Mum's health call for schools

A Peterborough mum is appealing for schools to reward children with health issues for good attendance after seeing youngsters miss out on prizes.

Sunday, 8th May 2016, 2:00 pm
Mum Karen with Lucy Harris. Mum has created a petition on about school attendance figures and rewards., Home, Peterborough 03/05/2016. Picture by Terry Harris. THA

Karen Harris, mum of Lucy (8) has started the campaign after her daughter, who has Down’s Syndrome, missed a number of days of school through illness.

Karen (46), from Stanground, said: “I have spoken to a lot of other parents in the same position, and they have the same problem.

“In Lucy’s case she has a very low immune system, and picks up bugs very easily.

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“If other students come in with a cough or cold, if Lucy gets it she might need anti-biotics or even hospital treatment.

“It is a particular problem in the winter months, when she can be off for two or three weeks, and can be really quite poorly.

“I’ve spoken to a number of parents in similar positions, with children with asthma, diabetes or other conditions.

“Schools often offer pupils with 100 per cent attendance a prize - shopping vouchers or even an iPod. Children with health issues are unable to get full attendance, and by pushing children to come to school even when they are ill, it is making it worse for others.

“We want it to be made a legal requirement for schools to take health issues into account.”

A Peterborough City Council spokesman said it was down to individual schools to set their own policy on the matter. To sign the petition, visit