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I am fuming with the school

(91 Posts)
lougle Fri 25-Jan-13 15:46:12

After all our 'attendance issues' and my discussion with the Head Teacher, who told me that DD2 couldn't possibly have had a temperature at school, because they would have sent her home....

This morning DD2 didn't want to go to school - she told me she was poorly.

I told the teacher this morning that DD2 had said this (her temperature was 37.5, so just on the cusp of 'do not send to school', but of course if I don't send to school I have to get a doctor's note now).

DH went to collect DD2 this afternoon and teacher said 'DD2 has a headache and didn't go out to afternoon play.'

It turns out that DD2 told the teacher that she felt poorly before lunch and after lunch and the teacher didn't take action (other than letting her miss break time).

I took her temperature because she looked thoroughly miserable - 38.5 and rising.

Why can't they just do what they're meant to do?

Btw, she says when she swallows, her cheek hurts. I remember that from Mumps, but are there other things that can cause that?

Handywoman Fri 25-Jan-13 15:55:28

Oh no, I would be fuming.... So much for 'automatically sending her home with a temp.' Well they tripped themselves up there. So rhet wont be able yo use thst old chestnut again, ha! I hope they are sorry (but they probably won't be).

Hope your lovely dd2 bounces back (has she has her MMRs?)

I think that can happen in an ear infection too.

I'd be cross with school too. Lougle I'm so sorry you're going through this. It sounds like every day is a pita with this school.

YOu know to write a note yes?

To use as evidence in the future when you need to prove that you know what you are doing and the school well, just don't!

Badvoc Fri 25-Jan-13 16:42:12

Oh Lougle they are shit aren't they?

moosemama Fri 25-Jan-13 16:55:01

Lougle, sorry if I have missed it somewhere, as I've only read some of your posts recently, but have you considered the possibility of Glandular Fever at all? I know it can drag on for some people and the symptoms can come and go, including the temp being up and down.

There's a bit here about it dragging on and resurfacing in some cases.

As for school. I don't know what it is about some school's/teachers that makes them so adverse to sending sick children home, when the schools are the ones that get all jumpy about children passing bugs around. You can't win, if you send them in you are passing the illness around, if you keep them off they're on your back for poor attendance and if you hedge your bets and send them in, they say they either say they can't be responsible for monitoring individual children or they say they will but then don't bother. angry

lougle Fri 25-Jan-13 20:32:21

Interesting moosemama, thanks.

An (hopefully carefully worded and factual) email has been sent, with a request that a copy be put in her file, and a comment that I would be putting a copy in my file.

coff33pot Fri 25-Jan-13 23:27:10

Eldest DD had glandular fever when was 9 and it kept springing up over a 5 year period! trouble is to test for it is difficult as the timing has to be spot on for a blood test to confirm it. x

It is painful though and DDs throat and sides of face used to swell uncomfortably.

Your dds school was totally brainless today grrr

moosemama Fri 25-Jan-13 23:29:14

Apparently the actual glandular swelling bit isn't marked in some individuals though coff. Which is how it gets overlooked in some cases.

lougle Fri 25-Jan-13 23:33:57

I wonder if that's what she had the first time? The doctor was surprised to feel that she had so many glands up in her neck.

coff33pot Sat 26-Jan-13 00:31:41

Yes that is what happened with DD moosemama, because she repetitively had tonsilitis as a child they disregarded it as that even though she had tonsils out you can still catch it apparently. Then they said it was farengitis (sp) so we bought that but 6 months down the line it went up with neck swell and thats when they mentioned glandular fever. Blood test didnt reveal nothing first time round and thats when I got told the blood test is a hard one (or was its was years ago now) as if the timing is out it will read all clear for it.

So your DD could possibly be suffering similar lougle smile

Badvoc Sat 26-Jan-13 08:02:56

Lougle...I had glandular fever when I was 18.
Most unpleasant.
Are her glands in her armpits and groin up too?
If so it's more than likely glandular fever.

lougle Sat 26-Jan-13 08:04:16

I just don't understand why everyone seems so keen to think she's lying sad

I was explaining to DD1's carer, how DD2 just seems to 'shut down/mask up' once she's at the classroom. It's not easy to describe, but yesterday she was begging me not to send her to school. She was on the verge of tears as we walked from the car to the school. In fact, she was clinging to my leg as I walked towards the cloakroom door.

But then, the teacher took her hand, made a joke and said 'dd2, you've got to write up your fantastic poem today so Mummy can read it!' -DD2 gave her 'funny'laugh (imagine someone trying to impersonate a duck talking) and went in the classroom.

