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To be a bit pissed off even though I know It's a generic letter

(51 Posts)
Bloodyworldbookday Mon 06-Mar-17 16:12:01

My DD is in Reception and turned 5 in December (may be relevant). Up until January she had 100% attendance and then she was struck down with a really nasty cold and eye infection. The week of her illness I sent her in on the Monday and later in the afternoon I had a message from her teacher saying her cold was getting worse and I would need to "see how she goes over night". I kept her off on the Tuesday as, reading between the lines of the message, I perceived that the teacher was telling me to keep her off. I sent her in again on the Wednesday and had a phone call from the school at 2pm telling me her temp was 39 and to come and get her within the hour (when I took her temperature at home it was actually 37 but she was feeling unwell and had developed an eye infection). I kept her at home on the Thursday and Friday to recover.

Today I have had the generic attendance letter telling me her attendance "is concerning" at 87.5 percent and it is hoped that I will work with the school and welfare officer to ensure better attendance in the future.

AIBU to be a bit pissed of with this? She is 5! She is going to get unwell! I feel like I (and other parents) can't do right for doing wrong! I was told a couple of times by the school that she was unwell; even though I could obviously see it myself but I did send her in to avoid this very letter and issue occurring.

I also feel like for 3 days actual non-attendance to have dropped to 87.5 from 100 percent seems quite a lot? Is this right?

Sorry this is long but I'm not really sure what to make of it.

TiredMumToTwo Mon 06-Mar-17 16:13:54

I'd file in "B" for bin - haven't got time for this kind of rubbish!!

2410ang Mon 06-Mar-17 16:14:31

That is a ridiculous letter to send out in the circumstances.

I think I would question the school over sending it out, given the circumstances, and perhaps suggest they review their processes for the future...

EweAreHere Mon 06-Mar-17 16:16:00

I'd be pissed off and write a detailed letter with everything you've said for the records.

Then forget about it.

AlmaMartyr Mon 06-Mar-17 16:16:32

Yes, I'm not sure how missing 3 days has taken her down from 100% to 87.5%. I got one of these letters after DD had been hospitalised and it did bother me. I rang to speak to the attendance officer and explained the situation and they apologises and took her off the list to get letters.

pudcat Mon 06-Mar-17 16:19:40

I also feel like for 3 days actual non-attendance to have dropped to 87.5 from 100 percent seems quite a lot? Is this right?
If she has no more time off the % will creep up as it is worked out every week by a computer. Take no notice.

Trifleorbust Mon 06-Mar-17 16:20:17

That sound mathematically impossible.

Trifleorbust Mon 06-Mar-17 16:20:26


SofiaAmes Mon 06-Mar-17 16:25:04

I fight with the school all the time about this. My ds has a genetic disease which results in his missing an enormous amount of school. It's bad enough that he never got to participate in the good attendance awards, but to then send me letters complaining and threatening to report me to social services really takes the cake. He has an IEP (us version of a Statement) specifically addressing his absences and how he should be educated around them. Once they even pulled him out of class confused to chastise him for missing school.
I wish I could reassure you that common sense will prevail, but I no longer believe this.

smilingsarahb Mon 06-Mar-17 16:25:35

I don't think the letter is right. The annoying thing about these stupid attendance letters is the earlier in the year the bigger the % for one day off but I think it's near 97% attendance - were about half way through the she's missed 6 of 180 sessions. A letter for less than 90% attendance is very standard but that figure doesn't seem right. Are you often late? That gets marked as absent if the register is closed. So if you are regularly 15 minutes late for instance.

Bloodyworldbookday Mon 06-Mar-17 16:30:18

Smiling we have never ever been late (the thought of it would give me a nose bleed grin
It is just the 6 sessions (three days). I don't see how it can be correct. 😠

smilingsarahb Mon 06-Mar-17 16:40:45

I would pop in and ask them to check their figures. Mistakes happen.

TheHiphopopotamus Mon 06-Mar-17 16:44:21

That can't be right. DS has had more than 3 days off this school year and is at about 95/96 %.

We've had the letter and email an I ignore them. He's at High school and is keeping up with the work (and doing well). All his absences have been genuine illnesses.

highinthesky Mon 06-Mar-17 16:44:45

Perhaps a one-liner detailing how you as the parent can adequately assess your DDs fitness to attend school will suffice but TTVM for their concern. It would be more mature to raise this at the next PE if it's still bothering you then, OP.

Schools do have to keep track of attendance, and this letter is standard procedure. In the school I am involved with, awards are given to pupils with 100% attendance throughout the year. Most of the pupils get the ribbon and the recognition.

HappyFlappy Mon 06-Mar-17 16:46:02

Eye infections can be very contagious, as well as painful.

You did right to keep her off.

And 3 days does seem to be a short time to comprise 12.5% of her attendance.

paulapantsdown Mon 06-Mar-17 16:46:53

They have to do these stupid letters for ofsted. I work in the school my kids go to, and one of mine has a lot of time off lately after a head injury. I have had long chats with the year head about it, and they have copies of every single hospital letter. I still got one these absence letters the other day.

Just chuck it straight in the bin.

DisgruntledGoat Mon 06-Mar-17 16:47:53

I'd feel a bit pissed off about the "working with the school" comment and would most likely contact school to point out some facts. You'll most likely get a "this is a generic letter which we are compelled to send" response if you do contact them, but sometimes it does you good to vent grin

katsmumx Mon 06-Mar-17 16:49:39

My dd has had her worst ever year this year with 6 full days off, so she's missed 12 sessions.
Her attendance is currently 94.3%.

Bloodyworldbookday Mon 06-Mar-17 16:51:02

* It would be more mature to raise this at the next PE if it's still bothering you then, OP.* I'm not sure how I'm not being mature about the matter. It's not live I've stormed into the Head's office brandishing the letter (and my pitchfork) and demanding an explanation. confused

WorkingBling Mon 06-Mar-17 16:53:46

This kind of attendance crap makes me so cross. Our school is pretty good and very realistic. However, children get certificates (and it's a whole special assembly etc) if they have 100% attendance. Which seems fine. Except that it is completely unfair to make a big thing about attendance at 100% while ALSO insisting that children stay home if they're not well. The children can't help being sick and it just stresses them out if they think they are going to lose their attendance certificate.

Although having said that, the subject came up with DS a while ago as I think we were running late and it would mean he'd get no certificate and he said, "I don't care." so clearly the indoctrination is not working that well. grin

lanbro Mon 06-Mar-17 16:55:10

My dd is nearly 5 and in reception. She has already missed 4 days for holidays, 3 days for illness and will miss a further 10 days for holidays after Easter. Her attendance will look rubbish but she's doing really well with her reading and writing, and she's 5, any letters received will be taken with a pinch of salt!

d270r0 Mon 06-Mar-17 16:58:40

Since the start of September, there have been about 100 school days. So if she has actually only missed 3 days in total it should be about 97%.
I would contact the school acting very concerned, ask for the details of all the days missed as it sounds like they have got this percentage very wrong, if thats all she has missed.

FrayedHem Mon 06-Mar-17 17:01:08

I would assume it is some kind of typo as 97.5% is more likely than 87.5%

Bloodyworldbookday Mon 06-Mar-17 17:02:20

D270r0 so potentially could be a typo? She has definitely only missed 3 days

d270r0 Mon 06-Mar-17 17:02:50

Aha- I think I know where the 87.5% figure comes from- its looking at the attendance in term 3 only, ie. the weeks from January until February half term.

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