Wales Councils Recommend Sending Kids To School Sick. Would You?

12 October 2014

Health GuideYou know how sometimes there's something in the news that just makes you shake your head? Well, yesterday the Daily Mirror reported that the a Welsh consortium have released a 'health guide' recommending that children should not take any days off school when they have a number of relatively contagious or serious conditions including tonsillitis and glandular fever.

The Consortium, which is a joint effort between Cardiff, Vale of Glamorgan, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Bridgend and Merthyr county councils, recommends that students suffering with (highly contagious!) hand foot and mouth disease, conjunctivitis, head lice, threadworm, slapped cheek and the aforementioned glandular fever and tonsillitis should not be taking any time off school.

They do recommend that parents should contact the NHS, and in some cases - like head lice and thread worms - treatment is required, but no time off school. Fair enough, but when it comes to tonsillitis and glandular fever, I couldn't imagine sending the kids packing off to school! I certainly wouldn't go to work with either of those!

The Guide ends with an ever so unhelpful threat - “If your child is frequently missing school due to illness, medical confirmation may be requested from your GP and/or a referral may be made to the Attendance and Wellbeing Service or Education Welfare Service.”

Parents who have received this 'guide' have not responded too positively - to the newspapers at least - with one saying that her daughter had Hand, Foot & Mouth disease, "“If she talked she would dribble as it was too painful to swallow her saliva, so there was no way she could have gone to school. Who makes up this rubbish?

Karen Roberts, Vice Chair of Governors Tonypandy Community College, was quoted as saying that children couldn't learn if they weren't at school, but as a parent and, well, a person I'm not how much they'll be learning with a raging temperature and sore and swollen glands either!

I know that I would never send my children to school if they were that unwell - I'm not talking about a runny nose in winter, I mean unwell - but would like to think that as  parent, that's  abdecision I would be able to make in the parenting of my children.

What do you think? Would you send your children to school with hand foot and mouth disease, conjunctivitis, head lice, threadworm, slapped cheek, glandular fever or tonsillitis?


12 comments

  • Belle09
    How silly. As a playgroup manager, I don't think children should attend with most of these illnesses!! Children should still attend school when suffering with a cold as once they get rid of it, return to school and catch it again.
  • jamichi1
    Clearly these people do see schools as parking lots and do not care about either their children or the other children as well. I wonder why does my kid needs to suffer, not due to my carelessness but due to fact that another parent is so irresponsible?
  • Sazzler1969
    Not only are these illnesses contagious most children feel very unwell with some such as tonsillitis, nature has a way of an unwell child sleeping to help aid recovery, to compare it to an adult is ridiculous. We can take string pain relief & have the get on with it approach which I would never do to my children if they felt poorly. If my child is unwell & not 'swinging the lead' they can stay home to help aid recovery & feel better in themselves
  • Tatahead1
    Disgusting children should not attend with half these things and no council will tell me different as a mother of 6 my child's health is important I'm sick of these people telling us what we can do with our kids I gave birth to them I work I provide for them so until different I have the say about my children not some pen pusher
  • Oriel2
    Personally I don't think that this list means if your child has tonsillitis you have to send them in. When it says 'none' then it likely means there is no mandatory time period where the child cannot attend (as there is for sickness 48hour rule for example) It's just to guide parents where absence is totally necessary. Of course if as a parent you don't think your child is well enough they shouldn't attend. I can also see their point about a doctors note in some cases. I would be willing to bet in many cases parents lie about their child being ill to avoid fines. Hardly fair on everyone else who is playing by the rules.
  • quotes
    Clearly these people do see schools as parking lots and do not care about either their children or the other children as well. I wonder why does my kid needs to suffer, not due to my carelessness but due to fact that another parent is so irresponsible?
    Clearly this is not people deciding to send their kids off to school with these conditions, but the recommendations of the council as to when kids should be sent to school. As for the vote the system will not allow you to register a vote that you would not send your kids to school with any of these ailments, believe me I tried.
  • ejcnrm
    Any of those occurred with my child I would happily keep them of school as I do think it's important to rest. However with headlice I would allow the day off only as they can be treated in that time
  • LuschkaPP
    [ As for the vote the system will not allow you to register a vote that you would not send your kids to school with any of these ailments, believe me I tried.
    Oh you are too right! can't believe I missed that off - since it's the option I'd have chosen too!
  • Siannyb
    Live in the area and received one of these, it was promptly put in the recycling. It did however come hot on the heels of the one where they threaten fines for more than 10 half day unauthorised absences. The leaflet really isn't clear and I think a lot of parents have been left wondering what will happen if they do keep their children away from school quoting one of the illnesses marked as 'no time off' - will it be counted towards the unauthorised absences quota? Hopefully the (rightly) negative and far reaching press this has received will make them clarify exactly what they mean and provide much clearer, less Nanny state guidance. At the moment feels a lot like cash strapped LEAs looking for extra revenue!
  • sophiebear04
    My daughter had Scarlett fever and the school frowned upon me for keeping her off for the whole week as the guidelines stated they can return once the anti b's had kicked in. My daughter was extremely uncomfortable from the entire body rash it caused, her nose was running bright green constantly. She had sores all over her face, no energy and could barely eat. These guidelines are a joke. A mother knows her own child better than anyone. It took about 8 weeks for my daughter to fully recover . Although she does have quite a bit of time off school due to illness. She has large adenoids and tonsils and is constantly catching all sorts of virus'/illnesses, even a cold drags her down so much that she can't eat from the throat swelling. Yet every time we get referred to E.N.T they laugh us out of the office. She is refused medical help but yet penalised for unsatisfactory school attendance. You just can't win in this country!
  • Whiskyboy
    What's the point of a poll with no none of the above option?
  • webbpricea
    Sorry but I would not send my son to school with any of these, especially if he was suffering with the usual side effects of some of them like being uncomfortable, high temp etc. Usually when he is unwell - and I mean beyond the usual sniffles and cold symptoms - he doesn't want to play let alone learn! He is usually a very active child (as are most) and you know as a parent when they are not well enough to go to school. It's not fair on the child who is sick and it's also not fair on the other children in the class or the teaching staff!

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