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To Tell the EWO to sod off?

(87 Posts)
ProfessorSkullyMental Fri 28-Mar-14 09:37:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LineRunner Fri 28-Mar-14 09:42:53

I've only ever known parents react badly to these letters, so I honestly wonder why they are sent. There must be a better way to communicate initially with a parent over whether there is a problem that perhaps someone could actually help with.

Alphabollocks Fri 28-Mar-14 09:50:57

I would think 93% is quite a reasonable attendance rate what with all the nasty lergies kids seem to get when they're young (and older). However I am not an EWO. Unauthorised absences are a different thing altogether, so it would depend I imagine on whether they were authorised or unauthorised. Unauthorised is when a reason is not given for absence, I believe.

ProfessorSkullyMental Fri 28-Mar-14 09:52:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cory Fri 28-Mar-14 09:53:08

Much better ime than "sod off" is "do come in and have a cup of tea, I am so sorry you have been troubled needlessly, actually there is a simple explanation".

Finola1step Fri 28-Mar-14 09:56:36

Standard letter. Not the choice of the school or even the EWO. Very annoying but it is simply generated by the attendance data. Yes, she may not actually legally need to start until after Easter. But you did choose to send her before that. She is in a state school and she is now 5. She is in the system and so are you. You will be treated the same as all parents and once attendance falls a couple of percent below the national average, the system gets triggered.

Put the letter away. Ignore it. Carry on as normal and now that the better weather is on its way, make sure her attendance goes up.

Sirzy Fri 28-Mar-14 10:01:12

exactly what Finola said.

Attendances need to be monitored, you know it was all legit but at the same time in the grander scheme it is good that schools are monitoring things. Some parents do keep children off when not needed and a letter is a good first step to alert parents to the fact the attendance is dropping.

PiperRose Fri 28-Mar-14 10:05:22

I used to be an EWO. You are right in that you can't legally be prosecuted for any lack of attendance previous to the beginning of the Easter term. I think what he's doing is trying to be proactive rather than reactive and trying to ensure she hits the target after Easter. I'm not saying you need it as I don't know the background, and I'm sure you're a great mum who encourages good attendance, but he probably thinks a proverbial kick up the bum now might prevent him having to come down heavy later. As for telling him to sod off I'd just have a nice chat with him.

Sparklysilversequins Fri 28-Mar-14 10:07:03

I had one the term that dd was diagnosed with autism so was out a lot for appointments. I emailed him and explained and he couldn't have been nicer or more apologetic. I would email and point out that legally your dd does not actually need to be in school.

gordyslovesheep Fri 28-Mar-14 10:09:58

I don't think you need to be rude - attendance bellow 94% automatically triggers a letter - that is all it does

it's a heads up that attendance needs to improve

bin it - move on - no drama

LineRunner Fri 28-Mar-14 10:18:11

A friend of mine hit the roof after receiving one of these letters as his daughter had been in hospital and the school knew this.

It really affected the family's relationship with the school.

My point is, these standard letters are not a great communication device. They wind up parents, some of whom are dealing with children with particular needs as best they can.

ThinkAboutItTomorrow Fri 28-Mar-14 10:18:29

I can see why it is annoying and you feel like saying sod off but my cousin's daughter was hardly in education because they couldn't be arsed to get her to school - the getting her there and the preparation in clean uniform etc. was just too much.

I was standing on the sidelines stunned that the school took so long to get involved.

They were shit parents (it got sorted when they split and my cousin became a lone parent, he finally took his responsibilities seriously) and I do think the welfare officer should have been more pushy.

Sadly the need to safeguard against bad parenting outweighs the annoyance it causes good parents.

And the lack of funding makes automation a sensible option.

ormirian Fri 28-Mar-14 10:19:42

Quite linerunner

It seems to be that pro forma letters are the thing in schools in general. H is a teacher and has had major health issues this year. Has had time off for illness, GP appoinmtments and hospital visits. School is 100% aware of all of this, it has all been documented. BUT the head still handed him a latter informing that his attendance was unacceptable according to the Bradford Factor and it needed to be addressed.

I think that schools are under so much pressure to conform or to at least show they are conforming tp the new regime that they lose touch with common sense.

gordyslovesheep Fri 28-Mar-14 10:20:12

I have had 2 - one for each of my eldest children - due to regular CAMH's and paeds apts - but I just read them, thought 'ho hum' an binned them

I don't think there are a great way of communicating but neither do I think people should overreact - it's just a letter

Nanny0gg Fri 28-Mar-14 10:29:37

I don't think there are a great way of communicating but neither do I think people should overreact - it's just a letter

But if communication was improved, and if it went back to the Old Days (about 10 years ago!) the benefits that would be reaped in the form of good feeling and co-operation would be immeasurable.

