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To write a stroppy response to the "Amber attendance warning" received from Dd's high school?

(167 Posts)
PingpongDingDong Fri 08-Jan-16 22:19:08

Last term Dd had 4 teeth out for a brace. She had one and a half days off for this. A few weeks later she had the brace put on. She had one day off for this. She then had a migraine so another day off for that.

All authorised absences, all pretty much unavoidable. Today we received the above mentioned letter with all sorts of doom laden predictions for those without 100% attendance ending with "we trust your daughter will aim for excellent attendance this term."

Is it me?! She was having 4 teeth out and a brace fitted and she had a migraine (the school know this). I really object to this heavy handed, ridiculous approach for kids who do not have a "problem" with attendance. Should I write and complain?

VegetablEsoup Fri 08-Jan-16 22:21:27

it's all standardised, automated. doesn't mean anything (yet).
unless your dd has more absences don't worry and forget about the letter.

CoffeeCoffeeAndLotsOfIt Fri 08-Jan-16 22:22:19

Why did she need a whole day off to have a brace put on?

Sounds like a run of the mill standard letter.

Her attendance hasn't previously been excellent - next term the school is hoping it will be.

Hassled Fri 08-Jan-16 22:23:26

You could write and complain, but it would be pretty pointless. The pressure to improve attendance is relentless and these letters have to be churned out if attendance drops below a certain percentage in a given period. High schools usually have a lot of pupils - no-one will have the time to say "hang on a minute - Little Jimmy was truanting but with Pingpong's DD it was fair enough". Don't give the letter any more thought.

PingpongDingDong Fri 08-Jan-16 22:23:56

I know you're right. It just gets my back up!

exLtEveDallas Fri 08-Jan-16 22:24:24

No. School has no choice but to send the letters. Govt has declared that attendance of less than 90% makes a child a 'persistent absentee' no matter what the reason. 4 days in one term is less than 90% attendance. OFSTED want 'proof' that schools are following procedure correctly and the letters are a part of that.

user7755 Fri 08-Jan-16 22:25:42

My son got a negative mark because school sent him home when he had his finger trapped in a door and then 2 days later he had half a day off because he needed his dressings changed (and our stupid surgery only have district nurses there for 7 1/2 minutes every second Thursday if the moon is in the correct phase).

They sent him home so we could take him to hospital and then they complained! Stupid attendance figures - I'd be interested to know if it actually makes a difference to people with genuine attendance issues.

x2boys Fri 08-Jan-16 22:25:43

I agree ds1 is only nine last yr he had four days off for bacterial tonsillitus gp confirmed and antibiotics this was in september and then in may he got chickenpox [he wasent paticularly ill with it but it was confirmed by gp]so he had a week off bearing in mind he wasent allowed in school with chickenpox i got a letter saying his attendance was less than 95 % it was 94.6% and he needed at least 95 % attendance etc that was it i never keep him off for nothing its very annoying.

PingpongDingDong Fri 08-Jan-16 22:25:52

Correction coffee sorry, I picked her up at 11 for the brace to be put on. Bearing in mind she was sore and eating was difficult I allowed her to stay at home for the afternoon.

PingpongDingDong Fri 08-Jan-16 22:27:04

It wasn't less than 90% though! Apparently it was 92%!

cranberryx Fri 08-Jan-16 22:27:49

I remember when I had my brace as a teenager, and the teeth out before, it was bloody painful and you couldn't eat anything - it's not unreasonable to have time off for this from school, if I had this as an adult I would book time off work. Unfortunately you can't really book time off from school so I think the school are being unreasonable for that.

I wouldn't let it bother you, you have records of the appointments and the school are aware. It's probably because she has a certain amount of days on the register (authorised or not)

PingpongDingDong Fri 08-Jan-16 22:30:21

Agreed cranberry. I very much doubt many adults would go into work straight after having 4 teeth out or having a brace put in!

x2boys Fri 08-Jan-16 22:31:50

yes i remember having a brace and teeth out i had four back teeth out it was painful and very unpleasent i wouldnt send a child back to school after everytime they tightened the brace was extremely painful too.

Kbear Fri 08-Jan-16 22:31:51

My DS was ill recently and off school for a week with a throat, ear and chest infection - only time off since starting secondary (now year 9) - they asked me to send a copy of his medication from the doctor (as proof that we weren't actually sunning ourselves in the Bahamas I suppose!). I think the silly ideas come from above and are out of the school's control to a large degree.

Ignore and move on (but annoying I agree).

BearFoxBear Fri 08-Jan-16 22:32:03

Coffee you've clearly never had a brace fitted, it's bloody painful.

noblegiraffe Fri 08-Jan-16 22:37:15

Bin it and forget it. It wasn't personal.

PingpongDingDong Fri 08-Jan-16 22:40:34

I also hope she has excellent health and attendance this term, so does she. Given that there's sod all you can actually do about actual illness and the occasional medical appt I just don't see the point in sending the letter. Would they like me to send her in with her migraine next time? She can throw up around the school!

PingpongDingDong Fri 08-Jan-16 22:41:53

But anyway I will stop seething and bin it! Thanks all.

GinandJag Fri 08-Jan-16 22:43:45

You have to recognise that very few people, especially those generating the letter, know your daughter as an individual. Don't swear the small stuff.

GruntledOne Fri 08-Jan-16 22:48:22

Could you have organised the brace appointments for the holidays?

tiggytape Fri 08-Jan-16 22:51:32

The orthodontist thing I sort of understand - schools stress that they expect them to attend both before and after orthodontist appointments.

Yes it is painful after the braces are tightened but some children are in treatment every 8 weeks for 2 years. They cannot miss a day for each of those (and being at home instead of at school with a paracetamol doesn't make much odds as the pain just needs time to wear off).
Both of my DC's have had to go straight back to school again after having braces fitted and tightened (as have all their friends). They go off in the morning and come back to show everyone their new colours after (a very soft) lunch.

Obviously having 4 teeth out in one go is a while other league and does require a day off to recover.

As others have said though, these letters aren't personal at all. They are automatically generated when attendance reaches fixed points. You can just ignore it but maybe need to time orthodontist appointments later if DD wants to be at home after them for the next year or so.

NaughtToThreeSadOnions Fri 08-Jan-16 22:51:52

Thing is they probably don't see the point in sending out the letter op! But they have to be seen to be doing it!

Never had a brace fitted but I did have a tooth out a few years ago and had to be taken home to sleep, so certanly not unreasonable to have a day off for that!

shazzarooney99 Fri 08-Jan-16 22:53:46

I got a lovely red letter from school, so first off my mother died 9 weeks ago, i kept him off for a few days, hes had a few days off ill and then earlier on my partner had a heart attack where he had to have an operation where he could have died, now mix that in with a child who has suspected high functioning autism, who is refusing to go to school and kicking off at every oppertunity, i feel like taking it in and shoving it in there face!! considering my son has been trying to kill himself and is extremley violent towards us! laughable!!! not!!

lorelei9 Fri 08-Jan-16 22:58:59

Who are the people who dreamed up the stupidity of these automated letters, attendance prizes etc? Is it the Department of Education?

PingpongDingDong Fri 08-Jan-16 22:59:06

Well fair enough. Most of Dd's friends have had the day off when having their braces fitted. Or more accurately 4 hours off. Is that really such a big deal? She hasn't had time off when they were tightened.

No, we couldn't schedule the appts for during the holidays because our dentist and orthodontist kept changing their minds about when and how to sort her teeth out and so by the time they'd finally agreed on a time to do it we were into the new term.

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