Are figures more important?

Posted: March 24, 2014 in books

Image I just received a letter from my child’s primary school, declaring that I have to attend a meeting because my six year old has a 92% attendance record. I find this absolutely disgraceful. My daughter spent the first three years of her life in and out of hospital, suffering various chest problems, and is now susceptible to any virus going around, due to her weakened chest and immune system. As a mother, I feel that if my child has been up all night, with a nose so blocked that she can barely breathe, and a constant cough, then it would be cruel to expect her to go to school the next day. How is she expected to concentrate, when only having gotten a few hours sleep the night before? If my child is ill, then they are not going to school. I don’t care about the figures the school expects, to give them a good rating. Maybe if they didn’t insist on you sending a sick child to school, then there would be less cases of the child getting ill in the first place. My elder child, refuses to take a day off no matter how ill she is, because her teacher has drummed into the children’s heads, that if they take a day off they are letting the school down. Talk about guilt trip! On one occasion, my eldest had bad stomach cramps, she was in tears but insisted on going. When I took her up to the classroom and told the teacher, he said don’t worry, I’ll take care of her. Any caring person would tell you to take her home. Is this what the school system has come to? Figures over the welfare of the children?

  1. I am constantly receiving letters from school about both of my children’s attendance, which falls below their “recommended levels” . . .when my eldest son was still in mainstream school (he has special needs) he had to have 7 operations in 3 months to remove a tumor from his ear and then his great grandfather died which he had a very difficult time coping with and the school had the nerve to write to us asking for a doctor’s note explaining his absence!!!
    They only stay off when absolutely necessary and we have never had time off for family holidays etc . . . I do feel that the attendance figures are important for when the school is examined by the governing body.

    P.S. I love the look of your book!!!

    • I know how you feel Kirsty, my children also only stay off when necessary. They are never late and I live quite far from the school, and like you, I don’t take them off for family holidays. I understand they need these figures, but some children fall ill more easily than others, which they need to take into consideration. I also have a child with special needs (Autism) and he had quite a lot of time off school for hospital appointments etc, but oddly they never got on my case about his absences when he was in the same school. Hopefully they will review their decisions on attendance for the children who are actually ill or in need of hospital appointments. As for children who are grieving, that is an absolute disgrace to ask for a doctors note! This is a prime example of why I think they take their figures as priority over the children,s welfare.
      Thanks for stopping by Kirsty, it’s good to know I’m not alone in this 🙂 and thanks for your comment about my book 🙂

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