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Is it usual for school to ban time off for dentist and GP?

(79 Posts)
TheCountessofFitzdotterel Mon 15-Feb-16 11:44:35

School has an attendance / lateness problem and as a result have said they won't authorise absences for dentist and GP in school hours.
I am quite happy to TRY to get appointments after school but given you can't always get the time you want I am buggered if I will make them wait for treatment rather than miss a lesson. AIBU?

Chattymummyhere Mon 15-Feb-16 11:48:54

Our school don't like it, best option is to get the appointment for between first registration and lunch registration or take them out after the lunch registration.

That way the school still get to mark the registered as attended and on time and it just goes in the visitor log book that the child has been removed and then returned at X times for fire safety reasons.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Mon 15-Feb-16 11:50:46

Oh, very cunning, Chattymummy!

AnnPerkins Mon 15-Feb-16 11:55:22

It wouldn't be authorised at DS's school.

TBH I've never had trouble getting dental appointments out of school hours. We go either after school or in the holidays. They are also open on Saturday mornings.

DS once had to attend an early-morning physio appointment when he broke his arm which meant he got to school at 9.10am. They marked him down as late. I was surprised but they are under huge pressure from Ofsted and the LA so I do understand why there is zero tolerance.

As always, you have the worst offenders to blame for this. The parents who take their kid out of school for a whole afternoon or even a whole day to attend a ten-minute dental appointment.

Sirzy Mon 15-Feb-16 11:57:02

Routine GP and dentist appointments shouldn't be in school time, emergency things are different but really if a child needed an emergency appointment they would be off anyway.

ann the school could have marked him as a medical absense rather than a late which would have been authorised at least.

honkinghaddock Mon 15-Feb-16 12:00:23

The school is being unreasonable. GP's and dentists cannot fit in all school aged children in after school appointments. At my doctors if you want same day you have to have what you are given and if you want a late appointment you could be waiting weeks.

MrsJayy Mon 15-Feb-16 12:01:00

Our school didnt authorise either When dd was in secondary school got a letter about her orthadontist appointments drove me nuts the orthadontist didnt do appointments after 4ishpm so we had to take what we got

MoreKopparbergthanKrug Mon 15-Feb-16 12:01:56

Our dentist won't let you book an NHS appointment in the school holidays. Not sure if they're allowed to do that but the school allow absence for check up appointments so I've never had to find out.

Galena Mon 15-Feb-16 12:02:20

Yep, I agree - as long as they are there for register am and pm, school won't give a monkeys.

DD has a hospital appointment next week at 9:15. I am going to take her to breakfast club then pick her up just as the school day starts at 8:50. That way she gets her mark in the register and school's attendance isn't affected. (In my defence, I'm a governor so the school's attendance figures are important to me in the sense that, whilst I know it doesn't really make a difference if she gets her register mark or not, I also know how much pressure is being put on the school, and the consequences if attendance doesn't improve.)

OneMagnumisneverenough Mon 15-Feb-16 12:05:55

Once again it's the considerate parents suffering because of the actions of the inconsiderate. Normal dentists appointments rarely need to be in school time unless it is an emergency. sort of the same for Drs although I did once wait for two weeks for an appointment out of school hours only for it to be cancelled last minute so it was a case of waiting a further two weeks or taking what I could get. I understand orthodontists appointments can be a nightmare though as obviously the vast majority of their clientele are school children so they need to fill all the appointments.

My childrens' primary school actually had to regularly issue communications asking parents not to give their children a day off for their birthday! (and their mum's birthday, gran's birthday and cat's birthday)

OneMagnumisneverenough Mon 15-Feb-16 12:08:58

MoreKopparberg Our dentist wont allow you book an appointment in school hours even when it's the holidays! So I've had to take a 4pm appointment even though we were available all day. Bizarre, but the computer says "No"!

kslatts Mon 15-Feb-16 12:09:18

My dd is currently on the waiting list to have braces fitted, the orthodonist told me that the options we have are to have the treatment on the NHS which is free but means the appointments will be in school time or private which we pay for, but then the appointments can be after school / in the holidays.

