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AIBU to send my son to school ill?

(43 Posts)
VodkaJelly Mon 17-Mar-14 08:26:16

Background, DS2 is 15 and for the last 2 years has had 100% attendance. However, since this term started in September he has been absent for 5 days.

He has had a couple of bad colds with hacking coughs that have kept him up all night so had a day off each time to recover. He has had the sickness bug which kept him off for 2 days and a day off ill with stomach cramps and a bad stomach.

I have had a letter from the school saying that they will not authorise any more sick days for him and I have to go to a meeting with the school to put a "plan" in place and any more "unathorised" absenses will then invoke the truancy officer.

My son loves school and doesnt skive, I also work full time so I do not let them skive off as them being sick is a great inconvenience to me. His absences have been genuine and he has been ill each time.

But, he has got the sickness bug again. He was throwing up last night and was still ill this morning. I have sent him in with a letter explaining that he is ill and why i am sending him in.

I know that he could infect other people and it is not nice, and I also feel bad for my son as he is ill and doesnt really want to go in. But I cant risk the truancy officer and having to take time off work to attend their pointless meetings. I phisically cannot stop him getting ill.

clairemum22 Mon 17-Mar-14 08:28:31

I feel sorry for your son but I do think the school have been the unreasonable party in this.

LIZS Mon 17-Mar-14 08:29:21

If he has a sickness bug yabu . Is it GCSE year ? If so the others may catch it and miss vital revision lessons . fwiw I wouldn't keep them home for a cough but 5 days doesn't sound excessive.

WooWooOwl Mon 17-Mar-14 08:31:13

YABU to make your son, and possibly his classmates and other staff, suffer because of the head teacher being stupid.

I completely understand why you have done it, but surely your son comes first.

Casmama Mon 17-Mar-14 08:31:43

YABU - I can understand why but I think a phonecall to the head teacher would be. Ore appropriate.

VodkaJelly Mon 17-Mar-14 08:31:50

He is year 10 LIZS, so nothing vital that others could miss out on. I feel like my hands are tied, i keep him off school to stop others getting ill and I am hauled over the coals.

Blondieminx Mon 17-Mar-14 08:33:03

You asked if you were being U to send him to school ill and I think that yes, you are being VVU to send your child into school with a sickness bug.

Other kids may have immunocompromised siblings/parents (eg undergoing chemo) at home angry

The school sound like they are not being helpful but I would suggest you deal with that as a separate issue, I'm sure someone will be along with tips on dealing with the school's admin stuff shortly.

TinyDiamond Mon 17-Mar-14 08:35:24

He needs to go home. Get him registered first thing then pick him up. This way he still has been marked in, at least for half the day. But he should not be in. If he was in my class today I'd be angry as I have a toddler and a very sick Dad at home so wouldn't want to catch it myself.

cory Mon 17-Mar-14 08:35:52

School are being ridiculous as any doctor would tell them. But seeing that they are being ridiculous- I do have some sympathy with your way of handling it. Hopefully they will read the letter and send him straight home again before he gives it to someone else.

I had to endure endless visits from EWO's and SW's, even though everybody knew that dd had a chronic incurable condition; she had a whole file of medical letters in the school.

The headteacher's attitude (in his own words) was "we accept that corydd is ill- but you can't expect us to be happy about it".

In other words, if this is going to affect our status as a school, then you've simply got to make it stop, we don't care if that's not medically possible, it's unacceptable from our point of view, so you have simply got to make it stop." hmm

Nanny0gg Mon 17-Mar-14 08:38:07

Yes, very, for reasons stated above.

The school is being ridiculous, but you may find that a simple discussion clears it all up - if not you will have to take it further (alongside many other parents, I would think).

They'll probably have to send him home now too.

As to: I also work full time so I do not let them skive off as them being sick is a great inconvenience to me

Did you mean to sound so heartless? Is it because you don't get paid if you don't work?

5madthings Mon 17-Mar-14 08:38:42

Yabu. You should have rung the school and spoken to the ht.

The truancy offer letter is a standard thing they send out once you go below certain attendance.

My son is in yr10 and is now starting a geography project that counts for 25% of his gcse grade and there is a field trip he has to go on, if he got ill it would really screw this time up. So yrs the work they do in year 10 is important.

Not to mention anyone with a weakened immune system or long term health problems.

They have the 48hrs rule with sickness bugs for a reason.

cory Mon 17-Mar-14 08:39:03

I do think you should have let him stay at home for the sake of possibly immuno-compromised other children. But it's a difficult balance.

My dd eventually became a school refuser because she couldn't handle the school's demands on her.

nicename Mon 17-Mar-14 08:40:39

It sounds as if the school has a shiny new computer package that analysis days off etc. We had one at my last place and it almost caused a riot - one woman used to suffer badly with migraines, and the woman who did the HR knew this. She skipped into the office one day and announced that if the migraine suffered had another day off, she would be called in for a meeting with the Head Partner to discuss her contract and need documentation from her doctor every time she had any time off (even half a day).

Madness - very silly box ticking procedure. Who from the school sent the letter? I am assuming admin. I would not send him in but send in a note saying what you say in your post and suggesting that this is obviously not a kid avoiding school or a parent not knowing he is off and that it would be a waste of a truant officers time (plus would not exactly make the school look sensible).

