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To want to tell the EWO to fuck off with his shitty letter?

(98 Posts)
ASorcererIsAWizardSquared Sun 28-Jun-15 10:08:49

There is 3 weeks left of term.

I had a letter about DD's attendance earlier in the year as it had dropped to 92% after a couple of nasty stomach bug/vomiting episodes.

The school itself has a strict 48hr exclusion from the last incident of vomiting/diarrhea btw.

just to give you a run down..
she had 1 day off in november (flu)
1 day at the beginning of feb (high temp)
3 days in the middle of feb (tummy bug + 48hr exclusion)
3 days in march (tummy bug + 48hr exclusion)
2 days off this month (tummy bug + 48hr exclusion)

So she's had a total of 9 days, just under 2 whole weeks of term. 5 of which were down to the schools own strict 48hr exclusion policy.

Yesterday i got another shitty letter pointing out her attendence is at 94.2% and shows 'no significant improvement (so 92 - 94% isn't an improvement) and that if she's off again unless i provide medical evidence from the dr, it will go down as unauthorised absence.

And then a shitty little "may i remind you of the law" section where they bold "the parent of every child of statutory school age is compelled by law to ensure such a child attends school unless there is a reasonable excuse for non-attendance"

Erm.. scuse me? Her attendance has improved, and more than half of it is because of the schools own fucking policy!

I really want to write back and tell him to go fuck himself.

pieceofpurplesky Sun 28-Jun-15 10:11:49

Just a standard letter that schools have to send so they tick an ofsted box. The school probably thinks it is as annoying as you but still has to send it. I wouldn't worry about it or stress anymore.

Lancelottie Sun 28-Jun-15 10:12:36

Well, these letters are mainly there to annoy (we got one once in the same envelope as the whole-class Get Well card after DD's op), but you could try sympathetically writing back,:

'I'm sure that you are as exasperated as I am by the need to send this sort of letter. Could you please confirm in writing that you will not enforce the 48-hr exclusion policy for my daughter in future cases of D&V? Many thanks.'

NotOutingSelf Sun 28-Jun-15 10:14:50

Send a snotty response pointing out what you've said here about the school's 48 hour policy. Say that you will be happy to provide a doctor's letter in the event of future absences provided that they pay for it.

LavenderRain Sun 28-Jun-15 10:16:13

Its just a standard letter but YANBU. They wouldn't be happy uf you sent DD back poorly would they?!
I had this with DS. He was off a week with awful stomach pains/vomiting and they phoned me! So I sent him back to school, he was there a few hours and they called him an ambulance!!
Oh I sent a letter after that I can tell you and they were extremely apologetic but I really dont think they think about the kids, just their figures.
I would reply if I was you.

Lancelottie Sun 28-Jun-15 10:18:24

Chances of getting to see a doctor for routine squitty child illness are pretty much zero, I'd say.

Three lots of it are pretty bad luck. Has she always had a very sensitive tummy or is she secretly scoffing the dog food/forgetting to wash hands at school?

OrangeSquashTallGlass Sun 28-Jun-15 10:18:44

Completely agree with purplesky. As a teacher I can tell the school wouldn't have been particularly happy about the letter either. Chuck it in the bin and don't give it anymore of you time.

merrymouse Sun 28-Jun-15 10:20:08

The irony is that she probably got the tummy bugs because other parents were ignoring the 48 hour rule.

AuntieStella Sun 28-Jun-15 10:20:14

I would write back saying that

a) 5 of the 9 days were the 48 hour exclusion period. Could he now confirm in writing that this exclusion period no longer applies to your child?

b) the name of the school's private doctor for absences under one week, as sick notes are not available on NHS. You expect the school/EWO to pay for these appointments and letters as it is not legal to require parents to pay for private medicine

Jollyphonics Sun 28-Jun-15 10:20:23

I'm always confused about these letters - who decides to send them? DS2 (age 6) has had loads of time off this academic year - couple of 48-hour sickness episodes, couple of one-day temperatures, and a full 8 days off with bad tonsillitis, and I've never had a letter or any comment at all.

There doesn't seem to be much consistency.

Woooooohoooooo Sun 28-Jun-15 10:21:03

I think its ridiculous that you are expected to provide evidence with 94% attendance. The average is generally 95% or 97% depending on her age.

I would question it by email so there's a paper trail. Ask them to explain why they have demanded Gp letters with improved attendance of 94%. Then explain that you will not waste money or GP time with a standard vomiting virus or temperature and that they will just have to take your word as a professional caring and able parent for any illness. You will email any future absences in so that you yourself have an ongoing record showing that you have authorised each absence. If the school chooses to mark the authorised absence as unauthorised, that's their decision.

Stitchintime1 Sun 28-Jun-15 10:27:23

I wouldn't give it s minute's thought.

ASorcererIsAWizardSquared Sun 28-Jun-15 10:30:31

How does this sound?

