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Absences in reception - education welfare officer?

(18 Posts)
ladyintheradiator Fri 28-Sep-12 09:58:14

DS started reception three weeks ago and is struggling at the moment. So today I just let one of the TAs know that he's really tired and I was unsure as to whether to send him - but did in the end obviously and I was just letting them know really that he is having a bad day - as soon as I said this the response was that absences are taken very seriously by the EWO - I said yes, I am not going to keep him at home for every sniffle but he is only 4 and is finding it hard... blah blah blah.

So is this right, that if I did keep him at home due to excessive tiredness, this would be flagged up?

redskyatnight Fri 28-Sep-12 10:06:36

If you keep him at home once due to excessive tiredness, this won't be flagged up. Regular patterns of keeping him at home might well. I suspect the TA (in a slightly heavy handed way) was pointing out that now your child is in school he is expected to attend every day unless for very good reason. Is excessive tiredness a very good reason? If he's literally dead on his feet then maybe. However there are some parents who frequently keep their children off school for very flimsy reasons. Not saying you are one of those parents, but the TA/school doesn't know that yet and is (presumably) trying to nip it in the bud early if it were going to be the case.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Fri 28-Sep-12 10:07:38

Not until he is of compulsory school age. Which is the term after they turn 5yo.

The school can refer to the EWO, but the EWO will be unlikely to do anything as your DC is under compulsory school age.

ladyintheradiator Fri 28-Sep-12 10:10:51

Thanks.. I didn't want to drip feed but this TA knows me in a professional (ish) capacity so it has pissed me off I suppose. But yes I do see what you're saying. I said I consider myself sensible but it's hard when your four year old wakes up crying at 6am. He was fine by the time we got there of course.

And it IS hard - finding the line between setting a precedent that you have a day off every time you so much as sniff, and being really hard about it. Maybe I am feeling a guilt I didn't know was there?

GobblersKnob Fri 28-Sep-12 10:11:05

I always find this so odd. At the infant school mine attended/attends we are positively encoraged to keep them off if they are shattered or slightly ill. Once they turn five it is a different story obviously, but up until then it is not a problem at all.

ladyintheradiator Fri 28-Sep-12 10:12:45

Oh good Couthy because I did say something like, well he is not yet five so I'm not concerned but no I'm not planning on having him at home for no reason blah blah blah... finding the line between asserting myself as his parent, and looking like the one who's going to be a PITA.

rrbrigi Fri 28-Sep-12 11:34:44

I cannot see why children could not have a day off occasionally when they feel so down from the school. They are so tiny and one day per term or something like this won't harm their education. And probably it is better for the teacher and for the class too. If the child is sad it is harder to deal with his or her behavior.

Sometime when we (adult) are very upset just call our workplace and get a holiday for that day don't we?

Pancakeflipper Fri 28-Sep-12 11:40:37

Gobblers - our school has the same attitude. If a little one under 5 needs a Friday off because they are knackered then it's not a big deal. It's a big leap for them.

DeWe Fri 28-Sep-12 11:47:16

But surely if your dc woe at 6am then they're not desperately tired?If they were that tired they'd have slept in until you woke them?

If he doesn't normally wake at 6am, then waking crying would make me concerned they were ill (ear ache?), but I wouldn't think they woke at that time because they were too tired.

ladyintheradiator Fri 28-Sep-12 12:23:00

He woke up for a wee! I think its feeling drained as well as tired. Also DD is an early riser so hard to sleep in at our house.

AnxiousElephant Fri 28-Sep-12 23:15:10

school is not compulsory until the term after they turn 5 in the UK. So yes that is rubbish! However, as others have said, if he is enrolled then he is obliged to go. Usually in reception they do provide a quiet area for dcs to go if they are tired. They only do the EYFS, so really it depends on circumstances. Does he get enough sleep, good diet, rest at home after school? Is he achieving well already or lagging behind peers? If any of those are not positive then you need to address them, before considering time off. Its about him not standing out from the class socially at this age.

mrz Sat 29-Sep-12 08:15:27

I'm afraid Couthy is incorrect ...

"Currently there is no nationally collected data on children’s attendance in nursery and reception, as school is not mandatory at this age. This means schools are not held to account for pupils’ attendance until they reach the age of five. Many schools do not take measures to improve attendance until their pupils reach statutory school age, but for some children this is already too late."

The government is pushing schools to take action as early as nursery! and have recommended
"primary schools focussing on supporting parents in nursery and reception who are failing to get their children to school."

BabsJansen Sat 29-Sep-12 08:22:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LynetteScavo Sat 29-Sep-12 08:30:26

DD is a July baby, and when she started reception I decided if she was too tired for school I wouldn't send her. This never actually happened, but at the spring parents meeting her teacher told me she was often really tired and struggled during the afternoons. I really wish she hadn't had to do full days, but most schools don't accommodate half days.

You are the parent, and you should do what you think is best for the child. Yes, absences are taken seriously, but little ones falling asleep on the carpet during story time and being forced to stay awake by a grownup they hardly know is harsh IMO (I know lots of other people disagree with me).

mrz Sat 29-Sep-12 08:35:40

I can't imagine any teacher or TA forcing a tired child to stay awake. We have a double mattress and pillows in a quiet area for naps.

LynetteScavo Sat 29-Sep-12 10:40:33

A double mattress and pillows? shock Sounds lovely (Don't the teachers feel a bit tempted to have a little lie down sometimes? grin wink I know I would be!

mrz Sat 29-Sep-12 14:04:02

It's quite common in my area ...this is the EYFS centre our TA's son attends.

LynetteScavo Sat 29-Sep-12 15:51:51

Oooh, I want to be a child and go to that nursery! envy

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