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absense marked as "unauthorised" because child kept home 'till properly well

(24 Posts)
distinct123455 Fri 03-Feb-17 10:10:30


My ds has just had a really nasty tummy bug and has a history of lurching from one bug to the next if I send him back to soon.

I'm playing it safe this time and keeping him home until he is able eat a normal range of foods (meat, and potatoes and drink juice)

He's just reaching that stage now, but the school has written to say that they are marking his absense as "unauthorised" they don't agree with me getting him properly well to avoid him sliding straight into another illness.

I'm disgusted with this attitude to the health of a 6 year old child, but kind of worried by the combative attitude of the ewo.

I do wonder if we should just remove ds to an independent school, where they might have an ounce of sense about these things. I wondered if anyone might have any insight into this situation?

For background, ds had severe sleep apnoea as a baby and toddler and has food intolerance. He lost 35% of attendance in reception and year 1 but has been 100% this year so far after me giving much more iron in his diet.

I have something like CFS due to the massive workload of his early sleepless years and the constant incompetence of medics who should have helped us, and am often labelled as "anxious", thought I would call it tired.


AreWeThereYet000 Fri 03-Feb-17 10:20:55

I think I have to agree with the school, if he is over the illness, is past the 48 hour 'off school period' and the only thing is he is not back to full appetite there is no reason to keep him off. When adults are ill it sometimes takes a couple of days to get an appetite back. He will be missing out on learning for something that may or may not happen (a different bug)

100% attendance this year so far isn't exactly a major deal, the school year started in September and there has been a break over Christmas so 3/3.5 months - the majority of children will have 100% attendance so far.

I think you need to work on your anxiety or tiredness as you say before pulling him out of school as you'll probably find the next school and the one after that will not be happy about you keeping a child off incase they pick something up.

Sorry that sounds harsher than it's meant to. X

PossumInAPearTree Fri 03-Feb-17 10:24:53

How long has he been off?

wickerlampshade Fri 03-Feb-17 10:27:56

how long was he off?

Gooseygoosey12345 Fri 03-Feb-17 10:28:14

I don't think YABU at all. Their health is important, what's the point in sending him back for a few days to catch something else and be off again. Let him get better and he won't have to be off again so soon. I would definitely take this up with the school, it's unreasonable. I don't think you should have to move him but if you think that's best then go for it.

distinct123455 Fri 03-Feb-17 11:33:01

Thanks Goosey That's what I think too. It's 6 days - Friday to Friday.

tbh, I think it may be too complicated for a thread like this. I've replied to the school. Don't worry about it.

cantkeepawayforever Fri 03-Feb-17 11:53:15

So 8 days in total ill with a tummy bug?

How many days did he actually have D+V for? If his last episode of D+V was on e.g Saturday, then he would have been OK to return to school on Tuesday by 'normal' reckoning (48 hours after last episode). You would then have kept him off for a further 4 days?

Obviously if he was still actively being ill on Wednesday, then the 48 hours would have taken you up to today anyway.

All small children catch bugs pretty frequently, however robust their general health is, and I think for everyone it feels that when they first start school or nursery they get one bug after another - that's absolutely normal. Even as an adult, as a teacher I reckon to have a minor bug of some kind at least once, often twice per half term simply because I share a room 6.5 hours a day with a class full of children. Given his medical history, it may be that you are ascribing this very normal phenomenon to something individual to him, rather than just part of having a small child?

If you are tired or anxious yourself, it can make 'what would normally be done' in these circumstances quite hard to judge. Perhaps talking to a doctor next time you take your DS about whether they would advise a longer period of convalescence for him than for other children after common bugs would perhaps be useful, just to get an 'external medical view'? That would also help wrt the school and EWO.

Doglikeafox Fri 03-Feb-17 11:56:27

tbh, I think it may be too complicated for a thread like this. I've replied to the school. Don't worry about it.
hmm are you insinuating we're a bit too thick to understand?

Sirzy Fri 03-Feb-17 11:57:07

Having seen your other threads I have to say I can understand the schools stance. You can't keep him off indefinitely and when he has had such low attendances that will ring alarm bells.

However, and I may be barking up the completely wrong tree, but from what you have said here and on the thread earlier this week do you have some sort of health anxiety? You seem to have a very long list of things he "may" have.

empirerecordsrocked Fri 03-Feb-17 12:15:09

I think the school is right.

cantkeepawayforever Fri 03-Feb-17 12:17:19

Just made the link, thanks Sirzy.

