Taking day off school for trip away?(29 Posts)
In a few months time, I will be taking my 2 DC (8 and 4, so yr3 and reception) away for the weekend with two other mums and their dc, 6 kids between us. Children and mums all really good friends. It will be a long drive but worth it I am sure.
My two friends are planning on taking their children out of school on the Friday so that they can leave straight after school on Thursday and have a longer break. I'm not really comfortable with taking my children out of school for the day, but am not sure how to broach this with my friends as I don't want them to think that I am judging their choices- it is of course up to them how they deal with this within their own families, it just doesn't feel right for me. My dc have already had 1 and 3 legitimate days off respectively so far this school year with bugs and so on and I am not convinced that having a day off just because we are going away is reasonable.
I would prefer to go up the Friday night straight from school. This would mean a much shorter break for us and a 3.5hr drive for basically one night and 1.5 days (whilst we would have 2 nights there, we wouldn't arrive until 8pm the first and so it would be bedtime for the children, then leave after lunch on the Sunday) Would also cause lots of questioning from my dc- why are their friends not at school and have gone already? Why couldn't they?
Also, I know its only 1 day but I do not want my dc to have an unauthorised absence on their school record. Am not sure that they would authorise it because of the few days off they've had so far, and if they said "no sorry we can't approve it" I would feel rather silly if I then took them anyway.
This all sounds quite petty when it is written down- AIBU and possibly a bit precious? Should I just take my kids out of school for the day and let them enjoy a fantastic weekend with their friends? Or is my gut feeling worth listening to and we will go up on the Friday?
I really do not enjoy making decisions!
I think you're making it more difficult than it needs to be.
You don't need to 'broach' it with your friends...just tell them you'll be turning up on Friday after you've picked the kids up from school.
If your kids ask why the others are going early, just tell them it's what their Mums decided to do.
Have a great trip.
Request it as holiday, even if it is refused it will be acknowledged as a refused holiday request as opposed to an unauthorised absence. Where I work (secondary) parental requests for holidays are always considered and generally the rule of thumb is that 5 days per child is allowed for the 5 year period they are there (in year 10 and 11 requests tend to be refused).
Ask for the holiday request form, fill it out, I would hope you'd have it granted but if not, go anyway. One day is not going to make a huge difference and if your DC have only had 1 and 3 days off so far then they are well above the magic 95% attendance rate.
I would ask the school, if they approve then take them the Thursday if not take them the Friday.
Agree with worra
I really don't see the big deal in taking a day off school every now and then - I would just head off on the Thursday. 3.5 hour drive for 1.5 days away - WAY too much hassle.
However, if you don't want to do that and don't mind all the driving for such a short, it is of no business to anyone else but you - stick to your guns and do what you want, you are the adult and make the decisions for your kids!
A semi-compromise would be to collect your children on Friday afternoon as soon as the register has been done e.g. 1.45pm so that they are registered as being present for the session but you get to leave earlier.
A refused holiday request is an unauthorised absence though, if the parent goes ahead anyway.
And it's recorded as an UA and my DS's schools.
You're right Worra, it is still unauthorised but recorded differently in the system. For secondary it means that teachers are made aware that the student is on holiday but not an authorised holiday (recorded as G instead of H on our system, as opposed to not knowing why said student is not in our lesson). This means that we know that we don't need to chase up the absence.
FWIW when a child's attendance record is given as a % both authorised and unauthorised holidays or medical appts etc. are deemed as non-attendance.
Worra I think out of courtesy and friendship it would be right to let my friends know my plans- and I can't really do so without a comment on the fact that we aren't going on the Thursday. If they were just acquaintainces it might be easier to just say "oh we'll see you late on Friday" but we are more than that.
Maybe though the fact we are so close means that I should be able to say that to them without worrying that they will take offence- I am not known for saying what I really think, perhaps this would be good practice...
