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Absence letter

(58 Posts)
Bowwowjangles Tue 12-Dec-17 16:53:06

Can anyone tell me, please? Can they send a letter of absence for a condition which the school are aware of and is medical grounds?

long story short - my 7-year-old has severe incontinence issues. She is under local hospital, incontinence specialist and GP (every two weeks for monitoring of urine infections.) She has a urine infection every month and tomorrow is being seen by another specialist at Alder Hey.

The school is fully aware of the situation. My daughter as you can imagine has had a lot of time away from school. But we ask for work to be sent home for her (her education does matter to us but not at the detriment of her health)

We have just received this standard but a strongly worded letter. Tackling it head on we have spoken to the head - who I kid you not said 'Well if she is being seen by Alder Hey it must be quite serious but can you tell Alder Hey she has to get back to school!!!!!

What can I do? Can I get in touch with the LEA myself and explain - I understand completely about why the need etc but surely there has to be some kind of leeway with this?

Any help and guidance appreciated thanks

grasspigeons Tue 12-Dec-17 17:06:31

I think you need to look at your schools 'Supporting Children with Medical Needs at school' policy which should be read in conjunction wit thh SEND code of practice. They are both statutory so your school should publish them and have them on the website. I think they are due to be updated soon so this info may change but ...

You should ask for an Individual Health Care Plan to be put in place - hopefully with the school nurse or another professional to help you fill it out in conjunction with the school and this should put some pressure on the school to support you in ways other than 'sending some work across'

In this policy there is a list of unacceptable practice - which includes 'penalising a child for absences due to the medical condition'

Bowwowjangles Tue 12-Dec-17 17:09:01

that is fantastic - thank you Grasspigeon.

It really makes me sad that after us updating them all the time that they have gone down this route.

JennyBlueWren Tue 12-Dec-17 19:29:41

I was going to suggest it was just an automated response which hadn't been stopped by human intervention but the Head's response is shocking!

TotemIcePole Tue 12-Dec-17 19:31:44

Crikey, thats awful OP. He should be ashamed.

Some good advice there, to go by.

Bowwowjangles Tue 12-Dec-17 19:40:11

Thank you.
Nope definitely what he said.
So far I have emailed parent partnership and drafted and email to the governors.

There have been other issues which we have let go, but this now needs addressing or we have another 4 years of this.

Enko Tue 12-Dec-17 19:49:55

OP we got one of these when DS was under Great Ormond Street Hospital care due to a serious kidney issue. I greatly resented it as well and wrote to the school stating so. I had kept the school very closely aware of his progress and they knew it was (thankfully short lived) however for the year this was a big issue he was sick a lot. School responded agreeing they had been kept informed but " their hands were tied" it stinks and really made me resentful to receive when we had been very good with communication. Additionally the school them selves had sent ds home several times when he was very unwell so knew first hand how badly this effected him.

irvineoneohone Tue 12-Dec-17 19:53:02

That is shocking, tbh. I have ds with lots of health issues and had really bad attendance in lower primary. Never had any pressure from school regarding his attendance.
If it was me, I would consider moving school after that comment from HT.

Bowwowjangles Tue 12-Dec-17 19:59:24

Oh Enko. That's awful. You would think that being under such well known hospitals. they would realise you don't just get sent there willy nilly. hmm

Irvineoneohone, yes to be honest we are contemplating moving her after term ends. If I have to I will home school (not something I ever thought I would have to consider)

Sirzy Thu 14-Dec-17 06:37:36

Is the comment about the hospital about her taking a whole day off for an appointment? I am not quite sure what the head is getting at otherwise

irvineoneohone Thu 14-Dec-17 06:51:20

Oh, is that what he means? Then, it's not unreasonable actually, depending how long appointment takes. We always take minimal time off school.

CharleneMonaco Thu 14-Dec-17 07:01:34

So the HT expects the OP to tell an extremely busy hospital to get a move on so DC can be back in time for afternoon registration?

Auntpetunia2015 Thu 14-Dec-17 07:04:39

as your saying Alder Hey I’m assuming you’re local to me, I was going to say it was the Council Education Welfare letter sent when attendance hits a certain point and offer sent by an EWO who is a bought in service and who acts quite autonomously from the school. Though usually someone from school keeps them in check especially with children with medical conditions. Therefore my suggestion was going to be just ignore it and keep taking appointment letters and letters from hospital in. I’m assuming you’ve got close links with SENCo and school nurse so her problems can be dealt with in school?
But the heads comment is shocking and I do think a letter to the Chair of Governors is in order.

Bowwowjangles Thu 14-Dec-17 08:25:34

No his comment was about her time off school overall. As we don't live local to hospital. He would know she wouldn't be able to get into school and she is already off school with urine infection and faecal impaction.
The hospital isn't local to us. We are under another and they referred to this hospital as more specialist.

