Absence From School

It's difficult when children cannot go to school because they are unwell, and with the focus on truancy, we are occasionally being asked to provide medical certificates.

It has always been our policy that we DO NOT provide medical certificates for absence from school except for EXTERNALLY ASSESSED examinations and this has not changed because there is a national truancy crisis. 

Please still bring your child to the doctor if you are concerned about their health, just not only to obtain a medical certificate, as one will not be provided.

  • Schools should accept parents' word when children need to be absent from school.
  • Most illnesses in school age children do not need medical care, and a visit just to obtain a certificate is an inappropriate use of a valuable resource.  There are too few doctors to provide this service and if we are giving a certificate to a child with a cold, we are not seeing someone else who may have a more serious illness.  Please still bring your child if you are worried - that's perfectly fine!
  • If we provide a certificate for one child, we end up providing them for many.  This is why we do not provide certificates even when you visit for diagnosis or treatment.
  • There is no funding for the provision of certificates.
  • Bringing a sick child to the doctor just for a certificate potentially exposes other vulnerable people to the illness without any benefit being obtained.
  • There are avoidable time and fuel costs which affect parents and the environment.
  • INTERNAL exams are supposed to take place when the child is ready to take them so there is no need for certification.  The school can make alternative arrangements for your child's assessment but please be aware that doing so is very inconvenient so it is best if they attend where possible.
  • EXTERNAL exams are very susceptible to cheating so it is important to obtain a certificate for these occasions.  We usually waive our certificate fee in such circumstances.

We know it puts you in a hard spot when the school asks for a certificate and we say no, but we do so to preserve our time for caring for sick people and we are very grateful for your understanding in this matter.  Education is one of the most important things for your child's wellbeing in all respects so we do understand the school's perspective of wanting to make sure that parents are being honest, but since almost all parents are truthful in their dealing with schools, there is no need for a doctor to get involved.

If you are asked to produce a medical certificate for your child, please remind the school that the request for a certificate is inappropriate, and if the school has particular concerns about the absence of your child, they are welcome to request a medical report, which requires parental consent, and for which our usual report fees will apply ($158.13 per 15 minutes or part including GST as at 13/11/2023)

Image credit:  pressfoto Cheerful Schoolchildren with Blackboard Background image on Freepic.

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