As of September 1st no more term time absences - complete overkill?

(152 Posts)
Levvylife Thu 11-Jul-13 16:55:16

We've just been notified that schools will no longer authorise any absences in term time as of September (bar exceptional circumstances) and if you do take your child out in term time you get a £60 fine.

I'm not saying I approve of kids taking time out in term time per se, but this seems ridiculously heavy handed to me, what's wrong with the current system at the Head's discretion?

For example, my 6 year old DS was studying the Great Fire of London, so we took him to London for two days, but on a Sunday and Monday to avoid crowds and reduce the cost by half. He learnt way more in that day than he would have in school and I find it very hard to believe that the odd day here and there for good reason is going to make a massive amount of difference.

Also, Dh pointed out that some people work in offices and it is not always possible to take your annual leave in the summer if everyone else gets in there first. Then what?

So, AIBU to think that this is really over the top?

Levvylife Thu 11-Jul-13 16:55:34

Sorry, news story here.

HeySoulSister Thu 11-Jul-13 16:58:05

£60 oneoff...or perchild per day?

also,how do you measure how much your child learnt during 2 days in London? you don't know what he's missed in school. grin

'exceptional circumstances' is this HT discretion still?

CrapBag Thu 11-Jul-13 16:58:37

Many people will disagree with you but I don't.

I know they are trying to weed out people who always take their kids out of school, but I can't see it making a difference to them anyway.

We can only go on holiday in term time. I don't care if people say its not a right, they didn't go when they were little etc etc. I like taking my children on holiday and a few days off school, once in the year isn't going to hurt them (wouldn't do it at GCSE's or something like that).

Our holiday next year is already booked. I looked into changing it to half term or the start of the summer holidays. Its over £300 more for the 4 days. I'd rather take the fine, its more affordable.

CrapBag Thu 11-Jul-13 17:01:04

Its one off £60 or £120 if not within a certain number of days. No idea where this per child per day stuff is from. I have also heard its per parent even if they don't live with you. Haven't seen evidence of this either. Its not what this article says.

WestieMamma Thu 11-Jul-13 17:01:48

I'd just factor the £60 into the costs of my holiday.

Levvylife Thu 11-Jul-13 17:02:12

Well SoulSister - I'd say based on recent experience my son just missed a few star jumps and having to say "I'm a wally." wink

I just don't think that most people take their kids out of school willy nilly for no good reason, and if they're not in the midst of their GCSEs, how bad can a few days be?

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Thu 11-Jul-13 17:02:30

YANBU I see nothing wrong with the current system. There is no need for a zero tolerence approach imo.

WorraLiberty Thu 11-Jul-13 17:02:55

I do love all these parents who try to justify a cheaper jolly by calling it educational grin

If you want to take your child to London, you'll just have to do it over a weekend or during one of the 12 weeks holiday they get per year.

That way the child gets educated both in and out of school.

KansasCityOctopus Thu 11-Jul-13 17:03:05

people will just carry on doing what they've always done, telling the school little julian and julie are sick.

Levvylife Thu 11-Jul-13 17:03:39

I was told per child per parent per day by a teacher the other night but can't find anything to back that up.

ll31 Thu 11-Jul-13 17:03:51

If your child is studying great fire of London in school,why did you need to take him on trip outside of school hours?? Was he not learning enough in school for you? At six??
You sound a bit overly .. I'm no quite sure what tbh!

Fines seem a lot but maybe you and the other parents take the kids out too much and it's disrupting their and others learning. So yabu

Floggingmolly Thu 11-Jul-13 17:05:48

If you think your child will learn more at home with you than in school, the option to deregister and home school is there...
You can't just decide on a weekend away and because it's vaguely "educational" (most places are, really), imagine it will make up for whatever the school will have taught in those two days.
That's what holidays are for.

CloudsAndTrees Thu 11-Jul-13 17:05:53

I don't think it's too heavy handed.

If you want to take advantage of the state education system, then you have to adhere to their rules instead of picking and choosing when you want to attend.

monicalewinski Thu 11-Jul-13 17:06:14

I agree with you Levvylife, especially re the summer holiday leave from work. Both me and my husband work full time, just about everyone at work has school age kids and we can't all get off at the same time.

Luckily our primary has decided to retain HT discretion for parents returning from deployments as it is a predominately military school, but the policy itself is VERY unnecessarily heavy handed IMO.

Levvylife Thu 11-Jul-13 17:06:57

I didn't need to - we just wanted to! He's really interested in history, Henry VIII etc and we thought it would be a nice thing to do as we had the opportunity. His little mind was totally blown by the whole London experience and he still talks about it now. Hardly makes me a rampant tiger mother, does it?

Levvylife Thu 11-Jul-13 17:08:20

And seriously - one day out of term is hardly two fingers up to the whole education system, is it, nor is it anything in the grander scheme of things. Perspective.

meddie Thu 11-Jul-13 17:10:56

Out of interest. Can they actually enforce this fine?

ll31 Thu 11-Jul-13 17:12:27

Not at all, in fact taking him out of school unnecessarily probably makes you the opposite of tiger mother... I just wondered were you one of those mothers whose kid has to be best and know most about t everything

Levvylife Thu 11-Jul-13 17:12:51

I'd be interested to know that too meddie.

Also, if one single day of education is too significant to miss, does this mean the end of inset days and using schools as polling stations?

Levvylife Thu 11-Jul-13 17:13:41

ll31 have a biscuit.

WorraLiberty Thu 11-Jul-13 17:15:50

Yes they can enforce the fine

There were two cases in my local paper just over a year ago where a parent was sent to prison for failing to pay.

Anyway, the Gazette link doesn't work for me

So here are the amendments clearly set out on the DFE website

ll31 Thu 11-Jul-13 17:16:06

Big difference between days when school is closed officiAlly and parents keeping kids at home on different days continually

WorraLiberty Thu 11-Jul-13 17:16:56

I should add it wasn't just failure to pay. She'd been in constant trouble for failing to send her kids to school...but then she didn't pay the fines either.

HeySoulSister Thu 11-Jul-13 17:17:19

I think it must be a headache for the teachers tbh!!

maybe every week they have someone out of class on holiday and have to forever keep running after children to ensure they catch up

secondary school is what i'm thinking of here....I have 3 teens and when ds had his accident the teachers had to go to some lengths to ensure he caught up with coursework. this did mean quite a bit of to-ing and fro-ing for him,them and ultimately,me.

he only had 9 days off

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