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Attendance recording/Flexi-schooling/Pre-existing medical conditions - Help - I think I need legislation

(12 Posts)
KatyMac Fri 14-Feb-14 15:10:02

DD (16yo - Yr11) has uncontrolled asthma - this means she gets an increased number of upper & lower respiratory infections,in addition to having asthma attacks leading to tiredness. The school have decided that I am not allowed to say when she is too ill to attend - I have to send her in for them to send her home. I did this Tues/Wed/Thurs last week (& she was sent home each day) but on Friday she was so ill I kept her off. I didn't see the GP as he wouldn't want to see a 16yo with a cold. She has been given unauthorised absence & I am annoyed.

She flexi schools as she attends college on Saturdays & Sundays in addition to 5 days at school (she starts late on a Friday & leaves early on a Tuesday - losing 2 lessons 'Ethics' & 'PE'). The school seem to have no problem 'not' recording Tuesday afternoons however are recording Friday mornings as 'Late'. Being 'late' means it is not an attendance issue however I think it implies a certain amount of laxity on the part of DD, when in almost half of the allowed lates she could have had, she went in to complete additional work or outstanding coursework due to her other committments (so she attended when she didn't have to)

I feel bullied and intimidated by the school & it's not a nice way to feel. I also have a daughter that 'complies' and hates rule breaking and for her it becomes a big issue especially if they 'suddenly' make Prom attendance a result of school attendance. Although we have been told by the year head that DD can attend despite her attendance level - DD initially read the letter & cried.

Can anyone help with legislation I can take in or any other help?

KatyMac Fri 14-Feb-14 20:19:54


K999 Fri 14-Feb-14 20:27:46

Disability Discrimination Act??

K999 Fri 14-Feb-14 20:31:42

Call the Disability Rights Commission on 08457 622633 for advice smile

KatyMac Fri 14-Feb-14 20:32:54

Oh maybe yes (I thought it was the equalities act now but that is a good idea)

K999 Fri 14-Feb-14 20:45:00

If a condition severely impairs your ability etc it may be classed as a disability. If so there may be protection under the DD Act.

KatyMac Fri 14-Feb-14 20:51:54

Thanks great idea

lougle Fri 14-Feb-14 20:52:03

The recording of absence thing is correct, KatyMac:

The school day is split into sessions. The morning session is defined by morning registration. If she isn't there for morning registration but arrives later, she is 'late'.

The afternoon session is defined by afternoon registration. If she is there for afternoon registration but leaves later, she has 'attended' and there is no measure for 'leaving early.'

The unauthorised absence thing is not fair, but you can only challenge it so far. At the end of the day, if the LA/school has decided that you should provide medical proof for each absence and you don't, they can record it as unauthorised. I don't agree with it, but it's the way of it.

I hesitate to say this, but do you think your DD's very heavy workload may contribute to her overall susceptibility to illness?

KatyMac Sat 15-Feb-14 09:08:18

Yes - I agree.

It's actually been better with the regular dancing as I think it acts as physio. I keep hoping it will slow down a bit, which it did after auditions & will again after Easter & then again after exams.

Although teaching her 'less is more' is tricky at least after last year she is listening to her body more. She takes her meds better than she ever has is more emotionally stable, happier and generally fitter (with surprisingly much less illness - just when she gets it hits harder)

But the late thing is interesting as she only has 9 so there must have been 8 or 9 times she has voluntarily come in early to do catch up - not the actions of a child avoiding school. She doesn't attend afternoon registration when she goes home, as she goes at the start of lunch.

Yesterday & today the GP prescribed amoxy for Bronchitis & they haven't classed that as authorised

(sorry I typed that last night but everything went away for a bit....)

Saracen Sat 15-Feb-14 11:03:09

The only bit of your question I can answer is the flexischooling one. It depends whether the school are taking responsibility for your dd while she is at college. If so, it is "education off-site", attendance code B. If not, it is a flexischooling arrangement and is an authorised absence, but they can't call it education off-site. (Presumably they agreed to it?? If not, obviously it is unauthorised absence.)

So I guess she shouldn't be marked late if she is being educated off-site, but if she is being flexischooled then she is late.

Follow the links here to the legislation and last year's "clarification" from the DfE:

KatyMac Sat 15-Feb-14 13:09:46

She spends Saturday & Sunday at college in London (which is why Lougle asked if she was doing too much - which of course she is)

The school has given her 2 lessons off as a gesture towards flexi-schooling - I don't think it's enough but how far can you push it

I suggested doing a reduced number of GCSEs and have got it down from the equivalent of 17 to the equivalent of 13 but I should have pushed for 1 more to have been dropped

I'll look at that link - thanks

KatyMac Wed 26-Feb-14 14:21:22

My/DD's medical evidence was submitted to a the attendance group meeting who decided if it was valid or not

They have decided it was valid & have removed the unauthorised absences

I am speechless

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