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to think children shouldn't be punished for being poorly?

(192 Posts)
mumnosbest Tue 23-Oct-12 10:02:05

Only children with 100% attendence are allowed to the school Halloween party. DS has a recurrent illness (every 3 months or so). He had 1 day off this term, after his teacher said he was struggling and needed a day to rest up, then he was up all that night and I agreed with her. DS wanted to go to school but was in no fit state and now blames me that he can't go to the party sad

I knowthere is an issue with poor attendence at the school and you can't have 1 rule for 1 and another for others but... Maybe 99% would be fairer as surely a lot of DCs miss 1 day through genuine illness. If this rewarding attendence is going to be a half-termly event DS will probably miss out on half of them as he will be ill again in about 3 months! (FingersX it's on a weekend).

AIBU (I am feeling very U and ranty this morning)?

imnotmymum Tue 23-Oct-12 10:04:13

Is that really true that is astounding and not an inclusive environment at all I would take it up with the head, Governors and higher if needed. You are not being unreasonable at all.

WilsonFrickett Tue 23-Oct-12 10:04:28

Oh no YANBU. Our last school used to do a special trip for the class with the best overall attendance, which I think is good, but to penalise kids for not having 100% attendance is wrong. What about chickenpox or other infectious illness when DC's are told not to go into school?

What a ridiculous rule. I would check DS has it right, then complain.

usualsuspect3 Tue 23-Oct-12 10:06:18

YANBU. I would definitely take it up with the head and governors.

It's a mean and totally ridiculous rule.

FolkGhoul Tue 23-Oct-12 10:06:56

That's ridiculous.

'Rewarding' good attendance is one thing, but 'punishing' poor attendance (especially if health related) is ridiculous.

I would also take it up with the governing body.

It's not inclusive.

nokidshere Tue 23-Oct-12 10:07:10

Thats outrageous and discrimanatory and I would definitly complain.

My son had so much time off in the first few years of primary school - some of it unecessary in my opinion (being sent home with a headache etc), but he spent most winters with NSV illnesses resulting in at least a week off per term, sometimes more.

Rewarding attendance is fine in the form of stickers or certificates, but to be stopped from joining a school party is just not on when the child has been genuinely sick.

dysfunctionalme Tue 23-Oct-12 10:09:38

I've read v similar threads here before.

Imo it is a very mean practice. The assumption is that children should always be at school, sick or not, which is absurd.

diddl Tue 23-Oct-12 10:10:52

THat is absolutely awful.

Is it in school time?

If so-what are they going to do with the non attendees?

If not in school time-how can they "police" it?

It´s just horrible.

What will you do if they don´t change it?

jennycrofter Tue 23-Oct-12 10:11:50

I expected to be a lone voice here, but clearly am not over reacting! Find out who the governor with responsibility for Inclusion is, and take it up with them if need be. This is poor practice. Even a 99% requirement would be wrong. Seriously. If eg a child had been off because they were receiving chemo, they could/should not be barred from attending.

This just makes me angry.

Quadrangle Tue 23-Oct-12 10:12:46

YANBU but the school ABVU. What a mean thing to do! I'd email the head and explain the circumstances of your son being off and explain how upset he is.

snowmummy Tue 23-Oct-12 10:15:33

YANBU - that is completely not fair. I have an issue with my DS's school - he desperately wants to earn a certificate for 100% attendance. However, I know this is not going to happen as he will have at least one medical appointment this year due to a condition that he was born with.

akaemmafrost Tue 23-Oct-12 10:20:11

This is unacceptable not just for the OP's ds but for ALL children at that school. Dd has had two days off this half term, one for illness and one for a long awaited hospital appointment I would not accept this rule. Dd would be going to that party and I'd be talking to anyone that had anything remotely to do with school policy to ensure this.

freddiefrog Tue 23-Oct-12 10:21:00


Our school has had problems with attendance so has introduced something similar, however the attendance required is much lower generally, and those with real attendance problems are worked with individually.

No one yet has ever had to miss the disco, they're not setting the kids up to fail iyswim

Fakebook Tue 23-Oct-12 10:21:04

YANBU. That's terrible! What year is he in?

hobnobsaremyfave Tue 23-Oct-12 10:24:13

Letter to chair of governors, cc to governor responsible for inclusion, headteacher and SENCO. If you don't get any joy I suggest local paper or radio 2 Jeremy Vine show. That is utter bollocks and automatically discriminates against children with disabilities and long term health problems.

