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To think that "attendence policies" and schools have become ridicolous

(88 Posts)
ReallyTired Tue 17-Dec-13 22:41:43

DD is four years and is reception. She has had two days off this term due to a tonsilitis and a severe ear infection. Our GP has refered dd for a hearing test as she is complaining about her hearing and missed the school nurse test.

We got a telephone call today from audiology asking if we can take a short notice cancellation. (this Friday at 11.30am) I have decided to jump at the opportunity to have dd's ears tested. Audiology will post a letter but it may not arrive by Friday.

I phoned the school and told them that next Friday I would pick up dd for her hearing test at 11.10 and she would hopefully return to school by 12.30. The secretary told me that if I do not have a letter proving that dd has a medical appointment that the school will not release my daughter to me.

I have told the school that if there is any question of them refusing to let my daughter go to the appointment then I will not send her into school until the afternoon. The pompeous secretary told me that her absence will be marked as unauthorised and I will be fined. Apparently I have to produce proof that dd is having a hearing test. I replied and said that there is no legal requirement to send a four year old to school.

I feel that the school has got completely and utterly up their own arses. Surely its in a child's interest to have their hearing check asap if there is any question of deafness.

AmberLeaf Tue 17-Dec-13 22:44:10

Yes it is ridiculous.

Don't take her in until after the appt. When you go to the clinic, if you havent yet recieved the letter, ask them to print you one off and take it in with you when you take your daughter to school.

Whathaveiforgottentoday Tue 17-Dec-13 22:45:31

YANBU, silly women. I would just arrive to pick up your child and if secretary causes a fuss ask to speak to head. Its not as if you won't have proof next week.

ReallyTired Tue 17-Dec-13 22:47:00

Unforunately I think its the new head who has insigated the policy. Do schools have the legal right to refuse to hand over a child to their parents?

Wolfiefan Tue 17-Dec-13 22:49:07

Umm they won't release your child to you. Her parent? confused
I'm sorry but I'm a teacher and I think that's loopy. Speak to Head? Failing that I'm afraid I'd take her in late.

thebody Tue 17-Dec-13 22:49:49

Phone the head and tell her the secretary needs more training in speaking to parents.

Take dd to the appointment of course.

have to say never found this crap with my kids schools. Ridiculous.

Whathaveiforgottentoday Tue 17-Dec-13 22:50:35

No, not as far as I'm aware (16 years of teaching experience). What could they do as you will definitely have evidence next week. I would be very firm and go ahead.
The audio dept would be furious if they knew they'd arranged an appointment but the school had refused to let the child out of school.

thebody Tue 17-Dec-13 22:51:20

Of course they can't refuse to let your child go, think that might be kidnap and you may need to call 999.

Come on.

Sirzy Tue 17-Dec-13 22:53:17

Is it legal to refuse to hand a child over to their parent? (Who has parental responsibilty and no other issues of course)

The school are being stupid and I would be tempted to put in a written complaint to the head and the governors.

puntasticusername Tue 17-Dec-13 22:53:58

How on earth can they "refuse to release" YOUR OWN CHILD to YOU?

I say send her in to school in the morning, let the school attempt to "refuse to release" her, at which point you call the police and inform them that your child has been kidnapped and is being held hostage grin

(except that by the time that's sorted out you will have missed the medical appt...but other than that, it's a brilliant and entirely flawless plan, I think you'll find).

shoom Tue 17-Dec-13 22:54:55

Maybe the secretary is worried that you'll have a quick mini break to Spain during the 1 hour 20 minutes absence.

Please take this further. Appointment letters / refusing to release your child... Of core your priority is to get your child the medical attention she needs. Cos you know, being able to hear properly is important at school. Daft HT if she disagrees.

Ragusa Tue 17-Dec-13 23:14:17

No chilld of any age has to be 'in school', merely recoeving a suitable education.

This woman sounds just a toucg overbearing grin

I would ignore. Oh, and the stuff about fines is likely to be bull. The LA will have a scheme or policy on the issuing of fines and this is very likely to state a minimum period of consecutive days' absence as grounds for issuing a fine.

niceguy2 Tue 17-Dec-13 23:20:56

I'd have laughed at the secretary and asked if she knew what the sentence is for kidnap.

