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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.

Snowflakes1122 Wed 10-Apr-19 13:54:50

Yanbu. Schools out so much pressure on parents to send ill children to school these days angry

SleepingSloth Wed 10-Apr-19 13:55:04

Just tell them you are not paying £25 for a sick note but if they want to provide you with £25 then they can have a sick note. They can't make you pay, some parents wouldn't have the money.

Your child's health comes before school.

SnowyAlpsandPeaks Wed 10-Apr-19 13:55:11

By the way my ds is off today- chesty cough, temp, sore throat. He’s had it since Monday, but today’s the first day off. Seems no sooner are we over sickness season and now this 🤦‍♀️

starbrightnight Wed 10-Apr-19 13:55:19

This is unacceptable. Can you find out the name of the woman you spoke to in school who was so rude and unhelpful?

I suggest you write a letter of complaint to the Head and Chair of Governors, explaining exactly what happened and what this woman said. The fact she was wrong just adds weight to the substance of your complaint, which would include her rudeness, her bullying manner as well as the fact that she was wrong.

And quote PinguDance's helpful extract from the BMA in your letter.

Is there another school your son could go to? I would look into other options if there are any, and it's still his first year of secondary so he wouldn't miss out on anything overall. They are still all settling in and it's not like he's doing GCSE's yet, I mean.

Hotterthanahotthing Wed 10-Apr-19 13:55:26

Simply point out that since they sent him home with a temperature then sending him in now he is more unwell would not be reasonable.
You have proof and a very sick child,whoever phones will hopefully be more reasonable.

stucknoue Wed 10-Apr-19 13:58:43

The problem is I know half a dozen people at least who have "sick" children this week - mysteriously they have teleported to Florida/Australia/India etc from their sick beds. My DD's school had a policy of children having to turn up at school unless they have a sick note, if too ill for lessons they can go home after assessment.

MatchSetPoint Wed 10-Apr-19 13:59:54

Just ignore, what a lot of nonsense, if you keep him off an extra day but don’t pay for a sick note from the doctors they’re not going to expel him or anything, his absence will just go down as unauthorised. What a waste of everybody’s time, the school seems ridiculous.

cheeseypuff Wed 10-Apr-19 14:00:32

As someone else has already said upthread, I'm guessing the school are labouring this as its so close to the holidays & they might be suspicious that the absence is just an extra week's holiday. I would ring the school & tell them that the GP has confirmed it's not standard practice to give a note for under 16s. Offer to go in in person to drop off the copy of the appointment & prescription if they wish!
Have you spoken to anyone other than the office? They may not be correctly informed as to the standard process - can you take it up with Head/ Head of Year?

Originallymeonly Wed 10-Apr-19 14:01:11

Be warned though that the School may respond to you saying they can pay for the certificate by asking you to give permission for them to access your child's medical records directly. You are under no obligation to agree. I suspect they are trying to catch out the chancers who have set off on holiday 'early'.

givemebooks Wed 10-Apr-19 14:01:32


While i understand your point on school cutting back on absence surly that should focus on non attendees by choice and those truenting not a child who is ill

I am fuming for the way i was spoken too and i am fuming as an ex staff nurse myself (medically retired) at the pressure something this this would put on the NHS! Thousands of GP appointments each week for kids who are ill and because the school now say parents cannot make that decison they need to waste medical time getting a sick note! Sorry but its utter madness!!

I also due to my circumstances don't have £25 just to give for a letter!! And i would not want to!! That's a third of my weekly food bill!! (Family of 5)

havingtochangeusernameagain Wed 10-Apr-19 14:02:14

Total nonsense. Most of the time you don't even need to go to the GP when you are ill so why would you clog up an appointment trying to get a pointless letter?

Do schools not realise the difficulty of getting appointments?

I'd have something to say about effectively being accused of lying, to be honest.

My DD's school had a policy of children having to turn up at school unless they have a sick note

I assume this isn't in the UK because how do they all get immediate appointments when they are ill?

downcasteyes Wed 10-Apr-19 14:04:57

I bloody hate receptionists who take it on themselves to decide policy on the spur of the moment. The woman needs a dressing down. Complain about her behaviour.

colouringinpro Wed 10-Apr-19 14:06:02

Yadbnu I'd be fuming too! As mentioned above, GPs shouldn't be writing sick notes for kids.

As you say you know your son best and he's clearly ill. I wouldn't pay for a sick note myself, suggest if school don't believe you (And they have no grounds not to, particularly as he left school ill, suggest they end someone medically trained round to see, ot pay for a sick note.

