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To be annoyed/angry/upset with the school for getting this letter??!!

(25 Posts)
Endof Sat 16-Jan-16 13:18:36

I've name changed because I don't want to be recognised, and I'll try and keep it as short as possible..

The letter states that my child had 2 unauthorised absences from school last week, and due to his poor attendance I now have to provide a Drs note if he has anymore time off or I'll be fined.

The unauthorised absences? He bloody well ran away from home because he hates school! Yes, the police were called, missing person forms were filled in etc (the police were amazing by the way) the police even went to the school, so it's not like the school didn't know.

His poor attendance? This is because the school keep calling me to come and pick him up because they don't know what to do with him, either he's sitting in reception, or locking himself away. He's now taken to walking out of school, and although the school know, they very rarely tell me, the first I know is when he arrives home.

I've been almost begging for help for about a year now from outside agencies because I know he's struggling, but as a family it's impacting all of us, but no one has listened. Now it's got to him starting to run away!

So, AIBU to think that I shouldn't be getting this letter when I do get my child to school when I can, the absences are their fault?

He's also an individual child not a bloody number, just for the sake of their attendance statistics! Sorry for the rant, but it's been a horrific week, and this letter is just the last straw really..

GwenethPaltrowIamnot Sat 16-Jan-16 13:21:48

Deep breath ....
How old is he ?

Skullyton Sat 16-Jan-16 13:26:25

Has the letter come from the school or the Attendance Officer?

the AO only deals with the stats, they don't get the info on whats going on. Ours usually invites you in to have a chat with them if there is a problem, it might be worth going in.

Those letters are an insulting PITA, but they're just a formality, a box ticking exercise.

goodnightdarthvader1 Sat 16-Jan-16 13:27:15

when I do get my child to school when I can, the absences are their fault?

With the kindest will in the world, no. I can imagine this is very very tough for you, but you are the parent, it is your job to get your child to go to school and stay in school. If he's being disruptive they are within their rights to remove him / ask you to remove him. There are 29 other children in his class who need to learn.

Walking out of school is a security / safety issue, but I'm guessing he's at the age now where they can't physically keep him there.

I hope you get outside help soon.

Endof Sat 16-Jan-16 13:27:51

He's 14, but (and I hate saying this on here..) he's got asd

Endof Sat 16-Jan-16 13:33:07

He doesn't attend classes, he stays in LS. But actually, it's not my job to make him stay in school How can I without staying there the whole day? I get him to school for the majority of time.

The letter has come from the attendance officer, who is aware of the problems. But I will go in on Monday, and have yet another word.

Twowrongsdontmakearight Sat 16-Jan-16 13:34:21

Sounds awful for you. I don't have any knowledge about this so all I can offer is a virtual hug. Have you posted on the SN pages? I think the group there may have some suggestions for you.

DurhamDurham Sat 16-Jan-16 13:38:21

I'd ignore the letter for now, it's just a formality that has to be done to ensure there's a time line of events and to prove that measures are being put in place to try to manage the situation. Both the school and the attendance officer will be aware of the bigger picture.

It must be an awful tough time for you but it's important that your son sees you working with the school rather than fighting against them as he may try to play one off on the other.

Good luck and I hope things g better for you soon.

Youarentkiddingme Sat 16-Jan-16 13:39:16

Yes once he's there it's the schools responsibility to keep him there. They have to out measures in place just as we do as parents.

When you are called to collect him are they official exclusions? Do they come with paperwork?

It's so damn hard, I get it, (also have a DS with ASD) but clearly school aren't meeting his needs if he's finding it too difficult to be there and so it's their responsibility to change what they do, apply for extra funding or whatever they need.

ValancyJane Sat 16-Jan-16 13:41:19

The letter will have probably been generated automatically by his % attendance dipping, and sent as a tick-box exercise by someone who does the admin and doesn't know the specific situation. But I can understand how it might feel like the icing on the cake this week.


SuperCee7 Sat 16-Jan-16 13:46:17

Pick your battles. You're aware of the issues. The school are aware of the issues. The letter is likely to be a formality.

frog51 Sat 16-Jan-16 13:47:15

I had one of these letters too. My child has had a really unhappy time at school and went rapidly downhill into self harming etc. I was really upset about the way the school failed to even listen so I really feel for you. I responded to it by email, as I couldn't trust myself to not get angry face to face. I told them the facts of the whole situation calmly but firmly and they acknowledged it, at least. I have since managed to move my child to another school and seen a massive improvement. You are right - we are people, not numbers.

tethersend Sat 16-Jan-16 13:50:59

They cannot ask you to come and pick him up- that is an illegal exclusion.

They need to treat it as a fixed term exclusion with the proper paperwork and mark him as E on the register.

knobblyknee Sat 16-Jan-16 13:51:32

This is the end result of making parents responsible for their children in this jobsworth box ticking record keeping culture.
Fining you in this situation is bloody ridiculous. Funding to services has been slashed and you've been asking for help.

I hate these knee jerk, one size fits all, lowest common denominator 'solutions'. I wish I had a good answer for you. angry flowers

ghostyslovesheep Sat 16-Jan-16 13:53:04

if he's sat in LS all day they are failing him - he has a right to an education - in class - with his peers

Does he have an EHCP? - if so you need a review meeting asap as the school is failing to meet his needs

Please get help with this - he deserve an education somewhere he is happy(er)

Alfieisnoisy Sat 16-Jan-16 14:00:10

Contact the LEA on Monday and point out that they have a duty to provide your child with a SUITABLE education. From what you have posted it seems a mainstream school is not right for him.