Former HTs I worked for would spend an awful lot of time with 'dysfunctional' families working to get them in school. And in they came. That sort of letter would just alienate them. And 'genuine' families were treated with sympathy and compassion.

Finola1step Fri 28-Mar-14 11:13:17

Would just like to add something here. The EWO letters are nothing to do with the school.

In my school, we do not get to choose our EWO - they are assigned to us. Some are great and very proactive. Some are rubbish.

They have the right to come into school and look at attendance data. Then they send letters, make follow up appointments. Good ones work with the school to try to resolve issues. Some simply come in, do the register checks, send out letters and leave.

The good EWOs tend to get moved on very quickly into senior roles or working in particularly challenging schools where the work might be even more delicate.

The school and the headteacher had very little say. But we are expected to be seen to be supporting the work of the EWO.

rabbitlady Fri 28-Mar-14 11:26:42

93% isn't acceptable - the target will be 98%+. children who have poor records of attendance in primary rarely improve in secondary. they are the children whose achievement is below their potential and they show up on all the school and local authority statistics. your dd's school/authority are trying to nip it in the bud, for her sake and for theirs.

ProfessorSkullyMental Fri 28-Mar-14 11:53:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wispa31 Fri 28-Mar-14 12:33:50

Quite frankly i find all this fucking goverment meddling ridiculous!! This is kind of thing you havr at work to maintain attendance.
Between these threads and lunchbox nazi threads i might well be better off going down the home ed route. Am i fuck having anyone tell me what to do and interfering thinking they know best. Fuck. Off. I would have proper pissed with that letter.
Schools should be left to concentrate on teaching children and not on performance league tables. Fucking joke. Depresses me seeing all these threads tbh.

TillyTellTale Fri 28-Mar-14 13:01:19

children who have poor records of attendance in primary rarely improve in secondary.

Really? Do they just keep catching chicken pox repeatedly, when they wouldn't have done if they'd been sent to school all the way through it the first time? hmm

Don't forget, some of the children with poor records of attendance during primary school simply have medical issues. That would not have gone away during secondary school, even if they'd gone to every day of primary school.

Nanny0gg Fri 28-Mar-14 13:07:42

children who have poor records of attendance in primary rarely improve in secondary

Wow! Do they suddenly become immune to D+V?

That may be the case when there isn't a 'genuine' reason for absence. But in primary it is so often unavoidable illness that your statement is nonsense.

BarbarianMum Fri 28-Mar-14 13:08:00

93% is perfectly reasonable if they have been ill the other 7% of the time. Actually maybe kids would be ill less if the ones who are sick aren't dragged into school to keep the attendance figures up.

Niklepic Fri 28-Mar-14 13:17:31

We got one of these letters for ds. He has a life limiting condition that the school are aware of and has lots of medical appointments and illness as a result of the medication he takes. The letter stated that although they appreciate his condition "may" be the cause of "some" of his absences they will be monitoring the situation.

I got very upset about how the letter was worded and even considered taking him off the medication so that he'd suffer less side effects (even though his condition would deteriorate in the long term). I've spoken to the school and they were very apologetic but said it's nothing to do with them, it's the local authority and something that Ofsted would expect to be sent out.

NancyJones Fri 28-Mar-14 13:18:15

I can't stand all this crap. It's one of the huge benefits we get from using the private sector. Not that my kids have poor attendance but there's been the odd term/year were it would fall below 95% due to chickenpox or the year DS had swine flu and missed 3straight wks only just managing to stay out of hospital.

Nobody bothered us, nobody cared because guess what? School knew they were ill, knew they were regular attenders and worked hard at school and that it would not affect their overall attainment. So pretty much like the vast majority of state school kids whose parents get these letters.

I hate all this nanny state bullshit implemented just to make sure we catch the lowest common denominator. Oh some parents can't be bothered to get up in the morning and get their kids to school so we need to obsessively chase all parents whose kids fall before a certain line regardless of circumstances. Or some parents feed their kids crap and have no nutritional awareness so let's ban packed lunches or anything treat like in a packed lunch just to regulate a tiny minority.

It's utter bollocks and quite offensive and patronising to the vast majority of normal, rational parents.

rabbitlady Fri 28-Mar-14 13:29:45

its 95% at my kids school actually rabbit.
trust me, whilst the official target might be 95%, staff will be pressured into trying to get 98%.
how do they know, from statistics and with a child who has not been in school for long, that in your case, there is nothing to 'nip in the bud'? there clearly is, its absence, and the school/welfare officer is onto it. as they have to be.
they're just doing what they are supposed to do.

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