We have chosen to have the NHS treatment, I will try and arrange the appointments so she doesn't miss the most important lessons for her, ie. the ones she will be doing for GCSE, but I am not prepared to pay.

For routine dental appointments, I have never had a problem arranging these for after school, when we attend one appointment we just book the next one. However GP appointments are a different story, last time DD needed a non-urgent GP appointment we were given the option to wait one week and go during school time or 5 weeks and get an after school appointment. Although it wasn't an emergency, she did get a prescription which solved the problem, had she waited 5 weeks her condition could have been worse.

Theimpossiblegirl Mon 15-Feb-16 12:12:05

Ridiculous. If the only appointments available are in school hours, the child's health should take priority. I don't blame the schools though, they are under a stupid amount of pressure. The whole system is a farce.

MrsJayy Mon 15-Feb-16 12:12:31

Oh I remember years ago we got a news letter home saying birthdays are a special day even on a school day please come to school and share your birthday. It was so twee but made me laugh

SquidgeyMidgey Mon 15-Feb-16 12:12:53

Our school firmly requests that routine appts are done out of school time, seems fair to me.

OurBlanche Mon 15-Feb-16 12:15:04

Brace fittings are outside 'normal' dentist appts in the same way as a hospital appt is, so you should be fine.

All routine appts should be outside school time... not decided by the schools but by the government and its attendance regulations. Which is why NHS dentists can't claim the money for routine, non emergency appts during school time.

It was like that even when I was a kid, back in the 60s and 70s!

RhiWrites Mon 15-Feb-16 12:15:22

I bunked off school for 2 terms as a 13 year old by showing up to registration periods only. grin It was the local library staff who dobbed me in.

honkinghaddock Mon 15-Feb-16 12:15:57

Ds' dentist doesn't do appointments after school or in most school holidays. It is quite common for NHS treatment for children to only be available in school hours.

honkinghaddock Mon 15-Feb-16 12:16:26

Treatment with dentist.

Sirzy Mon 15-Feb-16 12:18:20

It seems the problem here is that some GPs and dentists have daft rules!

Mistigri Mon 15-Feb-16 12:18:27

Just because the school won't authorise them doesn't mean you can't attend appointments. Just ensure that you have some written evidence of the appointment (appointment card, prescription), and that all communication with the school is in writing (email, but if you wanted to get really arsey you could send a paper copy by recorded delivery). If anything ever comes of your child's absence they won't have a leg to stand on, as plainly by any rational standards a medical appointment, for which you have supplied ecidence, is a perfectly reasonable explanation for a child's absence from school.

Of course the ideal is to book appointments out of school time but this is often impossible.

skyeskyeskye Mon 15-Feb-16 12:18:55

Our school no longer authorise these appointments in school hours. But when DD had a rash I had no idea if it was infectious or not so took her to the doctor before school. They should be glad I did a sensible thing not send her in to infect everybody without knowing!

DD is under the school nurse and her hospital appointments related to that are allowed in school hours.

Our school brought the policy in due to parents abusing it and using it as an excuse to pick their kids up early on a Friday lunchtime!

RB68 Mon 15-Feb-16 12:19:53

I don't know that that is true Haddock, I have never had that issue in 10 yrs and never had that issue with myself as a child or my other five siblings or their kids so sweeping generalisation me feels. And yes all NHS treated

FanjofortheMammaries Mon 15-Feb-16 12:22:17

We rarely see kids in school hours at the dentist in work for. Most do come after school or in holidays unless it's super urgent. Same with GP for routine appointments I imagine.

magoria Mon 15-Feb-16 12:25:33

My son's dentist doesn't see school children after a certain time in the afternoon. So it would be impossible to get DS an appointment after school.

I always book it for half term.

I think he has only be to the doctors 2 or 3 times and can't remember when.

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