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shitty letter from school re; attendance

(14 Posts)
DameMargotFountain Thu 08-Nov-12 20:08:12

just need a vent i suppose...

emptying DDs bookbag earlier and found a hand-written envelope with DDs name on it.

I opened it (since she's Y1 and not really entitled to letters in her own name as yet hmm )

Apparently her attendance has slipped to less than the national target and we are in danger of having Education Welfare and a possible court case brought against us - she is now classed as a 'persistent absentee' shock

Because they have had to include her managed start at her new school as fucking absences angry

She has ASD and started her new school 3 weeks into term, it was the fucking school's idea to start half days, and because i wanted her to feel comfortable and steadily build up the time she spent at school, we're now under immense scrutiny for it. angry angry

She's got a SALT clinic appt next week which will apparently tip her over the freaking limit so they'll have to call in the big guns, who will then be told that it was schools idea to start part time, but legally, it has to stand that DD has poor attendance hmm

What a crock of shit.

<swigs wine >

catstail Thu 08-Nov-12 20:12:41

I know its difficult not to get mad, but this is a very routine letter that has tripped of a computer somewhere. If you do receive any contact from a real person they will soon go away when you explain the phased start.

To put your mind at rest (and for future reference), is it possible to have the earlier absence reclassified eg authorised absence? or educated off site?

DameMargotFountain Thu 08-Nov-12 20:17:45


please say this is the case, we've just been allocated a proper support worker after months of waiting and i'm scared this will flag us up to them.

we've had to sign papers with the support service to say if we are seen to be working against their system we'll lose the support - i'm petrified this will happen and it'll plunge us back into the big bloody mess we were in this time last year

MyCannyBairn Thu 08-Nov-12 20:20:38

Those letters are infuriating, know how you feel.

catstail Thu 08-Nov-12 20:24:56

Here's one example that will reassure you, there are loads like this

Im sure someone who has experience of support wrkers will be along soon, but I dont think they would be remotely concerned that the attendance letter indicates that you are not working with them

DameMargotFountain Thu 08-Nov-12 20:31:08


i've over reacted haven't i?

TheLightPassenger Thu 08-Nov-12 20:36:27

don't panic, I had one of those letters as DS was ill at lot in reception year. I was really anxious, but the EWO was so, ahem, concerned that she never returned my phone message. It will be a box ticking/standard letter, so school can show they are doing all they can do boost attendance.

BUT i agree with your fury that the half days etc are being marked down like other absences when this is with full agreement of school, also the SALt appointment definitely should not be marked down in the same way as a sickie., they definitely have a separate category for these sort of specialist appointments.

cornybeefhash Thu 08-Nov-12 20:37:13

There can't be that many children with asd starting on half days in your school. Surely whoever puts the letter into the envelope has a brain?
I would write a letter back reminding school of the arrangement that was agreed about half days.

bochead Thu 08-Nov-12 20:39:15

Put a response into the HT in writing reiterating the situation re the managed start and copy it to whatever random dumbnut signed the attendance letter.

Do put in the letter that this attendance issue is now putting the family support at risk, thereby potentially increasing your child's stress levels and so is VERY counter productive as it undermines the core goal of all the other agencies currently working to support your child in your quest for her to feel safe and comfortable in the school environment.

It's a jobsworth hammer to shatter a very vulnerable nut at a sensitive time in her first term in a new setting.

I've phrased all the above wrong, I know, as my diplomat hat keeps slipping tonight - but hopefully it'l give you a gist of what to put on formal record to cover your back. (Be polite but firm!).

bochead Thu 08-Nov-12 20:43:46

The SALT appt should be marked as a medical appointment and the graduated intro marked down as authorised abscence. Failure to do so is an administrative error on the part of the school and therefore NOT your problem.

SALT is a medical appointment - failure to take a child to much needed medical appointments is regarded as an indicator of child neglect by most of the population (in SS). I loathe the way so much that is beyond our control is lazily blamed on parents by incomptetent professionals at times. Raising a SN child is such hard work without coping with other people's mistakes on top.

DameMargotFountain Thu 08-Nov-12 21:06:45

boc that is it exactly, the HT signed the letter but gave the task of addressing them to another member of staff who says she had to address them at home hmm - and didn't have access to records to check the details.

as for your diplomatic head, i have never even owned one blush and am rather bull in a china shop at the best of times.

i also think a letter to the HT asking for written confirmation that the managed start will be explained to any agencies as with full agreement might be in order...

bigbluebus Thu 08-Nov-12 21:24:33

Have you had the actual attendance breakdown sheet that shows all the categories of absence. As Bochead says, make sure that they have categorised the absences correctly so that the EWO can see exactly why your DD was off - and remember absences are recorded per half day.

neverputasockinatoaster Thu 08-Nov-12 21:37:58

I second (third, fourth?) getting confirmation in writing.

Get it all in writing.

DameMargotFountain Thu 08-Nov-12 21:44:55

no breakdown or details of where they got their figures from, and i will definitely be asking for written confirmation about agreed managed start

and it was going oh so well....

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