Daughters attendance is so bad

(9 Posts)
hippyJules Wed 09-Jan-13 10:34:48

I'm starting to get really stressed out about my teenage daughters attendance at school. She's 15, and over the last few months she has had a lot of medical problems regarding her periods (heavy bleeding, vomiting, cramps etc), shes had a horrible time of it. We've taken her to the doctor and for the last month and a half things have improved slightly since he put her on the pill and anti- sickness tablets.
But at this point now, her attendance is significantly lower than it should be and her Welfare attendance person at school is constantly on our case, despite being told she has been genuinely ill and unable to attend, not skiving.
Tomorrow we have an appointment to see them and her head teacher, im really worried what will happen as i know its our duty as parents to make sure she gets an education. I dont want to be prosecuted because of this.
Really the buck falls to me as I am the stay at home parent and my husband works a lot of hours so is rarely here. I don't drive, so on the occasions where she feels ill and i will have to force her to go in, i'm not sure how i can physically drag her in??? There are no truancy buses in our area.
Anyone else had experience of this?? Any advice would be gratefully recieved. Many thanks.

tiggytape Wed 09-Jan-13 10:46:31

Your DD is genuinely ill and you are seeking medical help for this. She has now started treatment which will hopefully improve things over the coming months.
As a parent you have fulfilled your obligations and have done nothing wrong but attendance issues are treated seriously in schools so all her time off has probably automatically generated intervention and reviews. It does not mean they are thinking of prosecuting you though.

Have you followed up each absence with a written note to the school? If you haven't, I would make sure you write down all the days she has been ill and all the dates of her medical appointments so far and take them with you to the meeting tomorrow.

hippyJules Wed 09-Jan-13 10:53:50

Thank you tiggytape, yes we have always phoned in her attendance on the morning of absence followed by a written note, but i'm not sure the Attendance welfare officer believes us about the reason she has been off. I'm wondering if i should try and get some kind of letter from her doctor to take to them? Not sure if this is possible. x

LineRunner Wed 09-Jan-13 11:01:35

If your meeting is tomorrow, I think that at that meeting you should ask what medical documentation the school requires in respect of your DD's treatment.

They will let you know, and you can then ask your GP to supply it. And what tiggy said - take as much information as you can to the meeting tomorrow.

Pootles2010 Wed 09-Jan-13 11:04:04

Yes agree with line - ask what evidence they need. Then ask how they plan to help you - can they send work for her to do at home? Could you pair this with some sort of tutor at home to help things along?

She's 15, she need some education and they should be helping you with this.

It will be OK. She's been off for genuine medical reasons, and your DD's medical records will reflect that.

When I started secondary school my attendance was absolutely dire due to recurrent tonsillitis. I was off nearly 40% of the time for the first two years of secondary school until the NHS finally decided that I should have them out. I remember being pulled out of class by the guidance teacher to explain my poor attendance (and I'm sure my mum had to do the same), but it was all absolutely fine because I was ill (miserably so as tonsillitis is no fun at all).

Just go to the appointment and tell them the truth.

hippyJules Wed 09-Jan-13 11:47:45

Thanks everyone for your lovely replies and advice, i'm feeling better about it all.
I will try to gather everything together today and have some questions ready, so i feel organised smile
Thanks again !! xx

guineapiglet Wed 09-Jan-13 11:57:43

Hi - very sorry to hear your daughter has been so unwell, I sympathise as we have been going through this with my own, so send you positive vibes. What everyone else has written is good advice, make sure the whole thing is tracked, medically and administratively, and ask for a specific point of contact in the school - there may be a study support person etc to whom she can go and talk to. We found the most helpful person was the examinations officer ( who had no idea all this was going on) particularly important in YR 10 and 11, so that they can make provision ( if needed and if your daughter happens to be unwell during exams etc, all these things affect them when they become physically unwell and they worry about things). Your doctor should be able to advise re the medical side and keep her under regular review so that it is seen as ongoing, if it becomes so. Personally I think a lot more credence should be given to bad and heavy periods, they absolutely wipe out my daughter, and it is very stressful as a parent when you 'know' they should be at school. It is a tough problem about the transport as well, I was able to drive her into school when I could, maybe the person you are seeing can advise. It is also a good idea to get the head of year to email her teachers so that work can be given out where necessary for her to work on at home when absent, or catch up on etc. I found the school very helpful and supportive once all these things were put in place, so dont feel bad about constantly updating them and reviewing things with them, they should be on your side!

LCD100 Thu 10-Jan-13 10:32:22

It sounds like your poor daughter may have endometriosis. (Of course it might not be, but it sounds like it.) This can only be diagnosed by laparoscopy. Due to lack of awareness of various symptoms among doctors it take on average 7 years to diagnose women with endo. I'm pointing it out to you so you have an early heads up. Hope the info helps. For what it's worth all my symptoms have been controlled very effectively for years with diet.

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