Sussex 'send ill kids to school' campaign sparks anger

"Don't be a pushy parent" poster Image copyright East Sussex County Council

A council is facing a backlash after telling parents to be "pushy" and send their ill children to school.

An East Sussex County Council (ESCC) campaign says: "Putting your foot down isn't always easy but 100% attendance should be every parent's goal.

"Unless there's a genuine reason for your child to be absent, be a pushy parent and get them to school."

The campaign has been described by parents on social media as "outrageous, patronising and utterly misjudged".

The council posted on its website: "A minor cough, cold, sore throat, headache, or just feeling tired doesn't always mean a day off school. The school will send your child home if they think they are struggling."

There are already 175 non-school days a year and children will "miss vital hours of learning" if they do not attend school every day, the authority adds.

'Hostile' campaign

Anett Poscai responded on Facebook: "I love this approach. Especially when mums bringing their feverish, sick child in and asking teachers to administer the medication to make kids push through the day."

Jemima Keys posted: "Seriously, who approved this campaign? I saw this on the side of a bus and honestly could not believe it...Could you be any more hostile and unapproachable ESCC?"

Meanwhile, Rowan Huggins said on Facebook: "This is an outrageous, patronising and utterly misjudged campaign."

In November 2017, a campaign by the same council telling parents to send children to school if they have colds prompted more than 6,500 signatures to a petition against its "aggressive, condescending and insulting" message.

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