Yesterday I received a letter from Mr X informing me that DDs attendance was at 94.2%. Apparently this is not significant improvement fro the 91/92% I recall the last letter being about that I was sent in March or April. The letter stated that as he has had to contact me before about it, that any further absences will have to be backed up by evidence from the GP, and a referral to the Attendance Support Team.

Having looked at her attendance record he so kindly enclosed, DD has had a total of 9 days off all year. I would like to point out to Mr X that 5 of those days are due to (schools) own sickness/diarrhoea 48hr exclusion policy, which as a conscientious parent I have always made sure to adhere to for the sake of the staff and children.

While I am aware that the school needs to monitor attendance, the tone of Mr Xs letter is unnecessary and unwelcome, especially when her attendance is only just under the 95% school target, and only because I actively support the schools own policies.

In light of Mr X threatening tone in the letter, can I assume that if in the next 3 weeks DD suffers any more incidents of vomiting or diarrhoea that I will not be expected to abide by the policy? If so, I would like his confirmation of that in writing, as it is not current policy for DDs GP to be seen in the event of normal childhood stomach bugs, and they do not welcome ill children in their waiting room for the same reason the school chooses to enforce a 48hr exclusion.

I would also like him to confirm that he will reimburse me for any cost of Dr’s Notes as GP charge £10 for each one they issue if he is insistent on them being provided.

Bunbaker Sun 28-Jun-15 10:32:26

This is part of an email I sent to DD's school when we received a letter about her attendance record.

"I realise that this letter is automatically triggered by the number of absences xxx has had and is part of a "box ticking exercise", but I would like you to understand that I do not take the decision to keep her off school lightly."

And this is part of the response I received.

"Many thanks for your email, it is much appreciated. As you say in your email, this letter is generated by the attendance figure and so is uniform across the board but we do take each case on its merits"

I think that your response needs to look like you are working with the school, rather than going into defensive mode. I think it would be a good idea to mention that the crackdown on attendance does mean that other parents aren't complying with the 48 hour rule, even if you are.

These kind of letters sent to parents who obviously care about their children do my head in.

Pikkewyn Sun 28-Jun-15 10:38:47

We got one of these along with a 'helpful' list of tips to help us get DD into school more,these included things like - If DD has a fever, give her some calpol and send her in as it is probably a virus and staying at home won't help. If she has earache the doc won't give antibiotics so calpol and send her in, then the school can decided if she is poorly enough to go home.

ASorcererIsAWizardSquared Sun 28-Jun-15 10:39:33

Lance, unfortunatly dd's school had a couple of nasty bugs that were going around, and dd will ALWAYS catch them if they're going. the first one was when someone threw up in her class, the second she caught after DS bought it home from his class and that one went through the whole household!

After two months of it going class to class, the school sent out a strongly worded letter about the 48hr exclusion and the reason for it!

ASorcererIsAWizardSquared Sun 28-Jun-15 10:47:13

i would ignore it, but i think as parents we need to make a stand. The tone of these letters is absolutely unnecessary, the school record the reason for an absence.. threatening parents whose children have low attendance through supporting the schools own policies is ridiculous!

Bunbaker Sun 28-Jun-15 10:50:05

I agree. It is so frustrating.

I think these letters are counter productive. The parents who don't care will ignore them and those that do feel stigmatised.

SabrinnaOfDystopia Sun 28-Jun-15 10:50:20

OP - I know it's annoying - but do not go in on the defensive, don't send that letter. Send something more along the lines bunbaker sent.

ASorcererIsAWizardSquared Sun 28-Jun-15 10:53:55

nah, they know me, the receptionists who will get the letter speak to me every day, we're on first name terms smile

My older DS is autistic and i've had some issues with his attendance (School refusing) just lately, so i will go and see them and apologise for the tone of it, but then verbally explain why i sent it.

SavoyCabbage Sun 28-Jun-15 10:55:21

I definitely don't think you should put the part about the money. It's antagonistic.

TealFanClub Sun 28-Jun-15 10:56:18

OP

you are way over reacting.

Read, ingest and bin
( btw i would do 24 hours not 48)

CamelHump Sun 28-Jun-15 11:00:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ASorcererIsAWizardSquared Sun 28-Jun-15 11:03:43

well Teal, the school policy isnt 24hrs, its 48hrs, and when you tell them why your child is off, they tell you when they're allowed back!

SweetAndFullOfGrace Sun 28-Jun-15 11:04:07

I would just reply with a list of the absences with the reason for each, and ask for the reasons for each absence to be formally included in your DD's record. Also I would ask to have it formally recorded in her record that as a responsible parent you authorised the absences as being legitimately illness-based, and further a doctor's letter is unavailable on the NHS for this type of illness hence one was not provided.

That's all you need to do. The school can only involve the local authority if they want to take it further, and honestly the local authority have better things to do than chase conscientious parents about legitimate illness based absences from school.

I wouldn't bother with anything about the tone of the letter in your reply. For that I would send a separate letter to the governors to ask for an investigation into a better way to manage the school's absence target, because the current approach is unhelpful and not promoting a partnership approach between parents and the school.

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