how do I appeal this letter?

(13 Posts)

Woke up this morning with a Penalty Warning notice for my dd5yo having had 6 sessions of school in 6 months. 6 sessions meaning 3 days off.
2 were for the winter vomiting virus and the other day was because my newbaby was born and there was no one that could get my dcs to all the different schools.

On all 3 of these days I & my dh phoned in and were told okay all is fine etc. Then out of the blue today I get the Penalty warningshock

My dd was generally ill those 2 days and I was unable to take her to the doctors having had no transport along with 4 dc & I vomiting & having diarrhoea all day both days. It was horrid sad but nevertheless the school was okay about it when I phoned in.

I want to appeal to have this letter taken off record as I feel very hurt and worried they could ever fine me in future and I feel tarred along with cba typesangry

I am also angry that nothing was said on those mornings re possible fining and the fact they would be unauthorised.

I had a similar letter to you regarding my DS2 attendance - which is 82% from September until present day... Unfortunately, he has had 3 bouts of recorded tonsillitis with prescribed antibiotics, which I sent him in to school with on all occasions once he picked up. Then, in December, he had a week off because he was very poorly - very chesty cough, temperature, very bunged up and snotty and achey. He was fine for 3 days and then came out in chicken pox - which resulted in 2 weeks off becuase it is THEIR policy, that a child presenting with chicken pox may not come into school until the last pox has scabbed over - even though he was fine and his illness the week prior was obviously a pre-cursor to developing chicken pox..

I would LOVE to see them try and fine me for crappy attendance when my DS1's attendance is 100% year after year becuase he never seems to pick up anything and my daughter nursery attendance is also practically 100%.

I don't think it helps that my children are on free school meals and therefore pupil premium - along with the attendance being dragged down through an illness as lengthy as chicken pox - I think they've pounced on it that he's some poor disadvantaged, impoverished child and I feel tarred with the cba brush too...

It's utterly ridiculous. Why they cant ring up and be human about this instead of clerical and statistical is beyond me..

I agree youre what happened to being a human and judging on an invidual basis. My dh has just read the letter and it seems I have nothinh to worry about as it states per term, the 3 days were scattered over 2 terms and it also states over 10 days etc, whereas this was 6 sessions

Mojang Mon 10-Feb-14 14:49:35

So the letter you had was just a "warning" of what would happen if you missed more school OP?

I work in a primary with slightly below average attendance. I don't know of anyone who had actually been fined. I know of several who have had letters saying they might be.

prh47bridge Mon 10-Feb-14 14:53:06

This is just a warning. As long as future attendance is fine there won't be any further repercussions. There is no mechanism for appealing against such letters. However, for the letter to have been issued at all suggests that the school has marked the absences as unauthorised. The two days your daughter was off sick should have been marked as such. You might want to complain about that.

tiggytape Mon 10-Feb-14 18:17:06

As prh says, you cannot do much about the 3 days when you lacked transport options (because the onus is always on parents to sort these things out and get a child to school pretty much no matter what)

But you can write and say you want the 2 days of illness to be correctly recorded as such. They are not an unauthorised absenses since she was ill on those days. You can check that the school don't have all 5 listed as unauthorised.

zipzap Mon 10-Feb-14 21:36:28

I would speak to someone at school - and follow it with a letter to confirm what their policy is when a child has d&v and how much time they need to have off, and to confirm that they have your dd down as actually being sick on those days.

At both dc's schools, you cannot come in for 48 hours after they are last ill - which can mean if they have the bug for a couple of days at the start of the week they can be off for 4-5 days as a result of the school's own guidelines. If they have got some magic cure that means that they are able to cure dc so they are fit and uncontagious and able to go back to school straight away rather than stay away and be poorly at home then they should do the decent thing and share it with the rest of mankind. Otherwise they certainly shouldn't be harrassing people that have had one episode of d&v. Plus they shouldn't expect you to provide a doctor's certificate for a normal bout of d&v - they would be furious if schools were telling everyone that's what they had to do. It's one thing to contact the doc if it has gone on a long time or if the child has become dehydrated etc - ie if it turns into an abnormal instance. But they certainly wouldn't want anyone in their surgery with active d&v just for a certificate!

I would also ask about days when there are exceptional circumstances - because being otherwise occupied due to giving birth is also something that is not going to be a regular occurrence (I'm assuming that you are not some medical marvel that has an ability to pop out sprogs every other week, which seems a reasonable assumption!) Whilst it still has to go down as unauthorised I'm guessing, it's very different from somebdoy who couldn't be bothered to take the kids in and does it on a regular basis. So again, worth getting the actual reason down in your dd's file rather than jut a generic code so when they come to review her file they can see that.

And - it's all very well saying that so long as the rest of her attendance is fine, there's no problem, but she only needs another couple of bouts of d&v (probably caught though school) this year and then she could end up in the danger zone despite doing the right thing and staying away from school when poorly...

Good luck - hope they realise they have been a bit hasty with their letter!

They are stupid automatic letters brought about by Ofsted looking at attendance as part of the inspection process.
DD2's is gathering dust on the dressing table.

Asterisk Tue 11-Feb-14 07:56:56

Did you send a note in after the absences? You don't need a GP's note, but unless you sent something in writing saying your child had been ill, they will probably record it as unauthorised absence. I think schools are now obliged to provide a paper or email trail that shows how they're monitoring attendance. Just the child saying they were ill is not enough, neither is a phone call at the start of the absence. You must send something in writing with a day or two of the return to school.

intheenddotcom Fri 14-Feb-14 17:50:29

It's not about unauthorized absence. They are sent based on % off which includes the I (ill) code.

Thanks everyone, decided to completely not worry about it and I have let it go and gather dust in my paperwork drawer!
It's not worth the paper it's written on anyway as the 3 days off were taken in 2 separate terms.

lljkk Sat 15-Feb-14 08:04:46

I've been sending notes for years, don't trust just verbal comms.

I won't be trusting the office staff anymore iiks. My children will now have to attend even when being sick or having diarrhoea, as getting 5 children to the doctors to get proof for such an illness will be impossible and I cannot risk a fine.

Every year we catch the d&v virus atleast once and we as a family all come down with it together- tis rancid, but I guess us all vomiting in the office should put paid to this ridiculousness sooner or later.

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