Tim and time again school attendance targets are being prioritised over kids wellbeing.

I'd be writing a clear letter to the head stating illness, describing response you've had and clearly stating he will return to school when well enough. Clear and strong but perfectly polite.

Hope your son feels better soon - there are some nasty viruses around at the mo...

Topseyt Wed 10-Apr-19 14:09:20

Send your email to both his form tutor and his Head of Year. Set out all of your points to them, just as you have here. Name the admin staff member if you know who it was. The Head of Year is a a pretty senior member of staff, and they should be aware that their admin and secretarial staff are addressing people in this way.

I have always got along well with teaching staff in my children's schools. I have occasionally run into problems with non- teaching staff though.

givemebooks Wed 10-Apr-19 14:09:46

OMG i never even thought about the school holidays! My son would be breaking up on friday (my other two at primary dont break up till next thus)

Makes perfect sence now why they might have been funny they might think we are sunning it up (a chance would be a fine thing!!)

they were still bloody rude!

I have no problems at all with the school paying for a sicknote and accessing his medical records it would even show he attending the out of hours doctors on sunday night too

M4J4 Wed 10-Apr-19 14:12:16

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

Why are you nervous? Just calmly state your case, there’s no need to get so upset.

BiggerBoat1 Wed 10-Apr-19 14:12:58

Just send in the copies of the prescription and appointment and then say no to anything else. What can the school do?

ALLMYSmellySocks Wed 10-Apr-19 14:14:33

I'm sorry but that's ridiculous. No way would I be taking my sick child out of bed for them to be assessed by a member of school staff (who might not have any medical qualifications). It is outrageous for parents to go to disneyland in term time but I'm not prepared to pay the price for that by making my child more sick. I would also probably need to work from home if DC were ill and wouldn't have time to hang around school waiting for them to faff about.

cardibach Wed 10-Apr-19 14:14:58

It is stupid to ask more than parental permission for children to be off school. If it’s persistent, send the appropriate attendance officer to see.
However this attitude some jumped up school secretary getting ideas above her station is sickening. You think you are so much better than a school secretary, don’t you Topsyet?

cantkeepawayforever Wed 10-Apr-19 14:19:24

Sometimes it is effective to state what the school is concerned about, and then ask sympathetically what you can do to deal with that concern:

'I appreciate that the school may be concerned that a sickness absence at this point in the term is not genuine, and may indicate being on holiday. What is the best way for me to demonstrate to you that X is actually ill? Unfortunately i can't get a doctor's note because of the bmc policy and the high cost, but would it be helpful for me to come in in person to show you the appointment card and prescription? Or I could bring X very briefly to Reception so that you can see he is genuinely not on holiday? He's not really well enough to be out due to his chest infection, but if that's the best way to deal with this issue I would of course be able to bring him in very quickly?'

Sound sympathetic and reasonable, and empathise with their issue, and you are quite likely to get a 'no, that's fine' response. The most rage-filled 'Of course he's ill!!!;' responses I have had to attendance follow-ups have been from parents who had actually taken their child on holiday - a fact the child has cheerfully confirmed on their return - so calm reasonableness and wish to allay school's concerns will actually seem much more believable!

Honeyroar Wed 10-Apr-19 14:25:32

Surely insisting that sick children are frog marched into school for the staff to assess just brings illnesses into the school and passes things onto other schools? It seems silly.

Is it an academy? They seem to make their own rules and targets.

Piggywaspushed Wed 10-Apr-19 14:25:52

I think that is very OTT from the school. However, I also don't understand why MN aims all its ire at schools for this!

Why are you not angry that GP surgeries are fleecing people (no matter what age) £25 a time for a letter that could simply be (for a school) a scribbled note on letter headed paper. Even if typed by a secretary, it's not £25 worth of time.

GPs also charge for passport verifications, for example, whereas a school would do this, and any other written evidence of anything for free!
Most schools will accept evidence of a prescription or an appointment card, though , as 'medical evidence'. I am guessing your DC's school has low attendance rates and is under pressure to improve.

Quartz2208 Wed 10-Apr-19 14:27:18

Yes I would simply send in the stuff and say this is evidence - and state it was initially a virus that went bacterial

At our school its fine for an appointment card and/or prescription which seems sensible; the welfare officer should be ok with this though

continuallychargingmyphone Wed 10-Apr-19 14:28:30

It is a rip-off piggy but that’s to discourage people from doing it.

