Asthma UK community forum

SCHOOL is a pain in the........! (sorry)


my sons school are really starting to annoy me, this isnt the 1st post i have made about them!

few weeks ago when we had the snow, both sons were running late and ended up fast walking/running to school so they wernt late.....anyway my middle son who has asthma was abit short of breath when we got to school, in the mad dash he hadnt picked up inhaler for his pocket, so i told him to ask the teacher for the 1 kept at school - teacher said NO, as he didnt need it. I complained to her and said that IF he says he needs it he needs it - he knows. she said she doesnt really want him keeping 1 in his pocket incase anyone takes it.

anyway, since then with this cold weather he has asked teacher more than once IF he could have the inhaler kept at school before playtime/lunchtime/pe and again she has said he doesnt need it and hasnt given it to him.

then today at lunchtime i have received a phonecall from school saying i need to go and collect son as he has been sick. upon getting to the school i asked him if he knew why he had been sick - something he had eaten etc? amongst coughs and shortness of breath he said to my hubby ""no daddy, my chest was sore so i asked my teacher for my inhaler before i went outside, she said i didnt need it and to go and play. i started running around with my friends, started coughing, it was hard to breathe, i coughed more and was sick"". so hubby told the office staff that had he been allowed his inhaler this probably wouldnt have happened, they said that he only has to ask for it, BUT they dont want him in school tomorrow incase its a bug.

son was still half coughing, and not able to say much when he got home (we're 5mins walk from school but hubby went in car). yet within a few mins of him taking his inhaler he was *fine* (well better than he was). even now, he is still coughing and i'm guessing i will have a bad night with him.

has anyone else had similar issues with the school and how did you sort them? i have asked to see the school nurse again and they said she wont be in until April and even then they are not sure IF she has any spaces! there is an action plan in place from school nurse!

13 Replies

I think this is absolutely terrible. I cant remember how old your son is - presume primary school? My son was allowed to carry his inhaler when he went into yr 5 (he was 10) but they wouldnt let anyone else. Once he got to secondary school no one bothered with him or his meds anyway!!

Please dont wait to see the school nurse. Make an appointment to see the Headteacher asap, and explain what's happened. The teacher can not be allowed to refuse your son his inhaler. If Headteacher is difficult about it, write to Chair of Governors. Headteachers HATE complaints to Governors.

My son is nearly 15 and I STILL have to intervene at school sometimes, mostly PE dept! But husband and I went to see Headteacher 2 years ago and had a good moan about PE dept amongst others things. PE staff backed off after that. To be honest, I think it is the luck of the draw how children get treated at school (same all over I suppose). Some staff are really good, others not so good.


I would get an appointment to speak to the teacher again, check that they have a copy of his action plan and explain that he must have access to his inhaler and that he can't overdose on ventolin so it's better for him to have it than not.

If you have already done this recently and she has still ignored it you need to speak to the headteacher, and say that if it isn't resolved to your satisfaction, ie that the teacher assures you your son will be able to take his inhaler whenever he says he needs it according to his action plan, you will have to put in a formal complaint. Ask for a copy of the complaints procedure for your reference in case you have to use it.

This just isn't acceptable, especially if you have already agreed procedure with the school nurse. I say this from the point of view of a teacher, you are not being unreasonable at all. As a teacher I always allow children in my class to have their medication whenever they need it. If they seem to be needing inhalers a lot I inform their parents but I don't stop them from having them.


he's nearly 7. so yes primary school.

this years teacher is a nightmare! she has only just qualified as a teacher and thinks she knows best!!! last years teacher wasnt as bad as this years - after i yelled at him a couple of times mainly about inhaler at pe time, he realised i wasnt trying to get my son to OD on ventolin but he did need it!! the teacher in reception class couldnt have been more helpful, she arranged a meeting with me and school nurse, to get all info went and did a short training session (somewhere) on asthma as she hadnt had asthmatic children in her class for about 5yrs etc.

it just drives me mad


thanks spookymilo your reply came through at same time as i replied to other post.

i am going back up the school tomorrow even though they have said son cant be at school incase its a bug! something needs sorting out as its not good for son.

he is laid propped up in bed coughing n wheezing even after taking inhalers and singulair, going to be a long night!


