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AIBU?

To hate this ad from the Department of education about school attendance?

132 replies

KarenNotAKaren · 13/01/2024 15:35

Seriously who is in their marketing department? Aside from the fact I think this child model probably did not have a runny nose this morning, it’s so fucking patronising! A runny nose can be an indicator of a viral infection or bad cold. I hate that parents are treated like they aren’t allowed to be in control of their children or know when a child is ill. And if you are the type to have something like Munchausen’s By Proxy, and persistently keep your kid off for no reason, a patronising Facebook ad is not going to cut the mustard

To hate this ad from the Department of education about school attendance?
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Am I being unreasonable?

344 votes. Final results.

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You are being unreasonable
28%
You are NOT being unreasonable
72%
Howdidtheydothat · 13/01/2024 16:53

My DC has 100% attendance inspite of not having his Sen needs addressed over many years. It is a daily battle and his MH has declined. Actually feels perverse to convince him to go in each day, knowing how he will struggle and be humiliated because he isn’t SEN enough to get more support in the classroom. He implicitly trusts me. I know that his local (ofsted “good school, etc etc) school is failing him and others daily. Even the standard gov complaints procedures protect schools. We are taking him out of his state school and we are lucky enough to fund an alternative option. If we couldn’t, I have no doubt he would have become a non attender and achieve poor grades.

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TrashedSofa · 13/01/2024 16:55

If there's one thing the response to this magnificently stupid ad has proved, it's that many parents feel alienated and don't consider the DfE worth anything other than a derisory snort.

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ThreeBeanChilli · 13/01/2024 16:57

This is truly awful. And yes shows they are not listening to parents or children at all.

They need to look at why schools are becoming more rigid and less child friendly, why people's mental health is declining ans yes sen provision. Its obvious to anyone e whose ever spoken to parents of those not in school so why didn't they do any research at all?!

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Naptrappedmummy · 13/01/2024 17:04

LlynTegid · 13/01/2024 16:51

Bad advertising, there is a place and way of campaigning for better school attendance, not this one.

As for the pandemic restrictions, had Boris Johnson actually acted in early March, I am convinced schools could have had children back at least part time in June, which would have meant the impact would have been much less.

Now please don’t think I’m a BJ fan (I loathe him tbh) but what could he have done to reopen schools in the summer?

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Ponderingwindow · 13/01/2024 17:05

Yes, let’s get all the viruses into the building so the medically fragile students miss even more school.

all an ad like that does is give ammunition to the parents who think it’s ok to dose their kids up and send them to school sick.

it’s not going to change anything for parents who are neglecting their child’s education.

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Mythnames · 13/01/2024 17:07

I totally don’t get this advert…like, he had a runny nose in the morning and now he doesn’t, so school magically cures illnesses? Or the runny nose just disappeared? What if he still had a runny nose in the afternoon, should the parents send him or not?! Shockingly bad!

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EasternStandard · 13/01/2024 17:08

Alcyoneus · 13/01/2024 16:15

Well clearly, the campaign is a load of crap. Apparently, it was no problem shutting schools down for months in the name of an illness that was proven to not be harmful to children or anyone under 65 without core morbidities. So attendance can’t be that important.

They can’t have it both ways.

Unlike pp I have zero interest in homeschooling and fine with dc just going but heard someone talking about the social contract being broken over pandemic

They’re likely right

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alltootired · 13/01/2024 17:10

Some parents do keep children off for very little.

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TrashedSofa · 13/01/2024 17:11

EasternStandard · 13/01/2024 17:08

Unlike pp I have zero interest in homeschooling and fine with dc just going but heard someone talking about the social contract being broken over pandemic

They’re likely right

Yeah, they are.

On practical grounds, going into school regularly is a habit that was interfered with. Making school a nice to have for a lengthy period was a significant risk.

Then also, lots of parents are actively pissed off and alienated about the way schools and education have been managed in the pandemic too. If you add up everyone who's angry that schools shut too late, or at all, or didn't go back in summer 2020, or didn't have particular mitigations/restrictions, or whose DC got fuck all while others were in school with better ratios in 2021, or who's worried about their ECV child since then... that's a huge group. A lot of those parents hold views in direct opposition to each other, but they're all fucked off.

