Saturday 11 July 2015

Is Primary School Attendance Obsession Likely to Kill Children ?

Last year my five year daughter caught chicken pox. We kept her off school until the point at which she was no longer infectious, which is when all the spots had scabbed over. That took ten days. Then we received a letter form the school insisting we meet personally with the headmistress because our daughter's attendance had fallen below their target for all children. A visit to the school sorted that out, but then three weeks ago we received another standard letter - threatening us with consequences unspecified -  after we kept her away from school for three days because she vomited in the classroom and we were asked to collect her. The reason for the second letter - she had been out of school too long when those three days were added to the earlier ten! The morning of the vomiting episode she had complained of a painful tummy. We sent her into school  because of the school pressure and because she was not rolling around in apparent agony.

Here is just one example of the obsession with attendance in primary schools - this is not my daughter's school - but the thinking is the same - Example.

Done for all the right reasons, with the best of intentions. What could possibly go wrong?

It seems to me that this is a recipe for disaster. Surely this obsessive policy is likely to lead overambitious, or fearful, good parents to send in a poorly child to school who may be in the first stages of flu, meningitis or heaven knows what other highly contagious illness leading to the unnecessary death of theirs and other children!  Does that have to happen before this ridiculous unthinking obsession with attendance is bought to a summary halt by government policy?

No comments:

Post a Comment