Fibromyalgia Action UK
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Not sure if this discrimination or not?!

Hi all just got a question you if you can help it would be fab :)

(Do excuse my spelling)

I was at college on Wednesday and my tutor wanted to go through our attendance, it came on to this girl in my class who has been off for 6 weeks of not more, one of out tutors had a word with her as it was protocol to speak to student when they haven't been and there attendance is low.

Any way the tutor looked at her attendance and it was 58% or something around 50 sumic %, my tutor said to Betty (that isn't her real name) that her percentage is low but we know you haven't been well.

Then she came to me, as mine is 80% and I was told it was low and I have to work on my attendance. I'm shocked and now I'm pretty mift off, she has been off cause she had a cold and it is fine for her to be off, but I have a medical condition that I can't help and I get threatened to get chucked off my course. Where is the logic? Now I don't know if I'm using the correct wording or not (so I apologise in advice), but is it discrimination or not?

My other tutor told me I would be put on a 2 week contract for my attendance and to come into to college even if I feel extremely unwell (so I explained if mine really unwell it can take me longer to get ready depending on the pain). So the plan is to go into college even if I feel ill! Then come get my mark for my attendance, then if I'm not well I will be sent home. I have done that but I have to tell the tutor that I was going home (I have never been sent home as of yet!) as I wasn't well enough to stay. All I got was if you keep going you will have your problems going on the level 3 :(

I'm sure they think I make this condition up, I asked my tutor and said do you want me to get a letter off the doctor as proof that I have this condition and she said yes it would help!

So the question is do I complain because it feels like they are bending the rules for one student but I'm being told my attendance is low however iv gone from 60% to 80% attendance and it still feels like its not good enough :(

Merry Christmas everyone

Susan :)

15 Replies

This definitely sounds a bit like discrimination to me. I think you need to get all the ammunition you can by way of doctor's notes etc., then make an appointment to see someone senior, maybe the Principal of your college.

By the way - are the college making any arrangements to help you with your problems? They do have a statutory duty to help students with any disability, so maybe you should look into this.

I do hope you manage to find a successful outcome with this!

Best Wishes ... Moffyx



I am unsure where you stand with this but the other route to go down is C.A.B. as they should be able to help.

Are you in the students union? if so speak to them.

Sorry am unable to help more.

Kindest regards



Hi terry,

Thank you anyway.

Hope you have a lovely Christmas :)


Hello there Susan, I am quite familiar with this because when my son was in college we had a similar situation. 80% attendance to a school or college would not be considered acceptable, in their eyes that is one fifth of your full attendance being missed. When you say it like that it's quite a lot isn't it.

It is normal practice these days at colleges to almost put you on attendance probation (some colleges call it being "put on report") for a set period to see how your performance is when being closely monitored and when you are aware that they are monitoring it. If a student then theoretically is absent for the same percentage of time, they can then go through the formal warning system leading to dismissal from the college if attendance is still insufficient.

As far as you are concerned, you need to prove your case medically speaking. Get copies of letters from your GP and the hospital if you have any which clearly says you have Fibromyalgia etc. Also evidence of being on medication etc. It all helps to state your case.

Speak to your tutor, if you don't get any joy there, speak to the Principal. There should be Student Support at your college to liaise with too. You shouldn't need to take it further at this point, hopefully once they realise your situation you should have their full support and understanding.

(((hug))) xxx



Hi Libs,

Thanks I will look in to it.

I told my tutor about it before I enjoyed on to my course and explained what can happen and she seemed perfectly happy and understanding about it.

Before I spoke to my doctors about it the other day, I did go on the net and searched for some information for my tutors and tried to make it as simple as possible, she took it and told me she would look at it.

I know my college doesn't have a liaison as I spoke to my disability employment advisor. The people I have spoken to so far is student services.

When I am in college on Tuesday I will make an appointment to speak to them and will tell them I'm getting a letter off the doctor etc but will ask if I will be reimbursed as I'm on benefits.

Thank you very much for this information.

Hope you and your family have a great Christmas

Susan xx


Bless you Susan, you take care and I hope you and yours manage to have a good Christmas too. All the best for the New Year to you too! xxx :)

Please let us know how you get on, take care.

(((hug))) xxx



Your disability employment adviser should talk to the college on your behalf

good luck


The advice given is all good, I think. You should definitely get a doctor's letter for your tutors.

I just want to add that you quite possibly don't know the full story of what's going on with your classmate.

You say she's been off for 6 weeks or more, and yet "she has been off cause she had a cold". You don't take 6 weeks + off for a cold.

I'd say deal with your issue but keep it separate from your feelings toward this other student. With 6 weeks off I'd suggest she's been properly ill, and therefore that there's more going on with her than just a cold.

There are plenty of other "unseen illnesses" out there, that mean she may well look healthy, but may also be quite ill, just like you and me and all of us on this site.

It's possible she is facing something horrible, and

it sounds like, from the very small amount of information you put here, that she has informed the tutors with doctors' notes etc, already, just as they're asking you to do.

I don't see it as discrimination, rather that they're doing their job and keeing an eye on potential problems, such as low attendance. As long as you get your doctor's note you should surely be treated with the same amount of concern and help that your classmate is recieving.

I hope you feel some relief soon and can get through your course.


Hi I am also doing a college course. Doctors letter seems to be mandatory I'm afraid. I didn't have to pay for mine. Hope it get sorted for you soon, extra stress isn't good either. Have a merry Xmas too. x


Thanks vajrayoginu1,

Yeah I spoke to my doctor the other day, so I'm going to chat to my tutor and see if I get it will the give me the money back as I am on benefits myself and don't have £33 floating about.

Merry Christmas to you too :)


Further to the advice given here I would laso print of fibro info sheets and hand them over. So sda when people think because they cannot see it then it is not there. I hope you get it sorted out soon xxxxx


Hi Ozzygirl64,

I have already done that but thanks anyway :)


At the university I went to when I began to suffer with this and other (almost) invisible illnesses I was asked to provide a sick note. The amount of help I then received was amazing even in situations I wouldn't normally have considered eg fire practices not being held when I was in the building. Hope this letter encourages them to help you as much.


Thanks :)


Hi everyone.

I told my tutor I could get a letter off the doctor to say about my fibro but when I asked about getting the money back she said that it didn't matter and to forget about it. So it's looks like they didn't really need the letter after all.

Hope you all have a lovely Christmas :) xx


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