Hey amylw1,

I cant really help on this one but just thought I will show some support! I am quite lucky as my school nurse is very understanding and knows if i need it i need it (although the one at school is just for emergencies.) When I handed my spare in she even showed me exactally where it is kept just in case! But unfortunately with schools most of the time is luck!

Keep strong and show them whos boss! :)


they have no right to do this to your son. surely the duty of care is to him, and them taking away his inhaler is very unacceptable. Also if they are not sure whether he needs it could they phone you at work and describe how is feeling as this might give you/them a clue how bad he is. if that particular teacher was unsure about giving him the inhaler she should have taken him to the school nurse. Have a word with the headmaster, govenors and you could always speak to ofstead - the governing body of schools. My niece had asthma at school and i must admit they were good with her, but my sister insisted she carried the inhaler at all times if not it would be with a designated teacher.

i hope he is ok now.


update from yesterday - school & asthma

thanks for replies -

kenzie was up most of night coughing and haveing probs breathing, rang asthma nurse today and she has put him on steroids!!!

i have been to the school (not happy) and they are still adamant he was sent home with a sickness bug, they are also adamant that the staff would NOT refuse him his inhaler and are going to look into it.

they didnt like the fact i have asked for a copy of the schools asthma policy!!!


Thanks for the update. Poor little Kenzie, hope he improves quickly.


Hope hes OK, well i think they now know who's boss asking for their policy!


when i received a call back, the teacher and dinner didnt know anything about him asking for inhaler, yet his story has NOT changed in over 24hrs.

as for the policy i was told i could have a copy of the 1st aid policy which covers asthma!!! NOT what i asked for!

so not very helpful/useful to me. they have said they will speak to my son when he goes back to school to find out exactly who he asked - even though he told the head teacher on the phone his class teacher - i think they are going to try and get him to say something different.


The school are just covering their backs now, we have experienced similar. But the main thing is you have made your point and I am sure your son will get his inhaler when he asks for it in future!


hope they get their act together quick!! where is his inhaler kept in school? is it a case of the teacher being 'too busy' to go and get it when in her eyes he doesn't appear to need it?? She obv has no understanding of asthma.

When little nutter was at nursery they took him outside to play when it was cold, he then coughed till he was sick and called to have him taken home, obv when collected he was given inhaler and they were informed that he was sick because of his ASTHMA not due to a bug yet they still said they couldn't take him for 48 hours incase it was a bug. Not that he was well enough to go in the following day anyway due to his asthma but the point is they need to recognise it as a sign of asthma rather than a bug.

Perhaps you could have a new plan written up with vomiting being added as a symptom of asthma so that its in writing that its not due to a sickness bug but due to asthma symptoms.

You could also ask for a log to be taken of when ur son has needed ask for/use his inhaler so that you can monitor how well his asthma is being controlled and how often he is having to use his inhaler...that way both you and they have written evidence of when its been given. Could simply be kept in a jotter that gets sent back and forward every day, I doub;t the teacher will appreciate the extra work, BUT its her fault that ur in this situation and she needs to learn to take his asthma more seriously. Little nutter knows when he needs to use his inhaler better than anyone he has just turned 6 and is pretty good at recognising early warning signs and asking for his inhaler before things progress further. We are lucky in that his school are very supportive, his medication is kept in class with him, and during breaks and lunches its taken outside with a member of staff who he knows has it and can request it at any time.

Hope ur wee one gets better soon x x (soz turned into a long post)


i'm not 100% sure where it is in the class room, but its in a named bag (clear draw string 1) with spacer and action plan from nurse.

however, since posting this and son being off school, they are being more co-operative and he is getting inhaler b4 playtimes and pe.


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