The carer said 'oh well in that case she's playing you' hmm

I said 'no, she knew she had no choice and the teacher pointed out a nice thing which would happen'.

Why, because she is 5, do people think she is being manipulative instead of accepting that a) she doesn't feel well and b) she doesn't like the thought of school, even if once there it isn't as bad as she thought it would be?

Badvoc Sat 26-Jan-13 08:12:46

Sounds like me as a child Lougle.
Even now I can't explain utter terror and the isolation I felt when I went through the school doors.
Everything confused me. I didn't understand the rules and some of the kids were horrible.
I was the boy who cried wolf too often and my parents got sick of it and sent me to school no matter what - which if course meant that sometimes I was sent to school when ill.
Then they would get cross because they had to fetch me home.
I did what was expected of me at school...I was the top reader in the school, was in the choir and orchestra.
And I hated every fucking minute if it.
Oddly, until I was 13/14. Then with options at GCSE I got some choice in what I learnt and started to enjoy school..I e en stayed in for a levels! grin
I don't know why your dd doesn't like school but its clear she doesn't.
Sometimes there is no clear's just a gut feeling which cannot be shaken off or explained, especially when your verbal skills are not very good.

Badvoc Sat 26-Jan-13 08:13:56

...and I would point out that being scared/stressed can make to feel ill.
I used to suffer from nausea, diahorrea and cramps on Sunday nights.
Every Sunday night sad

justaboutchilledout Sat 26-Jan-13 08:14:26

The carer said 'oh well in that case she's playing you'

I have exactly the same thing with DS1's leg problems, Lougle. Our carer (who they have been going to at the weekend for three hours to give us a break, although I am starting to rethink this arrangement) said to us "He's making it up for attention, he was fine when he was here, as soon as he saw you he doubled up in pain, he'd been walking around and playing all afternoon."
Yes, no shit, he DOES THAT BECAUSE HE WANTS TO PLAY WITH HIS FRIENDS AND THE PAIN GOES AWAY FOR A SHORT TIME IF HE EXERCISES, then when it comes back he tries to ignore it for as long as possible because he is being brave. Then when it is time to go home he realises how sore it has become. It's a familiar pattern and it has nothing to do with whether we are present or absent.

It is highly frustrating, I know.

Dev9aug Sat 26-Jan-13 08:29:37

I feel your pain lougle ds1 is very anxious and is most comfortable around me, so I also get the he's just 'playing' you, when they can't see what I see.

justaboutchilledout Sat 26-Jan-13 09:37:04

I think there is a terribly destructive tendency to dismiss anything complicated as "playing the parent." It is rather like "neurotic mum."

lougle Sat 26-Jan-13 09:57:11

I agree wholeheartedly.

I said to her carer:

'my bottom line is, she has some genuine illness, evidenced by fever (career says some children can make themselves ill. Well, it's Saturday, no school, she has a temp of 39.2 and is refusing breakfast). She may well have some anxiety that she is expressing in physical symptoms. Either way, just because she can't express herself the way an adult might, that does not make her feelings any less real. Doubting a child and breaking their trust is a terrible thing.'

In fact, I might take her to out of hours today. A waste of nhs resources, perhaps, but I want her genuine symptoms documented, especially as I've written to the head.

moosemama Sat 26-Jan-13 11:37:05

I would take her Lougle, as you say, best to get it documented that it's not only on school days and a second opinion from a different doctor might be interesting as well.

zzzzz Sat 26-Jan-13 12:03:19

In the uk particularly, but in much of the world people treat children appallingly. There feelings are dismissed in a way I find frankly extraordinary.

I am blessed with a very good memory of what it was like to be a child and hope I learn from it.

coff33pot Sat 26-Jan-13 12:51:34

Eldest DD as far as school was concerned was "playing it" she ended up with 5 duodenal ulcers due to stress sad

I moaned constantly about my arms hurting, muscles hurting feeling wobbly, couldnt see etc they made me stay and ignored it. Turned out I was having fits after a brain scan.

Anxiety plays a part in illness and stress makes things worse but to me a child tells their mum. Thats it and if the mum takes the child to the school doors its a case of "oh well I got to go in" and a sort of resignation takes over.

coff33pot Sat 26-Jan-13 12:53:13

I dont believe its to do with the fact that they are fine in school so there is nothing wrong.