AuntieMaggie Wed 10-Apr-19 14:35:32

My GP surgery has a big notice in their waiting room and on their website stating they will not provide sick notes for school children and if the school requests one to tell them children do not need sick notes.

MamaAffrika Wed 10-Apr-19 14:35:41

My daughter's school requires medical evidence if it's only 1 day! It's infuriating and ridiculous. They don't give a shit about what GP's say they will / won't do. My 100% attender got one day UNAUTHORIZED as I didn't have medical evidence to show for her diarrhoea and vomitting. Other parents had seen her projectile vomming at after school club but this was not considered medical evidence. Schools are under extreme pressure to improve attendance data, their concern is not for the welfare / health of pupils. It's appalling that we are so powerless as parents.

Smellslikemiddleagespirit Wed 10-Apr-19 14:39:05

There was an almost identical thread like this just a few weeks ago, so it seems like an increasingly common situation, schools bullying sick pupils and their parents.
The ridiculous thing is a sick child in school could infect others then the attendance rates would be even lower.

Don’t be bullied by them, OP.

MattFreisWeatherReport Wed 10-Apr-19 14:40:08

Synmpathies, OP. Schools behave ridiculously over genuine absence ime and you'd be perfectly justified in telling them to fuck off. If you want to get them off your back less confrontationally, one solution would be to get the GP to print off a summary of the consultation from your DS's notes, which they are obliged to do free of charge since GDPR came into force. HTH.

VeraWangTwang Wed 10-Apr-19 14:40:14

I think that what you have provided is enough . I hope your son feels better soon

givemebooks Wed 10-Apr-19 14:41:42

I have just had the call back i requested from his head of year

I explained said my son was still ill and that the GP did not do sick notes for under 16s and the BMC guidance states this (thank you to that poster! flowers

Appointment letter and copy of prescription will be fine apparently i said the women who spoke to me this morning was very rude

She asked if it was the attendance officer i said no idea said proberly was as she is always harsh!

I was kind and said i also understood they light be pressured at this time of year with people been on holiday but the appointments and the fact i am dropping all this info in person tomorrow morning( her request i said i would come up straight away!) should prove we are not away!!

I still have to call him in sick tomorrow!! Wish me luck if its the same women and she starts again i am off to the head!

It is an academy a top one in the area all bells and whistles fantastic reports and has been so amazing for my son they have been fantastic at supporting his additional needs as he had no support in primary it was awful but that's another matter!! so i don't think low attendance is an issue at the school i think they want to keep there outstanding attendance but that is leading to them over stepping in my opinion!

Smellslikemiddleagespirit Wed 10-Apr-19 14:42:27

That’s ridiculous, MamaAffrica! You wouldn’t normally take your child to the Drs just because of one day of sickness. And if you do, it’s because you’re worried, no because school demand it. And not many can even access same day appointments.

Hope you told them to naff off.

TinklyLittleLaugh Wed 10-Apr-19 14:43:10

Well what can they do if you fail to provide evidence? Tell you off for being naughty? I would just ignore them to be honest.

cantkeepawayforever Wed 10-Apr-19 14:43:59

The thing is, honest parents are penalised for the actions of dishonest ones.

If all parents only reported their child sick when they were genuinely too sick to attend school, the system would work well - because a reasonable level of genuine sickness is built into overall attendance expectations.

However, many parents DO claim 'sickness' because it's an authorised absence, even when the true picture is 'we're on holiday', and many children are absent with levels of illness that are entirely compatibl;e with school attendance 'they're a bit tired / got a sniffle / think they might be coming down with siomething'. That then slips a school into 'danger area' with respect to overall attendance, and then they start clamping down indiscriminately on all 'sickness' absence, whether genuine or not.

Acis Wed 10-Apr-19 14:45:37

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

No, they aren't made to do it. The official guidance says:

Schools should advise parents to notify them on the first day the child is unable to attend due to illness. Schools should authorise absences due to illness unless they have genuine cause for concern about the veracity of an illness. If the authenticity of illness is in doubt, schools can request parents to provide medical evidence to support illness. Schools can record the absence as unauthorised if not satisfied of the authenticity of the illness but should advise parents of their intention. Schools are advised not to request medical evidence unnecessarily. Medical evidence can take the form of prescriptions, appointment cards, etc. rather than doctors’ notes.

