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To be pissed off about a snotty letter re ds's attendance?

(245 Posts)
Whowillsaveyoursoul Sat 10-Jan-15 10:20:31

He's in year one and had four days off last term. He had a sickness bug two of the days and a chest infection the other two. The chest infection was quite nasty actually but happily tagged onto a weekend and half term otherwise he'd have missed more days than he did. Maybe they think we went on holiday?!
Anyway Aibu to think 'get lost' - what do they want me to do? Send a vomiting 5 year old into school? Send a child with asthma who can't breath properly and with a temperature of 40 into school?
Hopefully he won't have any more time off - the letter says 'whilst we appreciate there may have been valid reasons for the absences we hope we have your full cooperation to ensure there are no further absences next term.'
How would the like me to ensure that my child doesn't catch norovirus? I'm really cross!

LennyCrabsticks Sat 10-Jan-15 10:21:46

They are wankers. Please do complain.

Emotional101 Sat 10-Jan-15 10:23:13

That's ridiculous and you should definitely complain.
We only ever used to send out letters if a child had less than 80% attendance and your child is no where near that!

Send a complaint to the school.

noblegiraffe Sat 10-Jan-15 10:23:16

It's an automatically generated letter, loads get sent out. Bin and ignore. They don't actually want you to send a vomiting child in, but they do want to be able to show Ofsted they take attendance seriously and follow up absences.

You are simply a box ticked. It's not personal.

Whowillsaveyoursoul Sat 10-Jan-15 10:23:28

I'm at work myself - I really wouldn't keep him off unless I had to. It's massively inconvenient for everyone and I'd always rather send him in so he doesn't miss out if I can.

I am really annoyed.

Fisharefriendsnotfood Sat 10-Jan-15 10:23:33

Ridiculous. And you can be sure they have a 48 hr exclusion rule after D&V.

FightOrFlight Sat 10-Jan-15 10:26:17

Agree with noblegiraffe it's a letter that has to be sent to parents irrespective of the reasons why the child was off. Don't worry about it, you aren't going to be hounded by the school's welfare officer. Just ignore it and move on x

Whowillsaveyoursoul Sat 10-Jan-15 10:26:45

Yeah next time I'll just send him and he can infect them all!

katese11 Sat 10-Jan-15 10:27:03

I would complain...This whole attendance thing is getting crazy. A boy in ds' class was hospitalised with pneumonia and the school kept badgering his mother to send him back in. Why can't they let kids recover?

There's just no logic to it. Sending sick kids back to school does not help your attendance..It just makes more sick kids, especially with norovirus!

Timeforabiscuit Sat 10-Jan-15 10:29:32

Its the insinuation - "whilst we appreciate that there may have been valid reasons..."

I know its a standard letter, but I'd object to the wording making out that the abscences were anything less than necessary.

m0therofdragons Sat 10-Jan-15 10:29:38

I would write and ask them to clarify if this means they would like my vomiting child next time. I don't care if it's an automated letter. They should only send them to parents they believe it's relevant to. I don't accept that excuse.
My dd has had two afternoons off school in over 18 months - when they sent her home. Does this make me a good parent? Nope it means I am lucky dd has a good immune system and clearly we are due a year of illness soon (still not had chickenpox ). I work but if she was ill I would keep her home. I'm her mum not the school. I hate it when they cross that line.

42bunnytails Sat 10-Jan-15 10:29:50

4 days in Y1? They are mad.

I'd find it very hard not to retun that with WTAF written across it.

DD2 got a similar letter in Y7, she was stunningly under impressed. She likes school and hates being ill. She certainly hadn't chosen to get an ear infection, secondary to a horrible virus and end up at the GP for the first time in 11 years!

Honestly, I know Ofsted are really hot on attendence, but I wish schools would realise how incredibly stupid these letters make them look.

noblegiraffe Sat 10-Jan-15 10:35:04

They should only send them to parents they believe it's relevant to.

How? The letters are generated by a computer and sent out by office staff. You want them to take the time to go to each teacher and say 'in your opinion is this parent allowing their kid to swing the lead?' That would be a horrendous waste of time task!

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Sat 10-Jan-15 10:38:14

We got a very similar sounding rude one about attendance isued to the whole Y1 class yesterday, just as an ordinary letter. It was so abrasive, it caused a lot of raised eyebrows. I'd post a chunk, but it's currently in the car with DH ...

