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AIBU to say i know my own sons health - school asking for sick note?!?

(112 Posts)
givemebooks Wed 10-Apr-19 13:30:35

My son is 11 and in his first year of secondary school (he does have some additional needs and has and EHCP)

On friday afternoon school phoned, he had developed a raging temp and could we come get him no problem we were surprised as he never gets ill! Think the last time was over 5 years ago!

The temp developed into a sore throat and on sunday we saw an out of hour GP who said it was all a viral infection and to let it play out keep up with paracetamol and rest.

Over the past 2 days he has remained off school the temp comes back if meds are not given (we have taken to alternating calpol and ibuprofen so he has something every 2 hours ish ) over night he developed a hacking cough bringing up green phlegm he has been up with me most of the night as could not settle sat up but could not lay down, poor fella is very poorly and we got him booked i to the gp as soon as the surgery opened this morning

This morning i phoned the school to say he would be off again and the women was so rude said they would accept today but they want him in tomorrow no matter what as over 3 days is unacceptable!

I explained he was ill and shattered that his cough and chest sound awful she would not listen said it did not matter he had been ill since friday 5 days was long enough to get over anything and if needed the school will give medication, i stated i will be going on the doctors advice when we see them and she stated they would need a sick note then??!?

Like doctors have nothing better to do that do sick notes for kids? Like my decison as a parent is not good enough! I am fuming if i was as unwell as him i would not be going to work!

We have now been to the doctors and he has a massive chest infection issues both sides when listening so is now on antibiotics, the doctor just laughed when i said what the school had said was a joke.

I called the school after and said i wanted to talk to them about the situation as my son will bot be in tomorrow and possibly not friday, i am now waiting for the welfare officer of the school to ring me as they will "deal with me"

Doctors have given me the appointment letter for today and i have a copy of the prescription! The school are saying a sick note or letter (which will cost £25 from the GP!!)

What a drama out of nothing but i am bloody fuming!

Anyone know my rights or been in the same situation! How do i tackle the school?

Thank you

HomeMadeMadness Wed 10-Apr-19 13:35:45

YANBU They are being stupid. Can you ring your GP surgery and have them write out a generic note to give the school?

HaventGotAllDay Wed 10-Apr-19 13:38:16

Isn't it simply because after so many days absence it needs a medical certificate?
Ours needs a Gp cert after 5 days continual absence. Maybe yours is 3?

givemebooks Wed 10-Apr-19 13:39:44

I did explain all to the GP and they have there own policy with i understand any letter is a £25 charge

I get that of they do me one they would be inundated, they said that parents or caregivers make the decision they no not give sick notes for under 16s

The receptionist very kindly gave he a copy of his appointment on headed paper and i have copied his prescription too

I am so angry but yet nervous and a bit upset about how rude and blunt the school were

PinguDance Wed 10-Apr-19 13:40:19

British Medical Association Guidance on Examinations and Sickness Certificates

Please see the extract below from the BMA. The practice will not provide notes for children who have missed exams due to illness.

“It should be noted that GPs are not required to provide sick notes for school children. When children are absent from school owing to illness, schools may request a letter from a parent or guardian, and this is no different during an exam period. However, children who have missed exams due to illness are frequently told by schools that a note from a doctor is require; but there is no requirement for this to be provided by a GP. Aside from the fact that parents/guardians are responsible for excusing their children from school, GPs cannot provide retrospective sickness certification. When a child suffers from a long term condition, any certification will be provided by the responsible specialist.“

HomeMadeMadness Wed 10-Apr-19 13:41:20


I would just tell the school that they will need to provide you with £25 to pay for the sick note. It's very simple. They can't insist on you paying for it. You can in the mean time give them the print out.

SleepDeprivedCabbageBrain Wed 10-Apr-19 13:41:45

What a waste of NHS time confused I’d also be raging. And £25 is so much money!

Guardsman18 Wed 10-Apr-19 13:42:25

That's ridiculous. I would be so angry.

Can you let the school about the cost and ask them how they would like to pay for it?!

Funnyface1 Wed 10-Apr-19 13:42:34

Remind them that it's school, not prison and you will not be bullied into making irresponsible choices for your son. He is ill, he stays home.