I would take her GP Lougle and trust your instincts regardless of other peoples opinions x

moosemama Sat 26-Jan-13 13:40:18

I'm another one who was told she was 'playing it' when I was ill in secondary school. I was becoming weaker and weaker, losing weight, looked obviously ill, had intermittent temperatures and a persistent cough. I remember sitting in a French lesson and looking at my teacher and all the other pupils going about their normal days and actually thinking to myself "How can they not know? This is it, I am going to die here and no-one is going to notice or care." I have memory issues, but that one is burned into my memory - I remember to this day how lost and hopeless it felt. sad

That was in the November after I started Secondary and I had been ill since the previous winter in Primary. Mum had taken me to the GP several times and been told they couldn't find anything so I must be ok.

Two days after that French lesson I collapsed. My step-dad carried me into A&E and they told my Mum to expect the worst, they couldn't find a cause, chest xrays showed nothing, until one particular consultant suddenly thought of taking them from another non-standard angle and discovered both lungs just about full up with pneumonia. He said if they hadn't found it then, they didn't think I would have lasted another 24 hours - yet I'd been at school that day - because I had no choice. I gave up trying to tell them how ill I felt, because I felt no-one was listening and instead just dragged myself to school each day desperately holding myself together, trying not to collapse.

My mum has told me she 'knew' in her heart how ill I was and was terrified I was going to die, but felt powerless to get anyone to listen to her.

As a parent now myself, it has definitely affected how I feel about sending my own dcs to school when they are ill. I will always trust my own 'gut feeling' first and foremost.

LabelsGalore Sat 26-Jan-13 13:55:33

Very few people are ready to accept that emotions (such as stress and anxiety, fear) will have some very physical symptoms.
And that sometimes, in children especially, the emotions will 'only' be expressed physically (ie dc1 got headaches and tummy aches for about year due to stress bt never expressed his anxiety in any other ways. Because he bottled it all up and physical symptoms was the only way he could express his emotions).

However, Lougle, there is something else going atm with your dd2. A child doesn't get fever when 'they are playing up' or even when they are stressed or anxious. There is some sort of infection going on, whatever it is. She is obvioulsy fighting something.

Perhaps, you could have a word with her teacher re the fever this weekend and ask them to keep an eye on it. It seems that the teacher is mixing the current problem (Infection) with other issues (The fact dd2 doesn't like school, etc...).
But tbh, this seems to me very similar to what I have seen happening with my dcs, incl very NT ds1. Unless the child is really complaining of something (and can say exactly what it is) or the child is lying on the table not moving, they are very much expected to 'get on with it'.

JeffFaFa Sat 26-Jan-13 14:21:49

Schools are useless, a few weeks ago i collected ds1 from school in tears, white as a sheet, he had been feeling ill all day and the begged the teacher to go home and he wasnt allowed i wasnt even called! upon getting home he immediatly lay on the sofa vomiting for the rest of the evening, for a sensory seeker laying still just dosnt happen he was really ill.

This week dh collected ds from school, teary and unable to talk he had lost his voice, again no word from school. On friday dh called to inform them yet again ds would be in that day and was spoken to like dirt school demanded a vaild reason and refused to accept a teacher wouldnt of reported ds being ill at school

USELESS FOOKERS the lot of them.

lougle Sat 26-Jan-13 21:11:35

I spoke to ooh and they didn't want to see her as her symptoms are recurrent, but they logged it, gave me a ref no.and told me to see GP on Monday with her.

temp 38.2 after calpol, 39.6 before. you can't fake that.

Handywoman Sat 26-Jan-13 21:28:34

Oh bless her, Lougle. How is she in herself? Hope she gets better soon.


lougle Sat 26-Jan-13 21:34:55

fairly miserable before the paracetamol kicks in. she doesn't understand though and takes everything so literally, that when we said her dinner would help her fight the illness, she got up and said 'I feel better now'. once I talked to her, it became clear that she didn't actually feel any different, but she thought she must do because she'd had a few mouthfuls of food.

Handywoman Sat 26-Jan-13 22:00:13

Oh bless her x

cory Sat 26-Jan-13 23:41:19

Do you think there is something about children with anxiety issues that means they will put on a desperate attempt to look ok for another adult no matter what? Dd used to do this when she got to school or to the doctor's however ill she was. I think it's a kind of defence mechanism. But it doesn't make it easier to fight their corner. angry

She was in hospital last week after a suicide attempt. She spoke pleasantly and politely to the CAHMS team and their report afterwards specifically mentioned the elegance of her poise. But SHE'D BLOODY TRIED TO KILL HERSELF!!!

justaboutchilledout Sun 27-Jan-13 03:29:37

Oh God cory I am so sorry.

