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Medical evidence of 3 day school absence

(37 Posts)
starpatch Mon 20-Mar-17 11:26:24

Schools in my area require some kind of evidence from doctors for an absence of 3 days or more (appt. card with do) AIBU in thinking this a waste of GPs time? I don't always consult a doctor when my DS is ill- if I know what's wrong and he doesn't need treatment I wouldn't bother a GP. Feeling sensitive about this as school have just sent me an absence letter for a one day absence- I left a message on the answermachine as directed by the school but it wasn't noted down apparently. If he is sick I'm tempted to just get a GPs appt. but then cancel it that way at least I would only be wasting the (very busy) receptionists time.

Sirzy Mon 20-Mar-17 11:28:28

In a work place you self cert for a week so school is being way OTT (unless there is a back history of poor/unauthosed attendance)

SheRaaarghPrincessOfPower Mon 20-Mar-17 11:37:59

That's ridiculous. It's a massive waste of time, and would also increase likelihood of parents seeking a GP appointment for contagious illnesses like noro or chicken pox when they should be quarantined at home.

ImFuckingSpartacus Mon 20-Mar-17 11:39:38

Just tell the school no. You can't get gp appts just because the school doesn't trust parents. Stand up to them.

starpatch Mon 20-Mar-17 11:40:44

thanks I thought it was nationwide

GloucestershireGuy Mon 20-Mar-17 11:41:08

Half the country would probably say they couldn't even GET a GP appointment within three days even if they rang up first thing on day one. School is being ridiculous. And should be told so.

ALittleMop Mon 20-Mar-17 11:43:52

Schools under kosh for attendance
It is not personal
Personally I would send a robust email back saying that you won't be doing that as it is a total waste of GP's time and resources.

SheRaaarghPrincessOfPower Mon 20-Mar-17 11:45:27

Definitely not nationwide.

Wonder if it's worth contacting the practice manager at your local surgery and speaking to them about this. They might not be aware and could possibly then speak to the school and inform them how daft this is.

Spikeyball Mon 20-Mar-17 11:45:40

I don't take mine to the doctors unless he needs it and most short term illness in children doesn't. Neither do obvious longer term things like chicken pox. As well as spreading d and v and chicken pox around the surgery.

MissJSays Mon 20-Mar-17 11:46:18

Goodness me! Tell them they're being ridiculous

Trifleorbust Mon 20-Mar-17 11:47:18

I would just say no and let them put it down as unauthorised, with a note from me to say that that is unreasonable unless my child's absence is a serious concern. You won't be fined, it will only be referred to EWO if it falls to a low, low level, then if there is good reason for the absence then it will pass muster.

And I am a teacher. If your child is ill, he/she is ill, end of.

TweedAddict Mon 20-Mar-17 11:50:24

Gp receptionist here. We are getting more and more phone calls asking for a child to be seen as proof for the school, even the parents say that it's just a cold and doesn't need to be seen; however the school insists! It's such a waste of time!

Awwlookatmybabyspider Mon 20-Mar-17 11:50:54

They're on a power trip. I agree you're not going to go running to the Doctors for every single thing, and nor would they thank you.
You can hardly get medical evidence after they've been sick, can you.

bluetongue Mon 20-Mar-17 11:54:17

I had to get a medical certificate for one day off work last week sad Luckily I needed a prescription anyway. I'm not in the UK so had to pay for my appointment to get the day off as well.

Seems a bit silly for school though unless for longer term absences.

Moanyoldcow Mon 20-Mar-17 12:05:11

Ridiculous. What about D&V where you're specifically told NOT to go to the doctor in case you infect others? I agree with PP and say you'll be approaching your Local Council etc. for guidance if this approach isn't revised. A quick google search will show it's unnecessary.

Send them this link and refer the to the bottom of page 10

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/564599/school_attendance.pdf

They should only ask for medical evidence if the veracity of the sickness is contested which is not the case here as they are demanding it for all absences.

Stupid HT on a power trip.

Sidge Mon 20-Mar-17 12:08:27

The school are being overzealous and can't enforce this.

Primary care services are under enough pressure without ridiculous school absence policies demanding parents prove GP attendance. Nine times out of ten most minor illnesses don't need any sort of intervention from a GP and parents can manage them. Crikey, we've spent thousands on public information adverts encouraging unwell people to see a pharmacist or self-manage where appropriate. Schools are trying to undermine all this!

If you have the energy OP then challenge the school. They need to revise their absence policy - maybe when enough ballsy parents stand up to them (with support from local practices if necessary) they'll get a reality check. Where I used to work (a GP surgery) we sent a letter out to all our local schools en masse, stating quite clearly that we would not provide appointments or notes to satisfy schools' attendance stats or absence requests.

Starlighter Mon 20-Mar-17 12:21:54

Schools are really getting on my nerves now with their heavy-handed approach to attendance. Doctors have much better things to do than proving kids have a bad cold or a sickness bug or chicken pox, etc!

Why can't schools start trusting parents again?! I hate this tick-box mentality.

Definitely object, OP! The school is being totally unreasonable.

Toddlerteaplease Mon 20-Mar-17 12:53:30

I'm a paediatric nurse in a children's hospital and we are also getting asked more and more for letters for schools. Apparently having a cast on or obvious surgery isn't enough. I also heard of a child with an injury who'd been made to do PE and re injured himself. It's getting ridiculous.

RhodaBorrocks Mon 20-Mar-17 14:16:54

I also heard of a child with an injury who'd been made to do PE and re injured himself. It's getting ridiculous.

Yes, like my DS, who was made to do PE last week despite having an obvious fracture, because "He didn't have a note."

School never asked for a flaming note, just verbal instruction, and even the class teacher verified that a cast or bandaging is usually seen as proof enough. FFS! He didn't even miss any school as he did it at the weekend!

ElisavetaFartsonira Mon 20-Mar-17 14:32:15

Yes, a waste of time and in many cases going against official NHS policy. I'd see if the GP practice manager can have a word with school.

AVY1 Mon 20-Mar-17 14:38:04

DD just had three days off school because of sickness. Couldn't have got her to the GP on the first day - my car would be wrecked! By day two and three (that the school insisted she had off) it had subsided. What would I have said to the doctor?

tigerrun Mon 20-Mar-17 14:45:34

I think they are saying this more to warn parents than to actually want it proven every time. Then when people are actually taking the piss (I know kids in Yr8 at DS1's school take pride in skiving off for days on end) then they can clamp down and it will fit with policy.

For real cases such as yours, especially if infrequent and genuine then it is unlikely to be a problem. All stems not only from bringing kids who are skiving/parents who aren't bothered into line so their kids education doesn't suffer - but also schools are under a lot of pressure to perform and have good attendance rates because of the impact it has on the Ofsted ratings (which is a whole other controversy in itself). It is nothing personal and not the fault of the school at all.

RachelRagged Mon 20-Mar-17 14:48:49

Totally agree with you OP . As if doctors don't have enough to do.

My DSs schools are the same , absolute proof needed each time.

RachelRagged Mon 20-Mar-17 14:50:05

Forgot to add.

I don't know where you are OP but I am London and to get a doctors appointment, unless it is an emergency and you manage to get on to them early enough, appointments are a good week or more wait .

Tiggles Mon 20-Mar-17 14:52:07

That's ridiculous, seeing that if children have D&V they have to wait 2 days after last episode to return, that would mean most children would miss at least 3 days of school. It certainly shouldn't need a doctors note as 2 of the days are 'school stipulated absence'.

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