Dear Mrs ______

Many thanks for your letter expressing concern about the level of my daughters’ attendance and the fact that it is not quite in the 96% and above range. As you know (because I have always conscientiously kept you informed of all absences) their only absence has been due to illness or unavoidable circumstances.

In light of the fact that you promise to keep ‘monitoring’ my children’s attendance, while knowing that absence is due to unavoidable circumstances, am I premature in my expression of joy? Can it be true that, given your level of concern, I may happily drop my daughters off at school when they are ill, so that they may vomit all over your carpets instead of mine? Am I to presume that the school rules that insist on a child not returning to school within 48 hours of vomiting, despite this being a completely arbitrary figure and not based on any actual evidence (according to my paediatric registrar sister), have been revoked?

Hurrah! Thank you! I find it very difficult, as I am sure do many other parents, when any of my children are ill.

Am I also to assume that you will make arrangements for dealing with their autistic brother so that we can make appointments to go to the dentist and optician outside school hours instead of during them? I am sincerely grateful. Or is it that you will insist the government provide NHS dentists within the vicinity of the school, instead of 23 miles distant, so that we may indeed attend the dentist (while you take care of their autistic brother – cheers!) with convenience?

I look forward to the chat that you promised in your letter ‘to discuss the situation’ should my girls’ attendance not improve. I cannot express my gratitude enough.

Yours sincerely…

p.s. I’m not actually going to send it. It just made me feel better.  I drive 200 miles a week just so they can go to this school, because I value their education so highly. Mamma Mia!