Do I need to prove where my 4 yr old has been if off for medical appointment?

(16 Posts)
noseynoonoo Mon 28-Jan-13 19:18:19

My 4 yr old is in reception. He has had a recurring (now on 4th of 6) appointment on a Monday morning. I have made teacher aware of his absence in advance (by email) and after each appointment (by letter) and given her a brief synopsis of the problem (verbally) since she would presumably need to know if there is any impact on his school work.

This morning whilst at his appointment the school office called me to ask where he was and why I hadn't brought him into school. I explained he had a medical appointment and that his former teacher was aware. She said that I would need to prove where he was by proving a letter from the hospital so that 'we have it covered when the attendance is looked at by OFSTED' .

I feel that I have given them the information they require and am a bit peeved that the imminent OFSTED has led to them being obsessed with form filling rather than the wellbeing and education of my children.

So do I need to provide them with 'proof' and does the fact that my son doesn't even have to be in school (due to his age) impact on that at all?

smee Mon 28-Jan-13 20:39:42

It is about wellbeing though isn't it. Your child is enrolled in the school, so in their care. Means they have a right and a responsibility to know where he is if he doesn't turn up. It's the teacher's fault really for not telling the office, but it's no big deal is it? They're just doing their job. I think it's reassuring that schools track if kids are going in or not. I can see why it's annoying, but just show them the appointment letter.

grants1000 Mon 28-Jan-13 22:01:51

Yes you do, even if regular ie: 6 weeks. I took ds1 out every Monday for hour tuition at dyslexia action for two years, had to get permission from head & lea to do so, but it was novproblem at all. And form filling etc is part & parcel of school caring for your child, you have to work together with school for the welfare & education of your child. Why send him to school if you feel he doesn't have to be on there until he's 5? With things like this, as well as telling the teacher you need to put it in writing to both the teacher with any relevant accompanying info, to the school office, every parent does and the system works so don't fight it because it works. If every parent of a class of 30 just told the teacher things it would be impossible!

titchy Mon 28-Jan-13 22:09:50

You do not need to 'prove' anything. But you should let the office know in writing so they can put it down as authorised absence.

noseynoonoo Mon 28-Jan-13 23:19:11

I put it in writing each time by email and by letter and I have it in writing from the teacher, after I asked her what the process should be, that she would pass on my correspondence. I think it would have been disrespectful of me to question her on whether she would really do this.

The hospital are going to see if they can provide something (they were pretty unforthcoming). They acted as thought this was an unusual request.

My resentment is due to OFSTED being the reason for their interest. OFSTED is the reason for a lot of things at the moment and if something cannot be measured by OFSTED it doesn't seem worth doing - but that's a different child and a whole different story!

nailak Mon 28-Jan-13 23:30:34

yes my school is requiring drs notes if my child is off for d&v, how is this possible to achieve?

simpson Mon 28-Jan-13 23:32:37

DD did a 6 week physio session each Tuesday at 1. I provided the letter from the hospital stating that she would be doing the course for 6 weeks to the school office and they were fine with it. She is only 4 too. And I do believe that if I had not provided it, they would have asked for it.

TBH most places that do weekly sessions are happy to provide letters and should have done IMO (they sent one for me and one for DD's school in advance). If you don't have one I would ask the hospital to provide one and get the school off your back smile

BackforGood Mon 28-Jan-13 23:41:23

Surely you have a letter from them, telling you about the appointments? Is there a reason you don't want the school to know where he is? I can't see the problem - I'd have just shown them the letter in the first place, then they've got all the information. Don't see why it needs to be a problem.

noseynoonoo Tue 29-Jan-13 12:53:34

We didn't have an initial letter - sorted out over the phone.

I don't want to divulge my son's condition because it is private and because I don't want him to be viewed as having this condition - I don't trust the school to be discreet.

However, if I am honest I think my actual antipathy revolves around the form-filling culture. My other child has needs which aren't being met but by their own admission they have ticked a box for OFSTED to see and that is all they will do.

wheresthebeach Wed 30-Jan-13 09:52:51

Afraid if you want to school to be in the dark then you need appointments outside of school time. The school has a duty to know where the children are so they can assess truancy v being out of school for a good reason. Its not fair to expect them to take your word for it.

My daughter has been out of school for hospital appt's all her life and we always have a letter with the date/time. If you've six appointments with a hospital they would send letters, or certainly give you an apppointment card, if its with your GP they'd do a note....

LabelsGalore Wed 30-Jan-13 10:06:39

I though GP were not doing 'notes' any more but certificates that parents have to pay for.
Also I am shock and hmm about the idea to take a child to see an overbooked GP because they are off with d&V or a simple virus.....

That doesn't sit right with me at all especially when in the workplace you don't need anything for the first 3~5 days.

wheresthebeach Wed 30-Jan-13 14:56:43

OP says weekly app't for 6 weeks...a treatment of sorts...it's not about being off sick.

mirry2 Wed 30-Jan-13 15:04:40

Surely a hospital appointment card will do? Even the receptionist at GP surgeries will write down the time and date of an appointment on a headed appointment slip if you ask them

ReallyTired Wed 30-Jan-13 15:04:52

If the child is four years old then school is not complusory. Your child doesn't even have to be there and there is no need for sick note.

BackforGood Wed 30-Jan-13 18:27:49

I just don't understand why you want to be awkward though. You've got a 7 yr relationship with this school (more if you have other children) - why not try to understand that they are duty bound to ensure that absences are for genuine things, and just show them anyone of the things above that have been suggested. Just because you know you wouldn't keep your child off school without a good reason, doesn't mean that other people don't.
Save your "stand" for when it's something bigger would be my thoughts. Work together with the school when you can.

lopsided Wed 30-Jan-13 20:41:16

I think once they start attending the fact that they are only 4 is not relevant. They will be treated as needing to be in school I think.

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