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Sirzy · 13/01/2024 17:15

alltootired · 13/01/2024 17:10

Some parents do keep children off for very little.

And if they do then do you think an advert like this will change anything?

in the case of most persistent absences there will be some sort of underlying issue. If they where serious about tackling the issues they would be looking at the underlying issues and how to tackle them but on an individual basis and a system wide basis.

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tsmainsqueeze · 13/01/2024 17:16

This reply has been deleted

This has been withdrawn by MNHQ at the OP's request.

Exactly !
Not forgetting your child being sent home because they sat next to Billy who'd been sat next to Ryan who sat next to Lauren who's dad had got the virus , and on top of all that us parents had to stay at home by law -just in case 🙄

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CoffeeWithCheese · 13/01/2024 17:18

moderationincludingmoderation · 13/01/2024 16:07

The irony after lockdowns and keeping children out of school.

Yep. That routine and that feeling of schooling being a "non negotiable" got lost for some families and they've not got it back yet (thinking of a couple of acquaintances of mine whose kids have always been on the iffy side with attendance who are now on the very very iffy side). I'm a lot less worried about things like term-time holidays these days myself - would never have done it pre-lockdowns, but with the attitudes towards education that were about during that time - I no longer give as much of a shit.

Incidentally before that statement gets jumped on - both kids are generally at or near 100% attendance but I'm not going to stress over a few days in July any longer when society decided to chuck months down the drain.

And I don't recall anywhere on my PGCE where we covered "how to tell if a child is ill enough to send them home" - I don't trust many teachers to know if DD2 in particular (she masks difficulties and you have to pick up on very subtle changes in her body language to know when she's heading for a serious chest infection which can lead to hospital) is well/not well enough to be in school - it's my responsibility as a parent to make that judgement call (it's easier for DD1 - if she's quiet and not talking = she's ill!)

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EasternStandard · 13/01/2024 17:19

tsmainsqueeze · 13/01/2024 17:16

Exactly !
Not forgetting your child being sent home because they sat next to Billy who'd been sat next to Ryan who sat next to Lauren who's dad had got the virus , and on top of all that us parents had to stay at home by law -just in case 🙄

God I know. We had one dinner lady resulting in 90 children off for 10 / 14 days (3 classes) 🙄

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beezlebubnicky · 13/01/2024 17:20

Alcyoneus · 13/01/2024 16:15

Well clearly, the campaign is a load of crap. Apparently, it was no problem shutting schools down for months in the name of an illness that was proven to not be harmful to children or anyone under 65 without core morbidities. So attendance can’t be that important.

They can’t have it both ways.

@Alcyoneus The campaign is a load of crap, but that other claim you have made is patently false.

Covid has not been proven to 'not be harmful' to children, under 65s and those without co-morbidities. There is a vast and growing evidence base refuting this - it remains harmful to plenty of people who don't come into those categories, including children.

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solsticelove · 13/01/2024 17:27

tadpolelove · 13/01/2024 16:03

Hate schools and the government, I'm considering taking my two primary school children out and home schooling. The power that they have over parents is disgusting. Before Xmas they insisted my 7 year old was well enough to come into school with tonsillitis and sinusitis after she had been home for 2 days, I sent her in on the 3rd day to shut them up and they called me at 11:15 to come and collect her. I'm just waiting for a fine to hit my doorstep for taking them on holiday for a week. First time they have ever been abroad or been on holiday ever in term time. Makes me sick!

Do it. You’ll not regret it. Ever. The freedom you get from this type of nonsense and from the ridiculous curriculum and control is priceless.

PM me if you want any advice as I’m an ex teacher turned home ed parent. 5 years and counting.

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RonObvious · 13/01/2024 17:31

Our school has sent a letter telling us that upper respiratory infections are not a valid reason for children to be off school. Plus, if you have attendance less than 93%, you can't take part in school excursions (great news for my anxious, SEN daughter). I really wish I could home school, but there's no way with my current job.

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Newsenmum · 13/01/2024 17:33

Hardly anyone keeps their kids off school because of a runny nose. Most people are working! It’s ridiculous. There are much bigger issues at play like neurodiversity and mental health.

Also, why do we want kids making other people sick if it is something viral?

