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School want to know too much

(350 Posts)
Balinahome Fri 10-Nov-17 15:50:26

My daughter started school this September (she’s just 5) and I had to request a days ansence due to an appointment I had which I’ve known about from before she started school. The reason stated on the request form was ‘for personal reasons I will not be able to collect my daughter from school’ As I wouldn’t be around to collect her from school and I had nobody else available to collect her so she had to go to my MIL for care until I returned from the appointment.
I received the form back from the headteacher which stated that the School cannot authorise avoidable absences which I am very irritated about as they have no knowledge of why I couldn’t collect her therefore how could they possibly know it was avoidable? I found the comment to be obtuse especially given that she is not yet of compulsory school age. I’ve sent the head a strongly worded (but not rude) email in response stating that my personal life has nothing to do with School AIBU?

Wolfiefan Fri 10-Nov-17 15:52:01

She's 5. The school have a duty to ensure regular attendance.
Can't she go home with another parent?

Sirzy Fri 10-Nov-17 15:52:37


Keep her off if really needed but don’t expect School to authorise a full day off for someone else’s appointment especially with no information about it.

Does it really need to be a full day?

BenLui Fri 10-Nov-17 15:58:40

Apologies your post isn’t terribly clear.

Am I right in thinking that due to medical treatment you won’t be able to pick your child up from school?

Because you don’t have any other child care options she is going to spend the day with your MIL instead, missing school entirely?

Tbh, although I sympathise with your position I can see why they didn’t authorise without more information.

Why can’t your MIL spend the day at your house, dropping off and picking up your DD?

Is there no school friend who might kindly invite her to play after school as a favour to help you out?

Why is your DD’s father unable to assist?

You don’t have to give every single detail of your life but you need to give them enough info to understand the situation.

If you’ve sent a rude email then yes, YABU I’m afraid. They aren’t interested in your life. They are interested in your DD’s wellbeyand education.

Balinahome Fri 10-Nov-17 15:59:00

She only started mid Sept so I don’t know any other parents well enough. I really don’t think I should have to disclose details of my personal life to the nosey receptionists, it was a very important appointment and I can’t just not turn up to collect her. I think the problem for me is that she’s not even of compulsory School age until Jan 2018 so the comment was irrelevant.

Lovemusic33 Fri 10-Nov-17 15:59:59

If it's just one day I wouldn't have bothered telling them and just call in sick in the morning. Schools need to know the reason why you are taking the child out so they can authorise it. If you tell them what it's for they maybe able to suggest a way of helping ( after school club, another parent collecting her? ).

BenLui Fri 10-Nov-17 16:00:30

But she has started regardless of it being compulsory or not. A day off disrupts her learning.

Why can’t your mil come to yours?

GingerIvy Fri 10-Nov-17 16:01:42

I'm right there with you, Balinahome. But then, my mother used to send notes into the school saying "Ivy was absent because it was necessary." grin

dantdmistedious Fri 10-Nov-17 16:02:14

If she is in the uk she is compulsory school age isn’t she?
Couldn’t your mil just pick her up?

PumpkinPicking841 Fri 10-Nov-17 16:04:24

You shouldn't have to provide details of your own personal appointments. You are not being unreasonable.

Balinahome Fri 10-Nov-17 16:04:34

I’m sorry but reception class is pretty much like nursery a day is no disruption to her learning! My MIL is 30 mins drive from me & she doesn’t drive so she cannot take her to/from school. She couldn’t stay at my home due to time restraints. I think you’re def right Linemusic33 in the future I will do that. I did not send a rude email I was just clear about my opinion.

Sirzy Fri 10-Nov-17 16:05:09

Be as clear as you like about your opinion still doesn’t mean they will authorise it!

claraschu Fri 10-Nov-17 16:05:17

Always lie to schools about absences. Just call in sick; it is never a good idea to tell them what is really going on- just leads to complications.

Sirzy Fri 10-Nov-17 16:06:17

And lying and encouraging your child to lie is such a good example to set and good way to build relations with the school isn’t it hmm

Wolfiefan Fri 10-Nov-17 16:07:53

Don't lie
Don't share details of your medical treatment with the school if you don't wish to
But you shouldn't be taking your child out of school because you have an appointment. Sort out childcare.

Balinahome Fri 10-Nov-17 16:08:11

She’s only in reception class so not fussed about a day, I’ll def call in sick next time

Catlovingmama Fri 10-Nov-17 16:08:42

This kind of thing is very annoying. School afaik can't enforce attendance of any under 5 year old. So it really doesn't matter if it's authorised or not?

Can you give them more info that is just an outline op? Eg it is a medical appt, without saying more

SoupDragon Fri 10-Nov-17 16:09:39

I really don’t think I should have to disclose details of my personal life to the nosey receptionists,

Nosey receptionists? I can't help thinking you are in for a rough ride in your School Parent career.

The school simply can't authorise absence for such a vague reason. They have no knowledge idea whether the absence is unavoidable as you gave them no information whatsoever - they've acted correctly.

Wolfiefan Fri 10-Nov-17 16:10:08

Don't lie.
Try fostering a good relationship with the school.
Reception does matter. They learn every day. Not just actual academic learning. But social skills and how to behave in the classroom and playground. Making friends etc.

BenLui Fri 10-Nov-17 16:11:21

In your position, for future instances of this kind I would be making serious efforts to make friends with other parents at school, investigate emergency use of the after school club or emergency child minder provision.

You can’t take her out for a whole day every time you have an appointment. You need to find a better alternative.

SoupDragon Fri 10-Nov-17 16:11:30

I did not send a rude email I was just clear about my opinion.

I can't help feeling that it's going to come across as rude. "strongly worded" emails usually do.

HeadsDownThumbsUpEveryone Fri 10-Nov-17 16:11:42

I am firstly quite offended you think they do not do anything in Reception or Nursery for that matter but I will ignore that and get to my main point. You are taking her out because you have an appointment, you say it is just one day but what happens when she inevitably gets unwell (as almost all children in Reception do) and therefore needs more time off? I honestly think if you knew about it for so long you should have sorted out additional childcare taking her out of school should not be the answer.

passthecremeeggs Fri 10-Nov-17 16:12:17

Don't lie if there's a next time - you either then have to tell your child to lie as well (not a great example) or risk your child dropping you in it when asked about being ill the next day and they say they weren't...

LoafEater Fri 10-Nov-17 16:12:59

You're 7 weeks in to 12 year school life and moaning already!? You need to relax.

StatueInTheSky Fri 10-Nov-17 16:14:11

I would reply "I am not requesting your permission, I am merely informing you that my child will not be at school on that date."

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