Mum’s anger as school won’t let boy have day off for brother’s hospital visit

Mandy Davis with her sons Harry, seven, and Marcus, 11

Picture: Sarah Standing (160899-4418)
Mandy Davis with her sons Harry, seven, and Marcus, 11 Picture: Sarah Standing (160899-4418)

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A MUM-of-two has called a school unfair for not authorising her son’s absence when she had to visit Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Mandy Davis had to take her disabled son Harry, seven, to the London children’s hospital on Monday.

I am a single parent and there is no-one to look after him.

Mandy Davis

The single parent wrote to her other son’s school, Milton Park Primary, to ask for his absence to be considered authorised as the family had to travel up Sunday evening for the early appointment.

But the school declined and marked it as unauthorised.

The school has since said it was not aware Ms Davis had to stay overnight in London.

Ms Davis, from Fratton, said: ‘I do not understand why it was not considered an exceptional circumstance for Marcus to miss school.

‘It was only one day and what was I meant to do? I am a single parent and there is no-one to look after him.

‘I was not going to leave him on his own as he’s only 11. We had to travel up on the Sunday for the appointment and it is unfair that he will now have an unauthorised absence on his record.

‘I waited six months for Harry’s appointment and I wasn’t going to miss it.’

Ms Davis, 43, said she was worried she might be fined but the school has said that will not happen.

Julie Smith, headteacher of Milton Park, said: ‘We know the family’s circumstances and have always tried to be supportive.

‘For previous hospital appointments we’ve offered to help by picking Marcus up in the morning and looking after him at our after-school club.

‘When we got the leave of absence request, we didn’t know there was an overnight stay planned. It didn’t seem to be an exceptional request.

‘It seemed something that could be managed by a morning pick-up and the after-school club. We need parents to give us all the information needed, so we can make an informed decision.’