Asthma UK community forum

School attendance problems help!!

Hi, I'm new to the forum, but looking for some advice/support from other parents of children with asthma. My daughter is 9 and suffers with severe asthma, she has not had a particularly good winter, picking up various different viruses/ infections, on average every 3 weeks or so. We moved her to a different primary school last Easter as her previous school were not at all supportive with regards to her asthma and even suggested that she was symptom free at school! Her new school has been much more supportive, but then this afternoon, I had a phone call from their attendance officer advising that she has the worst attendance in the school and suggesting that they put a sticker chart in place to encourage her to come to school! I find it so incredibly difficult that there is no understanding that she is far more likely to pick up infections and that she can't help being ill. It also frustrates me that a lot of this comes from the ridiculous targets set for attendance with no allowance for children with chronic conditions. Has anyone else experienced this and is there anything we can do to stop this extra pressure being placed on parents who have to cope with poorly children and then deal with pressure from school as well? Thanks.

3 Replies

i am not a parent but my Niece suffers from asthma and quite bad when she was at school, you really do need to go and speak to the head or the Deputy and tell them the situation, there is no good speaking to some ""pen pusher"" (sorry if i have offended anyone) !! in an admin office that don't know the first thing about asthma and if necessary get a letter off her GP/consultant explaining the situation and get medical backing, i totally agree with you its all targets and it really bugs me as you can proberbly guess from my post - lol, so what if a few kids are off school with genuine reasons that is life. Also speak with asthma UK they might know of liaison groups that work with schools etc i don't know just purely guess work

good luck and let us know


Yes, we have a 5 year old with cough variant asthma, and at the moment it is v unusual of her to have 2 wks at school on the run. We received the normal advisory letters from the school which we found really upsetting. Also the school decided to launch a campaign to reward attendance! It absolutely made our blood boil. Reading, writing etc, we can totally understand being rewarded but when it comes to rewarding health! To top it off, that week, we witnessed many parents sending their poorly kids into school! My husband quickly sent an email and had a meeting with the headmistress who was v good + understanding and agreed that it was penalising children with long term illnesses and has agreed to change it. She has even agreed to stop sending the letters, providing we won't be shocked by the end of term of her attendance. The fact that we are the ones constantly looking after her with no social life, it won't really come as a surprise!


Hi this happened to me regarding my daughter for 3 years her attendance averaged 80%, she also has cough varient asthma and the school put a lot of pressure on both me & my daughter. I was accused of keeping her off for the sake of it. In the end I went to my GP to get some support & letters. My daughter's consultant said I was too anxious and made her worse. I suggest you ask for a CAF, ( Common Assessment Framework) this is where everybody involved sits down & discusses a way forward (not that there is always one) but the Education Welfare Officer was good & actually listened to me. I also prepared before going & pointed out some things like the school not being supportive & not helping matters. They are not confrontational & it gives you a chance to all sit down & talk together without your daughter present. I have been through this twice & been threatened with another one if her attendance slips. It is hard enough dealing with a sick child listening to them cough all the time and then school being a pain. Are you under the care of a consultant, if not I would ask for a referral? My daughter was referred quickly after diagnosis & I think her treatment plan is far better than it would have been under the care of the GP alone, as they are generalists rather than specialists. If all else fails write to the chair of govenors expressing your concerns. If you need any more help feel free to contact. Good Luck


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