Guidance for parents asked to provide a GP note for school
Please note that GP's do not have a statutory duty to provide informal sick notes for
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 form attached.
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
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 attached request I authorisation form and hand
this in at reception.
Please note that as these GP letters are not a service that is funded by the NHS, GPs may
charge the parents a fee for completing these.
2. Relating to requests for special consideration:
The following national guidance has been sent out to all GP's, 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.
Further Evidence Request Form (this link will open in a new window - popups must be allowed)