GP Notes for School
Guidance for parents asked to provide a GP note for school
Please note that GPs do not have a statutory duty to provide informal sick notes for children.
Your relationship with the school should be such that any concerns over a child's absence can be resolved without the need for you or the school to ask your GP to provide any supporting evidence.
1. Relating to school attendance
The school may ask you to provide a written note explaining your child's absence from school. In most cases, this should be sufficient evidence for the school to authorise the absence. In some cases the school may request supportive evidence. In these cases, schools nationally have been asked to accept a prescription or an appointment card as evidence rather than a GP letter. A text message from the surgery confirming an appointment time will also be accepted by schools in Brighton & Hove.
If you need to obtain a record of your GP appointment from the surgery, please ask our receptionist who will be able to provide evidence of the appointment time, with our surgery stamp. There is no charge for this service.
Occasionally, a school may feel that further evidence is required. Before our surgery is engaged, there is an expectation that you and the school will meet face to face beforehand in order to discuss and hopefully resolve the concern without the need for the surgery to be involved.
Evidence available from the surgery, following your meeting with the school, is as follows:
a) You may give the school permission to speak to our Practice Manager who will be able to confirm/ provide a list of dates where your child has attended for an appointment. The Practice Manager will not be able to provide any detailed information on the reason for the appointment or the period of time that the child may need to be absent from school due to illness. Please authorise these requests using the online form.
b) The school may ask you to give permission for a member of their senior management team to contact the Practice for further information about your child’s medical condition. You will need to give your written consent for the school to contact the Practice and for the Practice to share medical information relating to the absence.
c) In exceptional circumstances the school may ask you to provide a GP letter, detailing your child's illness and the likely duration your child will be absent from school. A GP appointment is NOT required in order for you to request such a letter. Please complete the online request authorisation form.
Please note that as these GP letters are not a service that is funded by the NHS, there will be a charge for completing these.
2. Relating to requests for special consideration
The following national guidance has been sent out to all GPs, schools and colleges by the General Practitioners' Council and British Medical Association:
"Schools and colleges should note that GPs will not provide sick notes in support of special consideration applications. A medical certificate is not necessary when making an application for special consideration where a candidate misses an exam or their performance in an exam is affected as a result of a temporary illness/injury. As long as the school/college supports the application for special consideration this is considered sufficient evidence”.
In these above situations, please arrange to discuss your child's educational requirements directly with the school. Your relationship with the school should be such that the school is able to submit an application to the examination board without the need of GP evidence.
If, in a very rare situation, the school feels that further supportive evidence is required before they are willing to either support or submit an application to the examination board, then this first needs to be discussed with you as the parent. If no agreement can be met between school and parent, and it is felt that a GP letter is required, and if the GP does agree to provide a letter in these circumstances an appropriate fee will be applied.
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