Child had 11 days off sick for mumps from school and now im being sent an education welfare officer to explain attendance???

(153 Posts)
honestyismybond1 Thu 05-Dec-13 00:15:52

Child is at a good primary school who I have had an excellent relationship with.My childs last year attendance was 90%.This year we aimed for 100% but sadly caught mumps and was very ill off sick for 11 days.Child saw GP on first day of absence who confirmed mumps and school was notified on day one by myself.I called the school many times updating them and requesting missed work to keep up.My child loged into school website everyday for 2hours to complete math work to keep up but sadly requested work from school did not come.When child went back to school I let teacher know how hard child worked at home even though very poorly and all seemed fine.Two weeks later got a school letter saying being moniterd by educational welfare officer for poor attendance and any future absences will be marked unauthorised unless I get a doctors note even if its a 24 hour bug or cold.So when my child was ill yet again a week later for a tummy bug just for a day I took my child to see GP to get a note and showed her the letter and the Dr went mental but to my shock not towards the school but to me.Gp requested I pay £20 for letter or go! When I said I could not pay £20 Gp said was putting on my record that I am always to pay £20 if I want any information to stop me wasting her time.I felt sick and very upset.I pointed out to her that we were both on the same side and that it was the council,education board,school demanding this and if we both complained in some way it would help.I then dared to ask if this was fair and was clearly told what she thought did not come into this and she will only take the course of action of asking for £20 to stop it happening.So the parent gets blamed from all angles and the child gets unauthorised mark on school record!When I calmed down I rang eductation board who was delighted with the action my school had taken and even said to me "we have vast matters in this area and if a child is ever ill more than once a year then this needs investigating" who the hell has a child who is sick only once a year? If you do please clone them because this is not the norm.I am worn out with this so can anyone please share what they think and what they would do? Thanl you

PastSellByDate Thu 05-Dec-13 09:29:49

gamerchick/ horsemadmum

don't beat up parents for poor reporting of science journalists and poor enforcement of standards by British Medical Association.

A doctor was allowed to promote his theory (unproven) and it did deeply frighten parents.

I hasten to add my DDs (11 & 8 now) had the MMR but I can remember the poor midwife at our baby group (for DD1) having to really campaign with parents to agree to have their child immunized.

In Wales all the local papers were strongly advising parents against the MMR. Last year's major outbreak resulted in deaths and I know at least one paper issued an apology about their advice at the time.

guardian piece on this: www.theguardian.com/society/2013/feb/08/measles-outbreak-hits-18-year-high

bbc piece on this:
www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-23244628

(I have to admit when we were holidaying in Wales that summer, I did just double check my DDs were up to date on their MMR inoculations. The surgery nurse laughed at my worry, but agreed it wasn't worth the risk.)

ForTheLoveOfSocks Thu 05-Dec-13 09:33:25

MissWimpey it's not always avoidable. I had the MMR as a child and still caught mumps at 14.

NigellasLeftNostril Thu 05-Dec-13 09:36:45

sorry to divert but maybe the doctor 'went mad' cos your child had not been immunised against mumps? or did he/she catch it anyway?

CocktailQueen Thu 05-Dec-13 09:41:17

90% attendance is very low, OP - one day off in 10! Think how much education your dc has missed. No wonder your school is getting concerned. BUT their behaviour re mumps has been unreasonable.

You've had good advice from other posters.

MadeOfStarDust Thu 05-Dec-13 09:45:59

my DD had the MMR and still caught Rubella...

Immunisation is NOT 100% effective.. about 95 % in those who had one dose, 98%+ in those who had 2 (my DD is one of the less than 2% - someone has to be... sad )

...and now the OP comes on here and gets a pasting from MN
This is bloody ridiculous. GP and school at polar opposites when they should both be working towards what is best for the child and not playing out their little power struggles in front of the child and parents.

Made, people generally don't understand percentage risks unless it's 0% or 100%. Very few times this is the case.

NigellasLeftNostril Thu 05-Dec-13 09:49:21

parents have such a shitty deal these days tbh, immunise/don't immunise. the schools on our backs like we are some kind of criminals, the constant threat of SS, criticism from other parents and the general public....
so i would not judge anyone's decisions.
OP tell the EWO what happened and the school to do one.

MILLYMOLLYMANDYMAX Thu 05-Dec-13 09:50:07

Ds was off for 10 days with a serious virus. I was told I could send him back into school as he was no longer infectious but he would have a cough for the next 6 weeks. Explained this to TA and teacher who proceeded to have him sit outside the class as soon as he coughed. 3 days in I found out ds was not being taught and was sitting outside the classroom all day. Fuming visit to the HT where I said if teacher was not going to teach him then I would keep him off for the next 6 weeks. Teacher was gone by that evening never to return.

Seriously impressed that you can get an appointment with Dr for the same day. For children at my GP's it is usually a 6 day wait or if it is an emergency then you are told to go to A&E. For adults anything from 7 days to a fortnight.

NoComet Thu 05-Dec-13 09:51:03

Honestly just ignore them.

I happen to know we have problems with funding EWO's and a child who was genuinely ill with a clear diagnosis is nit going to come very high on their list.

Smiling and nodding works well for HRs and school secretaries.

If school say anything else I would simply send an Email stating 'DDs GO is X, I here by give my permission for you discuss this matter directly with them. Clearly the school will be liable for any costs incurred.'

