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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71130
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My 14year old daughter has been having sever headaches since

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My 14year old daughter has been having sever headaches since last Easter.
She saw a paediatrician in summer 13 who gave her strategies to overcome them.
In sept 13 she started senior school and after a few weeks began to have regular
Headaches again which affected her balance and eye sight. Initially the school were very supportive.
However she stopped attending school and couldn't msnage a full week.
Eventually the educational welfare officer became involved and she was put
On a fast track which means she had to attend every day or I was threatened with court action.
She was also referred to a paediatrician who has diagnosed chronic daily headach syndrome and started
Her on medication which she has commenced but is currently having problems with the side effects.
She has still not managed a full week in school and I have now been told I am going to be referred to court for not getting her to school regularly. I have tried everything. Taking things away. Stopping pocket money etc and even dragged her out of bed which is not ideal. I cant get her there because she says shes ill but school feel that I have not provided enough medicsl evidence to prove this. What else can I do

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Sorry for the delay.

For how long has she been absent and what has her attendance record been like hitherto?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

She has been absent overall for 4 months with odd day

Attendance. She had a brief episode of abscence a few months

After her father first left and the gp's treated her for migrane at that time.

This however was at another school. She has only been attending this school since september


Are you asking if there is any defence here?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes I suppose I am. I'm at a loss what to do next. I cant get her to school. I cant take her to the docs every day for daily proof my GP' s have said they would speak to school on my behalf but school says its not there problrm now its the educational welfare officer thats made that decision but surely thats got to have been based on schools advice?


In short it depends on the cause of the non attendance. You will find the offence here

And there is a defence under ss3 of being prevented from attending by reason of sickness or any unavoidable cause

That does mean that they are 'prevented' from attending. I imagine they are saying here that they do not believe she is too ill to attend school.

If they think you are doing everything that you can then generally speaking they will not prosecute. The law does allow them to prosecute but usually they will not.

Ultimately though, if they do prosecute it is for you as a parent to force her to attend.

You may have a defence under the subsection above though if you can prove that she was too ill to attend.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

What does the law percieve by force to mean.

It isn't very well defined in law but its certainly been accepted that you can lay hands upon children to force them to attend school as long as the force is reasonable.

I think that the Government generally expects parents to have a psychological control over their children though.
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