Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


School attendance and appointment times

36 replies

SomewhatIdiosyncratic · 24/07/2017 11:27

DS (6, yr1) was proud to receive a 100% attendance certificate and badge when he was in Reception. This year he has also not missed a day so has been looking forwards to receiving another award at the end of term.

We received his report on Friday and it turns out that one session has been recorded as an absence. He has had two medical appointments missing part of the morning session, a local GP appointment which caused him to sign in late by about 10-15 minutes, and an x-ray in a neighbouring town at 9 am which meant he signed in around 10:30. Presumably the x-ray is the one that was "absent" despite still attending much of the morning session.

I've queried this with the admin staff this morning. Apparently, had he been present for the register, then gone he would have been marked in. Ironically, going to x-ray for 9am reduced loss of school time as the travel time was in our time, and the queues hadn't yet built up (we'd been referred by minor injuries the night before after x-ray closed). Another irony is that the injury was incurred in school (sprain not break).

I know the whole concept of a 100% attendance award is a dubious concept anyway, but IABU to be miffed that he's apparently missed out on one by about 90 minutes at the wrong time of the morning. He's been looking forwards to this unaware that his chances have been down the pan since partway through September. (No pressure from me, he's a very conscientious child who is motivated by such rewards)

(Please note he has been fortunate to be healthy with nothing worse than a bog standard cold. No vomiting bugs have been spread)

OP posts:

BrieAndChilli · 24/07/2017 11:40

It is annoying and one of the main reasons I don't agree with attendance awards.
I think if you have a hospital appointment or similar then you should still get your attendance if you have a letter /proof of appt.

All of my children have had various medical appts this year, we don't get much say in the timings and if I ring to change it's another 3 months on the waiting list!!

and like you say if you choose the first appt it cuts down on travelling time in school as well as not getting the delays later appts attract.

Luckily although our school does give out certificates for 100% attendance very few actually get it as our LEA authorises term time holidays so most people have taken a few days holiday over the year so most kids aren't bothered - as my kids said they'd rather have gone on holiday (which was half the price because we took 2 days off school and wouldn't have been able to afford otherwise) then get a piece of paper!


CotswoldStrife · 24/07/2017 11:47

I think the x-ray is recorded as late, after registration period rather than the GP appointment which will be late, within registration period. I know someone else this has happened to! It does seem odd, that the child can be present for the majority of the day but because they have missed the register then it doesn't count.


Rufustherenegadereindeer1 · 24/07/2017 11:51

This happened with my daughter

She was in by 9.05 6 or 7 times due to medical appointments

She missed 5-10 minutes of a lesson but was marked as absent for a whole morning

The school would not have marked her down if she had attended registration and then missed the next 2+ hours of school

The school only care about their attendance figures, not my daughters education


ShowOfHands · 24/07/2017 11:53

DD has had 100% attendance for 3 years. No certificate though because she has a 6 monthly hospital appointment and misses 2 hours of school for it.

DD does feel a bit miffed because the clinic only runs during school hours.

I'd rather they scrapped the attendance awards tbh.


IceBearRocks · 24/07/2017 11:58

My DS attendance was 44% this year due to ill Heath .... Count yourself lucky !!!! Stop moaning about a certificate !


arethereanyleftatall · 24/07/2017 11:58

Yanbu obviously but I'm not sure how they can logistically police it orherwise. Stop lessons to take a register every 30mins? That would be silly.
Future tip - if you're bothered by the attendance marks, don't miss morning or afternoon registration. Personally, I prioritise spending as much time in school as possible over attendance awards.


supermoon100 · 24/07/2017 12:02

Does it really matter?!


AndNowItIsSeven · 24/07/2017 12:05

It's appalling that schools would rather travel took place in school time in order for them to look good for ofsted.


hippyhippyshake · 24/07/2017 12:07

Why are you blaming the schools? They are just doing what they are told.


sirfredfredgeorge · 24/07/2017 12:07

Does he even know what his certificate was for if he's expecting to get one despite not going to school?

Anyway YABU, he wasn't there, he shouldn't get a certificate - he shouldn't've got one had you gamed it and he'd pointlessly gone in just to be at register.


Sirzy · 24/07/2017 12:10

Legally if a school isn't on the grounds at the point of the register being taken they can't mark them as present.

But of a pain but hey ho! Ds has loads of appointments if he misses a register he misses a mark.


SomewhatIdiosyncratic · 24/07/2017 12:12

I am feeling that being this specific and petty over what precise times count as attendance or not is undermining the purpose of rewarding attendance.

