School have said dd's absence due to illness is unauthorized.

(32 Posts)
MonsieurleJuge Wed 27-Feb-13 21:02:45

Sorry this is so long but I would really like some advise.
My dd is in Yr2 and unfortunately she has had 3 periods of sick this school year. In September she was absent for 5 days for tonsillitis. In November she was absent for 3 days with diarrhoea and vomiting. In February before half term she had another 3 days off school because she had a very high fever and was in a lot of pain. Following a visit to the doctors on the 2nd day of absence she was diagnosed with blocked and infected sinuses and an ear infection and prescribed a course of antibiotics. So in total my dd has been absent from school due to illness for 11 days or 22 sessions.
I have always rung the school at the beginning of absence and normally every other day thereafter, and I have always written a letter confirming my dd was ill when she returns to school. The School Secretaries normally treat these phone calls with hostility and suspicion, basically like I am lying. I have complained about other things and I do not think I am particularly liked at the school.
After my dd was absent in September I received a letter saying that the school would like to have medical evidence in future to prove illness. Unfortunately despite ringing 3 times that week when my daughter was ill the secretaries did not mention this on the phone, otherwise I could have provided something from the doctor or kept the label from the prescription. But by the time the school asked for this evidence I no longer had anything.
When my dd was ill in February the Secretaries did ask me a couple of times for the proof of the prescription when I rang the school. So when my dd returned to school I sent it a letter stating why she was ill, I stated the name and details of the GP we saw. Who incidentally said she would be happy to verify that my dd was ill if the school contacted her but was not happy to write a medical certificate for a 7 year old. When the antibiotics were finished I sent in the label to school.
Today I have received a very brief and unhelpful letter from the Head saying that my dd's "absences will no longer be able to be authorised unless they are accompanied by medical evidence". The letter is accompanied by her registration certificate which shows that for the last period of sickness my dd's absence was unauthorised on day 1, bizarrely authorised on day 2 when we went to the doctors and got a prescription, and unauthorised again on day 3 of absence.
I feel really angry and upset. Surely I have provided all the evidence I can, I provided proof of a prescription medication that should cover the entire period of sickness. I just don't like the tone of the letter that seems to assume that I have been lying. My dd does get sick quite regularly, in fact this year is probably one of her better years. But if she does get sick again I will feel so nervous contacting the school in case they don't believe me. And obviously something like vomiting cannot be verified by a prescription or a doctors appointment.
I would like to write a letter of complaint to the Head but please help me with some rational points I should make. I am feeling distinctly irrational, I think the school have been very unfair and illogical. I would make an appointment with the Head but I have not found that very productive in the past. Has this happened to anyone else?

EuroShaggleton Wed 22-May-13 17:13:43

My suggestion:

Tell the school you will continue to act in your daughter's best interests by keeping her home when she is ill. Note that this is also in the best interests of school staff (so they don't have to deal with a sick child) and other children.

Tell them that if they wish to record the absence as unauthorised, that is a matter for them and their own record keeping. It makes no difference to your own actions in your daughter's best interests.

If you want to, enclose a signed letter authorising your GP to release information regarding your child's illnesses during this calendar year to the head teacher upon her request. It shows you have nothing to hide.

Pyrrah Wed 22-May-13 17:26:14

Ridiculous.

Also what about the implications of taking a child with d&v to a doctor's surgery and risking them giving it to vulnerable patients and babies. Also not fair on a child with a fever to drag them out to the surgery when they're feeling miserable and should be tucked up in bed.

Ignore them.

Harleyband Wed 22-May-13 18:08:51

This is one of the reasons we took our child out of one school and went private. DS has a serious genetic disorder that during his first year of school made him quite ill and which necessitated time off school as well as visits to a specialized clinic which was only open during school hours. The school said that they would require proof of illness for every one of these absences even although they knew about, and had a letter verifying, his condition. They simply refused to accommodate us. The private school was lovely. Took us at our word, asked what they could do to help, no problem with absences etc. Ironically, the medications started working the year he transferred and he now misses almost no school! Common sense- a lost art!

infamouspoo Wed 22-May-13 18:16:07

we had one head like this (ds has both epilepsy and a condition that means he wont live very long). Luckily we have a paediatrician who wrote a letter pointing out that they wouldnt want a child having a seizure on the premises. Git.
The new one isnt too bad but refuses to authorise hospice breaks. I take them anyway and they mark it as unauthorised. Fuck 'em.

breadandbutterfly Wed 22-May-13 21:33:44

Am totally shocked at how callous this is - and how stupid as it will encourage parents to send sick children in thus spreading bugs around and causing MORE absences of other children.

My phenomenally healthy dc1 got every bug going when she started primary school and was off about half her first year - no hassle from the school at all.

At secondary, we have been accused of unauthorised absences twice - once when she was in school but at her clarinet lesson during registration, and once when she was on a school trip. hmm

Since I rang up and laughed at them, they haven't done that again. smile

SoggySummer Wed 22-May-13 21:47:17

This thread dates back to February. I wonder how things have progressed with the OP since then. Please come back and update us OP.

I have to say I am shocked at they way some schools have treated some of you.

BlackeyedSusan England Wed 22-May-13 22:54:28

kilmui, I suggest you send in the evidence. grin if you ae really considete, you could even use a plastic bag...

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