School absence note requests: for information to General Practice staff

Following joint work by the Department of Health and Social Care and the Department for Education (DfE), School Reopening Guidance issued by DfE on 22 February has reminded schools they should not encourage parents to request unnecessary medical evidence i.e. doctors’ notes from their GP when their child is absent from school due to illness (p33). If evidence is required, it can take the form of prescriptions, appointment cards, text/email appointment confirmations etc. Input from GPs should only be sought where there are complex health needs/persistent absence issues.

This guidance also confirms the procedure for clinically extremely vulnerable children, and for those absent from school due to COVID-19 and self-isolation.