To be peed off at the school? (Dds attendance)(26 Posts)
I have had a letter today regarding my 5 year old dds attendance which contained an attendance record and an appointment to go into school next week to discuss her absences.
On the record it clearly states that all absences were due to her being ill (all of which she was in hospital).
Dp was so disgusted with this he contacted the attendance officer straight away and questioned why they want a meeting with us when they know why she has been off, it turns out that they need medical proof that we have kept her off because she has been ill and not for no reason
On their records the attendance officer can clearly see that my ds aged 7 has near on perfect attendance, so dp asked them if they think we favour one child's education over the other, obviously she denied thinking this and quickly cancelled the meeting but she still wants evidence
I will be taking dd to the doctors tomorrow (whilst its teachers training) to get them to try and find out why my daughter seems to get ill all the time and to see if they can help her as we hate her having to miss school and we hate feeling like we have done wrong.
schools policy on illness is if the child has not vomited in the past 6 hours then send them in I'm gathering this is why so many children in dds class are off sick all the time!
one last thing (sorry for the long post) the school have it all on record that she has been admitted to hospital each time she has been ill as the hospital school staff have contacted them.
We had something similar a few years ago. DS1 was like your DD, if he got a bug, he would vomit for a week, end up vomiting blood and needed rehydrating in hospital. He, also, has cyclical vomiting syndrome, where he could vomit 40 times a day for a week (might be worth looking into that for your DD) and again need hospital treatment.
DS2 is a severe asthmatic so would also have many absences.
We got a letter from school saying we were being monitored closely by the Education Welfare Officer so I rang her. I explained everything to her, she was really nice and said the best thing to do was get a letter from the boys' consultants, so we did. We still got letters saying their attendance was X% every so often, but that was it, we never got called for a meeting.
4leaf - has she been tested for neutropenia? Neutropenia is a weakening of the immune system and it can come in several forms. I have cyclic neutropenia, which means every three weeks my immune system drops dramatically and if I catch a simple cold it affects me much worse than say my husband who might feel bad for 24 hours, I'll be down for a week or more.
It's worth asking her doctor to check for. The way to check is by having a series of blood tests done over a six-to-eight week period, checking the level of neutrophils.
On a bit of a tangent and probably not really much help to you OP but - Is the school legally empowered to demand medical records or letters from the doctor in this way?
It bothers me that children's medical privacy is disregarded so easily. How is it in a sick child's best interests to have people who have no medical concern for them reading their hospital discharge letters etc.?
In future, would/could the Dr give a sick note?
I can see blissx point also.
Hopefully though, the correlation between absences & no GP/Hosp would be noticed soon enough to make a difference in future in cases where necessary iyswim.
Just wanted to say, the discharge letters should be enough proof without having to bother your doctor. I'd try that avenue first.
Remember that the attendance push is all to to with schools having to conform to what OFSTED wants. The attendance officer is just doing her job,which is to chase up attendances of less than a certain percentage,and needs hard evidence.It is not really her fault if the school are getting paranoid about their attendance levels...she probably has to make sure all her paperwork is watertight.
It isn't fair on those who have genuine reasons.
Blissx, the OP is ok because she has hospital discharge letters, but if she had seen her GP instead, he would be charging £20 per letter.
How are families supposed to pay for this, if you have a child who falls ill every couple of weeks with a chronic problem? Won't this in itself be likely to cause hardship for some children with chronic illnesses and their families?
Shouldn't it be enough with one letter from the doctor or paediatrician explaining that the child has a chronic problem?
Agree with blissx
It is a safeguarding issue even though you have done nothing wrong...just unfortunate innocent situations get caught up in safeguarding policies
Also think it is a waste of appt at drs...you could easily ask for gp to phone you at home to discuss your concerns
If you have hard copiez of evidence re discharge letters...there is nothing to worry about
Unfortunately, schools are now under much pressure to be able to account for every child absence and for prolonged absence, need hard copies as evidence. This is to try and help prevent tragedies (such as the recent death of the little Polish boy). It is due to this that schools are now asking for paper copies as evidence, rather than phone calls (even from hospitals). If it went to court or similar, a phonecall wouldn't cut it. Sorry you and your DP feel upset about this, but if these procedures went some way to preventing a further travesty, isn't it worth it?
