When Is A Child Poorly Enough To Stay Home From School?

Most times I’m pretty darn confident when it comes to parenting, except when it comes to deciding if my children are fit and and well enough for school.

Last year we had a few issues with the school regarding the boys attendance, their somewhat heavy handed approach to handling attendance has now left me questioning my decisions as to whether or not my child is sick enough to stay home from school.

Many parents take the no fever yes to school approach, which is so frustrating. Not every illness will have a high temperature and as a result kids are going in to school ill, passing germs around and making other kids ill.

Before you know it the class room is a glorified petri dish of germs.

At the moment Ethan has a disgusting cough, a sore throat, is horribly pale, has dark sunken eyes, is lethargic, isn’t sleeping and has gone off his food.

And I’m second guessing myself as to whether he should be at school today, or if I’ve made the right decision in keeping him wrapped up on the sofa with regular doses of cough medicine, fluids and lots of rest.

Schools are now so focused on league tables, stats and whatnot that the actual welfare of children seems to be slipping to the wayside. It doesn’t seem to matter that a child is ill, unable to focus or contribute, all whilst being a distraction to others in class, so long as they are present to make the numbers look good.

One parent at the school recently got up in arms over nits; she’s frustrated that her children have nits again because some parents haven’t been treating their kids, it’s a vicious nit passing circle.

Well I’m angry that my child is ill again because parents are too scared of the legal and monetary repercussions to keep a sick child off school.

Perhaps if schools took a more practical approach to illness rather than thinking of their targets there would actually be better attendance and productivity from children.

How do you decide if you child is sick enough to justify being home from school?

Or do you send them in regardless?


  1. It's crazy. When a young child is sick they want Mum. It's not as if yours are at vital exam age, is it. More and more the responsibility of our children is being taken away from us. I once sent my son into school with a cold and with a note for the PE teacher saying he should be excused (outside) rugby because of it. The teacher apparently said 'I decide whether your well enough for PE, not your mother'. When did this happen?

  2. I am with you. I get so frustrated when people send their kids back to school without giving enough time for them to recover or get the bugs out of their systems, as before you know it, the whole class is going down with it. My daughter's only in Reception, but did have a couple of days off at the end of last term, and the school didn't seem to have a problem at all with it, so hoping they';re not going to get target crazy at some point.

  3. Your school winds me up! Our school would much rather we kept ill kids off than sent them in as they don't want whole classrooms full of ill kids. They have a 48 hour after sickness and diarrhoea rule and, as a rule of thumb, they say if a child is ill enough to need Calpol, they shouldn't be in school. Of course we have to send them in with coughs and colds, because otherwise kids would never go to school, but if it's any worse than that (like Ethan sounds), they should be at home.
    Nits are a whole other issue for us. I'm not exaggerating when I say we've probably had them 20 or 30 times since my younger son started school (he's in year 6 now). The other kids have had them, but they always come in via my younger son so someone in that class is not dealing with them and is constantly re-infecting the class and there is nothing the school can do about it, other than send a 'someone in your class has nits' letter. The parent in question probably doesn't even let the school know (I do, I'm good like that!).

  4. Interesting one and in my experience every school is different. My girl managed to wangle herself an afternoon off with an 'I feel sick' and I got a call to pick her up straight away - there was nothing wrong with her. I always feel parents know best as long as common sense is there! Hope your poorly one is better soon x

  5. Your boys school really annoys me! They seem to have totally forgotten that they are children first! If your child is sick, keep him home, and get bloody self righteous with the school is they pick you up on it. If you can, get other parents on side too xx


Post a Comment

Thank's for taking the time to read and comment, I appreciate each one!