You must be going through hell.

TheLightPassenger Sun 27-Jan-13 09:11:40

I'm sorry to hear that Cory.

I think part of the problem is social conformity - we are encouraged so much to put on a front and minimise our feelings at school and work etc,to fit in. But of course for some that masks subtle mental health/neurological and other issues.

"she's playing you" is a lazy answer. It should be followed by the question "why is a child sufficiently unhappy to be behaving like this?".

Lougle - don't underestimate the sort of pressures school are under re:managing attendance that may be influencing attitudes towards contacting you when she is at school.

justaboutchilledout Sun 27-Jan-13 09:27:44

Absollutely, TheLight, on all fronts.

LabelsGalore Sun 27-Jan-13 10:01:59

Cory sadsad
Any disability is so hard to deal with, esp as a teenager.

lougle Sun 27-Jan-13 10:29:25

Cory, that puts it all into perspective sad I hope you can find a way of fighting her corner that lifts her mask.

It's so true, though. Nobody seems to understand it, yet I witness it daily.

She can be crying at home 'please don't send me to school today!'. She can be snivelling in the car. She can be snivelling in the playground, which we have to walk through to access the classrooms (imagine a bicycle wheel, each classroom is a spoke on the wheel, with the playground around the outside of it and classroom access off the playground). But as she rounds the corner between the Yr R classes to the Yr 1 classes, she visibly stiffens, swallows down the anxiety and then smiles and laughs at the teacher.

cory Sun 27-Jan-13 17:32:36

Seriously, folks, I didn't mean to hijack (though thanks for sympathy thanks).

I was more thinking of the utter frustration of having fought to get the child a hearing and they then don't conform to the expected behaviour and everybody assumes you must be making it up because they can't see it.

Dd used to behave exactly like your dd, lougle. I know just how you feel! They need to listen to you and it is almost as if your dd is obstructing that. But she can't help it, poor little soul. They should still listen to you [grr]

justaboutchilledout Sun 27-Jan-13 19:20:08

Especially with teenagers, cory, I think that the basic assumption is Adolescent Can String Sentence Together And Is Polite To Adults = No problem.

lougle Sun 27-Jan-13 21:48:30

It's madness, though, isn't it? What parent would actually want their child to be struggling with school? What parent wouldn't want to be able to just drop and get on with their day? Barring true Fabricated Illness Syndrome, which is really quite rare (0.5 per 100,000) - so rare that most paediatricians will only manage 1 or 2 cases in their entire life.

So, if it's so rare, how is it that so many of us are disbelieved by teachers?

Believe me, I'd much rather have a girl who was genuinely happy to be at school and genuinely doing ok.

Handywoman Sun 27-Jan-13 22:13:08

Exactly Lougles. It's madness. Such a struggle having kids with SEN. Stressful, worrying, lonely and time consuming. However I think if there was a comprehensive pathway/system of supporting various needs across the academic and social curriculum in school I think teachers would feel more confident to meet parental concern head on. What we have is more of a vacuum up stream. Mostly the needs have to be met by teachers and they are already maxed-out.

I recently ended up writing official complaint to school governors when our SENCO told me outright twice that my dd1's maths difficulty was caused by my anxiety rather than her dyslexia. I am about to enter a similar battle over dd2's reading comprehension. Because I am not sure they will be able to believe how literally she understands words to the extent that books make no sense (it doesn't make sense here even reading it back).

lougle Mon 28-Jan-13 09:25:27

So today I left the house at 6.45am to take DD2 for her weekly blood test. She didn't feel very well, but I said I had no choice but to take her to school. We get to school and DD2 plucked up the courage to say 'My tummy hurts' (believe me, that took courage). The teacher saw her and said 'perhaps another day off school.'

Of course, DD2 can't have 'a day off school' without a medical note now. So, I had to go to the office. The receptionist went to speak to the head, who said that because Mrs X says DD2 shouldn't be at school, she doesn't need a medical note. I asked what happens tomorrow if she's still too unwell - does she need a note then?

The HT strode out of her office and glared at me, saying 'I didn't say certificate, I said note. The doctor only has to write a note.' I explained that she'd been sent out of school having missed afternoon play on Friday and that I sent her an email and she tossed her head over her shoulder and said 'I haven't opened my email yet.'