ASauvignonADay Wed 10-Apr-19 14:45:40

* Well what can they do if you fail to provide evidence? Tell you off for being naughty? I would just ignore them to be honest.*
Mark it as unauthorised and it could lead to a fine or a prosecution.

Acis Wed 10-Apr-19 14:47:18

If you get the same woman again and she is still being rude, point out that the Head of Year has already confirmed that she is mistaken and say you are not prepared to discuss it further with her.

AllTheFunAndGames Wed 10-Apr-19 14:49:04

The school won't be able to get the sick note themselves. It's a breach of data protection. I assume they think you are on holidays and having an extended midterm. This is why they are being so strict.

hazell42 Wed 10-Apr-19 14:50:30

Schools are very fond of this. They tried telling me my son would never be allowed a day off without a sick note. I told them to jog on.
Massive waste of a doctor's time. They didnt train for 7 years to be a truant officer!
And in any case a doctor can neither prove nor disprove headache, stomach ache or any of the other common illnesses, so what would be the point


cantkeepawayforever Wed 10-Apr-19 14:50:59

(As a teacher whose pupils are only too open about where they / their friends REALLY were when they were said to be 'ill', I do quite frequently change 'ill' to 'unauthorised holiday' on the register. It definitely peaks in the last couple of days before a holiday. Ii suspect being an attendance officer exposes one to an awful lot of the worse side of human nature!)

Tolleshunt Wed 10-Apr-19 14:52:41

Great stuff, OP. Stand firm.

When you speak to her tomorrow, you could give her some free career advice, along the lines that if she's discovered a miraculous cure that prevents any illness lasting more than five days, she should hand in her notice, and start flogging it out of the back of her Ferrari instead wink

toweringheights Wed 10-Apr-19 14:58:52

You are being very reasonable.

Total waste of NHS GPs time to issue unnecessary sick notes for pupils. As if GPs don't have enough to do already. Schools are passing the buck of the pressures they are under to GPs and parents.

ALLMYSmellySocks Wed 10-Apr-19 15:02:56

As a teacher whose pupils are only too open about where they / their friends REALLY were when they were said to be 'ill', I do quite frequently change 'ill' to 'unauthorised holiday' on the register. It definitely peaks in the last couple of days before a holiday. Ii suspect being an attendance officer exposes one to an awful lot of the worse side of human nature!

I'm confused. If you know a particular child is truenting or on holiday than fair enough. If you're making an assumption based on the time of year that you're obviously unreasonable. Yes lots of people aren't honest about absences and yes you're justified in having suspicions but I'm not paying a fine because of other people's dishonesty.

continuallychargingmyphone Wed 10-Apr-19 15:04:17

Does that make you feel powerful, cantkeep?

sarahC40 Wed 10-Apr-19 15:25:58

As a teacher, I’m used to kids grassing up others by saying, ‘oh they’re off because x or y.’ However, I also hear their excuses for not having done their homework and so I tend to be a bit sceptical and would not be allowed to change marks on the register to unauthorised holiday. Not my job. Hope your son is better soon and that he has a good rest over the hols, op.

Fiveredbricks Wed 10-Apr-19 15:28:50

@barryfromclareisfit err no love adults can self certify at work for a pretty long while actually. Maybe know what you're talking about before opening your mouth 😂

humblesims Wed 10-Apr-19 15:29:30

I am fuming for the way i was spoken too
This is what would make me most cross. I understand that they have to keep attendance figures up and that some people play the system but they cant assume that everyone does. Its the rudeness which speaks volumes about how the school views parents. Schools seem to forget that they are there to provide a service to the community, they are not there to lay down the law about how we parent or whether we keep our children off sick (or heaven forbid take them on holiday during term time). I would be fuming. I am fuming on your behalf.

Fiveredbricks Wed 10-Apr-19 15:31:26

Bullshit @cantkeepawayforever... if you have ever done that then it's instant gross misconduct. You can't take the word of a random child against that of the absent child's parent, stop being so fucking idiotic.

Can all the phoney teachers please piss off now 🙄

thesnapandfartisinfallible Wed 10-Apr-19 16:03:29

Tell them the GP does not provide sick notes for children's schools as they have better things to bloody do. What a cheek. They must know you're not lying as they sent him home!

mirime Wed 10-Apr-19 16:16:40

GPs also charge for passport verifications, for example, whereas a school would do this, and any other written evidence of anything for free!

My GP won't do it at all, and the website says GP's shouldn't do it unless they can definitely recognise you.

