This isn't, however, as brutal as it may sound because Janis-Norton teaches parents how to provide practical support. She believes the parent and child should sit down every evening and visualise the following day's lessons. If one lesson is likely to be a flash-point for conflict – perhaps PE, where there's a possibility of taunting – then they must plan how to deal with it in detail.
"You can help your child develop more assertive body language," she says. "It's not enough to tell her, 'Don't show you're upset.' With daily practice you can teach her how to look someone in the eye, hold her head high with her back straight and not look or sound upset when being attacked verbally."
Janis-Norton also acknowledges that the child who is refusing to go to schools needs help from teachers. But herein lies a problem. Even though a secondary school may pride itself on its pastoral care system the very children who would benefit most – the extremely shy and sensitive – are the ones least likely to seek out help. "Parents may need to become staunch advocates for their child's right to be educated in an environment where she can thrive, not just survive," she says.
What does Janis-Norton recommend if the problems persist and the child falls ever further behind? "Move heaven and earth to find a more suitable educational environment.
"To do this you need great determination, patience, a thick skin and the willingness to write endless letters to professionals and officials. But it's worth it to put your child's education back on track."