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Sirzy · 13/01/2024 17:33

RonObvious · 13/01/2024 17:31

Our school has sent a letter telling us that upper respiratory infections are not a valid reason for children to be off school. Plus, if you have attendance less than 93%, you can't take part in school excursions (great news for my anxious, SEN daughter). I really wish I could home school, but there's no way with my current job.

Write a letter mentioning disability discrimination and I am sure they will soon change that!

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Notmetoo · 13/01/2024 17:35

I agree it's a very badly thought through campaign.

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solsticelove · 13/01/2024 17:45

Disgusting gaslighting campaign.

As usual the government are blaming families for everything without taking a look at WHY there is an attendance problem.

They cannot see that attendance problems are children signalling that something is wrong with the environment we are putting them in. Mental health issues have never been higher, pressures to pass tests & little else has never been higher, funding has never been lower, teacher retention is in crisis, buildings are crumbling, toilets are locked, the list goes on…

This government are a disgrace.

I’ve never been happier to home educate my dc.

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lavenderlou · 13/01/2024 17:48

I think just blaming Covid is disingenuous. Undoubtedly there was some impact but we also need to be looking at the wider picture in education and why it's increasingly difficult for some kids to be there. Schools are severely lacking in staff, due to both funding issues meaning they can't afford them and lack of teacher supply. This results in either very regimented systems so that there is the minimum opportunity for any disruption or appalling behaviour. Both create an unpleasant environment. There are also endless cover lessons, often with large groups of students supervised in the hall doing pointless worksheets while being forced to sit in absolute silence, or else being overrun with unruly behaviour.

My DC's school is incredibly rigid. She is extremely anxious about school but with a few small adjustments could probably manage OK. But she can't cope with the very long lessons with no break (school has put these in to minimise transition times), not being allowed to go to the toilet, very short break times (again, to minimise disruption). Not to mention the ridiculous uniform requirements (unomfortable long skirts, coats off at the door or else) and detentions if your glue stick runs out. She has been offered a time out card but to use it you have to go to the teacher and wait for them to call for a member of the senior leadership team to come and collect you - just what an anxious student needs, loads of attention drawn to them. If you have SEN, things are even more difficult.

Schools, especially secondary schools, are generally horrible places to be. It's no wonder lots of kids find it a challenge to be there. I don't know why we think it's OK to send kids to places like this when it would never be acceptable in an adult environment.

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TheLogicalSong · 13/01/2024 17:49

That child does not look like someone suffering with a head cold.

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TrashedSofa · 13/01/2024 17:58

Realistically it's all the things you mention and covid/lockdown @lavenderlou. The covid experience intersects with and exacerbates some of the problems you list too.

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EasternStandard · 13/01/2024 18:09

It’s not just here, this is from Aus 2023

‘School attendance rates in Australia are dropping: We need to ask students why’

and Google for others. Closing schools for many will never be consequence free

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CurlyhairedAssassin · 13/01/2024 18:12

Let's face it, there is a wide variety of viruses - there are mild colds which you barely know you have and really horrible colds with cough which make you feel pretty rubbish, feverish and very low in energy. Just like there is a wide variety of parents - some which send their obviously poorly child into school because they have to go to work and it's difficult to take time off. The child has a miserable time in school and school ends up having to call the parent to pick them up later in the day anyway.

There are also some parents who really do mollycoddle their kids and don't teach or model resilience. If their 7 year old does the sad eyes at them at the gate in the morning and tells them "my tummy is sore", their parent's instant reaction is to say "Ah you poor baby, you need to be at home with mummy" and the minute they're not looking the child is smirking and grabbing their things ready to go home where they know they'll get spoiled rotten all day, despite there being nothing wrong with them. Some of those parents can make school anxiety worse by the way they react.

Most parents are mixture of the 2 when it comes to a cold. Will give their child calpol in the morning, teach their child to do their best to get on with it and see how they go, and to tell the teacher if they feel really terrible, send them in with a cheery wave and a smile, might phone the school before lunch to see how they are etc etc. In most cases of "just a cold" the child is busy enough all day that their mind is taken off their sniffly nose and lack of energy. Some kids will just get worse despite trying to get on with it and their teacher will usually notice and ask the office to call parents to pick them up early.

This advert is very little to do with EHCPs.

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