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To not be happy about this school attendance letter

(83 Posts)
ByeGermsByeWorries Tue 06-Feb-18 17:46:27

Received this letter from my child's school.
DC(7) had 4 consecutive days off for a stomach bug, and a couple of afternoon medical appointments since August 2017.

There's no question about it, if my son is too ill to go to school he will not go to school. I don't keep him off for fun, I keep him off because he is ill.

Would your doctors surgery be happy to have their waiting room clogged up with children suffering from d&v or a temperature? How would you get a sick note for a child for something like this? There isn't really a prescription I can think of for the usual bugs we have going about, and I can't remember the last time I saw an appointment Card.

Some surgeries don't even offer same day appointments without urgent reasons. I'm worried about my son being ill at all this year now because they will set this "welfare officer" of theirs on me but I am neither happy nor willing to take up an appointment for something that has no cure other than fluids am rest, which somebody who is in actual need of a GP could use.

Should I respond or just pray for good health all year blush

RowenasDiadem Tue 06-Feb-18 17:50:26

Meh I'd be pissy and send him in ill next time and wait for the phone call. Maybe he'll be so kind as to puke in the reception area and you can tell them they can keep it for proof of illness.

my2bundles Tue 06-Feb-18 17:50:37

I would inform school you won't be putting further pressure on already stretched Nhs services.

scurryfunge Tue 06-Feb-18 17:52:03

The school is being ridiculous. Of course surges don’t need clogging up with unnecessary appointments just to satisfy a school’s attendance targets.
Just bin the letter and let them try to prove your son is underachieving because of a couple of bouts of d and v.

Cath2907 Tue 06-Feb-18 17:52:40

I’d ignore that! It is silly and unenforceable!

Oblomov18 Tue 06-Feb-18 17:52:39

That style and wording would really hack me off.

scurryfunge Tue 06-Feb-18 17:52:55

Surgeries not surges.

ByeGermsByeWorries Tue 06-Feb-18 17:53:46

I found the tone quite accusatory and rude myself.

gobbin Tue 06-Feb-18 17:56:08

It’s a standard letter. File and forget.

ChelleDawg2020 Tue 06-Feb-18 17:56:29

To be honest I think that the letter is fair enough. As it states, lower attendance rates usually mean lower grades. All the letter is doing is asking you to justify the absence and get actual evidence.

5% works out at about 10 days absence per year. If your child is genuinely unwell for that amount of time, surely it's got to be worth getting a medical opinion about their illness(es)? Either they have a serious one-off illness or a string of minor ones - which should be looked at by a doctor to see if there is an underlying condition.

Surfingwhippet Tue 06-Feb-18 17:56:51

90% absence (pa) is four weeks off.
If you can wait until after registration before collecting him for the appointments he then won't get an absence for those. Although as long as you have a letter for those they'll be authorised anyway

Haggisfish Tue 06-Feb-18 17:57:06

Yes, the first butvis pretty standard but the part requiring evidence-say what?! No gp would be willing to provide that for a cold or 24 hour bug. I’d find their own inevitable policy of 48 hours before being allowed back after vomiting bug and point out they are forcing you to keep ds off.

CoffeeAndCakeEssentials Tue 06-Feb-18 17:57:07

Schools have to send the letter, it's government rules. Just ignore it and hope for good health from here on out. The school will know those who are genuinely ill and those who are flouting the rules smile

Tarraleaha Tue 06-Feb-18 17:57:25

I would just reply that the current NHS advice is the following

Try to avoid going to your GP, as norovirus can spread to others very easily. Call your GP or NHS 111 if you're concerned or need any advice.
www.nhs.uk/conditions/norovirus/

I normally email the school with a copy of our appointment letters when my kids miss school for visit to specialist of some kind.

I do blame the ridiculous pressure the schools are under regarding attendance, they have to show that they are doing something. It's perfectly stupid, we should all complain to the relevant authority (Ofsted I am guessing) to stop this nonsense, or at least give a lot more freedom to headteachers to deal with attendance without having to justify themselves.

welcomehome Tue 06-Feb-18 17:57:50

That "every day and on time" bit is especially patronising and bloody rude.

Whoever wrote that letter needs some serious social skills training. Oh, and I'd inform your local GP to prepare for a surge in worried parents wanting notes.

CantChoose Tue 06-Feb-18 17:58:21

www.bma.org.uk/advice/employment/gp-practices/service-provision/supporting-pupils-at-school

Please send them this if they request a doctor's note. I will not issue them for schools. Parents are more than capable if deciding whether their children are well enough to attend schools.
If schools insist then I write to them to advise I will happily write them a private letter detailing exactly what the parent has told me without any objective commentary. If they require this they need to enclose a £20 fee from school funds and written consent from the parent. Funnily enough I've never had one back...

MumsGoneToYonderLand Tue 06-Feb-18 17:59:36

It looks like pretty standard, neutral language but I accept it doesn't have any empathy or reassurance in it though. If the attendance is 93% its below the trigger point. Don't take it too personally, the language is not custom-written for you.
If you want to do something about it let the head teach know the tone is not very friendly etc. if his medical appointments are all for the same illness get a blanket note saying child has X and will be missing for medical appointments throughout the year.

redexpat Tue 06-Feb-18 17:59:46

They have to send it. Note how they say the governments targets and the government deems.

Its just telling you that the attendance is close to the point where they start investigating.

Keep the appointment letters you have in case they follow it up. Try and get appointments late enough in the day so your dc doesnt miss afternoon registration. Other than that do nothing.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Tue 06-Feb-18 18:00:12

Simple. Next time he vomits, catch it in a jam jar and bring it in grin. Can't get better evidence than that.

oldstudentmum Tue 06-Feb-18 18:00:45

I had one from the welfare officer ha, my child was sent home by the school twice !!!! I thought the letter was disgusting and overbearing and with the fact the school had felt my child to ill for school, it was ripped up. Should they follow up with “threats” heaven help them, the letter said I would be invited to school to discuss the matter wtf, school sent her home.
Drs do not do sick notes for kids and if school want proof next time of sickness or the poos send a photo of said body fluids 😂 in colour. Or do what I’m going to do take child to reception ask for head , ask do you think they are to ill , if yes I am getting a letter confirming absence authorised.
Is this school in a town/city beginning with B?
(My

falsepriest Tue 06-Feb-18 18:00:48

It's fair enough, and schools are likely required by local govt / ofsted to send these - REALLY STANDARD - letters each time the attendance falls below xx% and their system automatically triggers it to be signed and sent.

File and forget, look after your child's health, and call them if necessary.

gamerchick Tue 06-Feb-18 18:01:23

You’re supposed to take them in anyway and the school decides if they go home/or take them for their mark. You wait for the phone call. Or another way around it is to make a gp appointment at the desk and get the appointment card. Then cancel the appointment.

I never worry about it, I’ve had one attendance officer want to positively thump me I would have thought on one phone call.

ByeGermsByeWorries Tue 06-Feb-18 18:01:28

@Haggisfish the School removed the 48hr rule last year. People are free to send their sick children in sad

FadedRed Tue 06-Feb-18 18:04:00

Perhaps a photo of your son vomiting into a bucket and a zippy bag of the bucket's contents would be sufficient and indisputable 'evidence' grin

Hausfrauenvy Tue 06-Feb-18 18:04:35

Send your letters / jars of vomit to the government who put these rules in place rather than the employees who are just doing their jobs.

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