Sick children should be medicated and sent into school to keep up attendance levels, according to a Poole headteacher.
Darryl Walsh, head teacher at Sylvan Infants School, has asked parents to send their sick children into school – to help the school reach attendance level targets set by the Department of Education.
The school’s attendance levels currently stand at 95.5%, meaning that a rise of half a per cent is needed to meet the target.
The advice was set out in the infant school’s January newsletter, where Mr Walsh wrote: “It is noted that a lot of parents are phoning into say that their child has a bad cough or a temperature.
“We all suffer from coughs and colds and our children need to build up their resistance to these illnesses.”
According to the Poole Borough Council website, if a child consistently has 90% attendance for one academic year, this equates to missing a total of one month of school.
Darryl Walsh said: “We believe it is vitally important that children attend school whenever possible and that absence is kept to an absolute minimum.
Any time away from school can have a significant impact on a child’s progress and we work with parents to avoid this where possible.”
Users of Mumsnet have also expressed concern.
One parent said: “I think it’s a disgrace that parent’s are being encouraged to send sick children to school to keep absence levels low.
Learning should be a joy not the bloody chore they’re trying to make it.”
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Poole headteacher claims parents should medicate ill children and send them to school. What would you do? Story soon
— Buzz (@buzz_bmth) January 27, 2016