School wants GP sick note for any further absence!

(128 Posts)
RaisinBoys Wed 05-Dec-12 20:51:45

DS off school for 4 days, then additional 1 day following week. Called on each day of illness to report and sent email to office and teacher when he returned explaining illness and confirming dates.

He is not a sickly child so rare for him to be off school. In 6 years aside from this period of illness we can only remember 1 other week long period for chickenpox.

Scroll foward 2 weeks - just had letter from Education Welfare Officer stating that "any further days of sickness must be supported by GP letter!" and "if your [DS] continues to have days off sick we wil refer him to th school nurse who will contact your GP to determine if there are any underlying issues/problems".

We are fumiing!! (Well I am, DH just thinks "schools are agencies of the state whose sole function is to train children to conform in the future and this is par for the course").

I think this is a ridiculous over reaction and that GP's have better things to do than authorise childhood illness in children who for the most part attend school.

Aside from the difficulties in actually getting a GP's appointment in the first place....

RaisinBoys Wed 05-Dec-12 21:36:02

I'm with you MaryPoppinsBag

Hope your DS's better!

Great NonnoMum Will use that too!

ohfunnyface Wed 05-Dec-12 21:43:10

Sounds like an admin error- I really wouldn't worry.

Rudolphstolemycarrots Wed 05-Dec-12 22:27:03

I'd write and say that you will inform them next time kid is ill. Explain you are happy to get a note as long as long as they book the GP appointment, take your son and then pay for the note. Otherwise they will just have to take your word for the illness.

Rudolphstolemycarrots Wed 05-Dec-12 22:27:41

What a waste of GP's time!

Jakadaal Wed 05-Dec-12 22:36:32

A GP will not issue a sick note as this is for statutory sickness pay but they will issue a private note confirming illness (or what you have said is the matter). However they could possibly charge you (it used to be about £10) as this is outside of their NHS contract. I would write to the school, LA, WO etc and suggest that you will happily get a note if they are prepared to pay for it hmm

Haggisfish Wed 05-Dec-12 22:36:43

But it's not from the school - it's from the EWO, who is employed by the council. School will have had to send details of absences to them, and it is the EWO you need to be harassing, not school.

marriedinwhite Wed 05-Dec-12 22:42:03

Dear Office

Thank you for the letter about our child's recent absences. As you are already aware from the infomation already provided they were for: [ ].

As you should also be aware a medical certificate is not usually provided by a GP or statutorily required before the 8th day of sickness. If you require a certificate for shorter absences please confirm that you will be happy to reimburse me for any charge levied by the GP and also if our child has a minor illness that means an absence of only one or two days that you will be happy for our child to be absent for longer than this if the GP is unable to see him or her for three to four days to provide the requisite medical certificate. I am sure you are aware this is the norm in may GP practices. Further if I have to take additional time off work that you will prepared to reimburse me or my husband for any loss of earnings.

I shall be delighted to discuss these issues with the school nurse or the head teacher if you will be so kind as to telephone me to make a mutually convenient appointment. If I am able to see the head I shall also appreciate using the meeting as an opportunity to receive a full progress report about my child's academic achievements this term and am sure it will be no problem for the head to liaise with all the teachers involved in my son's learning.

with best wishes.

Raisinboys mum.

How better to Eff off nicely.

RaisinBoys Wed 05-Dec-12 22:49:01

Haggishfish The EWO in our case is employed directly by four schools (in a soft-partnership) not by the LA.

The letter comes from the EWO on school headed paper with the school office and headteacher being the only contact details supplied.

In this hassling the school is entirely appropriate.

whistlestopcafe Wed 05-Dec-12 22:56:16

I had a similar letter a few years ago. I don't buy the standard letter excuse. At work I review the individual circumstances of each case and send out appropriate correspondence I don't see why Education Authorities should be exempt from common sense and professionalism.

RaisinBoys Wed 05-Dec-12 23:03:57

Thanks all.

Love your letter married

RaisinBoys Wed 05-Dec-12 23:05:06

Could not agree more whistlestopcafe

drjohnsonscat Wed 05-Dec-12 23:22:17

love your letter married.

