Is this school failing my daughter?

My eldest daughter is 4 and just started school.

On many occassions I've asked them to give her ventolin during the day. I've written it down too.

I'm still battling though!

This week I asked on Monday for her to be given inhalers before going out to play as cold air is often he trigger. They didn't do it!

On tuesday I asked again. My daughter even asked for her 'puffer' and was met with irritation and questioned ""do you really need it?!"" of course my little girl said no! The weird thing was, the teacher told me this all!!

Yesterday I wrote a letter to the teacher stating the importance of asthma control, that my daughter is at present struggling and up lots in the night with a tight chest etc, and I'd welcome their support in this matter! I copied it to the head teacher too!

On picking her up after school yesterday I was met by the head. He has questioned her need for the inhalers! He now wants a dr's letter stating when she needs it and how much etc!

Has anyone else faced this?? I'm shocked! I've worked in schools prior to my children, for 12yrs and never had to get dr's notes for blue inhalers!

Is it negligence or ignorance?

To be honest I think because my youngest daughter has brittle asthma, they think I'm treating my eldest daughter with the same precautions! My girls are different and have different asthma! My youngest is v Ill and brittle whereas my eldest is mild but needs her inhalers increased in cold weather or when she has a virus about her!

How can they treat her this way?!

5 Replies

  • It certainly sounds as if they are failing her. It is probably good practice and a matter of course that they ask for confirmation from a GP/consultant of her medications and doses, and I'd get that to them as soon as possible. However, they shouldn't be going against your clear instructions while awaiting that information. It's most likely ignorance on their part.

    I'd probably provide the doctor's letter they're asking for asap, ideally in the form of an asthma plan for her when at school. In the meantime print off the Asthma UK schools information pack from this website (and, as they seem very complacent, maybe include a print out of a news article on the Sam Linton case to re-emphasise what you're saying). Give the information pack to the head and tell him that the school owes your daughter a duty of care, particularly in respect of her medical condition, and that they may potentially be putting her wellbeing at risk if they fail to provide her with asthma medications or do not monitor her condition properly while she is under their care. If you're still not getting through to him, tell him you will complain to Ofsted. You should also speak to one of the parent governors (school secretary should give you contact details) about what has been happening and (if necessary) educate them on the dangers of asthma too. Unfortunately, it may take some work on your part to get the school listening properly - I'm starting to find that normally kind, intelligent and caring people can be deeply prejudiced, stupid and ignorant about asthma until the dangers are explained to them several times.

    Pending a school asthma plan from the doctor, you could also do a 1 page checklist for her symptoms and treatment and insist that it be put up in her classroom, the dining room etc. And give them a couple of spacers and several blue inhalers to be kept in unlocked cupboards in every room she spends time in. You could base the checklist on e.g., the Asthma UK attack card but include at the top her ""well"" treatment i.e., 2 puffs of blue prior to going out to play in the cold, any physical exercise at any time etc.

    Good luck. Hope you get them listening without too much more work.

  • That's all you need on top of everything else! I don't know what's going on with schools these days. They should take your word for it, not ask for a doctor's letter. Best thing to do is get the doctor's letter, make sure you keep a copy of it in case you need it again (that happened to me when my son's school lost the original GPs letter).

  • sounds like the are very ignorant to how asthma affects your daughter and other asthmatic kids in the school. To be honest it sounds like the teachers just can't be bothered/are too 'busy' to go and get her inhaler for her, (if she is not having symptoms) asking her if she really needs it etc. They should not be asking her this if you have specifically requested that she is given it before going out to play. Your instructions/permission should be enough for school give her meds.

    Little nutter is also in his first year at school, though they have been great with him, We did provide an asthma plan along with his blue inhaler and spacer, I would get an asthma plan (if you don't already have one) written up for her and clear instructions about when she will need her blue inhaler, eg before going out to play in the cold air etc. Get them to put a copy in the register and on the wall in the class room as well as in the medical room. That way it is there in black and white for them and they should follow it as you have jumped though all of their hoops. So they can't turn round and say oh well we didn't have a doctors note.

  • I used to work in a nursery with preschool children. We never had a problem with any meds. Parents had to sign a meds book on arrival in the morning giving details of medication, how much & when it was to be administered. It would then be signed by staff giving meds, then parents would sign again on pick up & be given a copy. It's not so hard to do. Does the school not have a nurse or teacher's help, who could make sure your daughter gets her inhalers when she should?

    I would get your GP to do a letter that should go to school regarding your daughter's meds. It may be school policy to provide such a thing.

  • Both I would arrange a meeting with the teacher, head-teacher and SENCO at your daughters nurse. But before you do that go to your GP and if the GP is a good one request them to do a letter to the school stating what medication your daughetr is on, why your daughter is on it and that if your state your daughter needs her inhaler before going out then they should it. Also get the doctor to state that if you bring your daughter to the surgery again about them not helping you to control your daughters asthma then you will be taking the issue higher and going to the chair of the parent govenors. Thsi worked for me with my daughter when she was nursery about her food allergy and I am going to be doing the same with both my son's as well.

    Good luck and Hope things improve with th school and feel free to come and rant about the school we all know what it is like and have een there and are still there in some ases

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