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to be slightly pissed off with this letter ??

(88 Posts)
CrackerNut Wed 04-Mar-09 18:20:46

Ds has come home today with a letter address to me about his apparently poor attendance.

It says that his attendance percentage is currently 84% and that the schools target is 96%.

It then goes on to say that unless a child is ill or you have an agreed and authorised abscence from school then your child must attend every day.

It then says that they will be monitoring the situation closely and if my child's attendance does not improve significantly over the next few weeks then they will contact educational welfare.

I am hugely pissed off with this letter and the threatening tone.

Ds is 6 and in yr 1. He had 5 days off in Sept for a holiday authorised by the head (old head, she has since left). I agree fully that this will have contributed to his apprently poor attendance record, but this was in Sept.

Unfortunatly for him, Ds has also had about 10 days off ill. He was very poorly before xmas with a virus and scalp infection and then just after xmas he had impetigo and had to stay off for 4 days as advised by the gp.

I have no problem with them pulling me up about the absence for holiday even though it was authorised, but I do have a problem with them insinuating that Ds has been off school alot when not ill as this isn't the case.

OnlyWantsOne Wed 04-Mar-09 18:23:11

I would sit down calmly and reply to the letter explaining your concerns. Speak to your GP if you must. Ulitmately I would be annoyed too ... but you could alternatively just let it go, *wanders off moaning about do gooders and schools...*

kormachameleon Wed 04-Mar-09 18:23:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CrackerNut Wed 04-Mar-09 18:25:36

shock Thats disgusting Korma.

I think I will write to the head once I have calmed down a bit.

I am not even one of those mums who keeps their kids off everytime they sneeze. Mine go to school unless they are properly ill.

MadamDeathstare Wed 04-Mar-09 18:27:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nickschick Wed 04-Mar-09 18:27:46

I have to go to an illness panel tomorrow with regards to ds2 the thing with these attendance scores is that just few days of continued absence say 4 days then 2 seperate dates for a doctor/hospital appointment or dental etc can really affect the score.

We were all once sent home letter saying if we felt our dc were too ill for school send them in and school would decide hmm

thefortbuilder Wed 04-Mar-09 18:28:44

korma that's dreadful!

I would wait till you have calmed down, write fully documented letter back with docs from GP if you are so inclined.

threatening tone is awful imo

GivePeasAChance Wed 04-Mar-09 18:29:05

It is annoying...............but I do have sympathy with the school. They have to treat everyone the same and there ARE children whose parents can't be arsed sending them to school, and it simply is not fair on the children to miss out on education. And so, I actually agree with the system (in a way it shows a lack of common sense, but also if everyone is treated the same, it stops the school making value judgments without firm evidence)

I would let it go, confident in the knowledge you are not one of those parents.

MadamDeathstare Wed 04-Mar-09 18:29:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

noonki Wed 04-Mar-09 18:29:56

it's a bad as our sickness monitioring policy at work..

one collegue was put on it after she had recovered from breast cancer shock

CrackerNut Wed 04-Mar-09 18:30:06

I don't have any sick notes.

When he had impetigo, I rang the school as soon as I got home from the GP and informed them that the gp said he needed to stay of for 4 days and they were fine with it then, but not now.

Ds did say that lots of people did have the letters which is hardley surprising as their class all had the virus that went round before xmas, teacher included.

cory Wed 04-Mar-09 18:30:27

Given that it is perfectly normal for a child of this age to have two or three flu-type virus infections a year (ask any doctor), I think any school that sets a target of 96 is setting itself up for failure. Many children have an undeveloped immune system at this age. It's the politician's approach: if I set a target, then it's got to happen.

TotalChaos Wed 04-Mar-09 18:31:03

I actually got a letter from EWO as DS attendance was only 85% last term. I still am fuming as DS was off so much as he had D & V and for measles. EWO have done nothing though, I phoned twice and they haven't even bothered calling back.

MadamDeathstare Wed 04-Mar-09 18:31:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TotalChaos Wed 04-Mar-09 18:32:04

My letter said DS' attendance should be 95%. He isn't even 5, so doesn't legally even need to be in education yet angry

CrackerNut Wed 04-Mar-09 18:32:09

I don't see the need for the treatening tone though GivePeasAChance (I hate peas by the way lol).

If the letter had just pointed out his attendance and then suggested I contact them if I was haing any problems or similar then I wouldn't be so annoyed.

Ds is my youngest child at the school and his sisters both have excellant attendence records so it is plain to see that I donot keep them off for nothing.

Ineedmorechocolatenow Wed 04-Mar-09 18:33:44

I was a Deputy Head of Year and had to send those letters out a lot. There are two levels of concern, below 90% and below 85%. We have to report those families with children who fall below the 85% mark.

If the EWO gets in contact, they won't be overly concerned by as you have perfectly valid reasons. If the absence gets worse (tho' I'm sure it won't in your case) then you'll need a doctor's note for each absence.

Sorry you got a note tho'. If it's anything like my school they will have been sent out automatically.

Hope that clears it up a bit xx

cory Wed 04-Mar-09 18:40:06

We had a ghastly time over attendances, Ineedmorechoc. Despite the letters provided by the school doctor, the GP, the specialist clinic and the consultant paediatrician, all explaining dd's condition and that she would have unavoidable absences, the head still made himself very unpleasant and the EWO was totally in his pocket. She was so incompetent that I even had to help her fill in her forms, but despite that she was perfectly happy to suggest that dd's absences were caused by my parenting. She didn't seem to be able to understand the medical letters, so she preferred to ignore them.

GivePeasAChance Wed 04-Mar-09 18:40:45

Tis true it should not be seen as threatening.........but probably a standard letter..........and in some cases needs to be straight to the point, if you know what I mean. And again, they have to treat everyone the same..........but..they will know you aren't slacking.........

This is one occasion where your energy would be better directed elsewhere IMHO.

Spidermama Wed 04-Mar-09 18:43:24

I would be fuming. Absolutely fizzing.

CarGirl Wed 04-Mar-09 18:44:55

Aren't these things just standard letters? I always thought they were standard and it's a case of them having to send them out.

Hassled Wed 04-Mar-09 18:46:12

CrackerNut - they're not looking at the big picture (i.e siblings' attendance) and the school themselves won't be remotely fussed given your circumstances. These letters have to be sent out - and the schools don't like doing it - when attendance falls below a certain level. This comes from DCSF, i.e. Govt. Ignore it.

nickschick Wed 04-Mar-09 18:46:37

ineedmorechocolatenow-If the absence gets worse (tho' I'm sure it won't in your case) then you'll need a doctor's note for each absence.

Really??? they can enforce that?? thatd be so difficult for us as we can never get in with our gp and end up at the emergency doc.

LucyEllensmummy Wed 04-Mar-09 18:47:11

Ive had these, they are standard letters - one year pretty much all the children in DDs year got one - we had had snow, and there had been a flu bug - so most of the children got a letter. The school said that they DO discuss the absences too, but its one of those things that have to be mentioned, minuted and passed over. I wouldnt worry, but i was pissed off too!! I think this is a case of most decent parents copping the shite for parents who couldnt give a shit if their child is at school or not.

CrackerNut Wed 04-Mar-09 18:50:17

I am just worried now what they will do if Ds has any more time off for illness.

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