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the school get worse


b4 easter hols my 4yr old went down with scarlett fever, which in turn gave him a chest infection and sent his asthma up the wall. obviously he was off school due to scarlett fever mainly, however the school have since said they dont believe he was ill and there was no need for him to be off school!

this is thte same school that sent him home as he had had an asthma attack and didnt improve after taking his inhaler and they didnt know what else to do.

it drives me mad, they cant have it all ways. if i send him in knowing his asthma is bad they will send him home as cant cope but when i keep him off they accuse me of making it uop!!!

21 Replies

oh for goodness sake. what does your doc or nurse say? can't they give him a sick note or something??? whatever next!


I really do sympathise with you. My son's school are just as clueless. I seem to be fighting an ongoing battle with the school to get them to help me let my son live as normal a life as possible. I have a meeting with the head on Thursday to try sand get them to see sense. Would you or have you tried this? It may help. I've ordered loads of publications from Asthma UK to arm myself with. I know of other parents who have the same problems at other schools too.


OMG what next are schools going to do. Another thing you could do is print off the document that asthma UK has in the section about how we help in the schools and early years section. I took this to my son's school today and they are so shocked at the details that in the document. Also most doctors don't like doing this but get your doctor to write a letter to school everytime you take you child to see them. That way school has a medical letter and if they refuse to accept that then take it higher up and speak to a parent governor. I hope you can get the school to accept their responsibility in helping you give your child a normal life. It is so hard but it canbe done as long as you are persistant and don't let them grind you down



I feel sorry for you and your son. My daughter was absent so much during reception I was asked if I was sure I was giving her medication properly, by the headteacher. It wasn't funny at the time but now I look back and smile, so much so when she was ill again earlier this year I rang the school nurse, who was really helpful. She listened to me and my worries and said she would speak to school. I also got a letter from her Consultant outlining when she could and couldn't go to school. A copy was sent to the school nurse and is held on file. I now take her to the GP whenever she is off with her asthma to prove to school that it is not a figment of my imagination. I'm sure they get fed up with me but at least it is recorded. I have also arranged that if she is unwell first thing she can go in later on in the day if she improves.

I hope things get better for you.



Hi, what a nightmare. I phone the school when my Son is ill. If they don't believe me, tough. I've been waiting for someone to come and complain about my youngest's Sons attendance for years but so far so good. If I don't think my child is well enough then he doesn't go.His immune system gets low and he picks up all the yucky bugs so is off more than most. Been a good year so far though.



as per the title - the school gets worse

i have today received a letter from the school stating they have arranged a meeting for next week with the LEA due to his abscence from school!!!

everytime he has been off whether asthma or something else i have always rung the school and sent a letter with my eldest son to give to teacher and they have still marked him down as unauthorised absences - the last being the afternoon THEY sent him home to due haveing an asthma attack.

i really want to screm, and i hope i can keep my temper in said meeting.

as for taking a copy of the doc from here to school, they wouldnt take any notice! they are a law to themselves. if you have the ""perfect child"" that siits quietly, does its work and has no health issues then you are ok and they help you out no-end.


OMG Your sons school sounds horrid. Also sounds like the school just down the road from me which I refused to put my son. That school also lock asthma meds away in the office which is 2 flight of stairs and 2 keypad locked doors away from the classrooms. This was also another reason why I refused to send my son their.

Goo luck with the meeting and hoope the LEA see that the school are at fault and they can get something sorted fast before something really bad happens


Hi amylw1,

This meeting may be an opportunity - have a think about what you might be able to achieve with it. You have a meeting with the LEA and your school representative, and you can explain your frustrations with the school, what they have been doing/not doing, and how they can do better. The LEA, with this meeting, will be trying to figure out where the probs are and how they can improve your child's school attendence. Hopefully you can put forwards you points, draw up an action plan together and improve the way your son's asthma is managed in school.

I think I'm right in saying that the school has to automatically call one of these meetings once a child has a certain level of absence, so try not to see it personally.




cathbear - the school are known to have inhalers locked in office BUT i told them straight he needs his in classroom and they have to give him it once a day every day PLUS when he needs it.

