Unauthorised absence when DD was unwell

(25 Posts)
Seattleite Tue 18-Jul-17 09:01:26

DD is 14, in Y9 and overall we are very happy with her school. But they are super strict. Last Thursday they had their teenage jabs in school and on Friday morning DD was really miserable, woke up at 4am, had a fever of 101.4F (38.5C) and was so tired she couldn't sit at the kitchen table to eat breakfast. I thought it was a side effect of the jabs because it used to happen when she was little, so that was what I said when I phoned the school to report her absence. She went back to school yesterday and she was told by the Head of Year that her absence would be unauthorised, because the school nurses had said anyone with a reaction to the jabs should just take paracetemol and come in to school.

I'm not the type of parent to keep their child off school for any little thing and the number of times I've resisted DD screaming and crying and told her no, you CANNOT stay at home, it's just a cold. So I'm really annoyed. She was really miserable and I looked it up online, the NHS website says you should keep children off school when they have a temperature above 38C.

Just wanted to rant really and some reassurance that I am not being unreasonable to be annoyed!

OP’s posts: |
GreyCloudsToday Tue 18-Jul-17 09:02:59

YANBU! It's a school not a labour camp, what are they thinking? Does your DD have a bad attendance record or something that's giving them a reason to crack down?

Neolara Tue 18-Jul-17 09:06:59

School is being ridiculous, obviously. But I suspect it will be completely pointless if you complain. Lots of schools appear to have lost any common sense in their approach to attendance.

HSMMaCM Tue 18-Jul-17 09:09:43

I'd just reply she had a temperature of 101. Did you really want me to send her in?

Seattleite Tue 18-Jul-17 09:51:21

She definitely doesn't have a bad attendance record. She has missed about 4 days due to sickness the whole 3 years she's been there. I will probably write to complain but doubt it will make any difference. I am generally sympathetic with their efforts to maintain high attendance but I just thought this was ridiculous. I didn't tell them her actual temperature, I just said she had a fever, but now I can see I probably should have done!

OP’s posts: |
muckypup73 Tue 18-Jul-17 09:53:58

We have 8 unauthrorised abscences, I would not worry about it.

coffeecoffee14 Tue 18-Jul-17 10:01:59

School are being absolutely ridiculous so yanbu.


9toenails Tue 18-Jul-17 10:04:46

Send a brief note to the Head, explaining what was said to your child, and then just saying
1. This is silly. Please stop.
2. It is difficult to maintain support of school to a child when the school behaves so foolishly. But we will try, for the child's sake.

Both true, I take it. Sometimes such things need saying.

redexpat Tue 18-Jul-17 10:29:18

Send them a copy of the nhs guidance then dont worry about it.

Northernsoul58 Tue 18-Jul-17 17:32:26

Might I suggest that you phone the attendance officer and have a friendly chat first rather than go straight to the Head. They might appreciate that as you are not 'wasting their valuable time'. Do cite the NHS guidelines though. It sounds as if the school hasn't heard of them.

cdtaylornats Tue 18-Jul-17 17:54:39

you are not 'wasting their valuable time

They have already wasted the OPs equally valuable time.

Iluvthe80s Tue 18-Jul-17 19:37:26

that's ridiculous. Her attendance record clearly demonstrates that she is not kept off school for any little sniffle, so they should respect your position as her parent to decide what is best for her.

I'd write a letter to the Head of Year, and if that doesnt get a satisfactory response the Head.

youarenotkiddingme Tue 18-Jul-17 19:50:16

Well it's their stats that are affected - it won't matter for DD in the long run.

My ds has a knife pulled on him in school and was so ill and anxious about attending I end him in and said I was taking him to dr that day. School rang and said they wouldn't authorise absence as the boy was suspended for 2 days.
I did complain and ds never attended that school again as it was just another thing in a long line of rules being put before pupil welfare.

SummerKelly Tue 18-Jul-17 19:54:47

We got unauthorised absence when DD was having panic attacks after nearly a year of bullying. Mental health conditions apparently don't count as ill health. We now home educate.

youarenotkiddingme Tue 18-Jul-17 20:02:01

That's what I was told summer. Apparently being bullied and then having the bully do that isn't reason enough to make you ill enough not to attend.
Hence why he left permanently.

BackforGood Tue 18-Jul-17 20:02:38

It makes absolutely no difference to your dd - I wouldn't waste energy worrying about it. It is the statistics of the school that are looked at.

muckypup73 Tue 18-Jul-17 20:39:54

SummerKelly, my son has Asd and has school anxiety, so kicks off and thats why we have 8 unauthorised. I wouldnt mind he always manages to get in.

SummerKelly Tue 18-Jul-17 21:01:30

Does sickness look worse for the school then than unauthorised absence? It was pretty annoying as I had taken the morning off to actually turn up at school with my DD to see the student support manager, and she sent us home whilst she spoke to the bully before my daughter went back in the afternoon. I know it doesn't mean anything but it's the unfairness of it all!

youarenotkiddingme Tue 18-Jul-17 21:16:25

I guess they can claim unauthorised is the parent being crap and not getting child in? In ds case authorising absence would have showed they agreed he was ill due to being a victim of crime on their premises.
???? I don't know and would hope someone who teaches could confirm?

swingofthings Wed 19-Jul-17 17:12:19

Funny how you can get totally opposite response to the same event.

DS had his jab two months ago. He was fine that evening, but woke up with a high fever feeling very unwell. Unfortunately, I had to be away that day and had left early in the morning. I told him to take paracetamol and see how it went. The next I heard was from the school saying he hadn't made it. I panic as he wasn't answering his phone, but finally heard from him to say that he was still not feeling well.

I phone the school to let them know, and I was passed on to the nurse who said that it was very common to have a reaction and more than 1/5 of the class had not made it that day.

I got home that evening and DS was still not well at all, made it to school the following day but still had a bit of a fever. DS has only missed 1 day of school through sickness in the last two years. He's gone with tonsillitis, chest infections and migraine so not the type to stay home easily. He was really poorly.

Shame on your DD school for their attitude.

bigbluebus Fri 21-Jul-17 19:19:59

I don't really understand why parents take these absence classifictions so personally. From my experience, the reasons appear on annual school reports but no one takes any notice of it. Unless there is actually an issue with attendance (as in really low percentages) what does it matter? My DS had unauthorised absences and exclusions on his records. It made not a jot of difference when the school wrote his reference for University.

JustDanceAddict Sat 22-Jul-17 08:15:44

Loads of my DDs year were ill this year after having their boosters - she felt ill after but was ok the next day, but a few were off for a couple of days with temperatures etc. Your school is being ridiculous.?

JustDanceAddict Sat 22-Jul-17 08:18:30

SummerKelly - not true at all re mental health. DD had a mental health day this year and the school agreed to authorised absence once I'd written them an email pointing out mental health is just as important as physical.

Sundance2741 Sat 22-Jul-17 08:25:29

I'd probably send a letter to attendance officer / head of year explaining. It's true the actual recording of it will make no difference to your dd but I can see why you're annoyed. And school won't change if no one complains so could eventually make some sort of difference. Then let it go. In year 7 one term my dd had repeated vomiting bugs on 3 occasions - probably wasn't getting rid of the bug each time but we didn't realise to begin with. We were incensed to get a letter saying her attendance was too low and must improve. But eventually realised it was one of those computer generated things and ignored it. (We eventually took her to A & E one Saturday night as she was in such a state and she was put on antibiotics. That was 4 years ago and she hasn't had a stomach bug since.)

SummerKelly Sat 22-Jul-17 16:14:29

JustDance I'm glad it wasn't true for you but it was for us at DD's school sad

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