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to think the school secretary shouldn't be saying this?

(16 Posts)
GreatBallsOfFluff Wed 28-Sep-11 18:04:05

First of all I would like to say that I am the first person to be pissed off with people sending their ill child to school and am more than happy to have a pyjama day with DD home from school if she is ill.

Last night DD6 was slightly sick in her sleep. She has had a hacking cough for the past week which yesterday evening was very bad. It was 3am when she woke and coughed up a bit. I changed her, stripped her bed and put her into my bed. I took her to her dad's this morning, although she was absolutely fine in herself and wanted to go to school, I said no way considering the timing of when it happened and the disruption to her sleep.

I rang the school to let them know she wouldn't be in, and the school secretary/receptionist immediately said that she wouldn't be allowed back in school until Monday. She kept repeating that it was school policy to leave 48 hours if a child had been sick (I was too tired and bewildered to argue with her that it would actually be Thursday night for 48 hours). She wouldn't listen to the reasons why DD had been 'sick' as she called it. She said that if I took DD in tomorrow then she would be sent home. There was no room for discussion and that was that (I admit I ended up hanging up on her as she was quite forceful and adament about 'the policy' and kept interrupting me).

I spoke to work and they put me down for holiday tomorrow as DD's dad couldn't have her.

I decided that I would try and speak to someone else at the school just to clarify the position. DD's teacher rung me after school hours (I had emailed asking if she could), I explained the situation and obviously she had noticed DD's cough as well. She said that she didn't have a problem with DD being in tomorrow but as she was new, she wanted to check whose decision it was to send a child home and went off to check. I waited on the phone for a couple of minutes, she came back and said that she had spoken to the head and that it was absolutely fine for DD to be back at school tomorrow.

DD's dad said that she had been bouncing off the walls today, sad that she wasn't in school and apart from her cough, nothing wrong with her whatsoever.

I just think that the secretary should not be saying this (and so forcefully) when there is room for movement and individual cases could be looked at (had DD been dopey all evening, sat on the toilet for half the night with a bucket next to her then there's no way I'd let her back at school tomorrow).

I'm prepared to get a flaming as I'm sure many of you will disagree with me wink

TattyDevine Wed 28-Sep-11 18:07:02

Sounds like she'd be better placed as a medical receptionist. YANBU I reckon.

ButWhyIsTheGinGone Wed 28-Sep-11 18:10:23

I get your frustration, but school workers are damned if they follow policies and damned if they don't. A lot of the time here on MN you get many posters recommending posters get hold of copies of policies after some incident or other and if they haven't been followed to the letter, taking it up with the head.

The rule needs to apply at all, unfortunately.

Flowerista Wed 28-Sep-11 18:11:02

Theres anthervthread running on this subject, but from a different ange. Don't tell Sarah102, she'd love to have your Receptionst at her DC's school.

JaneFonda Wed 28-Sep-11 18:11:03

Hmm, this is a tough one.

Obviously, seeing it from your point of view it doesn't sound like a bug that needs the 48 hour window before going back to school, so YANBU for that.

However, whilst you may be (and you certainly do sound like) a very responsible parent, there will be numerous parents who aren't, and who will send their sick child into school, infecting other pupils. For this reason, it must be very difficult for the secretary to be able to differentiate between a sickness bug, and vomiting for another reason, as even when children are still infectious they can still be bouncing off the walls.

I think at the age of six a couple of days off school won't really do any harm, so YAB(a bit)U to be making it into such a big issue when it must be incredibly hard for the school to enforce the 48 hour policy when many parents believe their child is always the exception.

squeakytoy Wed 28-Sep-11 18:14:08

If you know that the reason your child was sick was because she was coughing so much, then why on earth even tell the school about it. You know it is not a bug, so there is no reason to even mention it to them.

