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What's your child's head teacher like for attendance?

(17 Posts)
rackhampearl Thu 22-Sep-16 10:47:21

My DD is in reception and started 3 weeks ago. Every year when the nights get colder she gets a terrible chest infection and coughs through the night and eventually she will get conjunctivitis. She has asthma and an ASD so I am quite neurotic and kept her off nursery whenever she was ill. She had such a rough night so I called the school today to say she wouldn't be in and the HT answered and said 'No you can bring her in' I was a little taken aback but she went on to reassure me she would look after her and if she wanted to nap they would let her and would keep her indoors and have her inhaler on stand by. I felt really reassured and took her into school. I thought I was annoyed at first that she had pushed me to take her in but in actually really impressed. The HT wants 100% attendance and only wants them off school if they have D&V. I know that I am very neurotic as a parent so I think this head teacher is gonna do me the world of good when it comes to relaxing a little. She knew DD as soon as I said her name and I just felt really good about her. Do you get along with your head teacher and would you have taken your DC in, in that situation? Have you ever been scolded by HT over a absence they haven't deemed acceptable? I do realise I was probably being overly protective as always and she will be fine.

vvviola Thu 22-Sep-16 10:54:41

The headteacher in the school my DD goes to has the opposite view. If children aren't feeling well, we are not to send them in with the promise that we will pick them up if they feel worse. We are to keep them at home and let them get better so that when they come back in they are ready to learn.

She's quiet imposing nun, and even my atheist husband leaps to attention when she is around, but she's very much of the attitude that they are better off at home.

That said, when my DM had a sudden stroke last year and I let the school know in case DD was upset, she ran after me to let me know that they'd keep an eye on DD and not to worry about her and to concentrate on looking after my DM.

But then we are in Ireland, where attendance doesn't seem to be such a big issue (20 days or more absence leads to a referral, and they ask that you keep days off and absences to a minimum, but I haven't heard of anything like the letters home etc that I read about on here).

rackhampearl Thu 22-Sep-16 11:04:43

Wow Vviola that's the other end do the spectrum isn't it? I do remember attesting a meeting before DD started and she said basically if we took liberties with absences she would see us in court. She's really strict but I love it!!! I could do with some of that Irish laid back attitude though cos I do like my babies with me when they're poorly. sad already can't wait to pick her up. Hope your DM is ok.

Idliketobeabutterfly Thu 22-Sep-16 14:08:55

This early in reception no child is required to be in school anyhow so there is naff all they can do atm as school is only compulsory in term after child is five.
Our HT wants 100% attendance and the education welfare officer sends out letters and phones (never had one of these phone calls but others have).I think they'll ask for a meeting if it continues though.

MiaowTheCat Thu 22-Sep-16 15:14:44

What's she like? Bloody ridiculous to be honest.

She started our kids off at school by going on about how if they were off for four instances in the year she'd be demanding doctors notes for any subsequent absences. Funnily the GPs surgery when I mentioned this rolled their eyes and muttered words to the effect of "fat chance".

I don't keep mine off lightheartedly (they've been off once last year at nursery for chickenpox) - but at the end of the day the buck stops with me when it comes to looking after them and I'm not going to go against my better judgement and send an ill child in to have a miserable day at school to keep her Ofsted rating up. I'm also not going to spread the germy love among the rest of the class and add it to the teacher's list of bugs to come down with over the holidays as well!

rackhampearl Thu 22-Sep-16 15:29:00

That's exactly what I'm normally like Miaow my kids and my decisions. I'm constantly being told I'm neurotic though so agreed to take her in today. As it happens she looks dreadful and will NOT be going in tomorrow. It was the lack of sleep I didn't like, she needed some rest. As much as I felt reassured today I will be telling HT that daughter needs tomorrow and the weekend to get better. Did not know that about reception not required to attend school. Good to know.

WhattodoSue Thu 22-Sep-16 15:29:50

Mine stay off if they have a temperature or if they have D/V. Otherwise, they go in. Never had an issue with that basic rule. And last year, DD and DS had one day off each, based on my medical criteria. So far this year, DD has already had a day off.