I told her she'd been ill all weekend. She glared again, saying 'and you took her to the Doctor, did you??'. I said 'No, I phoned OOH who told me to see a Dr on Monday if she still had a high temperature.' So she replied 'Oh well have you booked an appointment then?' Well, actually no, because her temperature has come down.

So, I've now had to book an appointment so the Doctor can say 'probably something viral.' Then I have to hope that she'll write a note saying 'probably something viral.' Then the saga begins again.

cory Mon 28-Jan-13 10:22:01

"The HT strode out of her office and glared at me, saying 'I didn't say certificate, I said note. The doctor only has to write a note.'"

Perhaps this is the time when someone should inform the HT that doctors do not generally agree to write "notes", but will count anything they write at the request of a patient as a certificate and charge the full fee.

imogengladhart Mon 28-Jan-13 10:41:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

imogengladhart Mon 28-Jan-13 10:44:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LabelsGalore Mon 28-Jan-13 10:47:32


It looks like they just don't trust you and think you are creating problems/don't want to send you child to school/see things that don't exist....

Tbh, as she has some fever and some very physical symptoms, I would play their game, go and see the GP each time. Ask for 'a note' (whatever it can be and see if the GP is happy to do one for you. Explain him, he/she might be sympathetic and quickly write 2 words by hand for you).
This way, you will keep on the toes of the school but also of the GP as really you need to find out what is going on with her.

But you really didn't need that sort of attitude on the top. sad

Badvoc Mon 28-Jan-13 11:13:16 you think it's time to get all legal here?
I do wonder if a solicitors letter - pointing out that no one needs a sick note unless there has been 5 days or over if absent - might be the way to go.
Have you been in touch with county hall to ask wrt their stance on chronic illness in children?
Do they have a dept/unit for helping kids who are ill alot/had operations/undergoing treatment?

Go to the GP and explain what has happened. Tell him you are expected to bring dd in every time you need to keep her off, when you would normally self-treat. Tell the GP your profession. Tell them you feel 'some' of the physical aspects 'might' be due to unmet needs at school. Ask if he/she wants to see you every time or whether you can get one note that says 'mum to keep of as considers appropriate'.

lougle Mon 28-Jan-13 14:05:26

I've taken her to the GP today. Obviously, as she no longer has a temperature, all that was visible was a little congestion in her ear. Viral. She refused to write a note (predictable) and said if they want information, they'll have to contact the surgery.

The school have replied to my email of Friday, stating that it was me who told Mrs X she was unwell, when it was in fact DD2 herself. She also states that as DD2's temperature was no longer high, she should be back in school, despite it being her teacher who told me to take her home.

I've had enough. I contacted a local school where a lot of children from my church happen to go (I ruled it out initially because DD1's transport conflicts, but it'll be ok as long as she's last drop).

She goes for a visit on Thursday and starts on Monday.

Badvoc Mon 28-Jan-13 14:09:10

Well done Lougle!
Am cheering for you and your dd smile
It was the only option really, I think, want it? sad
Worth putting a complaint in with OFSTED?

Badvoc Mon 28-Jan-13 14:09:44

(My ds1 goes to a small church's been amazing for him) x

Wow Lougle I really admire you for that. Many of us plough on for months, years even, hoping that it is all a misunderstanding and that somehow the CT and HT will see sense.

They don't btw.

Hope it works out and your dd loses her illness. How did you present your reasoning to the new school?

zzzzz Mon 28-Jan-13 15:23:54

Well done. Bravo that goose HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK HONK

lougle Mon 28-Jan-13 15:29:03

I told them the truth.

I told him that she hasn't settled in Yr1 and is finding it very hard. She has had a lot of illness (followed up with visits to doctors and paed) but that school have now said she needs a medical note for each illness. Overall, between DD2's unhappiness in general and the HT approach, I've decided that another school may be more appropriate for DD2, and I know the school through other parents.

He said he wouldn't want to upset me by doing the same thing if she was off a lot at his school - I reassured him that the request itself didn't seem at all unreasonable, simply the manner of the communication and the implication that I was fabricating illness.

He also said that there is a danger that you can simply 'move the problem' rather than 'resolve the problem.' I agreed with him, and acknowledged that we could well be 'moving the problem', but that in my view 5 years old is too young to be completely miserable all the time, and at least by moving school we will know if the problem is the school or DD2. At least then we will know that DD2 has the problem, and we will be justified in persuing it wink

Soooo...that's that.

I wasn't going to send her back to her current school. Didn't see the point, given that she would just go in on Wednesday, be off Thursday, go back Friday and that's it. But then DH pointed out that it's only Monday.

