Talk

Advanced search

So the consequence of harsher attendance rules/asking for sick notes schools whinging the illness is not bad enough to keep them off etc

(79 Posts)
moldingsunbeams Wed 27-Nov-13 01:22:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ProudAS Wed 27-Nov-13 03:55:31

I think it's down to OFSTED. Whilst headteachers do officially have the discretion to authorise absence they are very much held to account over it.

As for spreading bugs around I don't think that's all bad due to building up of immunity in the general population. Being forced back to school without a chance to recover won't do any good though.

steff13 Wed 27-Nov-13 05:33:39

I don't know about schools; schools here don't have the authority to decide when kids are "sick enough" to be off school.

But, I have worked for employers who were very strict about sick time. The result was people coming to work sick with contagious illnesses, which were then spread to their co-workers. I would imagine the result at a school would be the same.

MrsMook Wed 27-Nov-13 06:04:02

It is political pressure on the schools causing the culture.

I learnt early on in teaching that it's better to go off sick early and recover than be stoic and suffer for a prolonged period. Communicating with a class by banging on the board and writing messages is not a very effective way to teach because you went in feeling croaky and your voice gave up halfway through the day. (I have a good attendence record BTW) I know a teacher who severely damaged her voice and had to use a microphone permanently as she had no voice projection. She ended up having to leave the mainstream class room early and take an alternate role.

Going into school/ work when ill does no one any favours.

I wish the government would get its sticky fingers out of education as the target culture is doing so much damage in many areas of the field.

friday16 Wed 27-Nov-13 06:05:18

There's been loads of threads on here about schools asking for sick notes, telling parents who have rang in that the illness is not bad enough to keep them home and whatever.

Since the fixed penalty tickets are invalid unless issued in accordance with LEA guidance, and the LEA policies all appear (*) to state that the threshold for a formal warning prior to issuing a ticket is ten missed sessions, the phrase "fuck off, I'll see you in court" would appear to be a useful one. It's about time that someone got their strop on and called a school's bluff.

The business about demanding sick notes is absolute bollocks. The claims that schools can issue fixed penalty notices for less than ten missed sessions (five days) that are themselves part of a consistent pattern of poor attendance are almost certainly bollocks. Head teachers need to get over themselves. No successful school is going to be put into a category because of sickness absence. No unsuccessful school is going to avoid being put into a category just because its attendance is a bit up on last year.

(*) or at least, every one I've read, and they all appear to be cut from the same template. A list of exceptions to this would be very interesting to compile.

Retroformica Wed 27-Nov-13 06:06:49

Due to the strict warnings etc teachers are also having to come in when very ill. My teacher friends have been dragging themselves into school hoping that they don't faint or throw up.

I've just continued as I was last year. If my kids are ill or badly under the weather, I keep them off. I will never just calpol them and send them in. My child's needs are more important then the school attendance figures

Euphemia Wed 27-Nov-13 06:21:01

None of this nonsense in Scotland - it's your politicians you need to moan at.

moldingsunbeams Wed 27-Nov-13 08:24:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 27-Nov-13 08:41:58

YABU. If parents are sending sick kids to school, that's their decision. Schools are only going to get upset if children are repeatedly absent. If a child has a good attendance record and the occasional illness, it's not a problem. Being 'scared' is ridiculous.

Fleta Wed 27-Nov-13 08:55:44

I think the parents sending children to school when they've been sick means they have a communication problem.

Schools clearly have a minimum 24 hour (and in some cases) 48 hour policy regarding incidences of vomiting.

I'd be interested to see whether those who were too "scared" to keep their children off also had issues with childcare when their children are sick?

I dont doubt you OP but I'm cynical as to what you've been told by people

JustMeh Wed 27-Nov-13 09:02:57

We just rang up to say both our dd's will be off today. One has a huge smelly lump in her mouth (abscess?) and the other is run down, pale and tired and headachey.
The person who answered told DH to give the run down one calpol and send her in but he declined. You used to ring up and they would wish your child better soon and that was that.
I work in the school in the afternoons and know they are under pressure to meet targets each classroom has their weeks attendance pinned to their classroom door each week now.

NorthernShores Wed 27-Nov-13 09:08:35

Friday -does that mean if my child has100% attendance I can take her on holiday for a well before the fine is triggered?

froubylou Wed 27-Nov-13 09:11:58

I once phoned from the childrens ward to say DD wouldn't be in that day, or indeed the rest of the week. This was a tuesday morning I think after spending all night under observation for a strange rash and high temp. DD was 7/8 at the time from memory.

Receptionist advised me I would have to phone in EVERY morning for the week to advise them of the 'situation' and that if I didn't the abscence would be unauthorised and I would get a call from the attendance officer.

I told her that seeing as how I had been on hold for 10 minutes already that I would have better things to do with my time than waste another 30 minutes of the remaining week phoning in to say she wasn't coming in and if the receptionist wanted to put me through to the head I would discuss it further.

She didn't funnily enough.

friday16 Wed 27-Nov-13 09:15:30

Friday -does that mean if my child has100% attendance I can take her on holiday for a week before the fine is triggered?

