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Unauthorised absence, despite me phoning the school office

(14 Posts)
BigSandyBalls2015 Tue 08-Mar-16 21:27:19

DD is in year 10 and has had approx 10 days off during this school year due to anxiety - due to a sickness phobia - and more recently chest pains. After the last absence before half term I received a letter from the school attendance officer:

"On a recent inspection of our registers by the Education Welfare Officer it was brought to our attention that your DD has had more than six days of illness since the start of the school year.

Due to this level of illness I must ask that if any further absence occurs evidence must be received by the school that shows that the pupil has been absent and is being supported by a doctor. This evidence can be in the form of a letter from the doctor, a prescription or an appointment card shoeing name, date and time of appt."

The letter then goes on to explain the term 'unauthorised absence':

"The term refers to an absence from school for which no explanation has been received by the school from the parent and no contact has been made by the parents. It also refers to an occasion whereby the parent has notified the school of the absence but the school do not agree that the absence is warranted so will mark this as an 'unauthorised absence'.

So roll on to yesterday, DD woke up with chest pains, these have been investigated previously and heart etc is fine, prob muscular, but DD had a panic attack convinced the hospital had missed something, floods of tears, feeling sick, in a terrible state. I couldn't have sent her to school like that.

But I have no proof for the school, as there was no appt, no prescription. How do I handle this? How do parents with kids with anxiety issues get round all these bollocking rules, it's stressful enough dealing with kids like this without school being on our case, it's really pissed me off, as though I'm just keeping her off for nothing.

rosebiggs Tue 08-Mar-16 21:29:20

You need to get a note from the GP when she is absent for anxiety. Is she under CAMHS?

bibbitybobbityyhat Tue 08-Mar-16 21:30:20

What treatment is she having for her anxiety? I would assume if she is having regular talking therapy and/or medication then GP can write a letter of confirmation that she is under his/her care for an ongoing issue.

BigSandyBalls2015 Tue 08-Mar-16 21:31:27

We were told the waiting list for CAHMS is over a year and she wouldn't be considered a priority as she wasn't self harming or suicidal.

BigSandyBalls2015 Tue 08-Mar-16 21:32:38

No medication or treatment, we were given a couple of websites to look at.

Myusername2015 Tue 08-Mar-16 21:34:02

Hi I'm a teacher and head of year. You need to go back to the school and see what support they can offer you. Have they suggested an EHA? X

rosebiggs Tue 08-Mar-16 21:53:38

Try to get her on the waiting list for CAMHS and go to see your GP about the panic attacks. Once you have something 'on file' you will find it easier to justify her absence to the EWO.

BigSandyBalls2015 Tue 08-Mar-16 21:55:37

What's an EHA?

Myusername2015 Tue 08-Mar-16 22:13:49

Early help assessment; it's basically a document where the school and you document the issues and a support plan is put in place with agency support. You need to get the school to be proactive about what they are doing to help

SueLawleyandNicholasWitchell Tue 08-Mar-16 22:47:50

Not sure how much the school can help with chest pains?

crazytime Tue 08-Mar-16 23:07:02

Are all her symptoms related to her sickness phobia
I ask as I am an adult who has had a vomit phobia since a child . Having had several absences from school I finally managed to explain the added stress going into the hall for assembly was causing ( someone was sick in there in the first week ) A lovely teacher supported me and just said...Don't go to assembly then. Over the years I managed to return but only sitting by the door. This is a small part of how it affects me, but extra things can add to the anxiety ( chest pains could be part of this ) e.g school trips if a coach trip is required. This may not be the sickness phobia you refer to but even so the school may be able to help manage the anxiety situations ?

creampie Wed 09-Mar-16 09:42:08

Get her on the waiting list for CAMHS. School avoidance will also be a valid referral, as well as the things you mention

MyballsareSandy2015 Wed 09-Mar-16 12:37:06

Thanks all. She went to school today despite saying her chest really hurts. She was begging me to work from home, she's always happier to go if she knows I'm at home. I find this really puzzling as she's a sociable girl, happy to go on sleepovers and away on school residential trips. She just seems so complex and I struggle to help her in the right way.

admission Wed 09-Mar-16 14:44:54

I would say it is about knowing where she can get hold of you if she has a crisis, not about being in unfamiliar places.
The reality is that whether the absence is unauthorised or authorised as in it is medical, it is still absence and is recorded as such on the school records.
The school are in my opinion also being somewhat misleading. Typically there is no way that the EWO is usually interested unless the level of absence is below 85%. So it is the school who know how much absence you have had and when they will be aiming for 95%+ attendance it is in their interest to be insuring your daughter is in school.

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