School wants GP sick note for any further absence!

(135 Posts)
RaisinBoys Wed 05-Dec-12 20:51:45

DS off school for 4 days, then additional 1 day following week. Called on each day of illness to report and sent email to office and teacher when he returned explaining illness and confirming dates.

He is not a sickly child so rare for him to be off school. In 6 years aside from this period of illness we can only remember 1 other week long period for chickenpox.

Scroll foward 2 weeks - just had letter from Education Welfare Officer stating that "any further days of sickness must be supported by GP letter!" and "if your [DS] continues to have days off sick we wil refer him to th school nurse who will contact your GP to determine if there are any underlying issues/problems".

We are fumiing!! (Well I am, DH just thinks "schools are agencies of the state whose sole function is to train children to conform in the future and this is par for the course").

I think this is a ridiculous over reaction and that GP's have better things to do than authorise childhood illness in children who for the most part attend school.

Aside from the difficulties in actually getting a GP's appointment in the first place....

Ohmuther Tue 17-Jan-17 12:06:27

OP This is modern life, & it is WRONG. Education by spreadsheet, distrusting parents, fining parents, taking parents to educational tribunals. My DD is autistic with severe anxiety. She had a mental breakdown before half term (she was 8). School seem to think I was imagining it even when I had the practitioner from CAMHS sitting next to me, as concerned as I was. I had a reprieve from the 1st round of prosecution as the CAMHS lady somehow got the consultant paediatrician for our borough into a meeting to pull rank on the HT. I am now back to square one - get child in on time or face prosecution. It is sickening.

jamdonut Sun 15-Jan-17 17:30:59

I kind of get the feeling that , as you are a governor, they were doing things by the book!
I personally wouldn't worry about it too much, as you also followed the "the rules", with regards to phoning in etc.
The wording is designed to make those who do not follow the rules think twice.
For instance, we have a child in our class who is seriously behind in all areas and has rubbish attendance. The child was off for a couple of days(last week) ,again ,when we found out from one of the children that s/he was on a fortnight's holiday. I think this child's parents are definitely in line for a fine when they get back...hmm
We have another child who is off ,regularly , on Fridays and Mondays.
We think those are the weekends they go to stay with their other parent.
Unfortunately, sometimes you can get caught up and become a statistic amongst those who are genuine serial offenders who need telling!

Mary21 Sun 15-Jan-17 11:14:19

Everyone should be encouraging parents to treat minor ailments with home remedies and over the counter stuff from pharmacists. Most coughs colds, sore throats, tummy bugs, uncomplicated chicken pox etc don't need GP appointments. Schools pushing parents to GP,s are doing everyone a disservice.
However in the area I work in many parents take there children out of school for prolonged periods to visit family in other countries. They take children out of school for a full day for travel vaccinations rather than an hour. The attendance figures must be dreadful.
Workers can self certify for the first week of illness. Schools must do the same or be charged .
We are in a situation where a+e is overflowing. People are going there in exasperation be cause they can't see a gp or got fed up with calling every morning to be told all our same day appointments are taken. Call back tomorrow. And some of these same day appointments are taken by parents whose children just need a couple of doses of paracetamol and a duvet day. Not dragging to the GP because the school will want a medical certificate.

mrz Sun 15-Jan-17 09:56:55

^*"
Code I: Illness (not medical or dental appointments)
Schools should advise parents to notify the school as soon as possible when a child is ill.*^ _^*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 seriousness of the illness but should advise parents of their intention. Schools are advised not to request medical certificates unnecessarily (particularly retrospective certificates), especially if the illness was not treated by a doctor at the time.*^ _^*Medical evidence can take the form of prescriptions, appointment cards, etc. rather than doctors’ notes.^_^

Code M: Medical or dental appointments
Missing registration for a medical or dental appointment is counted as an authorised absence. Schools should, however, encourage parents to make appointments out of school hours. Where this is not possible, the pupil should only be out of school for the minimum amount of time necessary for the appointment."*^

https://www.education.gov.uk/consultations/downloadableDocs/Advice%20on%20School%20Attendance%20-%20Final.docxcx*^

lunchboxtroubles Sun 15-Jan-17 09:27:47

To be clear, fee to be paid by the school, letter to be released only on receipt of the fee. We understand that this is schools being silly not parents.

lunchboxtroubles Sun 15-Jan-17 09:27:03

As a GP, I would only provide such a letter on written request from the school with the parents written consent. There would be a significant fee, designed to stop the school asking again. We don't have time for this rubbish.

user1484429451 Sat 14-Jan-17 21:56:41

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

nappysan Sun 09-Dec-12 15:02:53

lucky you that your school cares so much!

mrz Sun 09-Dec-12 11:34:41

agree that it's ridiculous but so are many of the directives ...it's all about jumping through hoops and getting worse.

difficultpickle Sun 09-Dec-12 11:26:27

I can see what schools are trying to do but it is a ridiculous burden to add to GPs most of whom are already drowning in the workload they have. Ds was off sick on Friday with a stinking cough/cold. It is a bug he has had a week so I wouldn't bother the GP with it unless it got a lot worse.

