Mum ‘banned from daughter’s school’ after giving headteacher doctor’s note
A furious mother claims to have been banned from her daughter’s school after handing the headteacher a doctor’s note saying the youngster should be exempt from wearing a blazer in the heatwave.
Emma Weaver collected Ellie-Marie, 12, from her Gloucestershire secondary school on Tuesday last week because she was feeling unwell and could see black dots before her eyes.
And the 33-year-old says the family GP diagnosed low blood pressure caused by the hot weather and told her Ellie-Marie needed to be kept cool to stop her fainting, reports Gloucestershire Live .
The mum kept her daughter home for a day but says when she returned with a sick note explaining that the doctor wanted Ellie-Marie to wear cool clothes and a hat during the heatwave it was not taken seriously.
Although Ellie-Marie is now allowed back to school in lighter attire, mum Emma says she is speaking out on behalf of the many other parents who are upset.
Headteacher Ben Parnell vowed to turn Lakers School – now renamed Fiver Acres high School – around when he arrived a year ago and gave it a new name, new uniform and a new behaviour regime.
He also responded to Emma’s claims by saying pupils don’t have to wear blazers in lessons or on breaks and said the school had issued sun safety advice. Pupils have all also been bought ice creams, he said.
But Emma claims parents are particularly concerned about children being banned from wearing sun hats in the playground at break time.
“When she first complained about being ill on Tuesday they sent her back to class, but eventually a teacher phoned me to come and collect her,” explained Emma
"She felt so ill she was in tears and said she could see spots before her eyes.
"When I took her to the surgery, the doctor said her blood temperature had risen so much it had caused her blood pressure to drop. She was in a pre-fainting state.
“She gave me a fitness for work note basically saying Ellie-Marie should be allowed to wear a sun hat to school and not wear the blazer and tie.
“The doctor printed off the public health advice so I could show the school."
But Emma said she felt her concerns, and the doctor’s advice, weren’t taken seriously enough by Mr Parnell.
Ellie-Marie is back in school minus her blazer and tie but she has to spend her breaks inside in isolation rather than play with her friends.
Emma claims that after the meeting on Wednesday she received an email saying she is banned from the Forest secondary school for slamming doors and disrespecting the headteacher, something she denies.
But she said: “All the parents can’t understand it because the school’s actually going against official public health advice.
“The headteacher called the kids to a special assembly to tell them they couldn’t wear hats, but I have two little ones and their primary school will not even let them outside without a hat.
“They are allowed to take their blazers off in the classroom, but I keep hearing of kids complaining about feeling sick and headachy because they have to wear them for uniform inspections and in the yard at breaktimes.
“Several parents have complained to the head but he is having none of it and had actually laughed at several of us.
"He even laughed at me when I went in with doctor’s letter and said ‘well your daughter didn’t faint so I’m not changing my policy’.
"Parents are desperate and angry but we have nowhere to turn. We want him to put children’s health before appearance.”
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Headteacher Mr Parnell promised to turn the school around after a damning Ofsted report when he arrived a year ago, part of which was to introduce a stricter regime including new uniforms.
This week he said about the row over blazers and hats: "We wouldn’t ever discuss an individual child or family’s concerns publicly.
"However we are dealing with the warm weather in a sensible manner whereby students are not required to wear blazers during lunch and break time or in lessons.
"We have sent advice to all parents about staying hydrated and to use sun lotion. We have plenty of well ventilated spaces for children to spend their lunch and break time if they do not want to be outside in the sunshine.
"There have been very few concerns raised in fact the children and parents are loving this fantastic period of warm weather, so much so that we bought all the children ice-creams on Friday lunchtime to say well done for their mature approach to school and as a thank-you for maintaining their high standards and expectations."
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