I'm miffed because it feels inaccurate that it's presented like he wasn't there, when we did our best to get there ASAP.

(Thinks about the potential for duvet days that we resisted when he's been burned out at the slog of getting to the end of a long term... like last two weeks! 2 get ups left...)

OP posts:

SomewhatIdiosyncratic · 24/07/2017 12:17

From the way it's been explained, present at 9 am then absent for 90 minutes= present. At appointment for 90 mins and signing in at 10:30= absent all morning. Same time out of lessons. He was still there for half the morning session, but the record ignores that.

OP posts:

Witsender · 24/07/2017 12:19

Yanbu, the whole system is ridiculous and certainly not a motivator when it is parents not children who control attendance.


Sunshinegirls · 24/07/2017 12:20

Attendance awards are not a good thing.
As parents/carers we should refuse to accept them and then they would die out.


Rufustherenegadereindeer1 · 24/07/2017 12:24

Ds1 got an attendance award once

He was off sick the day they presented it

Made me laugh Grin


Coloursthatweremyjoy · 24/07/2017 12:25

My eldest (secondary) got a 100% attendance award...a very fancy certificate that he is very proud of. Obviously I wouldn't tell him this and I realise that the school are trying to encourage good attendance...but the whole thing is younger DS (primary) has 6 monthly hospital appointments, out of school time slots are like hens teeth and we can't not go...he will never get one of these awards, never, even if he is not sick all Year? How is that Fair?


AwaywiththePixies27 · 24/07/2017 12:27

Its annoying and one of the reasons I also disagree with them.

DD is under 2 top consultants in the UK. One only ever has 1 clinic a week. The other one clinic a month. Both in school hours.

The very idea that I can simply 'pop in before or after school' is lost on some attendance admins.


Sunshinegirls · 24/07/2017 12:29

It's a reward for not being born with a disability. Sick.


BrieAndChilli · 24/07/2017 12:34

A boy in DDs class got a certificate. They handed them out in the last week of school....when he was in holiday in France GrinHmm
Makes a bit of a mockery of it!


SomewhatIdiosyncratic · 24/07/2017 12:44

I know children that have consultant appointments elsewhere in the country that are a minimum of a day trip to attend, longer if there's investigations to be carried out. I know the context of a minor disappointment is very, very different to the difficulties of living with long term/ permanent health conditions.

I'm not a fan of the political agendas in education at the moment. I'm a "resting teacher" at present. I wasn't aware that the 9 am was so critical for being officially present. I don't recall it being an issue in my former school.

Still miffed about the precise timing of 90 sodding minutes though Wink

OP posts:

MillieMoodle · 24/07/2017 12:49

It's a shame for your DS and I think the school should make clear what counts towards attendance and what doesn't. I honestly hate the whole idea of attendance certificates though.

They do them termly at DS's school (also 6, also yr1). He didn't get any this year. The first term he was about 15 minutes late one day because the central locking failed on my car, locking his two month old brother in, and me and him out of the car. I rang school and explained that he'd be late and why. My parents came from around 6 miles away to pick him up and take him in for me. It still counted against him for attendance purposes. I may as well have not bothered trying to get him to school at all, it would have been a lot easier.

The second term he missed 3.5 days because of a vomiting bug (picked up because someone sent their child to school less than 24 hours since the last time he'd been ill). He was in hospital for part of that time, on IV fluids as he was so dehydrated. He was also in tears that his class wouldn't get the attendance trophy that week because he wasn't there.

The third term school sent him home with a temperature so he missed one afternoon but he was fine.


noramum · 24/07/2017 12:56

I stopped caring about the 100% piece of paper. I care about that DD is not missing as much time as possible and if she does than it is for a reason.

She had it twice that she missed 10 minutes in the morning but was not counted as late but as absent. Twice I took her out after the morning session as I found it pointless just waiting for the afternoon registration and then taking her as it would have meant a hectic running around to be on time for an appointment.

In lots of cases you don't have the choice of appointments or even where they refer you to.

I just tell DD that people do get ill and then miss lessons due to not their own fault. I find it more interesting that a girl got the 100% certificate because the count was done by Friday the week before they closed and the girl left for holiday 3 days into the last week.


JumpingJellybeanz · 24/07/2017 13:02

If they miss registration by 5 minutes but are marked absent for the whole morning despite actually being there, what happens in the event of fire? Do schools no longer check off names against the register once they've evacuated?


Rufustherenegadereindeer1 · 24/07/2017 13:03

Good point jumping

I will ask the school

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?