It appears so, yes (not legal advice, objects in mirror may be closer than they appear, your mileage may vary, investments may go up as well as down). The general guidance is that you get a warning, then a fixed penalty notice, but the guidance states that the school can issue a general warning about holidays and therefore the first "offence" could trigger a penalty notice.

It would be fascinating to know if anyone has actually been issued with such a notice, under what circumstances, and what happened if they went to court about it. I suspect that the headteachers are treating the penalties as a fleet in being, there just to act as a threatening influence.

friday16 Wed 27-Nov-13 09:16:06

Receptionist advised me I would have to phone in EVERY morning for the week to advise them of the 'situation' and that if I didn't the abscence would be unauthorised and I would get a call from the attendance officer.

To which the obvious answer is "I will await their call".

tiggytape Wed 27-Nov-13 09:18:32

Friday -does that mean if my child has100% attendance I can take her on holiday for a well before the fine is triggered?

No. The rules that came in in September cover term time holidays
Or more accuractely they abolish all term time holidays

The old rules allowed time off for exceptional reasons and illness plus upto 10 days a year for a holiday. It is these 10 days a year that have been scrapped so Head Teachers are not allowed to authorise the term time holidays.

All the rest still stands.
Time off for exceptional (non holiday related) reasons and illness are still absolutely fine and procedures should not have changed in any school.

In reality though, more children are probably ringing in sick now holidays and fun days off are banned - parents just lie and say they are ill.
So all of a sudden the illness figures look awful.
So schools start to try to clamp down on it which affects genuinely sick people.
In theory though, sickness policy hasn't changed.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 27-Nov-13 09:20:26

To be fair a lot of people did this before the new rules came through. They are just using it as an excuse to justify sending their kids in.

friday16 Wed 27-Nov-13 09:21:49

It is these 10 days a year that have been scrapped so Head Teachers are not allowed to authorise the term time holidays.

That's not what I was asked. The question was what would happen, in terms of the issuing of a valid fixed penalty notice, if a child is taken out for a week. The question isn't whether the absence of authorised or not. The question is what the practical consequences of that are.

tiggytape Wed 27-Nov-13 09:25:56

And the level of fines are at record levels now.
Whether you'd get one or not NorthernShores depends on whether your LA decides to go ahead and fine you. Some authorities are more happy to dish them out than others. It certainly isn't the case that you can't get one for a first offence or if general attendance is good - you definitely can.

Leeds is a council that doesn't impose a fine until 5 days have been missed. Whereas other councils will impose the fine straight away. The Department for education has "Councils set the codes of conduct on issuing penalty notices. We expect these to be robust and send a clear message to parents of the importance of their child’s regular attendance at school." so basically they can choose to fine everyone or they can do as Leeds does and only fine people who are repeat offenders

tiggytape Wed 27-Nov-13 09:28:28

friday - if you are in Leeds nothing would happen except a slapped wrist as long as you didn't do it again.
If you are in some London boroughs, you would get the fine straight away even with 100% attendance for the rest of the term.

Both councils would class it as an unauthorised absence but it is a postcode lottery, and down to your local council, as to whether you get a fine for short holiday and a first offence.

HeisenbergsHat Wed 27-Nov-13 09:31:16

I've just phoned in to let school know that DS won't be there today, I said he won't be in because he's not well and that was that. I certainly wasn't interrogated about symptoms or told to give him calpol and send him in. But then our school has a 'satisfactory' ofsted rating, my friend's DC go to an 'outstanding' school in the next village and I know she gets a hard time about everything from them.

MadeOfStarDust Wed 27-Nov-13 09:33:42

Ours still follows the sensible system of if you are too ill to go to school you stay home...

if you have a cold you generally go in as you'd have some kids off all year otherwise.. We do not have to provide sick notes, we have an online notification system - you just log in and give a reason for absence and that is it.

I've never been told to send either DD in anyway

and... shhh... the head still authorises a holiday or 2 for folks with a good enough reason

Sirzy Wed 27-Nov-13 09:38:28

I think this is more to do with parents/school misunderstanding or miscommunicating rules rather than anything else.

If a child is too ill to be in school then they shouldn't be going in. Schools will generally only question that if there is a lot of illness (without already knowing of a medical problem)

LCHammer Wed 27-Nov-13 09:39:00

I've phoned in for my kids and didn't get any grilling. I did get requests for written notes as well, which I hadn't expected (they'd put it down as unauthorised absence despite my phoning in).

OTOH I work in a GP surgery and now quite a few on-the-day emergency appointments for kids who are off school. Most cases nothing serious, colds, but the child needs a letter for school. I think they'd get better staying at home under the duvet than coming in to the surgery.

StatelyAsAGalleon Wed 27-Nov-13 09:41:12

Sorry to hijack thread, but can I ask a related question? My DS is not quite of school age yet, so I'd like to get a bit clued up on this stuff...

When I am sick, I am allowed to self-certificate for seven days. Sickness absence from the eighth day requires a doctor's note.

How do doctor's notes work with school children?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now