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To be a bit cheesed off with the attendance leaflet sent through

(34 Posts)
Morrigu Thu 20-Jun-13 21:39:07

I know everyone gets them and I'm probably taking it personally.

Ds's attendance was 92% - below satisfactory and just above poor according to the leaflet.

I really care about my son's education and even though I know he's only in first year of primary I understand these are the years the basis of his further life in education are set. Every single time he has been off has been because of his chest and asthma. I have backed up every time he has been off with a trip to the doctors and subsequent letter sent in with doctor seen, medications prescribed etc or the times he has been hospitalised the school was notified.

Just makes me feel like crap having a leaflet about why attendance is so important. I do know why it is important. I've been worried about his attendance all year and really don't need a reminder how 'every school day counts'

I'm over thinking things and being thin skinned aren't I?

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Fri 21-Jun-13 13:39:55

Bin it and don't give it another thought. Your son's health comes first. Attendance second.

ouryve Fri 21-Jun-13 12:53:48

I got one of those, a couple of months ago, inviting me to contact the EWO for advice, no less and threatening fines and wotnot. Well, I tried to contact her, but she was off sick for 2 weeks.

It is easy to be wound up by these letters and take them to ehart. DS1 goes through a cycle, about every 6 weeks, of coughing constantly for a few days, then having an upset stomach. There's naff all we can do about it, but after years of fobbing off, we do now, at least, have an appointment with a paediatrician about it, to see if we can find a cause. He also has ASD and ADHD and his behaviour becomes awful from the coughing and not sleeping, even before the puking or diarrhoea set in. He also has a history of school refusal, so I was quite upset by this letter, this time around because we haven't had a single purely behavioural day off, this academic year.

Anyhow, school had a word and told the EWO I wasn't the sort of parent they needed to be pursuing. I've heard no more from them.

Holliewantstobehot Fri 21-Jun-13 12:44:03

I too have asthma which was worse as a child. Had lots of chest infections and even bronchitis. Got very good grades at GCSE and A levels and went on to uni. Don't really see how much a child is going to learn if they are feeling ill and are at school as they are not going to be able to concentrate or take anything in. I usually get the dcs to do a bit of reading and spend a bit of time on mathletics when they are off ill just to keep their hand in but without tiring them out.

Norigau - totally feel for you both my dcs have been in hospital and on nebulisers. Both are also prone to tonsilitis although not bad enough to warrant having their tonsils out so this year between them they have had 2 chest infections and 3 bouts of tonsilitis. My ds managed to have tonsilitis and a chest infection at the same time so was very ill for over a week. I did also point out to the ht that when my ds returned to school once with his antibiotics the office forgot to give them to him, saying an 8 year old should remember to come and ask for them himself! I asked how could I send him in not being sure he would receive his inhalers/medication? I don't want them missing school but surely your health has to trump education?

50balesofhay - nice one!

Morrigu Thu 20-Jun-13 23:16:11

I was a 70s child dunked and remember attendance being an issue. Maybe because I seemed to catch viruses like glandular fever, hospital with chicken pox and had bad bad tonsillitis. I don't think it impacted on my future as I was sent loads of workbooks home I had to do. There wasn't the huge emphasis there is now

That is brilliant 50. I hold my hat off to you.

50BalesOfHay Thu 20-Jun-13 22:48:14

I got one. gd had norovirus. He was off for 4 days. I Worked out how many days off would meet the 'minimum required' attendance level then did a FOI request for average sick days for staff, and their absence management policy. Turns out, staff average sick leave is higher than that allowed for pupils, and wouldn't trigger action. Chair of governors and I are still corresponding about it.

dunkedbiscuits Thu 20-Jun-13 22:34:07

I'm curious what impact this has on the future? Does having a week off for D&V or chicken pox when they are 6 really have an impact?
I don't ever remember attendance being an issue and I was off a lot (hated school until I was 15). Surely it's whether or not the child is learning and progressing and not having unauthorised absences is the important thing?
I remember a girl in secondary school who was off every Friday as we had english and she really struggled to read. She's the type of student that needs to be focussed on surely not the ones who are off for genuine illness confirmed by a doctor?

Morrigu Thu 20-Jun-13 22:33:17

You what kim how is that even possible?

That's kind of shit kaster. I thought if you pronounced your condition before taking a job they can't hold it against you? Do they count that in absences?

xylem8 Thu 20-Jun-13 22:32:34

Our school rings up before sending out things like athis and says 'I am really sorry , we know little xylem has been ill, but the LEA says we have to send these silly letters out'
LEA happy, parents happy!!

OldBeanbagz Thu 20-Jun-13 22:25:33

kim147 my DS is heading that way. He's coming up to 5 years at Primary without a single day off. 3 years to go (he started in Nursery).

