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Is this common now, having to get some kind of evidence your child has been ill?

(48 Posts)
Deux Tue 08-Mar-16 13:55:59

This is a new one for me. DS has been ill and off school since Thursday last week. At first it seemed to be a flu type thing then morphed into a cold then into a sore throat and swollen glands.

I took him to the GP today and he has viral tonsillitis and will be off school till Thursday or Friday.

Anyway, the school have asked now for some evidence of illness either from a photocopy of prescribed medicine (none) or an appointment card.

Is this commonplace now? I wish I'd know beforehand as I could have picked up this evidence whilst I was there.

Is this admin/tick box gone mad?

Deux Tue 08-Mar-16 13:56:51

Oh and he has had full attendance thus far.

5madthings Tue 08-Mar-16 14:01:35

They can ask for evidence all they like but legally you don't have to provide it.

It's box ticking yes send to deter people from taking Un needed time off.

My son has had lots of time off for medical reasons, I have kept the school updated with his issues and appointments but am not providing them with copies of medical letters.

aginghippy Tue 08-Mar-16 14:03:21

Who has appointment cards for the gp? Doesn't everyone just phone for an appointment?

What would happen if you just told them that you have no evidence and the reasons why? They can't possibly punish him for being ill.

Helenluvsrob Tue 08-Mar-16 14:04:46

You don't have to provide evidence in these circumstances neither is it any part of your gps role. Do not be surprised if they refuse to pride such evidence. It is up to the school to police attendance.

The standard Gp response is that they will provide a medical report if requested in writing with appropriate consent and payment , by school of their standard fee for such work that lies outside the NHS.

gamerchick Tue 08-Mar-16 14:07:36

Yep this is the score now, I've hung up on the attendance officer over this very thing except I wasn't taking him to the docs.

You're risking an unauthorised absence if you don't provide what they want but I wouldn't worry.

Offer to bring him in so he can cough all over them if they want proof.

MrsPear Tue 08-Mar-16 14:09:35

5mad things does the hospital not send them copies? I know the reports for my sons audiology appointments go to the school as their address is at the bottom of the letter.

Yes op it is tick boxing and gps are already snowed under without having to provide sick notes for children.

Deux Tue 08-Mar-16 14:14:03

I'm just baffled by it all. I realise there are people taking the piss but if I wanted my DS to skive off school then I'd just do a day at a time, not 5 days.

I've rung the surgery and they can provide me with a stamped appointment card, no charge.

I'm tempted to rebel though and i suppose I'm taking it a bit personally, like they're calling me a liar. That's what's bothering me.

Helenluvsrob Tue 08-Mar-16 14:33:15

A stamped appointment card is a really lazy form of " evidence " that proves nothing except you booked an appointment.

I bet it doesn't say who it's for and it certainly doesn't cover the "
Ok I've checked him , no reason to be off school " consultations still telling school " doc said he had to be off school. " if they want to really be devious.

Deux Tue 08-Mar-16 14:56:50

Helen, Yes quite, my thoughts too. It is lazy and proves nothing.

DS could be in good health and I took him to the doctor about, say, his peanut allergy or something. The GP may have said that he's malingering, get him straight back to school. Or equally I could lie and say the GP says he's to stay off school till next Monday.

Oh well.

Dolallytats Tue 08-Mar-16 15:11:12

My sons primary school have started asking for a doctors note if they have time off either side of a school holiday.

Unfortunately my son has been off twice at these times fr perfectly normal illnesses that do not require a visit to the GP-a high temperature the first time and a short lived dodgy belly the second.

I'm not worrying about the unauthorised absences, I just think it's silly. What GP is going to be ok with parents wasting appointments to get a doctors note for their child? (This is what we have been told to provide).


5madthings Tue 08-Mar-16 16:01:36

mrspear no the hospital do not send the school letters and certainly not reports, you must have given permission for your son's information to be shared this way at some point.

Any letters from hospital go to us and our gp and we will share information that is relevant and necessary with the school, esp as ds2 gets older is really important we respect his right to privacy, it's hard enough being the kid that has lots of time off without worrying who knows what about his medical information and regardless of thar it is just not necessary for his school to have all such information.