Piggywaspushed Wed 10-Apr-19 16:19:33

Really? I know now why I am always inundated at school! If I charged £25 a pop, I wouldn't have to be a teacher any more <formulates a cunning escape plan> grin

Iruka Wed 10-Apr-19 16:27:29

My GP won't do sick notes for children at all or for adults at less than seven days sick. Not even for payment. They won't sign passport forms either. There are signs in the waiting room.

JonestheMail Wed 10-Apr-19 16:41:11

I agree with those who have said complain in writing to the head and chair of governors and cite th evidence given on this thread. The decision on whether he is well enough to go to school is yours as his parent, not some school receptionist with no medical training.

In any event a sick child belongs at home not schlepping out to the overworked GPs yet again to get a letter.

I have never taken my DC out of school to go on holiday and the oldest is in his twenties now. However, I also would not judge parents who did. Given the mark up on holidays during school breaks and the fact that some parents can't choose when they have their holidays, I totally understand why parents do it.

I think the £60 fine is bollocks personally, but given that it exists I'd regard it as a holiday overhead.

cantkeepawayforever Wed 10-Apr-19 16:45:07


Perfectly genuine teacher here - of course I don't simply take the child's opinion (even the child themselves when they come back to school, though tbh they are usually pretty reliable). I just send the information given to me to the person who manages the registers, they then follow established school procedures for verifying actual absence.

Whatsername7 Wed 10-Apr-19 16:48:54

I am a teacher and head of year. I completely agree it is ridiculous. The pressure for 100% attendance on schools is stupid. I was told off for telling the parent of a child who has glandular fever to keep her off as long as she needs.

cantkeepawayforever Wed 10-Apr-19 16:51:08

I do the same for any attendance concern - do we know why X is late, Y has been absent every Monday for the last 3, can we investigate why, is Z's brother in because I haven't seen Z yet today etc etc. It's part of safeguarding.

Friedspamfritters Wed 10-Apr-19 16:52:38

To be fair some schools do charge for passports. Everyone I know who has had it done by the class teacher has always offered a nice bottle of wine or gift card in return. The teacher does make more sense than the GP - I doubt our GP could recognise us but the teacher we see every day.

Parker231 Wed 10-Apr-19 16:58:11

My DH is a GP and this is one his pet hates. He doesn’t want to do these letters as it’s a waste of his time and it’s the parents decision and nothing to do with the GP.

Piggywaspushed Wed 10-Apr-19 16:58:42

I have NEVER had anything for doing a pasport!! Bloody secondary school.

It is true I recognise my students but , actually, I have rarely 'known' them for the length of time required. But hey ho. Thread derail apologies!

RomanyQueen1 Wed 10-Apr-19 17:00:52

Ask school for the £25 and get a sick note.
They can't make you provide one at a cost to you.

Darkbaptism Wed 10-Apr-19 17:02:13

Expecting a drs note is ridiculous, expecting you to send him him when still sick even more so!

My so takes 3 medications which suppress his immune system. I’m really worried about him starting secondary school in September as I imagine there will be unwell children who’s parents have sent them in due to pressure from the school. Firstly I fear he will be unwell with the number of bugs circulating, secondly I worry about the pressure I will face to send him in when not ready.

cantkeepawayforever Wed 10-Apr-19 17:03:53

For children's passports, you have to verify how long you have known the parent, IIRC. Unless I have taught several siblings, it is really rare for me to have known the parent for long enough (large school with drop off and collection well away from the classrooms) to be able to certify their identity without perjuring myself....

starbrightnight Wed 10-Apr-19 18:04:00

Before long there will be an under-the-counter black market for blank GP appointment reminder cards they sometimes dish out if you request one. Ditto dentists, or perhaps they wouldn't count.

In fact it might be worth getting some cards printed so you're covered in future. It would cost less than the £25.00 being quoted.

Seriously, I said it earlier but I do think this is worth a letter to the Head and Chair of
Governors. I think they would be appalled by the way your enquiry was handled by an admin staff member who clearly overstretched her position; at the rudeness and the bullying as well as the incorrect information conveyed to you.

givemebooks Wed 10-Apr-19 18:57:50

Thank you all so much for the support

I write this from my sun lounger in the Bahamas winkgrin

In reality i am cleaning my sofa again after my son had his first taste of amoxicillin earlyer this afternoon and reacted by spitting it back out and then been sick on the sofa (i did mention before he has ASD and taste and texture can make him react)sad

He has managed to take the second lot just now so that's something and i will be staying up till midnight to get a second dose in him for over night

Fingers crossed he will be on the mend soon!