1 of the kids in eldest class was asthmatic and inhalers were locked in office, including on sports day when he needed it! the class teacher had to go running into the school to get it from office. the mum wasnt best pleased and child was only mildly asthmatic.

i hadnt thought of the meeting to my advantage, i was just seeing red for the fact that they havent listened to me and have put him down with unauthorised absences!


I'd suggest you take a written-out set of notes to help you keep track of your ideas. A set of bullet points of the important, pertinent data will make sure you aren't flustered or feel so pressured you forget where you are. While an organisation as utterly bizarre as you describe might be able to ignore them, using the facts and maintaining a command of them will make you seem more reasonable and harder to write off as an over-emotional parent. Even if your account has made everyone here's blood boil too.


I'm completely with you there, amylw1 - what I didn't make clear (my propensity for gabbling on without getting to the point) is that the LEA will also have powers to tell the school how they can better manage the situation also, so may actually help you to stop banging your head against a brick wall! If you see what I mean.

Best of luck with it, hope it goes well.


Cathbear you came up with things with that I hadn't even thought. Amylw1 I hope the meeting goes well and I would also use this meeting to your advantage. I have also just found out that me and my hubbie have to have a meeting with the LEA but not about my son, about my daughter as her attendence is only 85%. The school know why she was been off and have copies of the letters but her class etacher is syaing that there is no way that when she has exposed to just as small amount of dairy as a trace that she has been so ill that she has been able to attend school. Well the last exposure ended up with her body shutting down on her and she was hospitalized for 24 hours and she has to go to the doctors for a shot on an epipen. And it is through school she is being exposed to the dairy tracers. I never buy things if it says may contain traces of milk so I can guarentee it is not from home. And when we go to parties or other peoples houses I always take her things right down to the cuttlery and plates because of how sensitive she is to milk.

I wonder how many other people have had to go through this and what useful advice they can give us.


Oh Dear!

It sounds like some of you parents are really struggling with your schools. I am in charge of the welfare at a school and we treat Asthma very seriously. You may want to make some of the suggestions to your school as it certainly seems to work in ours.

- all inhalers are kept in a box in the classroom. The box of inhalers are carried round with the class at all times i.e taken out on field for PE, when the class is music etc. thus making the inhalers instantly available to children when they are needed.

- regular inhaler checks. I check the box of inhalers every term to make sure the inhalers are in date and in the original packaging with the childs name and prescription on them.

- a record is kept of all the expiry dates of childrens inhalers so that we can contact parents in good time to make sure we always have an inhaler in school

On the flip side of this subject you would be amazed at the attitudes of some parents who dispite being contacted several times still dont get an inhaler into school for their child. I'm sure if their child had a severe asthma attack they would be very quick to point the finger at the school.

Good luck with your quest to make your school asthma aware...after all it really isnt that difficult!


WOW Welfare, can you please come and work at my Son's school??He has severe and difficult asthma and crashes regularly. I have to nag about taking inhalers out for sport, I check expiry dates as they don't bother, I chase where his neb is as it disappears regularly and I need to know where it is so does my son, and they want to take him away on school holidays!. He starts senior school Sept 2011 and I'm counting the days, we are choosing the school my Eldest goes to which has a welfare Officer (only 1 in the area out of 4 senior schools) who is fantastic. I'm putting down about his medical conditions to make sure we get in. We need more like you



Asthma family- if you have trouble getting people to understand the severity of your daughter's milk allergy, have you tried using the example of peanuts on planes? i.e. peanuts are not served on most airlines any more because of severely allergic people inhaling traces of peanuts. My boyfriend uses this example when explaining my allergies as lots of people don't realise the severity and don't know what anaphylaxis is.

I am appalled at the attitude of some schools. My boyfriends mum and my best friend used to be primary school teachers and they both went on specific training courses about how to deal with asthma. Why can't your schools do this!?

Hope you all get some joy with your schools.


Hi all,

As an ex-School Nurse I thought this link might help.