No the letter was sent by the school and he just said he has to send them. No apologies, no we understand how poorly she is blah blah. Basically no empathy. Just bothered about figures than a child's needs and care.

We have asked to see a school nurse countless times, the hospital and incontince team have tried to get us seen by a school nurse and this has never happened.

We had our appointment at Alder Hey. After her ultrasound - her bladder was only 60% full - she emptied then went to the toilet 10 times in the space of 40 mins - while we waited for urologist.
They are going to give a daily dose of antibiotics, do a dye test on kidneys to make sure no scarring. Refer to a specialist incontince team and check all the results from samples. She has been having at least one a month for over 12 months!!
When we got home. She then had the runs everywhere about 10pm and I had to bath her.

I tried to patch her up and send back to school after first uti. But she had a poo accident because of the faecal impaction. School told me to take her back to Drs!!! What gets me mad is they know how poorly she is. The teachers sound relieved when she is off as it must be hardwork.

Bowwowjangles Thu 14-Dec-17 08:28:03

The SENCO initiated that she should be changed three times a day, whether wet or not as she leaks. This never happens and they only change her if she is wet.

Sirzy Thu 14-Dec-17 08:29:25

I really would just ignore the letters. You have enough going on without needing the added worry.

We get the letters every term and I just file them away.

On a side note worth checking if alder hey have any urology outreach clinics at a closer hospital. We are seeing our AH urologist this morning but her clinic is at the local hospital which makes life so much easier

Bowwowjangles Thu 14-Dec-17 09:24:06

The specialist just said we will have a fair few trips to Alder Hey. Yes I will check though. Good luck at your appointment, Sirzy.

Husband has just had a meeting with head. We are going to try and get her back tomorrow. But have said they change her 3 times as per agreed. He said is that what was agreed hmm Husband said you need to speak to your staff more.
Hubby laid the law down and said if she comes home with soiled knickers there will be trouble. That we want a EHCP in place and to see the school nurse. Head said 'legally I have to send those letters and we don't want you getting in trouble.' 'Your daughter needs to be able to read and write. Do the specialist know how much time off school she is having!!!' Husband said 'the priority is getting her well not your stats. And if you want to take it further bring it on!' But we will patch her up when though she is now having seepage etc from faecal impaction and antibiotics!! Head then said 'oh but we had the panto next week and will be away from school' tough you want her back you now need to step up to the plate and look after her.

Hate the fact that my daughters needs and emotional welfare are being compromised. All they think about how it affects them. How about the poor girl who is breaking her heart and saying 'I don't want this wee problem any more. Will I have it for ever. At high school someone said they don't let you go to the toilet!' A child of 7 shouldn't be looking behind to check for puddles. They should be thinking about lip gloss and daft things.

Sorry for all this waffle. I'm furious again. Will be sourcing email addresses today for - is it the SEND or SENCO for County? We have had dealings with them before for ds who's now at sn school. With two other children with sn they are messing with the wrong family. We've had to fight before and will again. angry

SuburbanRhonda Thu 14-Dec-17 09:33:46

A child of 7 shouldn't be looking behind to check for puddles. They should be thinking about lip gloss and daft things


Bowwowjangles Thu 14-Dec-17 09:53:17

Why the hmm face? So you think a child of 7 should be in fear of wetting themselves? Or that they shouldn't be thinking about things so trivial??

It was an example. Simply put, I don't want her to have to deal with things like this. Plenty of time for uti's etc when she is an adult.

irvineoneohone Thu 14-Dec-17 10:02:15

Oh no, HT sounds horrible and unsympathetic indeed. I am so sorry that's happening to you and your dd. flowers

Bowwowjangles Thu 14-Dec-17 10:04:34

Oh, and this little girl, who needs to learn to read and write, is top of her class! At parents evening, we were told, despite her issues she is excelling.

CheeseyToast Thu 14-Dec-17 10:06:06

Oh your poor little girl and poor you. So sorry OP, that's really rough.

Bowwowjangles Thu 14-Dec-17 10:08:35

Thanks, irvineoneohone, it is adding stress we certainly don't need at the moment.

I have three children all with additional needs. Life is hectic and stressful.

Bowwowjangles Thu 14-Dec-17 10:17:34

Thank you, Cheesytoast.

Bowwowjangles Thu 14-Dec-17 10:23:43

I think I need a plan of action.

Would IPSEA help with matters like this? Should I go the LEA first?

I'm copying in everyone I can think of in a very strongly worded email to the governors with screenshots of appointment letters and reports from specialists. I've emailed Parent Partnership for help but as yet no reply.

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