attendance letter from school

(34 Posts)
UriGeller Mon 23-May-16 13:59:41

DS is in reception. He only started in September so why have we received a letter saying his attendance is below 90% and inviting us to a meeting with the education welfare officer to discuss it. What is there to discuss? Isn't it all supposed to be 'informal schooling' until Y1 anyway?

lavenderdoilly Mon 23-May-16 14:07:54

A letter is normal if annoying - kids never get colds , vomiting bugs etc etc. Meeting with education welfare officer not so usual in my experience. I suppose it depends how far away from the 90 per cent you are.

irvineoneohone Mon 23-May-16 14:33:49

Here's link to some similar posts:

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/primary/2626554-What-does-a-welfare-officer-do

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/education/2607338-School-sent-threatening-letter-about-4yo-son

meditrina Mon 23-May-16 14:46:30

Once you have chosen to enrol your DC in school, they should attend regularly. If below the statutory school age, then you cannot be fined for non-attendance, but (unless you have an agreed part-time schedule) all other attendance management interventions can be applied.

Once of compulsory school age, then it's the full range (including fines) until they leave school-based education.

SocialDisaster Mon 23-May-16 14:56:56

This is discrimation as far as I am concerned. They expect to have full access to medical records, ask questions to gain an answer that suits them or waste time and money of families for sick notes. It's bullying of ill families. Complain to your MP.

Fidelia Mon 23-May-16 15:14:20

Well, more than 10% off school so far means that your child has had more than 15 days off school? So more than 3 weeks over the year so far? That is quite a lot tbh. If it continues at that rate, then your child would be likely to have another 5 days off between now and the end of term...4 weeks in total. Can't you see why they'd want to address it now, before your child gets further up the school?

NynaevesSister Mon 23-May-16 15:25:38

Your child only has to be in education full time the term after they turn 5. When was their 5th birthday?

Up to the point they reach Compulsory school age (CSA) they can't force your child to attend school.

UriGeller Mon 23-May-16 15:45:26

Fidelia, I can't see the absences happening at the same rate as its summer now and the season of lurgs and nasal fruitfulness has long gone!
He had various post viral stuff that most kids his age get, which meant he was off school recuperating. His attendance according to this letter is 88%.
I'm just wondering what the point of it is?

UriGeller Mon 23-May-16 15:47:43

Nynaeves, he was 5 in January. Would it be the Easter term or September (stArt of school year)?

Wizzysmum1 Mon 23-May-16 15:49:49

there is also the concern of, if it continues when the child goes up into year 1 and still having lots of days off. No one would dispute days off sick for tummy bugs but some parents keep their children off the most minor things like a bit if a temp and cough and regularly to this. I can see why they would address it now.

Herschellmum Mon 23-May-16 15:50:49

The point is money, 1. To fine parents go get money and 2. That they school lose money when kids are off.

My kids get those letters in nursery! At age 3!

Wizzysmum1 Mon 23-May-16 15:51:37

88 % is very low attendance - I am not surprised now at all as to why you have been called in.

SocialDisaster Mon 23-May-16 15:58:31

The school gets downgraded by OFSTED too.

catslife Mon 23-May-16 16:01:07

I think the school need to double check that there aren't any other medical conditions such as asthma which mean your child may need more time off.
If it helps OP my child had the most time off in reception but by Y6 had 99% attendance.
Herschellmum is incorrect, the fines are only for term time holiday and state schools do not lose money when your child is off sick.
It's not been mentioned yet but percentage attendance is assessed by OFSTED and schools cannot become (or stay) outstanding if the attendance rate is too low.

OddBoots Mon 23-May-16 16:09:14

If your child was 5 in January then the compulsory education age is from Easter.

The school has to send these letters, the meeting is to see if there are any chronic medial needs and to check that you are aware how important attendance is.

spanieleyes Mon 23-May-16 17:26:11

The point is money, 1. To fine parents go get money and 2. That they school lose money when kids are off

Schools don't get any money from fines levied, the monies go to the local authority.
Schools don't lose money when children are absent.

Schools do have a duty to ensure children are educated, if a child has persistent absences then this needs to be looked into.

Wolfiefan Mon 23-May-16 17:27:52

Post viral stuff?
Kids only need to be kept off whilst they are actually ill.

FarAwayHills Mon 23-May-16 17:43:07

I agree that this attendance would be quite low and potentially damaging if it were to continue. I guess they want to discuss any concerns or health issues.

It's quite common in reception to get every bug going and the '48 hour rule' from last episode also adds to the number of missed days.

Janefromdowntheroad Mon 23-May-16 17:50:03

Our school sends these out if attendance drops below 96% hmm

They PAY an outside agency to monitor attendance. You have to go to a meeting where they give you helpful advice like

- you need a GPs note for absences (bullshit)
- advice re hand washing and hygiene so your kids don't get sick (because nobody sneezes or coughs near each other especially not 5 year olds)
- threaten you with a fine if absence persists (hahaha)
- tell you they expect to see an upturn in absence (DD had an operation for a broken arm and wasn't allowed in school for two days, an authorised absence for a funeral and chicken pox)

I sat in the meeting like grin and angry

Mov1ngOn Mon 23-May-16 17:50:55

Thats an awful lot of time off. I'd understand it more if it was say 2 weeks chicken pox and a couple of tonsilitis.

tilder Mon 23-May-16 17:59:25

88% attendance is pretty low. I can't believe the meeting will be very formal but I would be surprised if a meeting hadn't been requested.

Tbo I don't understand why people have a problem with schools checking up on attendance rates. If there is a genuine reason for the absences then fine, tick box exercise. But how is the school supposed to know things are ok unless they check?

irvineoneohone Mon 23-May-16 18:14:22

Wolfiefan, post viral stuff can happen to some children, though I think it's rare. My ds was hospitalised after virus got into his leg muscle after viral infection. So if the child has weak immune system for some reason, simple viral infection can be quite bad, and takes longer to recover.

smellyboot Mon 23-May-16 23:23:51

Mine have never had a day off except 1 day for a sickness bug each. I have to work, so I don't keep them off unless I have to. They were at nursery before so don't really get sick now. Our school would view that as low attendance and would want to address it before Yr1. Some DC at our school are often off for the slightest thing - but generally when parents are off work work or not in work anyway... So easier to just let them stay home. Not an option for me... Bug I can see why people would do it as FT is not compulsory at age 4

pinkdelight Tue 24-May-16 10:02:54

"If your child was 5 in January then the compulsory education age is from Easter."

As I understood it, that stipulation is about whether they have to start school or whether they are deferring entry. Once they have committed to starting school, then they are supposed to be there. I don't think you can start school and only turn up sometimes (without for instance a part-time arrangement) then say that's fine because it's "informal" and not compulsory yet.

NynaevesSister Tue 24-May-16 13:53:51

No that's not quite accurate PinkDelight. Parents have the right to be offered a school place the September after their child turns 4, they have the right to send their child full time, part time, or delay until the point they reach CSA, and the school HAS to hold their place. It is in section 2 part 16 of the School Admissions Code 2014.

OP, I would have been surprised if the school hadn't requested a meeting. This won't be some sort of disciplinary meeting. More that this is a lot of time off, and they will want to check in and see if there is anything that needs supporting etc.

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