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How often can a child have authorised absence from school before the school question it?

(16 Posts)
pepsi Fri 19-Nov-04 09:02:21

My niece always seems to be off school ill with something or other, nothing serious, at least one week per half term, is this a lot. I was wondering how often a child needs to be away from school before a teacher/school would question it.

Hulababy Fri 19-Nov-04 09:09:11

Officially pupils can have up to 10 days authorised (agreed in advance) from school. However sickness is different.

But certainly at the school I teach in absence records are monitored, and included on reports, etc. School should be recording all this and noting in any lengthy absences, and can eventually phone parents, ect. to discuss. But every school deals with it in different ways.

pepsi Fri 19-Nov-04 09:18:32

I know its hard for you to say, theres no holiday absences just authorised sickness, but what is considered normal and when would alarm bells be raised. I did see her school report last year, and it had 42 asbences (half days), but I noticed the dates went from September to beg of June and not right up until the end of the term. I worry just in case theres another reason why (a) she doesnt want to go to school (b) Her Mum just keeps her off.....I know when they are off ill for instance she always keeps them off an extra day after they are better. This week she has only been to school for one day.

Hulababy Fri 19-Nov-04 09:20:00

I would have thought that 42 half days would be a concern at school. The Head of Year should be looking into it and following this up. Certainly they would be doing at my school.

pepsi Fri 19-Nov-04 09:25:13

Thats interesting, my children are only 4 and 2 so I dont know about these things yet. To me it really serious as surely she must miss loads, I know you can bring home things but it cant be the same. The whole socialisation, exercise, friends, playing is so important. Any advice on what I can do, perhaps its really none of my business, but I love her dearly.

pepsi Fri 19-Nov-04 11:56:07

Has anyone got any advice for me.

Catan Mon 22-Nov-04 11:39:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Nutcracker Mon 22-Nov-04 12:16:45

A girl in my Dd2's class has had almost every thursday and friday (sometimes wednesday too) off since they started the school year.

TApparently the teacher has asked her why she is off but she just says she is ill and thats that.

The real reason is cos her mum doesn't work thursdays and fridays and so can't be bothered to get up and take her.

LIZS Mon 22-Nov-04 12:36:09

I agree that it sounds like a lot. Perhaps it depends on how old she is and how concerned the school might be. The school might be more concerned if she is obviously falling behind due to these absences and if that might affect their SAT scores. However if her mother authorises the absence due to sickness then there may be little the school itself can do, unless they can disprove it. I doubt that there is much you cna do apart from t point out that her dd may be getting behind her peers and missing out on the excitement of preparing for Christmas events and so on.

pepsi Tue 16-Jun-09 11:45:59

I was just looking at this old thread of mine and almost 5 years done the line my two nieces now 10 and 12 are still absent from school for similar periods each year. The 12 year old is now in secondary school and has had at least 5 weeks off since Sept and the 10 year old - who is now registered with CAMS for behaviour at school last year had 6 weeks off. I dont know how much its been this year as my SIL is so forthcoming any more but its certainly at least 3 weeks. They dont have any long term medical issues which some kids suffer with. I just cant undertsand why its year in year out. I came on today to get advice because my 10- year old niece always seems to be off with runny poo. She was off last Monday and Mon/today so far this week. I said to my SIL maybe something she is eating is having a laxative effect but she thinks its the sun that does it. Could it be this. The 10 year old has had problems in school this year and since Nov has had to come home for lunch, currently she only comes home for two days and this should be 1 next week and then hopefully the following week she should be back in full time. Its all a bit of a mess. My SIL suffers from depressiion and although she finally went to counscelling a few months back she has stopped going. Maybe the school do mention attendance, but it just seems an awful lot. My kids are no 9 and 7 so I can only go by them and ths kids I know at school and there attendance on the whole is good.

cory Tue 16-Jun-09 20:53:33

My brother was extremely infection prone right up to his late teens. My parents were the brisk no-nonsense sort and the rest of us were extremely healthy, so I genuinely think it was just him. But no diagnosed medical problem as such, just a late developing immune system. One of his children was the same.

Littlefish Thu 18-Jun-09 21:40:53

The EWO (educational welfare officer) is only likely to get involved once attendance falls below 85%. To give you an example, a pupil with 84% attendance this week, since September, will have missed nearly 6 weeks of school (28 days I think).

If she has been suffering from depression, do you think she's having trouble getting up in the mornings to get them to school? Could you offer to take the girls on occasional mornings?

ChazsBarmyArmy Fri 19-Jun-09 13:18:49

I had a friend at school (many moons ago) who had serious attendance problems. We later discovered that her mother was an alcoholic and the my friends so-called sickness was in fact a function of her mother's problems. I think it got to the point where she was staying home to keep her mother safe.

pepsi Sun 21-Jun-09 21:24:13

Unfortunately I live to far away but I do wonder sometimes if when they have a cold their mum encourages them to stay off longer than the need to. I can never put my finger on whats going on, all I know is that something must be. My youngest niece was excluded from school for a day last year and accordingly to my SIL the school had given her no warning prior to that it could happen, nor had she had any written communications regarding the situation. Apparently 3 children have left the school because of the 10 year, its all a bit of an ongoing mess. I dont think I ever get the true facts, but at the same time its their business how they bring up their family so I have to be careful not to cause problems between us. Theres lots of other things as well that all add to the situation. I just think its unusual that two children constantly have time off school for minor things that drag on for days. I wish that the schools involved would get involved with their attendance levels. Im surprised they havent, hence my post.

cory Sun 21-Jun-09 23:12:01

It is unusual but could be one of several different things:

Mum is too depressed/run down/alcoholic/uncaring to get them to school

they are worried about Mum and therefore refuse to go to school

they are unhappy at school and school refusing

Mum has little understanding of illness, and keeps them home needlessly


they do actually have some medical reason, which means that they catch everything that's going and find it difficult to shake it off

in my dd's case, it was the latter: didn't stop everybody from suspecting all of the above

Joe90 Sun 21-Jun-09 23:29:52

My just 12 year old has been diagnosed with childhood abdominal migraine, he has had it at least once a half term for about 2 years, when he has it he is so weak he can't stand up or eat, it will go on for say 3 days, tues to thurs, then on Fri he is still weak and has a double games lesson and lots of unimportant subjects, what do I do? He also misses weekend activities such as football and scout events etc. The consultant suggested beta blockers and he ended up with asthma, seeing him again tomorrow. The point I am trying to make is that there can be situations where the illness seems 'minor' but can make it reallly impossible for a child to be up to going to school. As a child I always came down with swollen glands and sore throats, other kids get tonsilitis or asthma a lot.

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