You do seem to worry quite a lot about your DS 'maybe' becoming ill - if he does too much, if he goes back to school too soon etc.

Having taught children with medical difficulties / disabilities ranging from mild to life-limiting, I would say that IME the best outcomes - in terms of mental and physical health and happiness, as well as education - have come when the parents and child have adopted a very 'live for the day' attitude, a 'live life as normally as possible' approach, hiding the inevitable (and completely understandable) adult fears about the future and what may happen.

Apologies if I am completely barking up the wrong tree.

SitsOnFence Fri 03-Feb-17 12:17:55

On the face of it, it does seem like maybe he should be back at school.

That said, I think schools are sometimes their own worst enemy when it comes to absences. Ours won't send children home unless they are visibly broken and/or vomiting. They are also very reluctant to let poorly children sit things like PE and swimming out. There's a strange sort of Orwellian double-think to it: On the one hand, letter after letter after letter after letter reiterates that if your child is not vomiting and is well enough to be out of bed, they should be sent in and the school will send them home if needed (hint: they won't). On the other hand, when the child is at school, they are told that if they're not well enough to do PE/swimming etc, they shouldn't be at school. Since they are at school, they must be well enough to join in. Even if they are sent in with a note, they are chivied into joining in. Last year I had a child with a broken and pinned arm encouraged to do PE and, the same unfortunate child, first day back and still recovering from a nasty ear infection and perforated eardrum, sent out onto the freezing cold windy playing field for games after school agreed they'd keep her inside for a few days.

irvineoneohone Fri 03-Feb-17 12:21:08

Just get proper diagnosis from doctor, than dealing with school would be a lot easier. (Like I said on other thread, we had no problem from school even my ds' attendance was under 85% for 3 years in the row.)

qwertyuiopasdfghjkl Fri 03-Feb-17 12:22:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sirzy Fri 03-Feb-17 12:23:21

cant that's the view I have always taken with ds, he has enough problems without me adding a "you can't do that" attitude into it!

Ds attendance was 75% last year, we didn't have any problems with school though as everything was well documented and I worked with the school to get him back in as soon as he is physically well enough to do so.

wickerlampshade Fri 03-Feb-17 12:28:40

Just get proper diagnosis from doctor,

for a stomach upset? please don't do that, there is nothing a GP can add and we have enough pressure on appointments as it is

irvineoneohone Fri 03-Feb-17 12:34:08

wickerlampshade, no not that.
OP was saying her ds maybe anemic, maybe coeliac on the other thread without being tested.

user1471537877 Fri 03-Feb-17 12:44:36


I answered on your previous thread, I'm going to throw a bit of a curve ball here

Have you been tested for coeliac disease and had your B12 levels checked?

You've previously raised coeliac disease as a possibility for your son, both my children have it inherited from me

I had M.E for 10 years before it was finally linked to coeliac disease and pernicious anaemia, symptoms of pernicious anaemia can include the type of worrying you seem to be suffering with

We all were quite sickly but since coming off gluten and correcting our vitamin deficiencies we rarely get bugs

I still stand by what I said previously, if a child isn't eating and drinking adequately they shouldn't be in school, if he had the bug I think he had school are just wrong but only interested in their statistics sadly

CripsSandwiches Fri 03-Feb-17 14:32:33

are you insinuating we're a bit too thick to understand? Bit defensive she probably doesn't want to make a huge post with loads of identifying details in it!

catkind Fri 03-Feb-17 17:28:14

When was the last diarrhoea episode? I would agree with you that child hasn't thrown up/had diarrhoea because child hasn't eaten does not count as recovered. It wouldn't surprise me the diarrhoea subsequent to a tummy bug keeping them off for a week. But do school have reason to think he was actually recovered sooner?

Wolfiefan Fri 03-Feb-17 17:34:10

6 days is a very long time off. Did it really take that long for him to be well enough for school? I can see why they're worried.
And yes you do sound anxious actually.

MiaowTheCat Fri 03-Feb-17 18:42:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CherryBlini Fri 03-Feb-17 20:33:54

You need to seek help for your own issues I think. The school WILL pick up on the fact that you are keeping him off for no good reason and they will involve outside agencies to assist you if they feel you need support

Amaried Fri 03-Feb-17 21:26:51

I also think that you are being unreasonable. Keeping kids off to build them up is totally unnecessary and given how often kids that age get sick could lead to very significant amount of time off which won't help your child in school either socially or academically
You sound a very very pfb to be honest and could be in for a very tough time during the school years if this is how you be started .

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