How about asking for a half day on Friday? I have done this with my kids. We were going somewhere for the weekend and picked them up at lunchtime to travel.
Just say you can't. Just tell them the truth. You can't. It doesn't matter WHY you can't!
If they push for info, just explain that your children have missed too much this year.
Have a reall ygood trip... I respect your choices, even if they are different from my own, hopefully your friends will too.
whatever you decide to do, just be aware, traveling by road on a friday, traffic can be very busy. we travel a lot, and always try and avoid fridays if we can. eg, the m6 on a friday between about 4 and 8pm can be at a standstill.
I would just take them out of school and go on Thursday.
If you don't want to though then that is your choice.
You can let your friends know your plans without passing comment on their choices. 'We'll be up on Friday' is sufficient, you don't need to say 'we'll be up on Friday because I don't think it's right to take children out of school for a holiday'.
But you don't have to say what your 'really think' do you?
In fact if you did, that would be terribly judgemental of you.
All you need to tell them is you'll see them after school on Friday.
If they ask why you're not keeping your kids off school, tell them it's because you don't want to.
I'd take my dd out without a second thought. And tell them she was ill so it was authorised. Because I know she'd benefit more from a full day on holiday than yet another day at school.
Collect them just after afternoon registration.
same school or different schools?
our school has just gone zero tolerance on this - ie no holiday will be authorised. if separate school you could say HT won't allow it
if same school I think HT would take a dim view of a group of families choosing to take time out of school together. which will be pretty obvious, if you all ask for authorised abscence.
you could always just say you have an appointment on Friday (book an eye test) or that your kids have already had a lot of time out.
If I wasn't a teacher myself I wouldn't give the odd day off for my kids a second thought.
I work in a private school so it's a bit different (ie we can't stop them!) but our parents take their children out for all sorts of reasons, especially as we have Saturday school too. I really don't think it affects them educationally.
I wouldn't take my DD out of school for a weekend away.
Even though she probably wouldn't miss anything drastically important, I think it sends a subconsious message about how important school is overall.
But then I've had a shit day with staff requesting holidays that I'm struggling to authorise and have been questioning peoples work ethic all day...... maybe not the most objective opinion ;)
I would do as suggested up thread note to teachers that they will be being collected after afternoon registration, make sure you know What time that is and specify a time 20 minutes later so they go to class get their mark and then are called to the office after your arrival . If you say after lunch some teachers don't take them back to class just leave by the office and they'd still loose a mark.
I don't think its about unauthorised absences, which ultimately dont impact the parent as long as they don't have too many.
The fact is its not allowed (the 10 days off should be exceptional circumstances). They have 13 weeks holiday and weekends, thats quite enough days off! If any teacher tried to do what your friends are doing there would be outrage even though the school could easily get a supply teacher so it 'wouldn't affect them educationally'
I just dont understand the attitude of 'a few days here and there dont matter'. No. During term time they should be in school. Thems the rules.
The thing about parents taking pupils out of school here, there and everywhere is that it DOES have an impact on their learning and they are put in the position of being behind others in the class, missing preps etc. I am surprised that people on here are so blase about this and don't think it's a good message to send to your children - I have had a few arguments with my DS over this as she thinks that a week here and there is also ok as long as she can get cheaper flights! I teach in an indie school and we rarely have these kinds of absences requested - probably as parents are paying for it so want their children in school.
I personally think that you are being very responsible in wanting to set off on the Friday and don't really see the issue of having to explain this to friends. What they do is up to them and what you do is up to you. You don't need to make clear that you don't really agree with what they are doing, be a little vague if that avoids conflict.
As wellthen points out - the holidays are long enough!
I don't know what your school has been like the last few months, but at DS1's school there has been a lot of really serious illnesses doing the rounds and the attendance numbers have been pitiful. As a result most leave requests are most likely going to be denied so all absences will be unauthorised for the rest of the year.
We have done the taking out at lunchtime thing, it was the schools suggestion
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