HT and school strive for 97.5%, because they are fully aware that 100% as as school is unachievable. They do give out certificates for attendance, but you have to have 100% for Gold, something really high for Silver (over 98% or possibly even 99%) & Bronze.

Unlockable Thu 22-Sep-16 15:31:19

My daughters attendance was 78% for her last year of primary. Lots of very good reasons and HT was fine

Another child had 96% and parent was pulled in to explain.

I think communication is key

sarahsarah76 Thu 22-Sep-16 15:34:32

if your child is sick isnt it in the best interests of the HT to let you keep them off so the other children dont become unwell? I would've thought that...

EarthboundMisfit Thu 22-Sep-16 15:58:30

I'd have kept my DC off despite the HT.

rackhampearl Thu 22-Sep-16 17:15:16

DD came in from school and went straight to bed. She didn't even ask for a snack. I don't think that's right. She's only 4! She was exhausted. She caught me off guard today, my first child in school so didn't know what was right or not but if she tries pulling it again I'm just gonna say with all due respect I want her with me resting.

Sirzy Thu 22-Sep-16 17:18:23

Ds is in year 2 now, last year his attendance was around 74%, year before similar. The head was fine with it though because even before he was at the school I met with him to explain things so he fully understands the situation.

Idliketobeabutterfly Thu 22-Sep-16 17:28:54

Next time remind the head that she isn't compulsory age for school and that you are keeping her off.

Witchend Thu 22-Sep-16 19:08:55

Your mistake was basically saying "she's had a bad night so she won't be in."
The way to put it is"she's got a dreadful cough which sounds like its becoming a chest infection. She'll be back as soon as she's not infectious."

Lack of sleep sounds precious-parents I know that say that type of thing often are off on holiday or you hear they decided their dc was up to a day at Legoland by 10am.

My dc's school is very hot on attendance. However one of my dc was down at 82%, but I didn't have any issues with them. Because the school could see I was trying to get him in when he could. When he was a bit better he did half days. If he had a doctor's appointment at 10.30, he went in first if he could. If he was tired and didn't wake in time, I took him in when he was up.
Not once did I send him in when I felt he was better at home. Not once did they suggest that he should be in more.
They also agreed to keeping ibroprofen for him at school, and they let him come and sit in the medical room when things got too much for him and at break time.

lukeymom Sun 25-Sep-16 22:48:08

Our HT is really a bit too strict. She sent a letter before this year's summer break to say my son's attendance was only 95% she arranged a meeting with the attendance manager.I said the time was inconvenient after I phoned up asking to speak to him.He wasn't there. The school said he'd get back to me but he never did.
Also I requested my son have 5 days off for a holiday. I heard nothing.But while we were away the HT sent a letter to refuse consent and said I could go to court if I went on holiday. Still we had our holiday and nothing else was said. I know she's keeping an eye on us though.

lukeymom Sun 25-Sep-16 23:05:04

Our school rules are that the child has to go in even if they are feeling I'll and will be sent home.Even if they have an upset tummy and needing the loo.Even of their parent has died they are still meant to attend school. What if their parent is ill,too I'll to even get them dressed and do the school run? This was me the other day,I had a high temperature and then the shivers. I felt sick ,had tummy trouble.I felt severely dehydrated too. We were all in bed by 8pm.When I got up in the morning I felt like collapsing,I headed straight for the sofa,feeling so weak and delirious. My 4 yr old was having problems at school anyway and my 8 year old said he felt sick.I was trying my hardest to drag myself out to drop him at the gates,but I felt so ill I couldn't find the energy to get his uniform,or get myself dressed. So told school my both son's were ill. How would other parents manage if they feel too ill ? I know some have friends to rely upon but I don't.

irvineoneohone Mon 26-Sep-16 11:03:25

Like Witchend, my ds had very low attendance first 3 years of school.
We had no problem, since we communicated with school really well, and gave all the evidence(appointment card, letter, etc.) before being asked.
He had to take many days off just getting energy up and resting after being released from hospital as well, but school was fine.

Hopefully your dc gets stronger as she grows(mine(8) had no bad case of infection since last year), but if you have good communication with school/HT/teacher from start of her school life, it won't become a big problem, IME.

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