Sidge Tue 08-Mar-16 16:10:55

It's ridiculous and timewasting and schools have no place requesting this "evidence".

Given that adults can self-certify for 7 days with no other evidence required then schools can not demand more. Here is the Gov.UK page regarding sick leave

I work in primary care and we have enough to do without fulfilling the petty requirements of education establishments hmm

I think it's high time parents stood up to schools asking for this sort of rubbish and knocked it on it's head.

hmcAsWas Tue 08-Mar-16 16:15:15

I'd be screwed if school asked us for this for dd who is currently off with acute anxiety - I guess I could take video footage on my phone of one of her meltdowns and her body wracked with sobs!

hmcAsWas Tue 08-Mar-16 16:15:48

(or record a conversation where she says that life isn't worth living)

maydancer Tue 08-Mar-16 18:04:28

I think it's high time parents stood up to schools asking for this sort of rubbish and knocked it on it's head.

I wonder if it happens in more deprived areas.I have not heard of any schools IRL asking for this sort of thing, and parents round here will certainly not be pushed about by school.

Deux Tue 08-Mar-16 18:41:58

We're not in a deprived area, the opposite in fact, the second wealthiest in the UK.

I've not heard of anyone else experiencing this but then again perhaps most absences for illness are less that 5 days.

It's the five days/10 sessions that has triggered this for me.

Kbear Tue 08-Mar-16 18:56:07

My DS has been off school with a virus, head cold, high temps, delirious at times with the temps, not eaten a proper meal for 10 days.... I kept him off yesterday in an attempt to get him eating again, he has no appetite and at 5.11 tall and aged 14, this is unusual and he was feeling weak and a bit dizzy.

I have rung school every day of his absence but they rang me yesterday to ask what was wrong with him.... I confirmed we weren't in Tenerife in the sunshine (haha) but he had been very poorly and I was hoping he'd be back today....

They asked for the box that the antibiotics came in so they can take a copy for the file - makes no odds to me... I duly sent it in.

DS went back to school today at his insistence although still not really eating (three halves of tinned pears last night....) and looked terrible. He was sick on the school field after a coughing fit and later rang and asked DH to pick him up after school as he didn't have the energy for the walk home.

I'm rambling, but my point is, the reason they do this is that some many people are swinging the lead I suppose but if you're not, why worry?

BeaufortBelle Tue 08-Mar-16 19:05:28

We had this when dd missed a mock. I wrote a polite letter saying I understood the request if it were for a public examination and of course I would ask my GP for a retrospective sick note if it was a legal requirement. My GP practice had informed me a non statutory note was £12.50 and if they could please confirm they would reimburse the charge I would happily arrange for a medical certificate to be provided. Never heard another word.

Deux Tue 08-Mar-16 19:38:49

Kbear, I'm not worried about it. Just baffled as I wasn't aware of this policy. It was new news for me.

Plus if I had known in advance then I could have requested this stamped appointment card when I was there instead of having to schlep to the surgery again.

Leslieknope45 Tue 08-Mar-16 19:43:30

It's not that schools want to do this. If attendance drops below a certain level it can trigger an automatic ofsted. So we teachers have to ask for stupid info like this. It's crap.

BeaufortBelle Tue 08-Mar-16 20:01:57

But there is no legal requirement. My response I'm afraid if pressed would be "I beg your pardon, are you questioning my integrity and honesty". If I confirm my child is ill I do not expect to be questioned and fail to see how such questioning has a positive impact on home/school relationships. I bet schools don't ask in a "would you mind awfully helping us out because we need auditable evidence for Ofsted" sort of way either.

Kbear Tue 08-Mar-16 20:03:25

I mean "why worry about sending a note" - just say you didn't realise this was needed and will do next time. They can't enforce it.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Tue 08-Mar-16 20:06:30

So what happens if a child is off for a week with vomiting and hasn't seen a GP? I wouldn't take dd to the dr for a tummy bug and if you're off for 48 hrs after last bout it could easily be a week off.

Are the school expecting you to waste an appt just so you can get proof?

I would tell them to bog off.

BrieAndChilli Tue 08-Mar-16 20:11:32

DS1 was off school for a month following emergency surgery for a ruptured appendix, I offered a hospital letter to the school but they said they didn't need it!

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