthy post.  I am really writing out of frustration and need some sort of advice really!  My ex-husband and I have been separated for over 9 years, we have both re-married, etc, etc.  We have an 11 year old daughter together, who is in year 6 of school.  I just want to start by saying, my daughter loves school, she has lots of friends, loves her teachers, etc.  She obviously wants to go back to school come June 1st and I support her decision.  The school have given very clear guidelines (and I must stress the head of the school would not open if she didn’t feel she could provide the children with a secure and safe environment) I was happy with the guidelines that had been set out. I hadn’t heard anything from my ex to say he didn’t want her to go back, so I just assumed that all was good, said yes to the school.

    Then last Friday, his wife sent me a message asking if my daughter was going back to school, I advised what the school had put in place and said that she would be going back.  She then replied saying that they were not happy for her to be going back as it was ‘Dangerous’ and they were using our children as ‘guenia pigs’.  I asked for my ex to contact me so I could explain to him, I never heard from him.  So in the end I sent him a message, he responded pretty much repeating what his wife had said.  I offered to forward him copies of the guidelines from the school (all this information has been available on the school website and is updated regularly)I made the suggestion of we put her in (As you can opt out, but can’t opt in) and if it is unsafe or she is getting the learning that warrants her being there will we remove her. His answer was no.  Never heard from him again.  Last night with Bojo confirming their plans, I messaged him again, about 10.30pm last night he replied saying no.

    Just to say, that his wife has been shielding since the start of lock down and our daughter has permanently resided with me (we have a 90%- to me, 10% split to him normally).  I have taken care of all her educational needs during this time, with no offer from him to support her remotely.  We offered to have my daughter tested when she is ready to start visiting him again (my husband is a keyworker), this was met with a ‘no’ and that we couldn’t do that everytime she goes to and from his house (never suggested this).

    So I apologise for the long winded post but I seem to be getting no where fast with this.  I have told him last night that he really needs to discuss this with me over the phone rather than back and forth over messages.  I have left it to him to contact me by telephone when I finish work today (I’m working from home) if he still objects, as I will no longer be communicating via messages.

    My question is, can I just send her to school when he is so adamant that she shouldn’t be going? With no other reason than it’s dangerous?

    #40371 Report


    Wow, that sounds tough. I don’t know the rules on this. It seems unfair that he can dictate no, when he hasn’t even helped with homeschooling especially if you are WFH.

    Why is his wife shielding? Could this be a factor.

    How often does your daughter’s father have her? Every other weekend or less. Would he prefer to temporarily stop contact so she can return to school and his wife continue shielding.

    Also if your husband is a keyworker  the risk element of infection has been there thoroughout.

    How is your daughter’s mental health? If you genuinely feel it would help her to return to school, perhaps mention that.

    A final option, should he support your daughter remotely with homeschooling? At least a couple of days to take the pressure off.

    #40394 Report


    Our daughter has been with me since lockdown started, she has not seen her dad (accept for over videocall).

    Our daughter does genuinely love school, she is upset at the thought of not going back for one last term.  She has spent the last 7 years there, with the teachers and other students and she wants to see out her last term.  I have said this to him, but he is still not interested, he just says that she is a child and basically she’ll get over it.

    Unfortunately, my ex had no interest in school growing up and doesn’t see why it is so important to her to want to go back, I think this is also part of the problem.

    Outside of lockdown he sees her overnight one night one week and the weekend the following week.

    I guess I just feel frustrated that someone who has little input generally in our daughters upbringing can just say no, without considering any suggestions or our daughter’s feelings/wishes.

    #40417 Report


    I agreed with you. Anyone would feel frustrated by his lack of consideration.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

    #40440 Report


    Hi Miffy, in my own opinion as you are the main carer and satisfied with the school being able to well provide for your daughter’s safety, I would say send her! There is risk when we visit the supermarket, go for a walk or open unwashed food packs. Your husband is a key worker so he is introducing risk with every return home to his shielding wife and your daughter is not yet able to visit him due to this. I’m probably being a little to black and white about this but I do feel you should go with your own gut instinct on this one. Education will always be needed, pyschologically we do not yet know the impact isolation will have on our children long term. We all need to do the best we can to help them.

    Please forgive spelling errors, furloughed two months and the brain has shut down…may never return

    #40450 Report


    Agree with Mumof2, you are the primary carer and your ex hasn’t contributed at all to home schooling.

    I don’t know what the legalities are but as long as you are satisfied with your school’s risk assessment and your daughter wants to go, I think you should allow her to go to school. I can’t see a court finding that unreasonable.

    #40454 Report


    Thanks everyone for your responses 🙂

    I finally managed to convince him that it was in her best interests to return to school, he has agreed that she can return.  Only on the basis that we agreed to have her tested prior to her return to his house when they can start seeing her again.  But if that’s what we have to do, then we will.

    Anyone else find dealing with their ex an uphill battle most of the time??  I would have thought 9 years down the line it should at least be a bit easier!

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