RahRahRasputin Mon 17-Mar-14 08:41:10

YABU. You should've responded to the letter and explained the situation, and then phoned office this morning to say he has sickness bug, I'm sure they would've said they'd rather he didn't come in!

It's going to be horrible for him being at school ill, having to get permission if he needs the loo, using the school loos which are rarely that pleasant etc.

Even if he personally won't miss anything important, his teachers will have other classes who are doing GCSEs and A levels this year, his classmates may have siblings with exams, or family members with immune problems, younger siblings who need parents to stay off work when they're ill... And it's just unpleasant for anyone to have a tummy bug, so why risk spreading it?

If he's in year 10 then surely you don't need to stay home with him for a tummy bug. Just leave a jug of squash and a cup, a packet of biscuits etc. on a tray and him under his duvet on the sofa.

VodkaJelly Mon 17-Mar-14 08:42:27

NannyOgg - Hmm, yes I can see how that sounds. I meant to say - I dont let them skive off because I work, them being off means having to shuffle my day round or make up the time lost. So I dont let them skive, if they are ill I will of course be at home for them.

SuburbanRhonda Mon 17-Mar-14 08:42:41

cory, sorry to hear your DD's school was so unreasonable but in general the rules are not there for genuinely ill children.

I work with the EWO for our school and the rules are there for parents who keep their child off for the most minor of ailments, or for those who lie that their child is ill when they want time off for a holiday (and judging by previous threads on here, there are plenty of people who condone faking illness to go on holiday).

Nocomet Mon 17-Mar-14 08:44:42

I think YABU if he's being actively sick, but I know exactly why you have done it.

DD2 has had two patronising letters from school about attendance and I have had a row with the medical officer.

Personally I'd of kept him off and said fine the truancy officer is welcome to come to my house after 6pm, but I'm not taking time off work and let them stew.

youmakemydreams Mon 17-Mar-14 08:45:04

This is a situation that is mentioned time and time again on threads about absence and school doing things like asking for sick notes. I can see situations happening like this happening a lot because parents feel they have no choice to send sick dc in to school. I have every sympathy for what you did although I feel sorry for your son dragging himself in ill. Hopefully they will send him right home.

whatsgoinon Mon 17-Mar-14 08:45:17

it´s not right but completely understandable and in your circumstances i think I would do the same - I guess you are waiting for the call to pick him up

It´s hard to see how you could have had a reasonable discussion with them as they have refused to do the same

SamandCat Mon 17-Mar-14 08:50:59

Send the school a tick box with 2 choices
xxxx should come to school within 24 hours of an episode of diahhorrea/vomiting YES/NO

Position ..............................

I doubt you will hear any more from them

YuccanLiederHorticulture Mon 17-Mar-14 08:58:24

It's clear you know it's unreasonable to send him in. He will infect classmates with the sickness bug and there will be even more missed school.

However, the letter you received will just be a one-size-fits-all letter that composed for general use when their absence policy was first formulated. The real people behind the letter will be more understanding.

Don't send him in. Check the school policies and find the bit where there will be a policy saying that no child should come into school for 48 hours after vomiting or diarrhea and write to ask them to clarify whether they are really disbanding that policy in order to boost their attendance figures. Write stating what you have said above, that your son loves school, and you never keep him off except when he is genuinely ill, that him being sick is of great inconvenience to you already and you have no intention of taking any further time off work to attend bureaucratic meetings which are completely inappropriate so if they insist on seeing you about this then they can give up some of their free time and schedule a meeting for a Saturday.

They know they are being unreasonable and will back down if challenged.

AurorasDownTheRabbitHole Mon 17-Mar-14 09:04:35

My DD has been catching everything at nursery. We recently received a very arsey phone call from the receptionist saying because DD had been off so much she risks losing her nursery place! We hand in documents from doctors and nurses EVERY time she is ill. Nursery have been letting kids come to school with coughs, colds and suspected chicken pox (because of pushy) but yet somehow it is all my fault that I have to keep my 4yo off. So me & dh have decided to send her when she is poorly and if nursery think she is bad enough by their standards then we will go and pick her up. It's a constant cycle of crap but if others do it then I will because I don't want my DD to lose her place.

NobodyLivesHere Mon 17-Mar-14 09:06:09

Did you inform the school when he was off previously OP? I wonder because your post mentions the absences being unauthorised, if they weren't informed why he was off I can see why the school are sending letters.

AurorasDownTheRabbitHole Mon 17-Mar-14 09:06:17

*pushy parents

LokiDokey Mon 17-Mar-14 09:07:12

I've had similar issues with a year 11 DD who's had chronic ongoing health issues for 4 years. Up until this school year she has attended only part time due to her problems.
Unfortunately she seems to be more susceptible to anything going lately. School had a moan and said that they now needed a Doctors note for every day she was off. Obviously this is nigh on impossible to achieve as it usually takes three days to get an appointment.

Like you I sent her in regardless. She had a flu bug which rendered her zombie like but I still dropped her off at the door and collected her twenty minutes later when they called me. I've done this with every illness she's had and they have called within the hour. To be fair to Student Services they understand the position I'm in and do feel sorry for DD because obviously she'd have been better in bed rather than dragged into school, but we have to jump through these hoops to appease the head.

The only time I've actually made the exception and called them is with a sickness bug because of how contagious these things are.
Can't see any self respecting EWO complaining at you for keeping home a child with a contagious sickness bug tbh.

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