The thing that pisses me off nowadays is that schools are starting to act like they know better than the parents. I'm sure that is true in a small minority of cases but the vast majority of parents are competent and should be entrusted to well....parent.

I heard it's often more to do with attendance targets and the impact on OFSTED ratings than out of any real concern for the children's education.

I'm not 100% sure it's schools that are to blame but successive government policies which are slowly eroding the idea that parents are FULLY responsible for their children.

JanetAndRoy Tue 17-Dec-13 23:22:38

She doesn't have to be in school until the term she turns 5, so take her out for the appointment and blow a big fat raspberry at the secretary.

uselessinformation Wed 18-Dec-13 00:00:01

Just keep her off and take her in after the appointment. Also don't worry about keeping her off if she is ill: two days for tonsillitis and an ear infection doesn't seem long enough.

ZombieSquirrel Wed 18-Dec-13 00:08:00


Take her out. She has no legal right to withhold our child from you.

Tapiocapearl Wed 18-Dec-13 00:09:17

Email the head and out line the issue and how the secretary is pedantically following it to a t. They really do need to have some trust in the parents.

In your shoes id keep DD off during the morning and email the school saying you are keeping her off in order to attend x appointment as the secretary had explained that they would not release DD without a letter. Explain you have been offered a cancellation and have taken it so that DD can be assessed quickly.

Also don't worry about the black mark. She only needs to be in school the term after her 5th birthday.

goldenlula Wed 18-Dec-13 00:11:04

Speak to the head, explain a letter will be coming and that you will be collecting your child for the appointment. I have never had this problem with ds2 who at one point had 4 app's in 2 weeks and one I have to phone for the app and they do not send out letters so I have to collect it and take it in after the app.

Tapiocapearl Wed 18-Dec-13 00:12:13

Also call the police if the school refuse to release your child to you

Tapiocapearl Wed 18-Dec-13 00:12:49

Also call the police if the school refuse to release your child to you

Mrsantithetic Wed 18-Dec-13 00:20:52

What the actual fuck is going on?

My dd isn't at school age yet so these threads are alien to me.

I get education is important. I get that kids should be in school but who the hell decided all this??

My db is in "trouble" because dn (6) has attendance rate of 93 percent. This year she has had three bouts of D&V, chicken pox, hand foot and mouth and a heavy cold. She has never been off if she has been well but she is 6. If she is poorly she needs to stay home not to mention she has also been contagious. What is a parent supposed to do???

It's gone beyond stupid now. They won't release your child? Really?!? It's just completely ridiculous.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 18-Dec-13 01:40:04

Given that lots and lots of schools will point blank refuse to NOT hand over a child to a known abuser just because of pr saying they have to despite the other parent begging them not to just long enough for them to obtain a emergency court order legally preventing the abusive parent from taking them, I would be shocked if they could refuse to hand over a child in those circumstances.

Even threatening it is treading on very dangerous ground.

Toadinthehole Wed 18-Dec-13 02:40:28

I would just ignore the secretary, collect her, and provide the school a letter afterwards.

As for the secretary: hahahahahhahaaa! Too funny.

BohemianGirl Wed 18-Dec-13 03:59:46

I heard it's often more to do with attendance targets and the impact on OFSTED ratings than out of any real concern for the children's education.

But parents look at Ofsted and league tables. How many threads a day are on here with someone in utter angst over the school next door being rated 'good' and the one 250 yards down the road being 'outstanding'? Only on MN are there people wringing their hands, moving all over the country, asking for opinions on grammar schools they want their yet to be conceived foetus to attend sometime in the next 20 years.

If you didnt have league tables, you wouldnt have any of this silly bollox. Until parents vote with their feet, lobby, and avoid using the tables then you will have schools jumping through hoops to ensure they comply with Ofsted criteria. Which neatly brings me to Ofsted. Another pile of bolleaux.

DeckTheHallsWithBoughsOfHorry Wed 18-Dec-13 04:11:37

1. She is 4, so attendance doesn't count and she doesn't have to be there.

2. If you take her out 11.10-12.30 she likely won't miss either registration (typically 9am and 1pm) so wouldn't be marked absent anyway.

Could you ask audiology to fax/email a copy of the letter if the paper copy hasn't landed by Thursday?

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