DD6 gets very red chapped skin around her lips when it's cold so I gave her a chapstick and told her to put it on every time she went out to play. The school told me I needed a dr's note in order for her to have it at school shock

I told DD that although her teacher was always right, on this occasion she should just hide the chapstick in her pocket and put it on in the toilet.

christinecagney Fri 07-Dec-12 00:04:42

Whistlestop not all LAs will allow their schools discretion or to use their knowledge of individual circumstances. Mine does, so I can judge whether or not to send a letter (which incidentally is never my first approach, will have had conversations with family first), but not all HTs do get to choose. We hate it too,
Causes endless upset.

Had to send myself one once. DS came to my school and had been off on holiday with his dad making his attendance low. At the time I was in a no-discretion school so had to write to myself about it. I put the letter in the bin needless to say.

christinecagney Fri 07-Dec-12 00:09:25

BTW I think if the EWO is employed by the schools the letter might be quite ignorable. Not sure what recourse 4 schools in a soft partnership would really have to enforce their demands. They won't want to go a legal route as its way too expensive, IMHO.

cory Fri 07-Dec-12 08:29:42

mrz Wed 05-Dec-12 21:01:18

"We only ask for doctor's certificates for pupils who are frequently absent"

How do you manage if parents are not well off and the child is one of those children who get every flu bug going? I have just paid £20 for a sick note for dd: if I'd had to do that when she was younger and constantly catching things and when we were on a low income, it would have made life very difficult. What do you do if the family say they haven't got the money?

MoaningMingeWhimpersAgain Fri 07-Dec-12 10:45:03

DD has just had 6 school days off with D and V, because I waited until she was symptom free for 48 hrs before sending her back. I would not be providing a GP note as she didn't need to see the GP for viral D and V. And I would put that in a letter if they wrote to me.

However, the school knows there are a lot of contagious bugs around at the moment and I suspect they know I am honest grin Try not to take the letters too personally, really.

school scan override the automatic triggering - last years DDs attendance was 60%, and the school told me that they would liaise with the EWO about her case. They said I may get an initial letter, but just to ignore it, as it might take a couple of weeks to get the systems updated.

So for anyone who has DC with ongoing conditions, it's certainly possible. Taking a D&V-ey DC to the GP for a sick note is just ridiculous though.

RaisinBoys Fri 07-Dec-12 18:15:40

Thanks for that info christinecagney

Thanks everyone - really helpful to get your views

rotavirusrita Fri 07-Dec-12 18:22:37

Send the letter above. Honestly. I might even be tempted to cc in your gps practice manager. Gps have enough to be doing instead of this shit

RaisinBoys Fri 07-Dec-12 18:44:55

Couldn't agree more rota

marquesas Fri 07-Dec-12 18:57:06

Your child obviously doesn't have long left at primary school if he's already been there for 6 years but really I wouldn't advise sending the suggested letter unless you want to be forever known as the arsey over reacting parent.

Yes. it's really annoying but I think ignoring is the way to go here, rise above and let them follow it up if they feel strongly enough, I don't suppose they will unless there is any further absence.

RaisinBoys Fri 07-Dec-12 19:39:35

Can't see anything wrong in the being arsey and overreacting sometimes especially where institutions are concerned.

It's very cathartic!

marquesas Fri 07-Dec-12 20:05:11

Yes, it can be cathartic and I do it myself on occasion grin but I wouldn't do it to my childrens school as it wouldn't be fair to them if there were repercussions.

radicalsubstitution Fri 07-Dec-12 21:10:04

When schools (or other institutions) get arsey, they deserve an equally arsey response.

I would write:

'I am happy to pay for a GP letter. Please, however, deduct the cost from anything that you would like me to voluntarily contribute towards the school. I will therefore consider myself exempt from receiving 'summer fair' raffle tickets in my DC's book bag for 4 years for each letter I am required to provide'.

Schools rely on the goodwill of parents in so many ways. I think some (not all) take the piss.

mrz Fri 07-Dec-12 21:17:09

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