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Received a letter from new school about DS absenses.

(79 Posts)
angelcake99 Fri 09-Oct-09 14:36:56

Ds has only been in his new reception class 5 weeks, and in that time he has been ill 3 times. I kept him off for a two day periods because he had a sky high temperature and was dizzy and sick. the other period of sickness was flu with a raging temp and then viral conjunctivitis.
I phone school every day to tell them and sent him back with letters fully explaining why he had been absent.

Now I have received a letter from the Headteacher asking me to see him as the Education Welfare Officer has flagged us up as Ds was off a monday and a tuesday of different weeks. i am stunned that this has been noted so early on in the year. Does anyone else have experience of this?

I'm really quite narked about it, because my son has picked up everything going since he has attended this nursery and school, I have an appointment next week what should I say?
Getting worked up about it

ramonaquimby Fri 09-Oct-09 14:45:48

please don't get worked up, it's standard stuff, don't be all defensive about it - you've done all you should have done (ie informed school) and they are just record keeping.

angelcake99 Fri 09-Oct-09 14:47:37

thanks ramonaquimby that is what DP said, that it is more than likely a standard letter.

piscesmoon Fri 09-Oct-09 14:48:49

Just go in and explain. You are a new parent and they don't know you -there is no need to be defensive, it is just unfortunate that he has picked up everything going.

ChilloHippi Fri 09-Oct-09 14:49:58

Yes it's standard procedure as, although a child can get ill 3 times in 5 weeks, it could be something to worry about for some children.

ampere Fri 09-Oct-09 14:55:11

Sadly you are getting tarred with the anti-discrimination brush. Because there are SOME DCs out there whose parents don't give a toss whether they're at school or not, the schools check up. Because they risk being seen to discriminate against 'a certain type' of parent in singling them alone out for a 'Please Explain', EVERYONE gets hauled in.

Don't worry!

DaisymooSteiner Fri 09-Oct-09 15:00:04

I'd be tempted to point out that a child doesn't need to be in full time education until the term after his/her fifth birthday.

piscesmoon Fri 09-Oct-09 21:55:16

They are just doing their job. There is no need to point anything out or get defensive- just explain.

LynetteScavo Fri 09-Oct-09 22:03:52

Interesting that this would happen to a 4yo, who is not of compulary shool age yet. (Am I right?)

The school is probably a good one, IMO, if they have got the EWO on your case already.

I'm also stunned it has been noted so early in the year.

Look at it as an oportunity to have an extra chat with the head. I tihnk it's great that he's making time to see you.

If you want to get on your high horse, question the schools hygene/handwashin.....for your DS suffering from so many illnesses since he started nursery/school. wink

angelcake99 Fri 09-Oct-09 22:16:29

Yes, Lynette he is 4. I know I was a bit worked up about it all earlier, after reading the replies I have calmed down about it. I agree it will be a chance to talk to the head and I need to explain that Ds just seems to pick up everything going round at school.

Goblinchild Fri 09-Oct-09 22:23:09

Our EWO came in last week, checked the register s and will be following up patterns of absence to see if some families need more support or information/guidance.
I take it that you don't have any older children in the system? It's just good care on the part of the school and other professionals involved with your children. Why so cross?

Millenniumbug Fri 09-Oct-09 23:48:19

This type of thing is just standard procedure. The Educational Welfare Officer comes into school, goes through the register and automatically flags up anyone with high absences. In not sending you the automatic EWO letter, the school is being as easy-going as they officially can. Imagine that a child had been off school and then something tragic happened and then the school and EWO had done nothing to follow up the absences? This is obviously not so in your case, but the school's hands are tied. Have a chat with your parent governor if you are concerned - but you shouldn't be. I don't know why Lynette should immediately want to get on her, "high horse." Please go into school and calmly, reasonably state your reasons - if you go in guns blazing then you won't be doing yourself justice. This really is a routine procedure - at my DS's school they phone home by 9.10am if they have not heard why a child is absent, and phone the EWO by 9.30 if they have still not been contacted. At least you can be sure that your school cares about where your child is! Good Luck - I hope you get on OK

angelcake99 Sat 10-Oct-09 08:25:27

thanks for the responses everyone. Yes, Ds is my first child to go to school, so I didn't really understand that alot of this is standard proceedure. After reading the posts on here I feel so much better about it all and realise that the school is doing its job, and for that I should be pleased. Thanks everyone! I am so pleased that I decided to post on here first istead of going into school and getting