StealthPolarBear Wed 28-Sep-11 18:15:59

When DS and DD were at nursery they used to differentiate between "choked on food/cough" vomit and real vomiting. In fact when he was going through a period of travel sickness I dropped him off after he'd been sick in the car on the way in - he felt fine (and was fine all day) and they were fine about it.
Any unexplained vomits though and he'd be off for the 48 hours

picnicbasketcase Wed 28-Sep-11 18:21:23

What SPB said - DD has had a bad cough recently and coughed so much at nursery that she brought up some food, but when they told me about it, there was no mention of keeping her home for 48 hours. There is obviously a difference between sickness bugs and hacking coughs. The secretary is being unreasonable for not listening to a word you said.

belledechocchipcookie Wed 28-Sep-11 18:22:48

Goodness, she sounds like a jobsworth. Surly there's a difference between a child with a stomach upset and one who vomits because they have had a coughing fit? I'd take her to school.

Insomnia11 Wed 28-Sep-11 18:24:17

I wouldn't have mentioned the sickness bit, just that she had a really bad cough. <devious>

GreatBallsOfFluff Wed 28-Sep-11 18:24:43

Thanks everyone.

Oooh where's that other thread Flowerista?

JaneFonda had it been a day where my ex wasn't working and could have had DD again, I certainly wouldn't have minded. It was just that I would have had to take unpaid leave/holiday for it that annoyed me. Before I had spoken to the teacher and was under the impression that DD wouldn't be allowed in school, I had planned to take DD to a local small adventure place for the day as I thought if they were making her stay home, and I had to use holiday for it, why not do what I would've done with the holiday in half term.

Squeakytoy I know that now - lesson well learnt. It just sort of slipped out but I will definitely in future just say "DD's not going to be in school today" and leave it at that.

That sounds very sensible Stealth. I totally understand why schools have this policy, but a bit of common sense goes a long way

aldiwhore Wed 28-Sep-11 18:32:47

She should have gone to school today, one night of bad sleep and being fine in herself really wouldn't have made her suffer too much today, she could have had an early night tonight to compensate.

You shouldn't have told the school about the sickness, you were sure it wasn't a 'bug' but a cough induced barf, your dd was fine, and schools are vigilant about this because there's so many stupid/martyr parents out there who don't heed the rules (this week, no less than 5 martyr mums have said hello to me in the schoolyard, with their grey kids and exclaimed they've been up all night with the vomiting bug that's been doing the rounds).


My eldest has been in thsi situation before and I sent him to school the next day, he has always been fine (a little tired) and never consulted the school, as I know they have a policy... I use MY discretion.

GreatBallsOfFluff Wed 28-Sep-11 19:40:07

aldiwhore (love the name) the only reason I didn't send DD is because she is at school from 7.40 until 5.50 so thought that was too much after her disturbed night

aldiwhore Wed 28-Sep-11 19:51:37

I do understand that, but I'm also old school in that if they haven't got an actual bug, and are standing, school it is... I do have the priviledge of being able to go collect them at any time, very quickly as I'm a SAHM/WFHM (working from home? Don't know the abbreviation sorry!! lol) who lives less than a mile from the school though, so I maybe shouldn't judge everyone else with my own yardstick.

Your own circumstance aside, don't ever tell the secretary anything that will sound the 'policy' alarm!! smile

I have had to whisper to my eldest a few times "don't mention you were sick last night, you have a bad cough that's all!!!" - its a shame, but its just one of those things.

Groovee Wed 28-Sep-11 20:10:11

Sorry but I have lots of parents in the past who've denied their child has been sick and brought them in spreading a bug. If there was leeway then every parent would try to use it. Enviromental health are the ones who usually say 48 hours after last bout of sickness before the child can return. It sucks when there was a reason like a cough but then the school can't allow 1 in when 6 others are refused. A blanket ban is the best way.

troisgarcons Wed 28-Sep-11 20:19:22

Your daughter was sick in her sleep - every school I know hasa 24-48 hour policy on allowing a vomiting child back to school.

Don;t be dismissive of 'the school secretary' - she is the one who knows every child inside out - aftter all she deals with your records every day . She is the front line of the school and there to protect the other children from all manner of disease and bugs. For her pains, she also fields all the calls from the teachers.

She can be your VBF at the school if you take the pains to strike up a decent relationship with her.

I would also point out a 'hacking cough' would be immensly disruptive to the other class pupils.

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