What do you think?

lougle Mon 28-Jan-13 15:29:25

Thanks for the much-needed honks.

Well, I wouldn't care too much about the schooling thing. My decision to send her or not would be based on my strategy to encourage her to start and stay at the new school.

So, is it better that she stays off school and understands you have taken her seriously, and you use the time to prepare for new school, or will being off school and presumably happier, making it difficult for her to want to attend a new one?

That's the only thing I would be considering tbh. The best path to a successful outcome.

Dev9aug Mon 28-Jan-13 15:39:00

Well done lougle. Really hope things are better at the new school.

lougle Mon 28-Jan-13 15:42:19

The irony is, that I have a real sense of 'rules' and the thought of keeping her home when she isn't ill is difficult.

In another sense, I don't want her to suffer any adverse consequences of my decision to remove her. I worry that it will be disruptive to her to go back to the old school for 2 days, then new school for a day, then old school again.

lougle Mon 28-Jan-13 15:47:03

Plus, the fact that I'm dreading the idea of either:

a) going to the school knowing that DD2 will leave (and that she's likely to tell the teacher)
b) reporting her absent...what do you say? I can't lie!

I actually feel sick blush

Can you actually deregister a child for 4 days?

She should probably go to the old school at least once more to 'say goodbye', to help her with the transition. A 'last day' might be something worth doing.

If you are accompanying her on her visit, take a camera and take some pictures of the coat hooks, and entrance and classroom, and playground if you can so you can have a discussion about it.

Treat her as a child with ASD who might get anxious about transitions, as regardless of what her difficulties might be all children would benefit from this approach.

Badvoc Mon 28-Jan-13 15:48:32

Contact the LA and ask!

DS didn't attend the school he was enrolled in for 2 terms in the run up to the tribunal. I refused to send him on the basis that the support was inadequate and potentially harmful. We were challenging part 4 of the statement so the school and LA knew he wasn't going to attend there ultimately.

No-one cared two hoots.

zzzzz Mon 28-Jan-13 16:00:34

Don't send her back. Take her to drive past the new school. Write a "goodbye card" to her class. Look at new school website. Buy or look at new jumper. Polish shoes, revamp pencil case, prepare diary on don't have time for anything else much.

Well done. Do everything you can to make it work. Write a diary of first few weeks. By Easter all will be clearer.....we had a new little girl in dd's class today.....I confess I did have a little fantasy that it was you! Honk honk.

Badvoc Mon 28-Jan-13 16:01:52

Don't send her back. You will just confuse her.
Take her to see the new school...get all her things ready as zzzz says.

Walter4 Mon 28-Jan-13 16:15:25

Lougle , how long as she been like this?

Walter4 Mon 28-Jan-13 16:31:36

Lougle I haven't contributed to this thread, but have followed. So pleased for you, hope the new head is lovely and caring.

I am not sure how long you're daughter has been like this, and perhaps I'm way off, but have you looked into childhood M.E ? Children with this often go undiagnosed for a long time and caused of avoiding school. A lot so the signs eg slight temp, stomach pain, headaches , pallor etc are there with her. Hopefully nothing like like, but it is a viral disorder?

Hope you're not offended at my sugestion, I have some experience with it that's all, thought it was worth mentioning.

LabelsGalore Mon 28-Jan-13 16:47:41

I think sending her back will just make it mire difficult for her whereas the 4 days off will be like little hols before a new start.
The old school won't care and tbh what are they going to do about it? It's just 4 days not 4 weeks or months.

I would also carry on putting the pressure on your GP. Perhaps taking her each time she had some temp so they get a real picture. I an always amazed at the difference if reactions when they have seen the issue themselves and when mum has told them about It.

lougle Mon 28-Jan-13 18:47:11

I tried to take her over the weekend, when her temperature was 38.5 even after Calpol. Unfortunately, because I was honest and said this is a recurrent set of symptoms, they thought her own GP was best placed to see her on Monday.

I now have to word an email. Joy.

justaboutchilledout Mon 28-Jan-13 18:48:52

Lougle, sometimes swift decisive action like this saves MONTHS of agony.

New HT sounds good.

justaboutchilledout Mon 28-Jan-13 18:50:50

(And his remark about moving the problem is great, it shows that he is thinking she probably has some problems, therefore if you decide to investigate further he is already on the ball)

imogengladhart Mon 28-Jan-13 19:35:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MareeyaDolores Mon 28-Jan-13 20:40:32

Out of sheer mischief, I would really love your GP to learn about the school move, and the reason. making an appointment for ridiculous letters demanded by numpties is embarrassing, and more schools seem to be disbelieving parents lately. Employers aren't allowed to waste NHS time like this: it's only 7 days of consecutive illness that gets you a sick line, anything else is a self-certificate.