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Sat 10-Jan-15 10:38:17

I have had the exact same situation with DS2 - although he is in Year 9.

One illness, severe enough to warrant an A&E visit, and one week off school. Because he had the bad luck to be ill so early on in the school year it sent his % below 90 which triggered "the letter".

I complained via e-mail & the school "Home Liaison Officer"? phoned to apologise & confirm that no further action would be taken - the letter had said that the Education Welfare Officer would be "taking up the matter" angry.

grannytomine Sat 10-Jan-15 10:39:07

I got one from the welfare officer about my youngests attendance. I was furious, he had a bad bug that winter. I would keep him off a couple of days then send him back in, we would then get a call saying could we collect him as he wasn't well enough to be in school. This happened 3 times and I thought they were being riediculous. Then I got the letter about his attendance. The most annoying thing was his sister had more absences and we didn't get a letter about her. I told the WO that I thought this was because she was being badly bullied and the school weren't dealing with it so they didn't want her highlighting to the WO in any way. I ended up having a blazing row with her and the school and told them if I ever had another letter like that I would be withdrawing my children and home educating. The WO told me I couldn't do that and I informed her that my 2 youngest had been home educated for 4 years and I knew my rights and she shouldn't be lying about it.

And breathe.

katese11 Sat 10-Jan-15 10:43:48

I am soooooo lucky ds had his bout of stomach flu on NYD...No attendance worries during the holidays hmm

schokolade Sat 10-Jan-15 10:44:33

I would write a formal letter back outlining the facts. I.e sickness was a valid reason, as stated at the time. And that obviously you will continue to send him in when we'll next term. Don't care if it's automated. It's bloody rude.

schokolade Sat 10-Jan-15 10:46:47

I mean they must be expecting snotty letters back. You can't expect a formal communication you send to be ignored? I'd want it in writing that I had responded.

EdSheeransGString Sat 10-Jan-15 10:47:31

I also got a really snotty letter regarding dds attendance last term. She had 2 urine infections within weeks of each other, a sickness and diarrhea bug that lasted 4 days and then she had a chest infection.

I also don't know what I'm supposed to do. I can't help it if she's ill, I have no idea when she will be ill and there is the 48hr rule wrt sickness etc.

They said that they were concerned and asked me to contact the school if I needed help getting her to school hmm

May09Bump Sat 10-Jan-15 10:50:38

Send a letter in reiterating why child was absence and their D&V policy. Also, state whilst you acknowledge the importance of attendance, your child's health is paramount and therefore cannot guarantee he will not be absent next term as illness is not predicable.

It's not worth complaining as probably an auto letter, but it is worth restating why he was off and showing you have read the content of the letter. With school I think it is a case of picking your battles - to me this would be a 5 minute email or letter and leave it at that.

EatShitDerek Sat 10-Jan-15 10:50:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Seff Sat 10-Jan-15 10:53:43

I get really annoyed about the whole attendance thing. Especially because it's not even got anything to do with the well being of the children - it's all about scoring Ofsted points.

Stinkle Sat 10-Jan-15 10:54:03

I had one just before Christmas. My DD is in year 5, always had really good attendance, but last year had some appointments during school hours.

It was the wording that annoyed me "whilst we appreciate that there may be valid reasons for absence....blah....blah....important for child's education....blah....blah".

The school referred her for, and organised the whole bloody thing!

I totally understand they have to send the letters out and it was just a standard letter, but I was a bit hmm and I was very grateful that the school had organised the appointments, but the tone of the letter was just awful

SuburbanRhonda Sat 10-Jan-15 11:00:43

I manage attendance in the school where I work. I'm surprised about the vagueness in the letter about the reasons for absence possibly being due to illness.

Attendance is coded according to the reason. Provided you phoned in his absence with a reason (and not just said "he's sick" or "he won't be in today"), one quick glance at his attendance details would show it marked as illness.

You probably would still have got the letter, but it should just have been just a reminder about the importance of good attendance.

And before anyone jumps on me saying they don't need reminders, it is a standard letter, worth sending if only to reach those parents who don't see regular attendance as important. If it doesn't apply to you, ignore it.

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