My son is 13 and also has ASD, he is now in a special school after two years of fighting the LEA and threatening legal action against them if they did not start providing appropriate support....its been a lifeline. He is now in school everyday with no problems.

F you are being called to pick your child up then the school are more or less saying "we can't cope with his needs". He isn't being supported adequately in mainstream and this needs to change.

Does he have a Statement of SEN/EHCP plan?

Put everything in writing.
Start keeping a diary of incidents including every single time you have to pick your child up early.
Contact your local Parent Partnership (they have recently changed names but Google Parent Partnershio and you will find them).
Ask for meetings with the school and the LEA and take an advocate experienced in education with you to support and ask any questions you might forget in the stress of it all.

Above all get angry, the powers that be are letting your son down by not providing the right support for him. This also lets down the other 29 children in the class who have to cope with the fallout of it all.

Support for children on the spectrum is absolutely appalling in many mainstream schools with too many teachers who have little experience and knowledge of autism plus a massive lack of funding meaning the support children might have got in the past is missing.

Get angry and start fighting.

EponasWildDaughter Sat 16-Jan-16 14:00:48


Bin the letter.

These bloody generic attendance letters are a cause of distress to so many parents.

You'll have lots of better advice than i can give, OP, and i hope you get the support you need.

DD3 really struggled with her health for around a year when when she was mid primary school. I WORKED at the school and so was there daily. Every day ... talking with other TAs, talking with the teachers, talking with the admin staff, telling them about DD3, chatting about her hospital and doc's appointments. In tears sometimes with them comforting me.

I still got the bloody ''WE HAVE NOTICED that your child's attendance bla bla bla'' letter hmm

You have noticed?! No - i tell you about it. Every day! Arrrrggghhhh.

KittyandTeal Sat 16-Jan-16 14:01:57

Is his asd server enough to consider a more specialist setting?

Ignoring the letter, which will be an auto generated thing, it sounds like the school are utterly unsupportive of his additional needs.

I'd ask for a specific plan to be put in place to address the leaving school and the not being in class. If they cannot provide a decent plan I'd move schools. I knows it's easier said than done but it sounds like you are both being let down.

mygrandchildrenrock Sat 16-Jan-16 14:02:01

My son has ASD too and I sympathise. I'm lucky that my son's secondary school have staff who are excellent with students who are on the spectrum, if you have any like that near you I would change schools.

timelytess Sat 16-Jan-16 14:02:18

if he's sat in LS all day they are failing him - he has a right to an education - in class - with his peers
Not necessarily. LS is clearly more than he can cope with, and in-class learning might be worse. What kind of disruption does he cause, if he's been put in LS long-term? Other children have to be allowed to learn. Or what kind of distress does the classroom situation cause for him? Too much light, movement, too many bodies, people behind you, people not keeping the rules - I had problems with that and my asd and I was the flipping teacher.

Endof Sat 16-Jan-16 14:30:18

I feel better after reading your replies, thank you. like I said, it's been an awful week really so I just didn't need the letter to end it, but I shall pick my battles well smile

In answer to some of the questions, no he doesn't have an EHCP, it was applied for last year, but refused because believe it or not ( and this is the official reason) he is too bright. So after his education deteriorating further they've decided to apply again. I spoke to the school about it on Friday, they said they hadn't submitted the forms yet because it was just after Christmas?!

We don't know why he doesn't go to lessons, but it's not because he's disruptive ( quite the opposite, he doesn't communicate). But his education is suffering, but they have 24 hrs worth of individual funding for him which I don't see being used for him.

No, they're not official exclusions, I do refuse to pick him up unless they want to officially exclude ( obviously they don't) but, when it becomes detrimental to him I have to think long and hard...

He's between a rock and a hard place re a different school, he's too bright for some schools, but mainstream is sometimes too 'busy' ?

Oh, and I've contacted SS, parent partnership etc you name it I've contacted. They've all contacted the school who've then told them that I'm perfectly able to cope and everything's okay, so they then leave it.

Youarentkiddingme Sat 16-Jan-16 15:24:44

If he's struggling with the number of students and class sizes but bright enough (iyswim?) for MS then LA can fund MS indi. Yiur have to prove he can learn in a quiet environment etc. But they NEED to exclude officially when they cannot cope both for them and your DS to be able to prove he needs an EHCP.

tethersend Sat 16-Jan-16 19:06:01

Sorry, I didn't mean that you shouldn't collect him- just that the school need to treat and record it as an exclusion when you do.

How are they marking these absences on the register?

Has anyone discussed the idea of a managed move to another school?

Alfieisnoisy Sun 17-Jan-16 11:22:35

Hello Endof, just read your response. The chances are he now needs an EHCP as he wont remain on target academically if he cannot get to lessons.

IPSEA might be worth a call too as they are very knowledgeable about this kind of thing.

FWIW my son was deemed "too bright" for a Statement initially but the sort of issues you are having were experienced by us too and he soon fell behind. At that point he was offered a Statement....after more pressure from us.

knobblyknee Sun 17-Jan-16 11:24:43

So basically the school are lying to keep their targets in line. Bloody disgusting. Keep kicking, OP.

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