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Is this school policy flawed?

(20 Posts)
Lidlfix Wed 20-Apr-16 20:13:00

Back story - my 16 (nearer to 17 year old) DD2 had Drs appt today near to end of school day today. School office didn't want to allow her to leave as she didn't have a letter from a parent. They phoned me on my mobile to confirm before they'd let her go. I said I thought an over 16 could sign out - they said no that local authority policy was letter from parent any age.

I have concerns about this. I work as a teacher in the same LA and our senior pupils over 16 can sign in and out. That means it is a school not LA policy - I get that school office might not know there's a difference. I knew about DD2's appt as her coughing is keeping us all awake. There are many reasons young people might want to seek medical help without parental knowledge from (perfectly legal) contraceptive advice to MH support.

I feel that school's policy directly challenges their pupils' right to medical confidentiality.

DD2 says "I'm a pure Beamer" and not to dare contact school. Feel like I can't contact education department as I'd be quizzing my own employers .

Scottish state school if that makes any difference. Just wondered if anyone had any knowledge or views on the matter? TIA

biscuitkumquat Wed 20-Apr-16 20:15:00

No advice OP, but haven't heard the phrase "I'm a pure beamer" for years. Brought a smile to my face.

cansu Wed 20-Apr-16 20:18:42

If your dd is in year 11 then yes I would expect her to need a note to leave school early. The arrangements for sixth form are possibly different. However you need to ask yourself how you would feel if say your dd was allowed to just sign herself out saying she had an appointment and instead was involved in something dangerous or was injured. Would you still be OK with the school taking her word for it or would you be saying they were responsible for her and should have checked with you?

lamusic Wed 20-Apr-16 20:19:59

DDs school require a phone call or a letter in so they can get a sign out slip which the relevant teachers have to sign (classes they are missing etc)

BerylStreep Wed 20-Apr-16 20:20:24

I think you raise good points - ones I wouldn't have thought about before. Having said that, I know when I was 16 I probably would have abused it, so I can see why the school have the policy - they probably just haven't thought about the wider implications.

Perhaps a letter to the school asking them to review their policy for the reasons you state.

SenecaFalls Wed 20-Apr-16 20:26:04

It does seem a bit odd that people can marry without parental consent at 16 in Scotland, but not leave school for an appointment without it.

BerylStreep Wed 20-Apr-16 20:30:22

Seneca so if they are leaving school for the purposes of getting married that day they need to ask permission to leave school, but not for the wedding? grin

tilliebob Wed 20-Apr-16 20:32:47

I've just written a letter for DS1 to take to school tomorrow for permission to leave school early on Friday for a dentist appt. The S5's can't sign in and out but the S6's can, as many of them are not on full timetables.

prettybird Wed 20-Apr-16 20:39:09

I presume if she's nearer 17, then she's in S5 (for the English MNers, Y12).

I know the some of the consent forms that ds brings home for trips away, I have to sign but after he's 16, he can sign.

Even now (at 15), he's handed in an appointment form for when he had to go to the GP for a blood test. If done the note for the initial GP appointment - this was a follow up.

This is in Glasgow.

I'd write to the year head, asking for clarification - as you put it on here, citing potential confidentiality and your knowledge of the council's actual age-related procedures.

prettybird Wed 20-Apr-16 20:41:26

"I'd done the note....." - not "If..." blush

StKildasNun Wed 20-Apr-16 20:44:51

She could forge a letter if she didnt' want you to know.

SenecaFalls Wed 20-Apr-16 20:46:27

I'm not Scottish so correct me if I am wrong, but I think the age of legal majority in Scotland is 16 so that would seem relevant.

prettybird Wed 20-Apr-16 20:49:41

Missed the bit about your dd not wanting you to contact the school.

Still think you should contact the school asking for clarification. Do you know anyone on the Parent Council who you could ask to keep it at arm's length?

OneMagnumisneverenough Wed 20-Apr-16 23:01:12

cansu Whilst it shouldn't make a difference I suppose, since in Scotland 5th and 6th year (Yr 12/6th form or whatever) is done in the same school (High school form age 12-18) rather than going to a 6th form college, it probably feels different for the schools as there is not the same delineation of a separate system of education for that age group. They are effectively senior pupils in High School.

I definitely agree that it needs looked at especially given that 16 year olds can vote, get married etc without parental permission it does seem a bit odd that they need a letter to leave the school, but then I can also see it from their position in that they are in loco parentis I presume for all pupils and I would imagine that a parent could be very angry and upset if their 16 year old was meant to be in school and was instead out and about and was involved in an accident and as far as you were concerned he or she was the school's responsibility and they didn't make you aware they weren't in school.

OneMagnumisneverenough Wed 20-Apr-16 23:02:33

Sorry, that doesn't make much sense since I seem to have lost the ability to use a full stop! I need to go to bed smile

AgentProvocateur Wed 20-Apr-16 23:13:51

"You're a pure beamer!" Brilliant. Not heard that for years.

MatthewWrightResearch Thu 21-Apr-16 14:22:26

Sorry nothing to add but "pure beamer" gave me a wee giggle, I've not heard that saying for years grin

prettybird Thu 21-Apr-16 14:47:09

Glasgow City Council definitely allows 16 year olds to consent - so by this time of year, that's some of the S4s and all of the S5s.

Here are the consent forms for 2 types of "out of school" activity. Interestingly they're called "Parent/Carer/Young Person Consent Form.

Lidlfix Fri 22-Apr-16 18:15:26

Thanks for replies some interesting perspectives. School I teach uses a similar form to Prettybird's for permission. Did a bit of digging into DD's school policy. Wonderfully vague! School age pupils need parental notification (letter or call) for appointments.

No clarification of what that constitutes so in theory an 18 year old would need a note hmm.

Just feel this exemplifies the way young people today are 'children' for as long as it suits 'adults'. A friend who works in FE has to begin every new year with his "I won't take calls,letters or emails from your parents, you are students who've chosen to be here" talk.

I suppose it was the norm to leave school at 16 25 years ago and now it's the norm to stay.

DD doesn't want me do anything so I will respect that but may wait till next Parent Council meeting and ask an in general question about what school age is and then raise confidentiality point if needed.

As DD pointed out the admin staff member she spoke to is 'ae a misery' and might well have been have disbelieved her age as she is a tottie Wee thing.

prettybird Fri 22-Apr-16 18:29:08

Sounds like a plan smile

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