Backlash over council's 'Get a Grip' attendance campaign

A marketing campaign telling mother and father to ship youngsters to high school if they’ve colds has prompted greater than 6,500 signatures to a petition in opposition to its “aggressive, condescending and insulting” message.

Leaflets have been despatched in East Sussex County Council’s Get a Grip drive to folks whose youngsters missed no less than three days of the present faculty yr.

In addition they give recommendation on “being extra organised” the night time earlier than faculty.

The council mentioned it “will not flinch from this extraordinarily severe challenge”.

‘Disgusting and offensive’

The marketing campaign options the slogan “good causes for lacking faculty – there are none”.

The petition, arrange by Ella Lewis of Seaford, requires the council to withdraw the marketing campaign and apologise for the “disgusting and offensive” alienation of oldsters, significantly these “scuffling with severe sicknesses, traumas and ongoing disabilities and situations”.

Mrs Lewis, 37, who has two youngsters,, obtained the leaflet after her six-year-old daughter had three days off for a chest an infection and abdomen bug. This equated to 91% attendance over the brief autumn half time period – under the council’s 95% expectation.

She mentioned: “These are unattainable requirements. The council says it expects a physician’s observe, however even for those who might get a GP appointment, persons are instructed to not go to the physician’s with a illness bug.

“Colleges additionally let you know to not permit your little one again to high school till you are 48 hours away from a vomiting bug. In taking that course, you fall into the ‘persistence absence’ threshold and are doubtlessly reported to the council by the college. It is nonsensical.

“As mother and father we’d like to have the ability to validate our personal kid’s well being and suitability to be in class.”

Mrs Lewis, who works in a college, mentioned: “The council might have been extra well mannered, partaking or artistic.

“However they’ve simply offended people who find themselves making an attempt to do their greatest each day for his or her youngsters.”

The leaflet despatched out to folks additionally warns them about fines for unauthorised absences, together with holidays throughout time period time, and says youngsters ought to attend faculty if they’ve a chilly, headache or minor sickness.

A council spokesman mentioned the marketing campaign was not geared toward mother and father of kids who had real medical causes for being absent, however for individuals who recurrently have odd days off or vacation in time period time.

He mentioned: “We respect this marketing campaign has been controversial.

“Lacking even in the future of college has an impression not simply on a toddler’s schooling however on the remainder of the category, because it means the trainer has to spend time serving to them catch up – to the detriment of different pupils. Lacking days of college reduces youngsters’s probabilities of attaining success.”

Printed at Mon, 06 Nov 2017 13:41:30 +0000