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Is this legal for a school to ask this?

(42 Posts)
TimeIsAnIllusion Thu 17-Oct-13 15:40:04

Is it legal that a school can ask to see a child's prescription or a doctors note to back up a parents claim that the child was off school sick?
Surely this is an infringement of privacy regarding medical records?

givemeaboost Thu 17-Oct-13 15:44:38

Um I would think its a good thing for them to ask- particularly in the light of the recent case of child abuse where the mum told school he had an eating disorder and not to feed him, so he starved to death.

Also it is now relevant as the new rules have come in about taking children out of school during term time, I'm guessing any medical absence will be questioned and proof asked for.

Is there a particular reason you don't want to share the information with the school?

TimeIsAnIllusion Thu 17-Oct-13 15:49:45

No - my kids have good attendance. It's just I thought medical records were a private matter.
Also it could mean delaying getting medicines for a child as the prescription is needed to show to the school first. Eg if medicine is prescribed on a Friday but the prescription is needed to show the school on the Monday.

I'm sure the school would be happy for you to bring in the labelled medicine to show them instead.
And if there are privacy issues, take the GP note alternative that's offered.

hettienne Thu 17-Oct-13 16:30:48

Surely you can self-certify if the absence is under 7 days? What if the child is ill but doesn't need to see a doctor? My DS has been off school twice this term with vomitting but hasn't seen the GP for years.

claraschu Thu 17-Oct-13 16:33:51

That is definitely an invasion of privacy, and absolutely absurd to need a doctor's note. I don't rush off to the doctor every ime my kids are ill. What a terrible waste of time and resources that would be!

MissBattleaxe Thu 17-Oct-13 16:34:22

The vast majority of my DSs' absences have been when they have had temperatures and tummy bugs and therefore I haven't needed to take them to a GP.

I think insisting on Dr's notes will really clog up the system and spread infections!

Bunbaker Thu 17-Oct-13 16:41:12

Doctors charge for these notes anyway.

TimeIsAnIllusion Thu 17-Oct-13 17:01:50

The doctors note alternative costs £30!!! I do not wish to show my child's medicine or prescription. Why should I be made to prove I'm not a liar? If I say my child is off sick my word ought to be enough.
If the school believes I'm lying then they should inform the education officer and social services surely?
I just think informing all parents that this is the new system and expect the parents to comply is a step to far.
As I said my children have good attendance but I do know from experience children have bad colds - or tummy bugs etc and do not need a doctor let alone a prescription on the majority of cases - so the thought of having to take my child to an nhs doctor and pay him £30 for a note in order to prove I'm not lying about my child's school absence seems to me a massive waste of time and resources. £30 is half my weekly shopping bill for my family of 6 to put this into perspective for the person who suggests I take the "dr note" alternative "offered".
Surely I have the right to say "no"?

ivykaty44 Thu 17-Oct-13 17:04:15

A school can ask to see something - but you have the right to refuse

Bunbaker Thu 17-Oct-13 17:20:49

"I do not wish to show my child's medicine or prescription."

But if the child is back at school wouldn't he/she need some medicine at lunchtime?

moldingsunbeams Thu 17-Oct-13 17:22:05

Doctors here have refused to give doctors notes.
Seeing last time I needed an appointment for dd I waited 8 days to be seen its a bit of a nightmare.

What do you do if your kids are off with a tummy bug bring them the vomit?

moldingsunbeams Thu 17-Oct-13 17:25:40

This is going to go two ways btw, if your child is ill you will have to go to the doctor even with minor ailments to get proof they have been off.
Doctors will be clogged up with kids with minor bugs.

The other thing that will happen is parents will not want to be arsed with the fuss or costs and send ill children in.

I do not think you are under any legal requirement to declare your childs confidential medical needs to school. What if it had been something private?

It is possible that your children's school has something of an attendance problem. Rather than offend some parents who would kick up a fuss at being singled out and asked for proof of their child's "illness" while others are believed, the school has perhaps chosen to apply "the same rule for all".

If you don't want to appear terrifically snotty perish the thought I would "suck it up".

grin

But no, it is not a legal requirement.

moldingsunbeams Thu 17-Oct-13 17:28:59

If you had to could you photocopy/scan/take a picture and print off the prescription so you can still go and get the medicine there and then,

Badvoc Thu 17-Oct-13 17:31:38

I would refer the school to the dr surgery and let them deal with it.

Anniemousse Thu 17-Oct-13 17:48:08

I would just do as I always did.

If there was evidence, such as copy of a prescription or labelled bottle, that was not too onerous to provide, I would supply it at the earliest, convenient opportunity (ie probably when they return to school).

I would keep the school informed by telephone. I would send a written note confirming their abscence due to illness, and that no doctors note was supplied because a) it was not necessary for them to see a doctor or b) it was not possible for me to incur the expense of a private medical note, but they saw a doctor on such a date and advice was given to stay of school for x days etc

They have to report any families they have concerns about to SS, I doubt in the case of a family with a good attendance record this approach would cause sufficient concern. Repeated absences due to illnesses not supported by evidence, OTOH, may well.

YoureBeingADick Thu 17-Oct-13 17:51:28

I would think a prescription isnt why they need to see as not a illnesses require a prescription. Doctors note/letter would be sufficient.

YoureBeingADick Thu 17-Oct-13 17:51:46

what not why.

Helpyourself Thu 17-Oct-13 17:53:17

You could show them the a photocopy or photo of the prescription with the child's name and date, but not medicine.
Blummin cheek though!

moldingsunbeams Thu 17-Oct-13 18:21:09

Not everyone can afford to pay £30 for a doctors note or letter though and I do not think we should reach a point where families on low income are having to decide between food or bills and the cost of a doctors letter to proof a child was ill.

If they are going to start this they are going to have to introduce some sort of self certified note for children.

moldingsunbeams Thu 17-Oct-13 18:23:59

Annie someone on a different thread thought they could do it when convenient but got an unauthorised absence because school took child to hospital and child missed next day at school, parent didnt think to get a note and when asked by school was going to get one to give in Monday, This was Friday but school said it wasn't quick enough hmm

bigTillyMint Thu 17-Oct-13 18:24:11

I have never heard of this before.
Is it a new system that they are warning you about or is it actually your DC that they want to see the medicine for?

lborolass Thu 17-Oct-13 18:29:39

I'm not clear if you've already been asked to produce any evidence, if not yet then tbh it sounds like you're looking for problems and for something to complain about.

If/when it actually happens the school will have more experience of the new rules and will no doubt have found a workable solution. These new rules will take some getting used to and it's hardly likely that parents will all be forced to visit GPs and pay for sick notes for every cold and bug going round.

YoureBeingADick Thu 17-Oct-13 18:30:58

Ah! Didnt realise there was a fee for the dr note. Ive never had one.

Slight tangent but how the hell have we got to a point where schools are holding parents to ransom over 'proof' of minor illnesses? This is bloody ridiculous. Yes i get that so e parents are crap at getting their dcs to school but the vast majority of people want their dcs in school and dont want to have to take days off work to have a pretend sick child at home. This is bollocks that schools are now expecting this level of proof. If there is a concern then inform the relevant agency dont have parents stressing over finding money to pay unnecessary sick notes and clogging up precious gp time!

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