One GP had so many requests he actually invented the acronym GANFYD (Get A Note From Your Doctor) to save typing it out in the records, and launched a mini-campaign against them. The more militant anti-stupid-note-request doctors would enjoy doing just one letter... a rude clear and direct one about their practice's charges for non-NHS services such as unnecessary appointments for certificates.

You might want to bring the contact details for the chair of governors of the outgoing school to your next appointment in case your doctor is feeling mischievous grin

lougle Mon 28-Jan-13 20:55:59

Walter, it's been going on since October. She had excellent attendance in Yr R.

Walter4 Mon 28-Jan-13 21:00:06

That's a long time, poor little thing. It will be interesting to see if she's any different in the new school. Do you think she will be?

lougle Mon 28-Jan-13 21:40:53

My hope (as I explained to the new head) is that if she is happier at the new school then she may cope better with ailments, and might have a drive to go to school despite them.

I think she's probably associating the feeling unwell (tummy ache, etc.) with going to school and ofc if she's struggling emotionally with that, she's not going to have the stamina to deal with feeling under the weather either.

Of course, if she does have difficulties, as we suspect, they won't go away by going to a new school, but currently old school doesn't see them at all, so anything is a bonus.

Handywoman Mon 28-Jan-13 23:13:31

Lougle I agree with you and admire you tremendously for your swift and decisive action. I would say the same as zzzzzzz and keep her off until the new school. This can only help you and she prepare for the transition in a calm and relaxed way, as well as help her over this bout of illness. I agree you have nothing to lose and this Head sounds on the ball. Well done and Honk Honk Honk Honk Honk!

lougle Tue 29-Jan-13 20:02:38

Well, as expected, I got an email which painted a completely false picture of the situation (ie. suggested that DD2's issue with friendships was a consequence of time off, rather than time off being in part due to inability to form friendships and thus having no motivation to struggle into school despite illness) and with veiled threats of 'transition planning with the new school which will include a discussion of progress and concerns' and a reminder that absence policies are the same across all schools in the cluster 'which is particularly important to be aware of when parents move their children because they don't like the message they receive about poor attendance'.

I wrote a stinking email refuting all the inaccuracies....then deleted it!

I simply agreed that there was little point discussing the matter further, making clear that DD2's teacher was excellent and that DD2 would love to say good bye to her if at all possible, that I had already discussed DD2's 'difficult term' with the head and I had no issues with the attendance policy. I finished by thanking her for her well-wishes for DD2 and that I'm sure we could both agree that the best outcome for DD2 was that she was both well and happy at school, which I hoped the new setting could achieve.

I feel wrecked, traumatised and vilified sad

zzzzz Tue 29-Jan-13 20:34:09

lougle honk honk though rather pathetic ones from me. I am having my own hideous week and have had things said to me today that have left me stunned.

It shouldn't be like this.

LabelsGalore Tue 29-Jan-13 20:40:18

Well done for such a measured response! You are the one coming out as reasonable and balanced in your approach. Not them!
I am not sure I would have been able to be so restrained...

Badvoc Tue 29-Jan-13 20:41:03

Oh Lougle smile
My sons crap school sent me a letter when I de registered him.
The last sentance was
"We wish xxx a bright and happy future"
It felt like a kick in the chest and completely ignored my repeated concerns wrt sen policy and bullying policy.
Honk honk x

Badvoc Tue 29-Jan-13 20:41:57

Oh!... and they also told me that I had a legal duty to inform the LA -incorrect and the wring contact details for the LA anyway!!

justaboutchilledout Tue 29-Jan-13 21:02:21

Well if you needed evidence that the school were shite and you needed to go elsewhere, you have it!

MareeyaDolores Tue 29-Jan-13 21:48:36

Wot just said. Pop it in the just-in-case file, and then forget it. They're nothing to do with you any more, youve sacked them from your dsughters education team... for gross misconduct. And you tried verbal and written warnings, and offered them training opportunities wink. This is a nasty letter from your disgruntled ex-employee, oh well, any faint hope they had of a reference is gone now grin.

MareeyaDolores Tue 29-Jan-13 21:50:57

Great letter you did. Thought about international diplomacy as a kids-grown-up-now career?

lougle Tue 29-Jan-13 23:12:24

Thank you all - I feel honked up <weak smile>

zzzzz sorry you are going through it too.