Photocopy the discharge papers and send a note to the attendance officer and the HT.
"Hopefully these documents will reconfirm the information the hospital has already provided to the school concerning my child's recent absences, following your letter dated dd/mm/yy. I am happy to meet with you to discuss how to help my child catch up on any work she's missed during this period at home. It would be very helpful if you could provide me with copies of the relevant lesson plans for the period. "
I'd check the school's 6 hour vomiting policy against NHS direct advice because it sounds very risky for any children who may be immune compromised. I'd always thought there was national guidance on these things that schools had to follow as a legal thing under the "duty of care" banner
4leaf - has she been tested for coeliac disease (severe gluten intolerance involving immune system response) - it is often mistaken for lactose intolerance because it CAUSES temporary LI due to damage to the lining of the gut
one of the symptoms in children is not being able to shake off infections and getting repeated illness after illness
google other symptoms (they may not be obvious), ask your GP - simple blood test
So really the school do have all the evidence that they need.
But yes for you and DD I can see why you might want to try and prevent this from continuing to happen.
It's a huge waste of an appointment. good point made by your husband. How about phoning the GP if you need to. The discharge letters should do though.
Yes thoughts if not the doctor has made a home visit as she has been too ill to make it to the surgery and its only a 5 minute walk away.
Since dd has been a baby she has been like this, she gets a bug from someone but for some unknown reason she gets it for at least a week and then her asthma kicks in from all the vomiting
For e.g ds had a 12 hour sickness bug on holiday about 2 week ago, dd got it for a full week and was in a right mess
We have had this out with the doctor before and he diagnosed her as being lactose intolerant, the hospital said different, they said she just gets more ill when she has dairy products as it coats her chest and in actual fact they advise all people with sickness no to have dairy products.
We have had enough, so she is in the doctors tomorrow to try and get some answer.
I do actually have discharge letters I never thought of using them thanks musical
Dp said to school that its a waste of an appointment at the doctors but they didn't seem fussed by it
So on each occasion that she was ill she was in hospital for some or all of the days that she was off school? And for each day that she was in hospital the hospital have provided evidence of her being there?
It's not just me either the attendance officer said she is spending a full day and half of school time in 15 minute appointments with parents regarding their child's attendance due to illness. I am hoping that this sets something off so they finally look into their policy.
Iv seen loads of parents complaining about their attendance policy and I never thought anything of it until now.
Do you get a discharge letter when leaving hospital. It would be a good idea to photocopy that as proof from now on although hope she won't be in hospital again. Expect to pay for GP letter as it is not an NHS service or better still give the school permission to write to the GP and then they can charge the school direct. It is this sort of stupid bureaucracy that drives me mad.
6 hours? When my DC have rotavirus they can go 12 hours without vomiting, then go like a fountain!
I would be discussing that with the GP, as I am sure they would advise 24/ 48 hour minimum to stop the spread of norovirus etc.
This is what I was shocked at the lack of recovering time, we frequently get letters stating at least four illnesses that are spreading around school to which I'm thinking the 6 hour rule is the reason everyone is ill all the time.
In hospital for each day that my dd was ill she had to do work with the hospital school staff and then each piece of work is sent to school and she will get a mark saying she has attended school but at the hospital, they also let them know that they are still not well enough for school and are still receiving treatment.
The school have all this on record but are still not happy
that's insane - they can throwing up all night till 3am and are fit for school the next morning??
our school say 48hours. I know some flout the rule though.
So in what way have the hospital 'backed you up'?
Surely that is sufficient as evidence?
That's what I thought, I'm not sure my doctor will comply but I will try because they considered reporting me although the hospital have backed me up
Not sure on the diarrhoea, but my guessing is that's probably the same
schools policy on illness is if the child has not vomited in the past 6 hours then send them in
That's not good! Do they have a similarly ridiculous policy wrt diarrhea?
You'll need to see about a doctor's letter about the absences - although it seems odd to me that they're asking for evidence about past absences instead of saying that future ones need to be covered by a doctor's note.
Sorry for any punctuation or spelling mistakes, typing fast on the ipad is not one of my good points oh and if all my paragraphs haven't gone in
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