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School welfare officer letter for absences

(12 Posts)
D886 Fri 28-Apr-17 10:24:26

I posted here a couple of months ago on this subject, and have since changed my username.

My dds (in Reception and Y3) currently have lower that average attendance: my 8yo is just under 94% and my (only just) 5yo is just over 92%.

We have received a letter today from the new independent welfare officer our school are using. It's stating our dds absences, that they have 4 unauthorised absences each and that their attendance will be monitored - all pretty standard, I'm sure.

There is an issue though, in that we requested absence for the birth of our third child. The secretary have us good reason to think it would be granted. We didn't hear anything back so assumed it was okay to give them the 2 days we'd requested. However, it was turned down; after a bit of a tussle, the head has acknowledged in writing that letters denying the absence requests were never sent out. It was human error on their part. But our children still have those 4 unauthorised absence marks against them.

My youngest dd has only just turned 5 over the Easter holidays, so she was below statutory school age when all of her absences occurred.

I've been really upset by all of this since first being written to by the head in February. It's been quite damaging to mine and the school's relationship in that I don't feel like I can talk to the head anymore. The way things are done feel very robotic now. I'm feeling calmer about things, but I wonder if I should contact the EWO and say about school's error re. the unauthorised absences and also point out that dd2 was below statutory school age? Would the EWO pick that up with the school?

Tomorrowillbeachicken Fri 28-Apr-17 11:14:33

Tbh the letters are computer generated.

2014newme Fri 28-Apr-17 11:19:27

The letters are auto generated. I wouldn't be bothering you much with them but I would try to improve the attendance. I don't agree that children need time off school for the birth of a sibling.

RedSkyAtNight Fri 28-Apr-17 12:31:45

If you'd know the absence was unauthorized in advance, would it have made any difference to you. I'm guessing if you thought your DC needed time off for a sibling's birth (why?) it probably wouldn't.

Wolfiefan Fri 28-Apr-17 12:33:28

Why on earth would they grant absence for children for the birth of a sibling? confused

sonlypuppyfat Fri 28-Apr-17 12:36:28

Perhaps the OP found it difficult to get her kids to school while she had her baby

RedSkyAtNight Fri 28-Apr-17 12:39:26

I don't think finding it difficult to get your DC to school for a couple of days counts as a reason for requesting absence though? Presumably their father could have taken them, or the parent of a school friend (other parents are usually really happy to rally round in situations such as these)?

harderandharder2breathe Fri 28-Apr-17 15:58:55

The letters are automatic, just ignore it.

Not sure why your children needed two days off school for the birth of their sibling though, nor why you thought the school would approve it

LornaD40 Fri 28-Apr-17 23:13:10

The letters are not automatic, at least not in schools I have worked with. They're either done through word (mail merge with a human selecting the recipients!) or at a push, through SIMS with a human deciding who to...

D886 Sat 29-Apr-17 08:23:17

Thanks for your messages.

FWIW, I'd been in and out of hospital during the pg as I'd had problems. The children were very distressed and we wanted them to be home with our family just for a couple of days surrounding the birth. I was due to have an ELCS but was rushed in and ended up having an EMCS. So, not very straightforward and all quite scary.

If we'd known the absences had been denied, it would have affected our decision to keep them off for 2 days.

I know there's no real point digging my heels in as this is all a very automatic, robotic process. WRT attendance, of course my dcs will be in school when they're well enough to be. But they will not attend if they're too poorly (I'm talking a high temperature + symptoms, vomiting, diahorreha, that kind of thing. I don't keep my dcs off for just a cold!) I'm not prepared to comply wit sending my dcs to school when I know they're too ill to go.

D886 Sat 29-Apr-17 08:24:16

I thought the school would approve it because the secretary said to me: "It'll be fine. We usually approve it because we understand what a special time the birth of a sibling is."

Wh0Kn0wsWhereTheTimeGoes Sat 29-Apr-17 10:38:52

I think all you can do is put it behind you and hope your DCs stay well for the remainder of the year. The head teacher won't have given it more than a moment's thought and you have a lot of years relationship with the school ahead of you. Your DCs presumably know nothing about this, pick your battles and only dig in over things that really affect then. In any case contacting the EWO will not change the fact that the unauthorised absences took place.

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