It has a policy resource pack and teaching packs to help make schools more aware of conditions such as asthma, anaphylaxis, diabetes and epilepsy.

Schools have a duty of care and must have policies drawn up on how they manage children and young people in schools with medical conditions.

Amylw1 - have you thought about having a friend or family member with you to support you in the meeting? It may also be useful if you can contact your school nurse before hand (not the one based in school usually). School nurses are usually employed by the Primary Care Trust and they carry a caseload of schools for which they are responsible.

You might also find this guidance helpful to have a look at before the meeting.


If I can be of any help please feel free to private message me and I hope the meeting goes well.



the meeting!

hi and thanks for replies.

the meeting was this morning, the LEA were NOT there but are being informed, apparently as son is only 4 they cant get fully involved.

i kept my temper!!! (yay!)

anyway, the 1st thing i was asked was ""did i know my son had had time off scchool?"" i nearly laughed but didint. i told the deputy head yes and i knew his attendance was low, and made it quite clear IF the school could cope when he is wheezy and/or had an attack and not send him home he would be there more, she couldnt find an answer!

she asked if i can make his apps outside of school hrs, but as the asthma nurse is only at my docs between 11-1pm mon-fri the answer was no. (its the same for his eye/glasses apps at hosp, not easy to get after school.)

the LEA are being informed of todays meeting and will be watching his attendance. apparently if it drops below 70% i have to provide medical note every time hes off so there is evidence that i'm not making it up. its at 72% at mo.

however, she didnt realise that my son is on purple inhalers and steroid tablets daily - she thought it was only blue inhaler!!! she made a note of this and said it explains why he gets so many chest infections and such!


Well done for keeping calm, you are a star, I'm getting angry just reading this. I had an asthma attack whilst in meeting with the head. She is asthmatic and backed me up with Son's treatment. She want's to do all she can to keep my Son in school. So far so good.

When my Son gets chest infections I keep him off as he is low and will catch all the other horrible bugs and end up with pneumonia again, doc wanted my Son to go back to school with double pneumonia and I said NO WAY, luckily the school backed me up. A week in the sun in Oct/Nov really did the trick, no chest infections at all this year which is a first and only one lot of pred (unlike me!).

To ask you to keep appointment times after school is impossible especially if he is ill, he needs to be seen as soon as poss. There really is a lack of understanding about how serious asthma is.Good luck and hope they stop bothering you, it just adds to the stress.You can do without this.

Kate x


schools are terrible IMO

As a teacher I would mention the following:

1) If you provide absence notes/contct the school re their absence the basences SHOULD be authorised - as a point in your favour I would note if you have attended the docs/hospital on each on the letters as well - and if possile - as tedious as it is - contact the GP if possible - I know its a nightmare...

2) THe Edcuational Welfare Officer should have been involved long before the suggestion of LEA involvement.... I believe they would be invoked at somewhere round 85-90% attendance...

3) Under fours are NOT covered by attendance - they can be on roll and not attend for 99% of the time if you wished with NO come back what so ever - legally they don't have to be in fulltime education! So the suggestion that LEA should be involved is at best laughable - and probably the Head exerting pressure and trying to set a precadence.... However once they turn five then the EWO will probably be involved etc - but I would ask for the consultant etc to contact the school etc etc.

4)With regards medications locked away - this is - sadly - commonplace and something Ihave fought hard against yet are very rarely heard - even though I myself have been taken by ambulance on many occaisons!!! And the only thing that stops this IS a direct threat that should my child have a need for their inhaler and not have IMMEDIATE access then I will pursue this legally.....


My understanding is that EWO (Educational Welfare Officer) becomes involved when attendance falls below 80%.


not sure on EWO, all school told me was LEA were involved at meeting, then wernt. as i have put b4 (maybe other thread) i have insisted that his inhalers are in classroom. i have signed form giving teacher permission to give him his inhaler at 10:30am every day, b4 PE and if he needs any extra. told them will only sue etc IF they do nothing when he needs help.

the school arre notified everytime he is off, by phone and letter. the docs have said will charge for letter/medical cert everytime hes off. if school want this they are paying not me!


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