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Pupils who say they feel ill in lesson

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by Waiguoren, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. Waiguoren

    Waiguoren Occasional commenter

    I'd like to hear some answers to these questions too, please. Thanks!
  2. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I pretty much always send them to the office. If they get sent back then fine, no problem. If they were ill and I didn't send them, then I'm stuffed. not worth the risk.

    When I qualify as a doctor then I'll be happy to diagnose.
  3. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    If they complain of a headache, I ask them where the pain is and show them how to massage the area to get the blood flowing and unblock the swelling causing the pain.I also say that they can take a painkiller if they have their own with them and to speak to me again if it isn't easing.
    For the ubiquitous 'feeling sick' (and also for headaches) I tell them to sit by an open window and breathe in deeply.
    If my decisions are questioned in an aggressive manner, with peer support, I generally take that as evidence that they are 'swinging the lead' as someone feeling nauseous or headachey will usually not be capable of making such a fuss. I also mention my First Aid training (I supervised pupils taking a Ist Aid certificate course years ago!)
    Someone obviously pale and sweaty gets sent to the Nurse/Reception with another pupil who is instructed to support them on stairs and to get them to sit or lie down if they mention feeling dizzy.
    If fainting looks imminent, the pupil stays in the room and another pupil goes for help or I call Reception if there's a phone in the room.
    Anyone with a special Pass for a medical issue is allowed out immediately but if I don't know the pupil I always check the name on the Pass with the exercise book on the vacated desk!
  4. It is a tricky one because no one wants to have a poorly child in class to clean up after. I tend to send them straight away but am aware of the frequency of their complaints.
  5. I seriously cannot see how anyone has to " handle" the situation of a pupil claiming to be ill.
    Its not your job as a teacher to "handle" this. if a pupil says they are ill, you take it at face value and send them off to the sick room ( in my school we call it "Sans") where a qualified nurse makes the decision about the truthfulness and seriousness of the illness.
    If they send the pupil back , then fine. If the do not , thats also fine. End of.
    Yes, some pupils do play the sick card but its not my job to sort out which are playing and which are not.
    I never take it upon myself to make a decision about a child's claim to be unwell. I always ask if they wish to go to Sans. If they do not then they accept that they must work in my classroom and not disrupt the lesson further unless it is to request authorization to leave and go to see the nurse.
    The method usually works fine for me.
  6. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I worry about the number of people claiming children pretend to be ill, when they aren't. Surely children 'want' to be in lessons more than they want to sit in the sick bay or go home? Like ellegrace, I don't see why teachers need to 'handle' the situation either. A child is ill, they need to go to the sick bay. If children are regularly pretending to be ill to get out of class, to the point it is causing a problem, then the issue is greater than one of children fibbing.
  7. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Actually, they prefer to be wandering the corridors, meeting up with the friends they recently texted and who have similarly conned their teacher into letting them out.
    I usedto take pupil claims at face value and allow them out of the room but it resulted in reprimands for allowing pupils to wander around unsupervised , setting off fire alarms, smoking in toilets etc.
    If I do allow p aupil out, I annotate their planner to indicate the time that they were allowed to leave the room.
    When I decide to keep them in the room (because I suspect them of being consummate thespians or because I don't want them collapsing unsupervised) I will empty the waste paper bin into a carrier bag and have it ready in case they get the urge to vomit.
  8. A member of staff in my department sends another member of the class (by whom has been picked by the ill person) with them to the school nurse!
    He thinks this is a good idea as they can return and inform him of any feedback the medical nurse has given!
    Absolute carnage!! [​IMG]
  9. Well then, if I may be so bold, it would seem your school has a failure in its management of pupil behaviour. I am not saying that is your problem, but it obviously is a problem.
    Where I work a pupil can be sent to sans either accompanied or alone and we trust them. Its not really trust because I know that no pupil could be wondering the corridors or grounds without being found and challenged. All the classrooms have windows and it is impossible for a pupil to pass anywhere in the school without being seen by someone because of this.
    We do not allow mobile phones in school. If found they are confiscated immediately and the pupil is sent directly to work in silence as a punishment and they also receive a detention and a letter from the Head, recording the event is sent to the parent.
    We also have a policy of checking with the nurse that any pupil who is sent to her did actually arrive just as a belt and braces approach. I make a note in my register to follow up for that. If a pupil is found to have left the room and avoided being found wondering or seen, the consequences are severe. They will be in detention. They are also made to sit under supervision in silence in the hall for the rest of the week in which they are found misbehaving. This policy is carried out without exception ( I work in a tough school where discipline is concerned). There have been very few pupils who break the rules more than once and certainly they cannot get friends to join them.
  10. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I agree that there is a great problem in the management of pupil behaviour, and I speak as someone who has sampled a great many State schools in my county on long and short-term supply.
    I would suggest that the regime at your school is akin to my own experience as a pupil in the 60s and early 70s and is not replicated in many schools in the UK these days.
    On mobile phone usage alone, I have yet to come across a school that bans pupils from having phones. In most they are told that they must not use them in lessons but can use them before school and at break times. I have confiscated phones in the past and have been instructed to return them to the pupil at the end of the lesson. In some schools I am able to hand the phones into the office and they are returned at the end of the school day.
    Most schools have caved in to parent pressure that mobile phones are necessary to keep their children safe. Parents want to be able to contact their offspring at all times. I have even had a pupil hand me their phone because a parent wishes to talk to me about their child's 'issues' with my sanctions! I'd confiscated their child's phone and they used a fellow pupil's phone to contact their mum!
  11. The school I work in does not allow students to bring mobile phones into school.
    I don't really agree with the policy and say to students "To be honest, how is someone going to know if it's switched off and in your bag/pocket".
    The school's reason for not allowing phones is because of loss, damage and theft.
  12. flickaz