DD2 is actually singing again and so excited. The wonderful thing is that her new school are learning about exactly the same topics as her old school. Her beloved Florence Nightingale, bodies and health, and the Senses.

So my plan of action:

-This week's homework for her old school was to make a 'healthy living' poster. Tomorrow, that can be her 'educational activity' and she can take it in to her new school when she visits, so that she has something to offer towards the topic.

-So that she doesn't feel like she sticks out, I'm going to try and get her a uniform tomorrow, from the office, so that she can go on Thursday in uniform. I figure that a) it will make her feel more 'part of' the new school b) she'll be able to blend in a bit so it's not overwhelming c) I'll be demonstrating that I support the policies of the new school.

-Still divided on whether I tell the Head Teacher what happened with old school (my friend whose child attends new school thinks I should, as does DH) or whether to just try and 'be the bigger person' and, despite knowing the HT will have told him everything from her point of view, just buckle down and try to demonstrate the truth.

I'll wait and see what the HT says in reply to my email. If she agrees that DD2 can say goodbye to her class teacher on Friday, then DH and I will take DD2 with us to collect her belongings. If she refuses or doesn't reply, I'll just send DH <coward>

lougle Wed 30-Jan-13 09:45:55

So after worrying that they won't let her say goodbye, that she'll be upset, etc., I said to DD2 "DD2, when we go to get your things on Friday, I've asked if you can say goodbye to your teacher. We might not be able to, because she might be busy. Would you like to say goodbye or just send your card?"

She said 'just send the card'. I said 'are you sure you don't want to say goodbye'.

She said 'will I only have to go for one minute?'

She's so over it!

Badvoc Wed 30-Jan-13 09:50:52

Well, proof positive you are doing the right thing!
My ds would have hated to go back into his old school.
I would have a word with the HT.
Don't bad mouth the old HT - although she deserves it - and use very neutral language.
Just say that the relationship with you and the old HT broke down and it became untenable for your dd to stay in an environment where she was so deeply unhappy.
Make it clear you are not upset/angry at the rules and proceedures in place, but how the rules and proceedures are enforced.
Emphasise that you want to work together with the HT and teachers to ensure your dd is happy and can access the curriculum successfully.
Good luck x

LabelsGalore Wed 30-Jan-13 11:37:03

Well I think you have already said everything there is to say to the HT tbh. He knows why you were looking for another school and I would think it's plenty already.

What I would do is to be careful to keep them in the loop re dd2 illness, let them know if you have any insight from GP etc... as to what is going on.

When I changed school with the dcs, ds2 was starting Y1 after a disastrous Yr. The child who apparently was just lazy and didn't want to work/chose not to talk etc... suddenly became a child with language difficulties. I didn't have to say that to his teacher. She just knew within 2 days that there was something going on there. And then she put stuff in place and we worked together to support ds2.
All that to say that dd2 new teacher might surprise you. Perhaps let them get to know dd2 and then go and see her to check she has settle down etc?

lougle Wed 30-Jan-13 12:28:26

Yes, that's my dilemma, LabelsGalore. I have two sets of people's opinions as to what I should do:

Group A (the vast majority): Be upfront with the new school, tell the Head how the old Head has treated you, make it clear that you care for DD2 and want to make her happy. Tell him all your concerns about her development and ask for SENCO appointment - all guns blazing.

Group B (me blush): Accept that old school will tell new school everything from their perspective. Accept that new Head will be keeping a close eye on DD2 and watching me. Demonstrate that I am committed to DD2's education (ie. I've already taken the form signing up to parent mail in and bought her uniform; she's doing her old school's healthy living poster today and will take it with her tomorrow to her new school) that I will take her on time and communicate with them. Listen to any concerns the HT may have due to contact with old school. Hope that once I have the Paed's letter they will be more enlightened and it will somewhat cast doubt on old school. Also remembering that just because two schools are in the same cluster, doesn't mean that they agree about approaches to parents.

imogengladhart Wed 30-Jan-13 12:41:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ineedmorepatience Wed 30-Jan-13 15:11:48

Gosh lougle, how did I miss this threadshock

What a week you have had, I hope you are ok.

When I moved Dd3 I only sent a brief note saying she would not be returning, it took them a month to send her records 1 mile down the road.

Dd3 was relieved about the move and for us it was very positive. I hope it will be for you too.

Good luck with the visit tomorrowsmile

lougle Wed 30-Jan-13 15:16:49

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