HeBewitcheditude Sat 10-Oct-09 08:51:34

Yes you just have to get used to being treated like an idiot or a chav by schools. That's the default position and once you realise that and that they're not personally insulting you, you'll find it much easier to tolerate the patronising and/ or stern tone of most of the communications you will get from them. It's always irritating to be spoken to like an idiot, but get used to it, schools don't seem to know how not to talk to parents like idiots (and actually I suspect aren't that interested in not doing so).

piscesmoon Sat 10-Oct-09 09:11:33

They are not treating her like an idiot. Out of 5 weeks he has been off 3 times, probably the highest absence in the whole school. It is unfortunate, but they very often pick up things when they first start. It has shown up on the register and they would be failing the child if they didn't ask questions.It is quite handy to see the Head anyway and get to know them. It is a partnership-try and avoid a 'them and us' situation.

SomeGuy Sat 10-Oct-09 13:22:05

Yes they are. There is no discretion, no judgement, and an inappropriate recourse to officious third parties at the irst possible opportunity.

Goblinchild Sat 10-Oct-09 13:32:50

SomeGuy, the school can't refuse to allow the EWO to do her job, she doesn't answer to them.
She comes, and the school has a poor attendance record or not on her say-so.

piscesmoon Sat 10-Oct-09 13:52:43

They can't make a judgement and use their discretion unless they know her!!! That is what the Head has asked to do!
Once she has spoken they will realise that in future they can rely on her notes. At the moment they haven't a clue who she is and she may be someone who wants to recover from a tiring weekend!
It is quite simple, from the register, a new DC has had more time off than would be expected -so the Head asks the mother to pop in and discuss it. It isn't officious or inappropriate-merely sensible, and people doing their job and following up in the way that they should.

SomeGuy Sat 10-Oct-09 14:07:25

> SomeGuy, the school can't refuse to allow the EWO to do her job, she doesn't answer to them.

Exactly what I said. "no discretion, no judgement, and an inappropriate recourse to officious third parties at the first possible opportunity."

piscesmoon Sat 10-Oct-09 14:19:42

I think you have the thing around the wrong way Someguy-the EWO has brought it to the Head's notice. The Head is now going to use their judgement.

Tombliboobs Sat 10-Oct-09 14:28:48

I agree with Pisces, who imo has explained it very well.

piscesmoon Sat 10-Oct-09 14:33:06

Thank you Tombliboobs smile
I don't know how it works, but I would imagine the EWO flagged up something the Head hadn't noticed.

Smithagain Sat 10-Oct-09 14:36:12

Must say I'm surprised how chilled out you all are. Personally, I would be narked if I'd had a letter asking me to come in to school and explain these absences. OP has already explained absences, by reporting them properly at the time and following up with a letter explaining that her child has been sick. In those circumstances, I might be happy for the Head to phone up for a friendly chat. But I wouldn't expect to have to go into school, in my own time, to prove to them that I'm not lying!!!

Tombliboobs Sat 10-Oct-09 14:45:09

I do think with this kind of issue, some people just can't comprehend the reasons that parents might allow their children to have lots of absences and because they are good, caring parents they feel angry at a system which is trying to protect not only a child's right to education, but also their well being and safety.

They need to be sure that, as in the case of the OP, it is an entirely justifiable reason and not for many other reasons.

I would rather a school was on top of this because as well as the absence impacting on the child involved it can actually impact on all of the class.

Tombliboobs Sat 10-Oct-09 14:46:46

Also IME, it has to be said some people are good at following the system, regardless of their reasons for absence sad

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