As for the letters i'd ignore them. It's wrong to penalise the children who have genuine on-going health problems which the school must surely be aware of.

Morrigu Thu 20-Jun-13 22:24:51

Hollie that really resonates with me. I've seen loads of the wee ones going in coughing and thinking 'oh great, here we go again'. What is a simple cold/chesty cough to them can result in steroids, antibs, nebs and hospital to ds. I spent the week before and Christmas day in hospital with ds. Santa visited him in his hospital bed

Kasterborous Thu 20-Jun-13 22:18:50

I used to have a yearly appraisal were I used to work you either got A,B,C or D. I always got a D for sickness/absence because I have a skin condition that when it flared up I had to have time off. They knew this when they gave me the job. I also had time off after my miscarriages. I know why they did it but it did cheese me off. But the absence bit was if you just didn't bother turning up which I always felt tarred me with the same brush because I was never absent or late turning up. I know it's different circumstance but I can see why you are cheesed off.

kim147 Thu 20-Jun-13 22:18:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ihearsounds Thu 20-Jun-13 22:17:01

Everyone gets them. Hate them. Writing notes/talking to the parents who want to know why they are getting these ridiculous letters. Some are nice about it, although annoyed. Some, because of stress are really ratty about it and rightly so. It's about time they were stopped. It's hard enough have a child who is ill in the first place, without these stupid letters.

Then there's the 100% certificates. I am really, really suprised that these are still used. The school my dc's went/go to stopped this practice years ago, because enough parents asked for it to be stopped due to discrimination. The HT, lovely lady, hadn't thought about the impact of this and being inclusive. Some of the pupils couldn't help being under the care of the childrens hospital, nor could it be helped that their professionals only seem to work school hours. There are other things certificates can be given out for that is fair for every pupil.

thebody Thu 20-Jun-13 22:15:27

Hollie absolutely agree. Love the certificate idea.

thebody Thu 20-Jun-13 22:14:12

Yes star can see that's a bit ironic but if they are in special measures I guess they have to be even more paperworky!! Not sure that's a word but you know what I mean

Holliewantstobehot Thu 20-Jun-13 22:13:40

I had to go for a meeting with the head about my son's attendance where they asked me how they could help improve his attendance to which I replied cure his asthma! What more can you say? If your son has been up half the night wheezing and is on steroids and antibiotics they are not imo in a fit state to be in school. The whole culture of fighting through illness and going into school/work regardless really annoys me. My son would probably not be ill so often if other children weren't going into school ill and passing the bugs around. I help out and have seen one child in school with such a bad cold her eyes were running and she could barely talk.
I really wouldn't worry about it - my dd turned round to me after she had tonsilitis last half of term and said I won't get a certificate this time mummy, so I made her a certificate for taking her medicine nicely.

Morrigu Thu 20-Jun-13 22:11:08

Nope I won't take it personally now (but I'll still be a little peed off ok?)

Well done to the child who can have 100% attendance. I always had days sick from work every year, surely kids are the same if not worse as their immune system isn't as good as an adults?

sarahtigh Thu 20-Jun-13 22:10:21


if you keep him offf when he is sick you are encouraging skiving however if you send him in when sick you are passing bugs around and not following exclusion policy whatever you do it will be wrong that is THE RULES

Startail Thu 20-Jun-13 22:01:15

I'm a 100% certain school have DD2's primary records and know she's not malingering.

They just give a totally institutional, impersonal impression at best and make the school look stupid at worse. Given the school is in SM, offending supportive parents and hard working pupils is the last thing they ought to do.

SauvignonBlanche Thu 20-Jun-13 21:58:16

dD got a mufti day as a 'reward' for her attendance then needed emergency surgery the week after.

AngelsWithSilverWings Thu 20-Jun-13 21:56:17

I got one of these today and my year 2 DS had his first sick day of this academic year yesterday.

thebody Thu 20-Jun-13 21:56:09

Don't take it personally. Dd has had them every term since her accident and the accident happened on her last school trip. Ironic aye.

Schools are sensible but have to follow the rules and it can sort out the really ill from the malingerers and the rubbish parents who don't care. Trust me school will know the difference.

Startail Thu 20-Jun-13 21:56:09

DD2 is something of an actress, I'd love to have recorded her reading out the smug letter and sent it to the HT.

Startail Thu 20-Jun-13 21:54:27

But they are probably an idea of Mr Gove's, who knows all about imposing impersonal one size fits all ideas on people!

Jestrin Thu 20-Jun-13 21:53:37

I understand what you mean. I also dislike the 100% attendance certificates that get 'awarded' at the end of year. My DC can't help getting ill from time to time...sheesh!

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