Will update with my call and trip to take the much needed evidence to school tomorrow!

Feel like turning up in a sundress and sun glasses and large sun hat pulling a wheely case holding fake tickets and my passport and telling them to hurry up i am late (i amuse myself grin)

I have taken on board what many of you said and i will be taking this further if i am treated the same way!

givemebooks Wed 10-Apr-19 19:00:31

And all my emojis turned to sad faces!!??!! Lol

Im having no luck today! smile

MatthewBramble Wed 10-Apr-19 19:31:59

Our GPs local practice refuse to give sick notes for schoolchildren. It's taken years but the local schools have finally got the message.

colouringinpro Wed 10-Apr-19 21:24:33

My ds with significant mental illness resulting in paralysis has also been hassled to return to school full time and I've been threatened with a referral to social services. It is Totally disgusting the pressure that schools place on sick kids and their parents

holdingonbyathread Wed 10-Apr-19 21:38:28

Do you know what is equally ridiculous? All this fuss and nonsense from the school for a few days sickness on a good record whereas my son hasn't attended school since October due to unsupported ASD and no one cares or has asked for any evidence! How can education be so two-faced!

cunningartificer Wed 10-Apr-19 21:59:11

This is a sign of the times. Schools are under pressure about attendance and that filters down to the attendance officer. No excuse for her rudeness, but an indication of what she thinks are the school’s priorities.

Do write to the head—reasonably , as you have here—so he or she knows what’s going on in their name.

It’s utterly unfair. You’re quite entitled to sign your son off school (and you should, because he’s ill!), and you shouldn’t be made to feel like a criminal for it.

givemebooks Thu 11-Apr-19 07:52:05

@holdingonbyathread Good morning and i hope you are well, the way you son is been treated is awful!! Where is the support we had so many issues with my sons primary school about lack of support

My son is a changed child at his new secondary he is supported and i cannot fault the SEN team at all

Please i know you have proberly done everything you can think of but do not give up, contact the council sen team contact your MP take it to the highest you can and then some get on to citizen advice about legal representation

A very un mumsenty hug to you but you deserve it flowersflowersflowers

Acis Thu 11-Apr-19 08:29:22

Do you know what is equally ridiculous? All this fuss and nonsense from the school for a few days sickness on a good record whereas my son hasn't attended school since October due to unsupported ASD and no one cares or has asked for any evidence

This! This type of hypocrisy happens time and time again for children with SEN. Apparently, for some children missing one day of school is disastrous, yet for children with learning difficulties it can somehow be completely acceptable for them to be out of school for months or years on end.

MontStMichel Thu 11-Apr-19 08:37:46

Do you know what is equally ridiculous? All this fuss and nonsense from the school for a few days sickness on a good record whereas my son hasn't attended school since October due to unsupported ASD and no one cares or has asked for any evidence

ITA! DD was out of school for 10 months, after she decided quite rightly imo, that her school could not cope with her medical condition and the LA ignored the school’s request for 1:1 support! The LA provided her with no education at home at all in 10 months! So, apparently that did not matter to her education while a few days/week does to “normal children”!

highstresslevels Thu 11-Apr-19 08:46:03

I am not one to be dramatic, but I would ring again and hopefully speak to the same secretary, record the conversation then request a meeting with the headteacher and play it, also go armed with all the information you need to show them how ridiculous this is. I would be livid, and as I say things like this do not bother me usually!

holdingonbyathread Thu 11-Apr-19 09:41:49

Givemebooks - thank you 😍

Luckily, ds now has a place at an autism specialist school for September after lots of fighting. But he spent most of year 2 on a reduced timetable of an hour a day and then will have been at home for all of year 3 except for the first 3 weeks. He'll start for year 4.

How is that level of missing education acceptable to all but a few days with an infection is not? Because it's disability discrimination and seen that children with SEN aren't worthy of a robust education and they don't matter in the same way 😢😢

Gatehouse77 Thu 11-Apr-19 09:47:14

Jeez, I'd have had to spend a fortune if our school asked as DS barely managed full weeks in Y13 due to MH. No request for Dr's notes or 'evidence' other than my word on an answerphone.

Acis Thu 11-Apr-19 13:16:27

holdingon, have you made a formal complaint to the council and/or gone to the Local Government Ombudsman? It sounds like you would have a good case.

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