It only takes one horrid bug and your attendance is screwed. As a teacher I was more worried if a child had a pattern of absence. A child who is off for 5 days with a horrible bug happens, and I'd rather they stayed home than come in and spread it. The amount of parents who drag kids in when they're obviously ill proves how pressured they are from all angles.

If my son is poorly he will stay off and they can investigate away as far as I'm concerned.

NoComet Thu 05-Dec-13 09:51:31

HTs

gamerchick Thu 05-Dec-13 09:54:05

I can get a same day appointment for my kids.. and for me for that matter.. Our doctors are mint :D

And past it was just an observation. I literally haven't come across mumps for years. I remember having it myself though.

FeisMom Thu 05-Dec-13 09:58:33

I'm half expecting a similar letter as DD has had 5 bouts of D&V since September.

I've adhered to the policy of keeping her at home for 48 hours after the last incidence, so her attendance for this term is really poor.

I can't stop her getting D&V, as I have no influence over the rubbish hand hygiene at school, nor the parents who send their DCs back to school to soon to pass bugs around.

Quite what schools / EWO want parents to do I am not sure, send unwell children into school?

littleducks Thu 05-Dec-13 10:01:05

I cant believe anyone would offer anything but sympathy that the child caught mumps. I had the MMR and it didn't work, I showed as immune to rubella only in a blood test (had rubella before immunisation). There will always be some people who it does not work for. Also immunty is complicated, things like stress or other illnesses can mean that you end up catching things that you should technically be immune to but hopefully you will be less ill than if you hadn't be immunised.

moldingsunbeams Thu 05-Dec-13 10:06:35

See this is the problem with the new over kill rules, our doctors will not give sick notes either and the last thing the nhs needs is a billion children being taken to the doctors for minor childrens ailments and short term bugs purely to confirm to school they have been, you cannot get an appointment here for a week as it is!!

Surely the worst they can do is take OP to court and in the court information OP can ask the GP practice to confirm that her child had medical appointments on both terms of illness?

Is there actually an enforceable rule about sick notes? I would hate to think low income families are doing without food to pay for sick notes for children.

My dds consultant HATES this and is very angry about it.

moldingsunbeams Thu 05-Dec-13 10:12:31

The effect this has had in our school is the staff are ending up going off school really poorly because everyone is just sending poorly children into school and saying if they have an issue to ring and send them home.

Poor teacher is being hammered with bugs

moldingsunbeams Thu 05-Dec-13 10:13:23

I had mumps vaccination and got mumps

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Thu 05-Dec-13 10:49:37

You need to keep very calm about all this despite the fact you are being caught in the middle. I actually think the GP is reasonable to charge for a letter which is not medically required. I also think the school is reasonable to follow up such a large number of absences; although their suggestion of always needing a doctor's note for very short absences is poor I'd say. I do agree with others that, on the face of it, 90% attendance last year and less than 80% so far for this is poor. Clearly the school will want to satisfy itself that the absences have been genuine. If you get angry or defensive you will find it much harder to present your case that your son has genuinely been unfortunate and had a lot of sickness. What was his attendance like in earlier years?

PaperMover Thu 05-Dec-13 11:00:12

We had a letter sent home saying that attendance was not up to the % target and we must send our children to school. Well yes, you would think think.The next paragraph said if we sent our children to school when they are ill they will be sent home! again very sensible, seems a pointless letter to me.

The hygiene at the school seems to be poor, I went to help out one day and saw lots of children using the toilets but not washing their hands, even with a TA supervising. No wonder children get v and d,worms, everything else under the sun...

Does children's attendance get marked down if they have hospital appointments? Dd had one a week for 3 weeks and was out all day for two of them, then got a virus and was off school for a week.

NigellasLeftNostril Thu 05-Dec-13 11:03:52

children's attendance also gets marked down for lateness even if it is 5 mins, even if they know you live 15 miles away, are not entitled to a bus pass, and there is a massive traffic jam every morning. yes yes i know we should leave 5 mins earlier.
i have been trying to get my daughter's attendance percentage up since september and it is still low despite not having any time off.

LtEveDallas Thu 05-Dec-13 11:34:31

Serious question.

Why does a childs attendance at Primary School matter so much? Where does it get recorded? What affect will it have on future educational/employment prospects?

I'm not talking about kids who truant / parents that don't care. But if your child is a 'sicky' (the poor buggers that catch every bug/cold/illness going) and their attendance is poor - what does it matter? or what about the superbly healthy kid whose attendance is great, but catches whooping cough, or breaks his leg and has 8 weeks off school?

What will actually happen to the parent/child if the EWO gets called in?

What will happen if a school says they want doctors notes and the parent say "No, fuck off". Why do we care?

NigellasLeftNostril Thu 05-Dec-13 11:38:00

because all that information is recorded to be used against us in the future. it is scary actually.

fairisleknitter Thu 05-Dec-13 11:39:33

OP It's not right that the school want a doctor's note.

To those of you querying attendance well some primary age children get sick quite often. One of mine was never off, the next was off about once a month in the first 2 years.

Last winter was a terrible one for illness at our local primary school, one day had lowest ever attendance. We have none of this palaver regarding getting a doctor's' note though as we are in Scotland but this does seem to be coming to the fore in England.

The doctor was wrong to become angry at you and refuse to acknowledge the reason you were there - an unreasonable rule imposed by the school. You have nothing to be embarrassed about.

fairisleknitter Thu 05-Dec-13 11:41:28

LtEve I would refuse to get doctor's notes and see where it led but I appreciate not everyone wants to be the awkward bugger.

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