    flickaz New commenter

    We don't have a sick bay or a school nurse. It is up to us to decide if they are ill and then ask permission off SMT to send them home. I work in a relatively small primary school, we can't afford such wonderous things a sick bay. Also where could can I find some more of these children who "want" to be in lessons? I could get the local football team in to coach some of my kids and still get no more than a shrug out of them followed by "Can I go to the toilet?", "No", "Well can I have a drink of water then?" "No,", "Can I sharpen my pencil?" "No," "Can I have a tissue?" (You get the idea)
  13. spannaintheworks

    spannaintheworks New commenter

    I work in High School and this is what we do: Teacher makes a judgement as to whether the pupil is genuine or not. General sickness might be addressed by allowing them to sit near an open window or sit quietly outside the door for 5 mins but be visible from the room. If there is a TA they would keep tabs on the pupil. Some pupils go into a room complaining of a headache but once settled and engaged it's amazing how fast they can forget about it.

    If the teacher decides they need to be assessed they are sent with a note in their planners to reception who radio for the duty first aid. If they are really ill a reliable pupil or TA is sent with them to ensure they arrive safely.

    First aid can ask more questions, offer a quiet place to sit for a few minutes, a glass of water, take temperature and then make a decision either to send the pupil back to lessons or refer to the year group Pastoral Manager who can authorise the pupil be sent home if the parents agree.

    Pastoral Managers don't usually send a pupil home unless they are a funny colour, have vomited fainted or really do seem to be suffering.

    Circumstances such as the industriousness of the pupil, whether or not they have a test or whether they have just done a strenuous PE lesson are also taken into account. A Pastoral Manager who thinks the pupil may be making a fuss about nothing would probably do a little probing to check there aren't other issues around family or friendship groups which may be leading to anxiety.

    Hope this helps.[​IMG]
  14. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    The school I work in currently doesn't have a sick bay, but others I have worked in have. Where I am now children sit in the reception area until collected by parents or sent back to class. the office staff make the judgement. but almost without exception children would prefer to be in lessons.

    I'm in primary, so we don't have the problem of meeting up with friends via texting etc. I'd still worry about working in a school where children prefer not to be in class and have the opportunity not to be for long periods. But maybe that is normal in secondary schools, I've no idea.
  15. If someone says they feel sick, I send them straight to nurse. don't want to have to clean up their vomit. Not my job.
  16. When we were at school, we operated a "cry wolf" policy. You could go three times, but if you got sent back more than 3 times after saying you were ill, you werent allowed out of class again (unless obviously dying).

    I also agree with the above saying that you should ask them to tell you again in 5 mins. Sending children together is setting yourself up for disaster! xx
  17. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I was on supply at a school today where they must be plagued by lesson avoidance as the specific written instructions were that those feeling ill were NOT to be sent out of the room. However, when a child had a nosebleed and was about to drip over a sink in a Food room, I grabbed a bunch of tissues from my bag, thrust them at him and steered him out of the room!

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