back search


Learning, behaviour and attendance

What do I do if my child is unwell?

As a parent/carer you may think you can give your child permission to be at home, you cannot. The only person who can give permission for a child to be absent from school is the school’s headteacher. If your child is sick or is absent for other unforeseen reasons, you must notify the school by telephone on the first day of absence and follow this up with a note once the child returns to school. You should let the school know:

The school’s headteacher will decide whether or not to authorise the absence, depending upon the reason given. For absences that are expected to last up to 15 school days and that are not part of a pattern of a recurring illness, the parents/carers should discuss with the school whether they are willing to organise for work and homework to be set as soon as the child is able to cope with it. The school should also agree with you how completed work will be collected, marked and returned.

Longer absence through illness, injury or medical condition

If absence is long-term or repeated schools may request proof that your child is genuinely unwell and unable to attend school as this is a key part of their safeguarding duties. Keep copies of any appointment letters or medical reports.

If your child:

the school may want to draw up a support plan, and consider whether to refer your child to our specialist services.

Education for pupils who are unable to attend school because of medical needs, can be provided for in the following ways:

Children who are admitted to NHS hospitals (including psychiatric units) in other areas will receive education through local hospitals, schools or an education centre.


In this section…