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To think the whole attendance thing at school has gone too far?

(58 Posts)
storminabuttercup Mon 01-Feb-16 15:57:41

I maybe am, but parents at DS's school seem so bothered about the attendance mark that they are sending kids into school ill, straight after D&V, with all sorts of bugs etc. School actively encourage this, I mentioned that DS had D&V, was a Friday so hopefully if it stopped that day he would return on Monday after the 48 hour period, I was told 'oh we don't worry about that sort of thing they are fine to come back' this is probably why the school is rife with bugs. Just before Xmas lots of the kids came down with a stomach bug, school didn't mention anything but one kid has head lice and we get strongly worded messages.
I know kids need to be in school, I get that, but surely we want them to be healthy too.
Are other schools like this? I may be venting as DS was ill again last week, mentioned it to another mum who said her child had been throwing up and had diarrhoea the night before but 'school would phone if he wasn't right'

bumbleymummy Mon 01-Feb-16 16:02:07

YANBU. Sick children in school really bothers me.

ClockworkJelly Mon 01-Feb-16 16:05:03


My dd is off with a nasty "out of both ends" stomach bug today. Our school will not let her return for 48hrs and nor would I.

Seems odd.

TheCatsMeow Mon 01-Feb-16 16:06:17

YANBU that stuff annoys me too

DamsonInDistress Mon 01-Feb-16 16:06:37

Yanbu but it isn't always the parents fault. Schools are under such pressure on attendance these days and they're passing that pressure on. Our school sends a really aggressive email home the first day of a child's non attendance essentially saying they expect the child back the next day, with a doctors note as well! It's ludicrous!

NeedsAsockamnesty Mon 01-Feb-16 16:07:30


sherbetpips Mon 01-Feb-16 16:08:31

My son was off on the Monday with a chest infection, he went in Tuesday but had to be sent home, that night he went to hospital with breathing difficulties. He was then off Wednesday and Thursday. When he went back in Friday I sent in a letter explaining that he now need an inhaler and could they please acknowledge that they had changed his records to reflect this. I received a letter back, it didn't mention the inhaler, instead it stated that his school absence was not acceptable and any further absence may be investigated and/or reported and that we may be asked to produce a doctors note. Whilst it's probably a generic letter it really peed me off, as did there lack of response to my letter. Since starting at the school it is the first absence. Way over the top in my opinion!

storminabuttercup Mon 01-Feb-16 16:08:39

Clockwork, out of interest is that a private school?

A doctors note for a child? Let's add wasting GP's time too.

I've never really been intimidated by the notes around attendance but can see why others would be!

Lilybensmum1 Mon 01-Feb-16 16:08:44

I agree it has gone a bit ott! However our schools never allow kids back less than 48 hours post d&v if that is what you are saying your school allows,that's disgusting, it's a rule to protect vulnerable people and to stop it becoming an outbreak. You should raise this with the school it will be in their policy somewhere that it's 48 hours minimum.

I do think parents are responsible also, as you said one mum who's child had d&v took her child in and was told the school would phone if any problems, why did she take her child to school? regardless of what the school says the child is unfit for school and that is the parents responsibility.

At my dcs school they get certificates detailing attendance and punctuality which I think are awful, I take my DC to school on time because they are fit to do so, what about the children with health conditions and hospital appointments who don't achieve these certificates? Or the parents who can't be bothered to get their kids to school on time? The kids have no control over this its punishing the wrong people.

Marzipanface Mon 01-Feb-16 16:09:44


I wouldn't send my child in if they are puking and crapping. The school should be reviewing its attendance policy in light of this. It is disgusting and negligent.

storminabuttercup Mon 01-Feb-16 16:10:55

Also totally agree about those with immunity problems, that was actually what started my ranting about it

May09Bump Mon 01-Feb-16 16:16:00

Yep - it really pisses me off, I volunteer and over winter it has been terrible. Poor kids haven't got the energy to read to me, whilst coughing / spluttering and nose dripping. Basic colds are unavoidable - but when they are lethargic and red raw from it, you need to keep them home. Parents are coming in and giving calpol - its stupid sending kids in with fevers.

My DS also picks a lot of bugs up, I keep him off - but it drives me bonkers when some of the above kids get attendance certificates and have passed the germs round.

I'm reconsidering volunteering because of the lack of common sense the school / certain parents have regarding illness.

ClockworkJelly Mon 01-Feb-16 16:16:10

No not private, state primary.

I think ours are a little over cautious actually. I was once called out of work to pick up ds because "he couldn't stop sneezing and coughing".

It was hay fever hmm they where apologetic when I explained though.

Encouraging parents to send children in before the required 48hrs d&v needs to clear is irresponsible imo.