ASauvignonADay Wed 10-Apr-19 13:43:07

Most schools would accept an appointment card or prescription. It is unreasonable to expect a letter from the GP (and I manage attendance in a school). It is not unreasonable for them to ask for some evidence if that is their policy, although 3 days is quite tight. Does he already have a poor attendance record?

popcorndiva Wed 10-Apr-19 13:43:56

Guessing it's because its the week before Easter Holidays and some parents ring in to say child is sick etc but take them on holiday earlier. Meaning they don't get fined

RatherBeRiding Wed 10-Apr-19 13:44:17

I'd simply copy and paste the paragraph quoted above from the BMA into an email to the school's head and leave it at that!

What are they going to do? (Genuine question!)

They can threaten and bluster all they like but we all know that schools are only concerned about their absence stats, and not the welfare of sick children. I'd let them get on with it.

BarbarianMum Wed 10-Apr-19 13:44:44

Tell them they can have a sick note if they are willing to pay for one. Bet they're not.

Youshallnotpass Wed 10-Apr-19 13:45:18

Ridiculous, the school either pays for the sickness letter or fucks off frankly.

barryfromclareisfit Wed 10-Apr-19 13:48:12

Stop being silly.

Schools are under tremendous pressure to get pupils in every day. They can’t afford to be lax on absences. Think of it like work - if you don’t go in you need to properly account for that.

Get the sick note. Stop ‘fuming’. Stop blaming the school for doing what they are made to do.

HomeMadeMadness Wed 10-Apr-19 13:49:41


Your post is so ridiculous. Are you daft? You think it should cost a parent £25 every time their child picks up a virus? I genuinely can't believe the stupidity of some people! What world do you live in where this is reasonable or even affordable for everyone! Beggars belief!

continuallychargingmyphone Wed 10-Apr-19 13:50:50

Yup. Send a snarky email saying the GP has confirmed it is not standard practice to send in sick notes for schoolchildren but if the school insists you can only presume they are happy to provide the cost of the £25 fee.

DobbysLeftSock Wed 10-Apr-19 13:50:57

I would read out the BMA's policy from pingu's post word for word. Make the attendance officer listen to the whole thing and then ask them what they have to say for themselves / what makes them think they know better. I might go into a bit of an impassioned 'the nhs is on its knees, and you want me to waste my gps time and resources on this?'.

Schools are under so much pressure to keep attendance up. These tactics are aimed at intimidating parents who don't know better. Pisses me right off.

Youshallnotpass Wed 10-Apr-19 13:50:59

Stop being silly.

Schools are under tremendous pressure to get pupils in every day. They can’t afford to be lax on absences. Think of it like work - if you don’t go in you need to properly account for that.

Don't be ridiculous, we are talking about an 11 year old child attending school, not being paid to attend work.

PanamaPattie Wed 10-Apr-19 13:51:23

What can they do? With their attitude, I wouldn’t even bother to provide them with any paperwork. Tell them you do not respond to threats or bullying.

continuallychargingmyphone Wed 10-Apr-19 13:51:24

Schools might be under pressure but that’s not the OPs fault.

ALLMYSmellySocks Wed 10-Apr-19 13:52:02


Don't be so silly! What world do you live in. I'm sorry the pressure schools are under is terrible but it's not OP's problem to solve. The school are outrageous to outsource that pressure to parents and GP's surgery. You don't think parents are under financial pressure too? Paying £25 every time your child is sick is just plain stupid. Are you not embarrassed to have made such a stupid suggestion?

givemebooks Wed 10-Apr-19 13:52:47

Thank you mumsnet! Phew nice to know other agree!

You have bolstered me up to stand up for myself and my son, i am not one to make a fuss but i will do on this now

Thank you to the poster who put the BMC info i am going to copy that in to a message to his teacher and state if they want further medical letters/report they can pay for then i will give them my sons GP details and leave it at that

I will now concentrate on my son we are about to cuddle up and watch a film under a duvet on the sofa and eat ice cream (all he wants he has not eaten in 2 days due to his throat!)

Thank you all again i will keep you all updated if i hear anything from the school

SnowyAlpsandPeaks Wed 10-Apr-19 13:53:28

Could you imagine if every parent with a sick child off for any reason asked the GP for a letter? They’d be doing them all day!!

Topseyt Wed 10-Apr-19 13:53:45

Ridiculous. I hope it is just some jumped up school secretary getting ideas above her station.

Just provide the documents you have. Copies only. You keep the originals. If they don't like that then tell them that you will only provide the the doctor's letter once they have provided you with the £25 that it is going to cost.

I'd consider complaining after being spoken to like that, and I'm not usually one in favour of complaining to schools. In this instance though, they have done themselves no favours at all.

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