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Child absent a lot - how to handle?

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by BlueberryPots, May 18, 2012.

  1. How would you handle this? I have a child in my class who is off a lot!

    She always seems to be 'ill' on the same day each week. At first we thought it was coincidence but it's been going on all year and I highly doubt she is actually ill. What can I do?

    Mum rings in and says that she's ill - we can't challenge her and say 'no she's not'!

    Any advice? It worries me that she has missed so much, it equals a whole half term if you add up all the time off she's had. Don't think we had an Ed welfare officer these days so don't know where to turn?!
     
  2. How would you handle this? I have a child in my class who is off a lot!

    She always seems to be 'ill' on the same day each week. At first we thought it was coincidence but it's been going on all year and I highly doubt she is actually ill. What can I do?

    Mum rings in and says that she's ill - we can't challenge her and say 'no she's not'!

    Any advice? It worries me that she has missed so much, it equals a whole half term if you add up all the time off she's had. Don't think we had an Ed welfare officer these days so don't know where to turn?!
     
  3. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I would check to see if you do have an EWO and possibly involve the school nurse who can do home visits and you can challenge if the level falls below a certain point and ask for doctor's notes.
     
  4. I've had a couple of children like this too, but as they are both summer born, and so not statutory until the start of Year 1, the EWO said she couldn't do much. We still wrote letters though and tried to have meetings with the parents to explain the impact of the poor attendance. Parents made promising noises, but soon reverted to form.
     
  5. She is a summer baby but is 5. Is she still non-statutory till September or did it chance the day she turned 5?
     
  6. I believe it is the start of the term after she turned 5. So September. Can anyone confirm or correct me on this?
     
  7. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Is it worth initiating a conversation along the lines of "Have you noticed it's often Thursdays that she's ill - I'm wondering if there's something she doesn't like about Thursdays?"
    It's possible mum hasn't noticed the pattern, or hasn't realised that children sometimes do manage to produce fairly convincing symptoms when actually there's something they're worried about which is the real reason. Maybe there's a "don't like" explanation, or a "being up late the night before for some family/TV reason", or maybe even a "something they eat on Wednesdays which disagrees with her".
    (I picked Thursdays because it's my daughter's day for trying to be ill - mainly because once she got cold in outdoor PE, possibly also because it's the day I do something she'd like to go to. I gave her the benefit of the doubt once, and the next week flatly refused to believe her, even after a 20 minute tantrum, and she's been fine since!)
     
  8. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Some government spokesman said recently that parents should not keep their children at home for 'snifles' and bring them in anyway if they say they are feeling unwell so that the teacher can decide whether or not s/he should stay or go home!
    I was appalled, both as a parent [it's my child, blast you!] and as a teacher [I'm not your child's GP!]
     
  9. inky

    inky Lead commenter

     
  10. seza-lou

    seza-lou New commenter

    and then you would have parents of other children complaining that you are bringing in sick children and infecting the ones that are healthy! As you said we are not GP's and I don't have the time or training to see if a child is sick when they come to school!
     
  11. I too have a child in this situation. The brother was also put in the same position a couple of years ago. Sadly the child fails to meet benchmarks, targets, etc. S/he suffers. You get frustrated. All in all the parents set up their child to fail within the education system. The parents = one perspective; the education system = something else. That's the reality. Meeting in the middle would be the ultimate outcome, but whether that is possible is questionable. All we can do, as teachers, is do our best by the child within the education system. Take the horse to water ...
     
  12. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    Then definately get the ewo involved. Our hunches are often right. If it doesnt feel right it probably isnt.
     

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