Chattymummyhere Mon 01-Feb-16 16:17:30

It's gone way to far and even a local preschool here has a few cases of hand foot and mouth... They want you you go to the doctors to get it 100% confirmed even if the preschool workers where the ones who noticed the spots first. The doctors are not impressed at all. Madness

NewLife4Me Mon 01-Feb-16 16:17:48

My dd school they are kept in sick bay until better, they sleep over night if necessary, so as not to infect others.
You can take them out when you like, no need for fines or refusal from HT, in fact in most occasions it is totally acceptable, and encouraged by the HT.

It must be awful for poor dc to have to go to school when they are ill, totally unacceptable.
I wouldn't worry about any letters that are sent tbh, you are the parents not the government.

ProudAS Mon 01-Feb-16 16:29:54

Don't see how this policy helps school attendance figures anyway - might boost individual pupil's figures but it will have others unable to leave the bathroom.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Mon 01-Feb-16 17:21:24

Ynbu. It's discriminationatory against children with medical conditions. It's also a safe guarding issue as well. Children getting thrown into school when they're infectious, because. The Education Secretary throws a tantrum. It's ridiculous and unrealistic to expect 100% attendance from every child

miserablesod Mon 01-Feb-16 17:58:43

My 5 year old was off last week, he had diarrhoa. I called the school to notify them. The next day i received a letter threatening the education welfare officer and all sorts if i didn't write a letter within 24 hours. Seriously, its bloody ridiculous and just another stress i don't need.

storminabuttercup Mon 01-Feb-16 18:10:03

Glad to hear I'm not alone in thinking this. I think next time DS is off I will ask for the official policy on illness and take it from there.

Illness isn't like taking holiday (which I have no issue with either actually) putting kids at risk when they themselves or members of their family could end up very ill indeed is not on

coffeeisnectar Mon 01-Feb-16 18:16:53

Yanbu. And going off at a tangent, the attendance awards are grossly unfair. No child can help being sick. In my friends case, her dd has CF and spends a lot of time at hospital, in hospital and just off at home. Poor girl never gets the rewards that healthy kids get and its harsh imo. Add in kids being sent in poorly and her dd spends even more time off school.

Fedup21 Mon 01-Feb-16 18:22:40

I totally agree.

It has an impact on the school staff as well. I've never had so many sickness bugs, upset stomachs and sore throats since this attendance farce started.

Parents (some) send their children in with anything going and then they breathe, cough and sneeze all over me (and vomit right next to me on some occasions!) and I have the choice of struggling in ill (to potentially infect others) or be off sick which would mean 'back to work' interviews (after every incident of illness), OT referrals and could very quickly lead me into capability proceedings!

I feel very sorry for the children in my class who have eg severe asthma and have been hospitalised several times already this winter or recurring bouts of tonsillitis who don't get the head teacher's special 100% certificate and reward at the end of term. It's not their fault!

mummymeister Mon 01-Feb-16 18:22:48

yet another "unexpected consequence" of Goves ridiculous changes to the rules about absence.

when is common sense actually going to kick in over this. its just ridiculous. sick kids going to school infecting immunocompromised. what are they waiting for before they do something about this rule change? someone to die?

I am beyond furious when I read this. I write to my MP regularly about this stupid rule change and just get the unexpected consequence crap back. I feel another e mail coming on...

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Mon 01-Feb-16 18:28:09

Schools are under a tremendous amount of pressure to reduce 'persistent absence' which has been redefined as a child falling to 90% attendance. Many start to monitor at 95 - 92%. I reckon DS2 is a persistent absentee - he has had one sickness bug (48 hours so 2 days off), one problem with his leg (1 day) and a few hospital appointments - maybe 1.5 days in total. Before Christmas this was enough for some schools to be sending letters/phoning home etc.

There is very little chance of improving the real hardcore absentees - a kid with 40 - 60% attendance is not going to leap to 92% - so there are more gains to be made by hassling the canny kids who are missing through odd days. If school attendance officers don't know the kids then those who have ongoing illnesses can be lumped in - one of my pupils has been hospitalised twice this year for asthma and there is sod all she can do about that!

storminabuttercup Mon 01-Feb-16 18:52:14

I guess it's harder when the school year has just started but if you think they do 190 days a year (is that right?) they could still have 15 days off a year and be at 92 % unless my maths is way off, so they shouldn't be pushing kids back in after 1 day.
See the point about it bringing up the overall average though

NotMeNotYouNotAnyone Mon 01-Feb-16 19:45:50

I strongly agree that kids shouldn't be penalised for being ill, especially in primary when they're so little and get so many bugs!

Possibly parents have issues with employers grating parental leave for sick children so take the minimum time they can get away with. Or even if the employer is ok, they just can't afford to take unpaid leave.

Children need to be in a fit state to learn while at school, not sat there feeling awful.

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