EWO advice needed(11 Posts)
Sorry for long post - want to avoid drip feeding but trying not to out myself. Received a letter from the school today stating I'm requested at a meeting shortly with school head and EWO regarding poor attendance from one of our DC.
Attendance is admittedly not great 92% so far this year (7 days). Those 7 days are broken down into:
4 days - Contagious illness - blisters in mouth, pain, fever over 39/40. Gp not attended as we took sibling baby for same issue the day before, so when symptoms appeared we knew limited treatment. School were contacted - office agreed to avoid school.
1 day - sickness - child was sick in school previous afternoon (due to over exertion in PE after lunch ) was verbally reminded of 48hr exclusion policy so kept off. Now being told this isn't acceptable as wasn't "illness" so it's unauthorised - I was following their policy!
2 days - D&V bug so off for 2 days. Again no GP advice sought as its D and V.
Background: I have 4 kids and want them to receive a good education - however the above occasions I didn't feel school was appropriate. I didn't consult a doc for D&V as its self limiting and frankly a waste of GP time. I believe the school may now insist on a GP visit for every such absence should they occur - but we live 8miles from a surgery, no public transport and I have 2 disabled children therefore unless I think a visit is necessary I'm reluctant to pay £36 return cab fare for a doc visit.
Any advice on what this meeting is likely to involve? Shall I state my reasons as above and reiterate I only allow time off if absolutely necessary?
If this was me, I would pop into the office and tell them I won't be attending as they have the sickness incidents clearly recorded.
I would be as nice as pie and ask if they wanted me to follow up in writing.
I would explain that there is no other relevant information for the EWO and you're most adamant you don't want to waste the heads time.
But that's just me.
Thank you! I am def taking the nice as pie approach. I contacted the EWO directly as I was baffled - school policy states that if attendance drops below 90% they initiate enquirys with parents... Then EWO if no improvement etc and yet we have skipped straight to this stage.
Ironically I was called to an "urgent" meeting last week which I mentioned politely was a waste of my time so I suspect perhaps this may have influenced the advancement of this issue obv I could be wrong!
Either way I shall continue to exercise some common sense - school with coughs / colds / general aches - not when vomiting. I feel that's fair
Oh fgs this is ludicrous.
I think in other cases I have heard the GP's tell schools to get stuffed when they want sick notes - so it might be worth talking to your GP surgery. Surely they cannot want someone with D&V sat in their waiting room (& the taxi driver would hardly be pleased either).
Can you ring the EWO yourself? I have spoken to ours before (not to do with sickness) & they were very helpful.
I would insist on that 1 day being authorised as well. They SAW the sickness, so 48 hour rule means no school.
I shall call the GP surgery tomorrow and just check their stance on it as well - so I can put that forward. The allocated EWO for the school wasn't in today but is calling me tomorrow, the one I spoke with was lovely and seemed surprised when I explained the absences. They also seemed surprised the school haven't contacted me to invite me in with just them first to discuss concerns - rather than skipping straight to EWO referral.
The school also helpfully sent this letter home by leaving it unexplained, In no envelope, on DC desk. He obv read it and as poor thing has ASD got worked up over it and came home anxious. I only found the letter when emptying his bag as he didn't want me to see it as he thought it meant he was in trouble. But that's another matter!
If its not too nosey to ask - what's attendance been like in previous years? I only ask because my mum is a school secretary and they have some sort of policy whereby if school attendance has been poor in previous academic years for a specific child and is starting to head that way early in the next academic year, they like to nip it in the bud, so to speak, before it potentially gets out of hand.
I'd go with dungandbothers plan though - does seem OTT, unless there is previous history of poor attendance or other worries at play.
Not nosy at all! I should of said it's usually 96-98% .... Basically a few days over the year for tummy bug (usually caught from school due to one parent repeatedly sending in vomiting child!)
UPDATE: After requesting his absence record for my notes and them being unsure if they could tell me and then when we requested a copy of previous letter supposedly sent their system was suddenly down
He came home with an apologetic note to say there was an error and actually he has had 5 days off and not to worry! < the last one was obv a weekend and I got muddled!>
Oh thats good. Its worth asking them to check - a friend at school had a load of late marks against her DD's name last year when she knows she's never been late once. Turns out office had made a mistake
it's worrying how often mistakes get made. Apparently despite calling on the HFAM illness ( twice a day (!) as per their policy ) it's still unauthorised as I didn't send a letter too. Boo hoo.
Just as an aside; you are entitled to see anything in your ds record. If they don't provide it you can put in a subject access request. There is another law entitling you to see his record but I think this may be slightly more limited than a SAR though those take slightly longer (40 days as opposed to 15 working days).
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