TheLightPassenger Sun 09-Dec-12 09:59:28

I agree with Cory, I think its appalling that parents should be expected to pay for a sick note for a genuinely unwell child, not to mention the waste of NHS resources. Saggars advice is sensible and more practical.

mrz Sun 09-Dec-12 09:46:11

It seems people are taking things very personally when all schools are doing is abiding by the law. The law is there to ensure children attend school regularly and is aimed at those irresponsible parents who fail to send their child to school unfortunately as with all laws it doesn't make a distinction between those parents and responsible parents like RaisinBoys.
The government set attendance targets and schools must be able to show they are taking their responsibility seriously regardless of personal feelings because it has a consequence for the school.
My own school was given unsatisfactory for "safeguarding" in our last Ofsted simply because we hadn't evidence that we had taken action against parents like RaisinBoys! You ans I may not like getting a letter but we need to remember it isn't personal.

megandraper Sun 09-Dec-12 09:38:42

This sounds very heavy-handed.

For what it's worth, my son (Reception) has a persistent record of non-attendance for minor illness. Roughly every three weeks he gets a very high temperature for about 3 days. If some days are over the weekend, he's only off school for one day, otherwise it can be 3 days.

School have a rule that you don't go if you have a temperature. Even if they didn't, I wouldn't send him as he is not well enough. I would rather he didn't miss so much school, but there is little to be done about it.

No repercussions, since it is a private school. Just some sympathy, actually.

He is being investigated by a paediatrician to see if there is an underlying reason for this. I am having to fight for that though. His younger brother is still at nursery, but has the same issue.

I would be outraged at being asked to pay for some sort of medical certificate over this! I wouldn't object to having a conversation with someone in authority explaining the circumstances, as long as they were well-mannered about it.

PolkadotCircus Sun 09-Dec-12 09:35:16

Hmmm this annoys me because I think parents are being pressured to send in sick kids and there seems to be double standards as at our school teachers seem to have waaaaay more time off through sickness than most kids(certainly mine).

At ours you have to send them dosed up if they're not feeling unwell(d&v being the exception) and then the school will ring you if needs be(often they don't bother and I've had upset kids come home who say they've said repeatedly that they feel shite but nobody called).

Anyhooo this is what I do and we have good attendance however teachers don't seem to go by this rule and our school seems to be blighted by teachers off sick.

Was mighty hacked off this week as there is a cold/sore throat bug going round and I sent all 3 in every day dosed up only to have 2 of their teachers off over 3 days for the same bloody bug-not fair and my kids are starting to notice.1 of my dc threw a mighty strop when I dosed her up and sent her off with a pack of tissues as she said it wasn't fair as Mrs **was allowed to stay at home when she feels ill.

I think schools need to remember kids are human and perhaps deserve to be treated in the same way as themselves when feeling ill.

mrz Sun 09-Dec-12 09:22:58

They are for single days bisjo

difficultpickle Sun 09-Dec-12 00:55:38

Were they for periods of illness of less than 7 days mrz? If so I'm surprised as our GP wouldn't according to the long list in the waiting room. I'm surprised school would bother to ask unless attendance is poor.

mrz Sat 08-Dec-12 22:34:05

No ivykate I don't think a parent keeping a sick child at home is the same as truancy. I do think keeping a child at home is non attendance in the eyes of the law.

As I've told you before I don't know if the child was or wasn't sick ivykate ...do you?
I don't know the mum or the child and have never claimed they are personal friends, acquaintances. The case was reported in the press as were the cases I linked to

ivykaty44 Sat 08-Dec-12 22:25:18

mr you never answered the question and seem to think truancy is the same as a parents keeping a sick child at home. Every single link you put up was about truancy, this thread is about sickness from school and parents being fined for not producing proof that there child was sick. Children need to be at home when sick, not bundled in with truanting children, which is what you have done.

So where is this woman that kept her child home from school sick and was then sent to prison for not paying a fine for not producing a certificate from her gp to say her child was sick/ill - she doesn't exist and that is why you don't want to answer the question.

mrz Sat 08-Dec-12 22:10:53

bisjo we have two families who are asked to produce doctors certificates and they are not charged

mrz Sat 08-Dec-12 22:09:59

As you have stated your child has a great attendance record so is it likely that you will need to produce a certificate ...

RaisinBoys Sat 08-Dec-12 22:06:20

Direct employment of EWO's is now quite common Mrz particulary in areas with hard/soft federations and clusters, so I would question your "most schools" statement.

Can't be doing with your sarcasm and defensiveness so it's time for me to sign off this thread.

Thanks everyone else for your informative and/or supportive comments.

We'll continue what we do now - school when well, home when not. GP if required. GP's notes? Hell no!

difficultpickle Sat 08-Dec-12 22:06:07

I would imagine the GP would charge for a sick certificate that is issued outside the norm of less than 7 days illness. It doesn't take a minute for the school to check the pupil's attendance record and moderate their instructions accordingly. What an utter waste of time.

mrz Sat 08-Dec-12 22:00:05

probably because they have had their wrists slapped in the past for not investigating every absence

mrz Sat 08-Dec-12 21:58:57

No RaisinBoys it proves nothing other than the school is taking it's responsibility to follow the law seriously

mrz Sat 08-Dec-12 21:57:50

Once upon a time there was a mother who didn't send her child to school. When the wicked headteacher asked her to prove where her child had been she refused. The wicked headteacher sent the big bad EWO around to issue a fine but the mother refused to pay so the wicked headteacher took her to court where the judge decided to send her to prison. And they all lived happily ever after. The End

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