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primary school attendance letter

(64 Posts)
goodbyemrschips Fri 11-Mar-11 17:34:23

Hi has anyone else recieved a letter recently regarding their childs attendance?

I am wondering if it it a national thing or just my sons school doing their own thing.

Several children have received one if their attendance is below 95%.

FourFortyFour Fri 11-Mar-11 17:36:30

No, but then my children have only had 1 day off between them since September.

Quite a few parents were fined last year for unauthorised absences.

goodbyemrschips Fri 11-Mar-11 17:42:51

One child I know had 7 days in total off since sept and one was a week off with a bad illness.

bit harsh I think and her attendance for previous years have been over 98% each year.

Her mum is thinking of seeing the head and having a moan.

I told her to shred the letter and forget about it.

I have never heard of anyone being fined for unathourised absences.

diabolo Fri 11-Mar-11 18:03:12

A parent at the school I work at was in court the other day for repeatedly failing to ensure an older child's attendance at Upper School, but she was a serial offender - 2 or 3 years at below 80% attendance.

She got a fine which she cannot pay as she has no income. Pointless or what?

goodbyemrschips Fri 11-Mar-11 18:11:19

Pointless indeed.......

PixieOnaLeaf Fri 11-Mar-11 18:52:39

Message withdrawn

eileenslightlytotheleft Fri 11-Mar-11 19:09:17

Yes, best just to shred it. It's not personal, it is just yet another example of the effort and time and resources that have to go into pointless box-ticking.

goodbyemrschips Fri 11-Mar-11 19:31:07

Thanks for the feedback, she feels better now because a few others have them and they are shredding.

bochead Fri 11-Mar-11 19:49:01

Yup I got one for 7 days absent in the Xmas term. 3 of those days were for a virus that brought the whole extended family down and hospitalised my sister.

The other abscences were ALL for specialist medical appointments directly related to DS's SEN, photcopies of the appointment times are always given to the school for DS's file. If anyone knows how to get NHS consultant appointments to fit school hours when the waiting lists for some are 2 years long already then do tell lol!

My attitude is let them take me to court, but I reserve the right to send an invoice for my time. I phoned the head and the LEA attendance officer and told them that they were welcome to threaten me with court but that they needed to be aware I'd tell the judge harrassment is also an offence.
Parents have become so scared of "the system", that we are terrified to speak up, even when it's in our kids best interest. My ticking off interview with the attendance officer was cancelled.

Foolishness is foolishness no matter which daft little jobsworth it originates from and the computer is only as smart as the imbecile operating it. One year your child could have 100% attendance (my lad has had several 100% terms), the next a bug could knock em out for a month if you are really unlucky. Some children are also more "robust" in terms of their immune system, it all comes down to luck of the draw.

LEA's should be directing their scant resources towards better things than this for all but the very, very tiny minority who honestly don't care about their kids education,(teachers DO know who these parents are). With all the cuts in services the postage cost and staff time,(wages) on nonsense like this seems so wasteful as well as unproductive.

goodbyemrschips Sat 12-Mar-11 09:31:26


good post if I ever get a letter I shall get you to compose one back.....

mrz Sat 12-Mar-11 09:46:32

My LA is sending these letters out via the Educational Welfare Officer (completely out of the school's control) and asking for doctors notes for repeated offenders. I know as a school it was one negative point in the Ofsted inspection ... mad!
Yes teachers/schools do know which families neglect their children's education and which families are genuine but we aren't consulted.

cory Sat 12-Mar-11 13:07:52

not all schools know either, mrz sad

in our case, the GP, paediatricians, school nurse, Social Services and the Education Welfare Officer were all trying to persuade the school dd's absences were genuinely medical, but the head thought he could just bully her back into school- or bully us into moving schools (he did actually let slip in an unguarded moment...)

the teachers and even the ladies in reception took their cue from him

bobala Sat 12-Mar-11 14:59:30

I got one for my son who has ME - I went ballistic and the Head of Year said it had been sent out automatically as he was below the 95% -but she had signed it!

bochead Sat 12-Mar-11 16:44:25

Complain, complain, complain to the LEA. Mine was a computer generated piece of nonsense so easily resolved but hold true to what I said re waste of resources at a time of austerity measures.

