Reader Interactions


  1. Courtney

    As a disabled person, myself who had the same problems as a child i found sending work home was a good way to make both the school and me happy as even though my attendance wasn’t great my grades stayed acceptable which looked good for them so they backed off a bit! You have probably already tried this but just thought it would be worth suggesting just in case

    • Anne Sweet

      Thank you for your comment Courtney 🙂 Yes, we have been down that road before. Star even had a home tutor for nearly a year, but that was only made available because she was in a halo and brace after her neck operations. x

  2. Kim Carberry

    Star is such a trooper she copes with so much more than an average 12 year old.
    It is so much pressure on you and her for her to have to go to school when she is unwell just to make the school look good in their attendance tables. It is ridiculous. Exceptions should be made for children who have medical conditions like your girl.
    Sending hugs to you both x

    • Anne Sweet

      I wish it was possible for the school to make exceptions, if they are willing to take on children with issues (and this school does, it takes on a lot) then there should be an option available for attendance numbers. x

  3. Cheryl | Time To Craft

    It sounds as if Star is getting so much out of school, that the pressure of attendance seems absurd. I can see the school is under pressure too, coupled with trying to make so many children fit the same set up. I think Kim is right. There should be exceptions. Sitting in the back of a class of younger children seems of marginal benefit. Especially as the school seems so understanding and did so much to make sure she could join in with the residential trip and changing form. I hope you can work this one out.

    • Anne Sweet

      It’s crazy isn’t it. But it’s not really down to the school, maybe in the future changes can be made. I did hear something on the prospect of mental health being a reasonable excuse for absence, but I doubt that will be enforced any time soon (if ever.)

  4. James

    I never thought about the attendance problem before when attending mainstream, it’s ridiculous that they aren’t able to make allowances. I hope you’re able to find the best solution for Star so that she can continue to be happy and thrive

  5. Susan Mann

    What a wee trooper Star is to cope with so much more.There is so much pressure isn’t there? We don’t have a lot of these tests in Scotland and I am glad. Sending you hugs xx

  6. Louise

    My friends child had CF so misses an awful lot of school often when well as if there are bugs going around she Can’t go in. It’s not around our area but she gets not issues at all, so it would seem this is more down to our Local LEA than anything ☹️

  7. Rebecca

    I’m sure I saw somewhere that attendance based on medical needs aren’t classed as real absences? I may be wrong but if I can find where I read it i’ll let you know. Lovely to read all the positives though x

  8. Steph Curtis

    It is ridiculous! The whole system is a joke, and the attendance records is one particular area which really gets me fuming. I know why it’s there, it’s to help manage the challenge from parents and children who don’t want to be at school. But when this is clearly not the case as for you, they shouldn’t be piling extra pressure on you. I feel like the Inside Out character Anger when talking about this!!

  9. soma @

    I don’t get it either. If a child is doing well in school then attendance really shouldn’t matter. Star is truly a brave girl for attending the mainstream school, getting excited and doing so well. It is of course not easy, but I am sure your understanding gives her the mental support she needs.


  10. Debbie

    Hi Anne, it sounds like you’ve got a good school there for Star. It was something we never managed (not through lack of trying) and my son is that person who sits at home doing nothing much and it breaks my heart…I do feel a mini rant coming on though… One of my big bugbears is the pressure to send children who are unwell to school. What is that all about? I fully understand that children who miss too much will fall behind (they actually get held back a year here if they get too many black marks), but it doesn’t make sense to send a child who has not quite recovered from an illness to school, just to sit in the corner and pick up the next bug going because their immune system is still low. I say let children recover fully and I bet overall attendance records improve.. Rant over (sort of)… I can totally relate to your worries about Star not being ready for a school residential trip. Luckily my son never wanted to go, and if he did I’m not sure we could have let him. Preparation is what I found to be key with Gregs, but that doesn’t always work as the reality is far busier, noisier and unstructured than expected… I hope Star gets to a point when you are happy to let her go, and her school really does sound great, which will be a great worry lifter.


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