Asthma UK community forum

School exclusion & lack of clinical progress

My ""rising 5"" started school this Jan, he made it to the first full day when the heavens opened and it POURED with rain, becoming a cold, damp, drizzly day. he shivered waiting in the driving rain to enter school (as did they all). by playtime he complained he felt unwell & didn't want to go out, out he went. he became irritable and argumentative and tearful. he was later sent to welfare, sitting in the warm and dry soon felt better so out he went at lunch. by the time I collected him he had a temp. so high he ws shaking uncontrolably. He has not been in school since as night after night we struggled to contend with asthma attacks leaving him unable to speak, panic stricken 10 puffs, 20, 30. Limp and vulnerable.He is tiny. Two weeks on the jeans that fitted fall down again .I spoke to our new and anti social head teacher(Ours had been a lovely school, pastoral care so fantastic we all wanted to go! excellent results to match, not anymore).I explained my concern not that I think he will fail his GCSE's for time off at 4 but that it would be hard for him to have just started and to be out for so long, friendships forming etc etc, that until his asthma can be stabilised cold and damp were best avoided this is the only way to keep him well. ""well enough for school, well enough to play out"" asthma she informed me is a mild condition "" just keep giving him lots and lots more of his puffer that's what we'll do"". He remains at home. I have heard no more from school even though I am there each day for my elder son, the welfare lady despairs as do the teaching staff. No enquiry has been made from school.I tried educational welfare, school does not have to accommodate him, teachers only have to cover kids during lessons. Coming from a family of teachers I know none who operate this way, I know this is from the head not the staff. She cares not that he is missing school as he does not at present figure on her attendance stats. To add to this it took till last yr to get treatment via the G.P who invented an asthma clinic in order to not refer him to the clinic run by an asthma nurse. I take him they say ""he has a virus"" this I know it's his trigger and he always gets snotty so to speak if he is out I cold and wet.We feel exhausted, alone and so sad that he is marginalised by this. He is tiny and now unwilling and anxious about school. He must feel quite detached from it all.

Has anyone had similar problems

4 Replies

Hi, I am really sorry to hear your little boy is unwell, I haven't been through exactly what you are going through, but hopefully some one hear will be able to offer some advice.

At my sons school the children are let in early when it is raining and don't play out in bad weather. Other than the rain it seams your child should be able to play out if his asthma was under control, and it sounds like you are not getting the right help and support you need for his Asthma. I am no expert but to me it sound like you little one needs a specialist or even a good Asthma nurse in order to control his asthma with the right preventer. Do you take him to A&E when he is unable to speak with it?(our asthma nurse says if they can't get their words out call 999) Has he been admitted to hospital with his Asthma?(2 of our boys had 2 admissions each and the peads said 3 admissions and they confirm asthma, and then I would imagine give a follow up appointment) Is your GP giving him oral steroids to calm it down? My 3 boys all have Asthma, 2 of which were forever getting diagnosed with a viral educed wheeze, it is very frustrating, but the asthma nurse recently officially diagnosed all 3 boys at their first appiontment. Keep on at your dr, or do you have a good health visitor that could help? Our health visitor was amazing getting us help to see a dermatologist quicker and referring us to a dietician. I think I would keep taking him back to the gp or any other gp, a different one may be more understanding. I hope you get him sorted soon.


Hello Swallow,

I hope your son picks up very soon. I am currently in my last year of secondary school and have severe brittle asthma. I have sadly had very similar stories to your sons e.g. been asked to go home because my wheezing was interrupting silent reading - yes seriously. My mum is a primary teacher and she was very concerned with my attendance - 70 half days of school in my GCSE year. She got my doctor to write to my school to attain an educational statement for me. This has changed my relationship drastically for the better between my school and I.

I am pretty sure a parent can ask the local education authority to look in to this for your son with or without the schools support. This may seem drastic but the earlier you set out a plan for your son for when he his ill the better - whether it be home tutors, teachers sending work home etc. Also, really explain this stuff to your doctor - as they tend to be VERY concerned when it comes to children missing school - and when your child reaches SATs age the school really will care - unfortunately by this point your son may be behind.

I do not wish to sound alarmist its just that I am fully aware of what being behind at school due to long periods off school to do - I find that the education system finds it hard to accomodate pupils who don't fit into the ""education box"".

Keep fighting and the best of luck!



I am sorry to hear you are having a tough time with the school. My daughter's headteacher gave me a tough time last year over my daughter missing school. She was off 1 week with her asthma and again a couple of weeks later. She actually asked me if I was giving my daughter's medicines correctly, which was insulting as I was a nurse for 17 years. My daughter is now under a paediatrician. He wrote to the school nurse outlining when my daughter will go to school and when she will not. So far this academic year she has only missed one week, mainly due to the fact that her medication has been sorted. So why not go back to your GP and ask for a referral to a hospital consultant, if they won't give you one change your GP .

Good luck


Yes this sounds familiar to me unfortunatly. the school my children are at (until tomorrow, things got so bad I am moving them) ended up causing 2 of my sons hospital admitals by not giving him his inhaler when he needed it. He is 6 now and in year 1 but it was also in the reception year all of this happened. I was being questioned by the head (who sounds very much like yours) as to why he was having so much time off and being told how important his education is. I am a teacher myself and believe me I know how important their foundation years are. He was also being messed about by school in that his class had 7 teachers in one year and so I had no personal problems with keeping him off when he was ill as all he was missing was the social element. He is now seen by a consultant peaditrician at the hospital and we are still battling to get his medication right to control his asthma. My arguement is that asthma is a life threatening illness, its not just 'feeling a bit breathless' as many people will say and that my sons health is far more important to me than his education. Obviously his education is very important and I always bring this up at hospital appointments but I do feel teachers, especially heads need to be better informed of such things.


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