We as parents have to let the powers that be know that we'd rather the money went on teacher's wages or books or to fix leaky roofs etc. Your taxes pay for this so you are entitled to a say when you see local councils blatantly wasting money.

princessparty Sat 12-Mar-11 18:49:11

my kids normally average about 90 % and we've never received a letter but if we did I'd just ignore it

evolucy7 Sat 12-Mar-11 22:16:36

Isn't that 1 day every 2 weeks? I have to say that seems a lot to me hmm

goodbyemrschips Sun 13-Mar-11 09:06:19

Child in question had one whole week and the two and half days and he got 94.7% attendance.

[Sorry I just realised you meant princess]

faffaround Sun 13-Mar-11 09:21:51

We had one (Ealing) as did all those whose attendance fell below 95%.
I did email the head to "reassure" him that DS was at school every day he was well enough to attend & listed the various illnesses which had prevented him being there. Head replied and, reading between the lines, he had no option.
It is ridiculous IMO - yes, it is probably an average of one day every two weeks to be below 95% but, honestly, if they have pneumonia (as in my DS case) it is more than likely they will be off for at least two weeks!
Yes it is important to keep an eye on attendance but it has to be done in context and tick-boxing where they fall below a certain figure doesn't take account of other criteria.
Good point bochead - I will complain to the LEA as well.

decisiontime Sun 13-Mar-11 12:46:54

Do schools take notice of preschool childrens abscences? I am planning to take my 4 year ds for a week in June with me on buisness trip abroad. So far he had several 1 or 2 day abscences due to bad colds/chest in December-January and no one told us anything.TIA

mrz Sun 13-Mar-11 13:01:33

Schools notice pre school children that rarely attend just as they notice older children but as under 5s don't need to attend it isn't going to be more than a passing thought.

bochead Sun 13-Mar-11 17:04:00

Pre-school abscences seem to be picked up in a far more productive way with the aim being to help the child.

e.g I had a couple of friends whose kids constant ear infections led to the nursery referring them for proper medical help (one had grommets fitted). Hearng issues can cause delays in speech and learning so the parents were grateful for the help as it avoided potential long term problems.

IF anything IS said it's much more about how to help a kid who could have a problem so it's all sorted by the time they start school rather than a threat iykwim. (A good pre-school environment can be a great early warning system for parents, especially first-timers).

decisiontime Mon 14-Mar-11 14:49:29

Many thanks for your replies, mrz and bochead. I haven't got another option for June trip but I will definitly take more care when he stars reception in September.

decisiontime Mon 14-Mar-11 14:49:49

Sorry, meant starts.

mumof2girls2boys Tue 15-Mar-11 16:34:38

We got one for our DS his attendance dropped to 80% but purely because we had removed him from the school and he already started at another school, just shows how useless the first school inviting me to an appointment with the head (even giving dates and times when she would be available) when he didn't even go to the school and hadn't for 3 weeks. The next thing we knew as we hadn't responded to the letter (assuming it was their usual admin mess up) the EWO was writing to us wanting to know why our DS hadn't been in school for over a month. We rang them pointed out that yes he had had 2 weeks off with a serious sinus infection but he had been in school, one which the LEA had had an application for and asked for a letter from us saying yes we would accept the place and then giving us a start date!!! The same school has issued letters and EWO onto families that have moved out of the area (I know they have written to the school and the school were aware as they gave the kids leaving presents).

Chaotica Tue 15-Mar-11 16:57:07

We (the new reception parents) were threatened with gaol by the EWO at the induction evening for our reception class. It was pathetic and bullying and insulting (since we were the ones who had turned up to our child's induction evening to find out about the school). Most of the children are not old enough to be legally required to attend anyway.

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