Tailtwister Tue 23-Oct-12 10:24:16

YANBU, what a horrible thing for the school to do!

I would be writing to complain. There's no good reason why they shouldn't be including everyone. Attitudes like this just encourages people to send in sick children and infect everyone else. Teachers aren't nurses and if I was one I wouldn't be happy with having obviously ill children in my class. It's disruptive for the class and horrible for the ill children who need to be at home.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Tue 23-Oct-12 10:25:32

This is a ridiculous policy. If the school has a problem with attendance, then tis is just punishing the children whose parents don't care enough to get them to school every day, as well as the children with genuine illness. Parents who don't care enough to take their children to school every day are unlikely to care if their child misses a party.

It also encourages children to attend school when they are ill, which ime is something that teachers really don't like. Children who are sick should not be at school where they are spreading their germs while feeling horrible.


frantic51 Tue 23-Oct-12 10:27:16

That is just ridiculous. At my DD's 6th form college, "authorised absence" ie genuine illness, properly notified or pre-arranged days off to go on uni visits or interviews are not counted as far as the attendance record is concerned so they can still achieve 100% attendance. Attendance records are there to stop older kids, "bunking off" or younger kids being kept from school simply for parents' convenience. I'd be fuming and definitely making an appointment to speak to staff!

catsmother Tue 23-Oct-12 10:28:14

I wonder what the school's policy is on D&V .... because in ours, and in many more I'm sure, the child must be kept off for 48 hours. My daughter was sick in school a couple of weeks ago and when I collected her I was reminded of this rule. Had she then been banned from a treat because a) she'd been ill and b) the school had insisted she be kept off - even though she seemed right as rain and I suspect it was a reaction to something she ate as opposed to a bug, I would have been furious just like you. She has also had to attend a couple of hospital appointments this term ..... just like many other children have to do routinely.

I have absolutely no idea why schools behave like this when they must realise how upset children who don't qualify will get and when staying off has been both sensible, beyond their control and necessary, e.g. to receive medical treatment or investigation, or to actually recouperate. I actually think such an attitude is pretty cruel.

The attendance thing, if applied, should only refer to unauthorised absences and NOT to days off sick or for medical stuff (backed up by doc's letter etc), and indeed not to authorised absences either because there are all sorts of extenuating circumstances where families can only get leave in term time etc. To be honest, on reflection actually, even unauthorised stuff .... how often would that be the children's fault anyway .... if we're talking about parents not getting up in time, or taking a spur of the moment day off then what control would a child have over that ? It's unfair to punish kids when the parents are at fault. Maybe the school think such parents might mend their ways when they have to deal with a sobbing child but again, is it fair to put the child through that to push a point and so far as sickness/medical stuff is concerned that theory wouldn't work anyway.

In your shoes, I'd kick up a big fuss about this.

KellyElly Tue 23-Oct-12 10:28:34

YANBU - that's ridiculous. Schools don't want you to send sick children in so that's sending a mixed message to parents. You would be hard pressed to find an adult with 100% attendance at work and they have much better immunity systems than children. Silly silly policy. I give the policy a biscuit

ENormaSnob Tue 23-Oct-12 10:28:54


tovetove Tue 23-Oct-12 10:30:22

definitely 100% NOT BU!

I'd be absolutely spitting feathers.

OHforDUCKScake Tue 23-Oct-12 10:30:28

Great, so next term there will be a bunch of ill kids in spreading their bugs because they've been insitant on going so they dont miss out on the school event.

Dawndonna Tue 23-Oct-12 10:31:06

I challenged this a few years ago, and once threatened with legal action school backed down. One of my dds needs a day off every so often. She has ASDs and just gets overwhelmed. It's not fair that she or anyone else should be punished for disabilities or illness, the school certainly have no right to enforce punitive measures in these circumstances.

mumnosbest Tue 23-Oct-12 10:31:14

Thanks! I was only away a short while and expected lots of YABUs, My DC never misses school...
DS is Y3. I spoke to the teacher this morning and confirmed it. I'm in a tricky situation as I work at the school (although I'm on leave at the moment so I guess I can't go to the party either This is just one of many reasons I want me and the DCs out of this school sad The letters went out yesterday and the party is tomorrow, so I don't have time to do much but will need to say something before next time.

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