Unauthorised Absence for one day.

(83 Posts)
mrsjavierbardem Wed 29-Jan-14 14:17:44

I have to take 2 dc out for one day, I don't want the palaver of being refused so do most people just phone their kids in sick?
I hate doing it but I don't see what choice we have now, I think to be allowed to take your kids out for one day every few years should be allowed, but it seems mad to walk myself into a big fine.
So are other people just phoning in sick if it's one day?

Sirzy Wed 29-Jan-14 14:20:11

Don't lie. Just tell the school they won't be in, if they want to mark it unathorised thats their choice - won't make any difference to your children in the long run

Fudgeface123 Wed 29-Jan-14 14:21:03

depends how important it is really

Taffeta Wed 29-Jan-14 14:22:10

I have just filled in a form as we are absent on the last day of the summer term. I know it will be refused as there aren't exceptional circumstances but I wouldn't lie about sickness as that sends a really poor message to the children.

mummymeister Wed 29-Jan-14 14:22:23

no sorry. I think you have to be honest about it. It isn't just the fine ( £60 per child per parent so £240 if your kids have 2 parents) its a criminal offence. I agree you should be allowed to do this. I also think the more of us that just keep ignoring the law, taking our kids out and refusing the fine the more chance we have of getting this ridiculous law changed. MNHQ are talking about the petition for cheaper holidays. I have asked them to do something about this law because of situations like this. Schools are getting wise to this. there have been other threads where parents have been asked to prove that their kids are ill (doctors certs etc) especially if they are both in the same school. up to you if you want to do it but the more of us that make a fuss, write to our MP's etc the more chance there is of getting it changed. good luck.

Showy Wed 29-Jan-14 14:23:44

Just ask. We took DD out last week for one day and the headmaster authorised it without a second's thought. He is a sensible man though and knows when to say yes and when to say no.

mummymeister Wed 29-Jan-14 14:23:57

Sirzy and taffeta - how do you feel about it being a criminal offence then? would that make you make a different decision about taking them out? that's the real change. not the fine but the criminalising of the parents.

lljkk Wed 29-Jan-14 14:23:58

I think most people would phone in sick (I sure would).

mummymeister Wed 29-Jan-14 14:24:39

showy, can I move to your school please smile

Sirzy Wed 29-Jan-14 14:25:28

I think an expectation that during term time unless there is exceptional circumstances children are in school is right. We had developed an attitude in some areas whereby it was seen as fine to take a couple of weeks off school.

When you send your child to school you agree they will attend school.

I know that may not be a popular attitude but there you go!

Dillydollydaydream Wed 29-Jan-14 14:30:36

My dc had a day off for my sisters wedding in sept which was a Friday. Instead of pretending they were both ill I told them it was my ds's wedding but they still sent home a letter saying it was unauthorised. No fine though luckily.

SoonToBeSix Wed 29-Jan-14 14:34:14

One day will go down as unauthorised but no fine.

mrsjavierbardem Wed 29-Jan-14 14:34:41

I totally agree but there are exceptional opportunities and this really is one of them and it will be enormously meaningful for him.
I would like to ask for it to be legitimately allowed but I object to paying a fine.

Ethically I should just let him lose out but honestly, one day - in maybe 4 or 5 years of school?

The other thing that makes me less exquisitely ethical about it is when I hear they watch movies and do very little work on those end of term days, that makes me feel even less ambivalent about it.

If it wasn't exceptional I wouldn't even consider it, I also hate role modelling dishonesty but I can't risk a £240 fine, and I think local councils seem to me to need to make money where they can.

lljkk Wed 29-Jan-14 14:37:24

OP is only asking about what others would do when she knows they're going to be out anyway. Enough threads elsewhere about other aspects of the big issue. I hate the stress of it, too. Which is why I would lie for just one day.

lljkk Wed 29-Jan-14 14:38:51

We have this in writing: fines only if absence >= 15% in a 6 week period. Do the math, that's 4.5 days off before a fine. Might reassure you if you get something similar, but must be in writing or worthless reassurance.

Taffeta Wed 29-Jan-14 14:44:30

In my experience at our school, it will be unauthorised but there will be no fine or criminal proceedings.

I have never done it before, it's the last day of summer term when they do no work, a pointless day of childcare only from what I can gather so I have zero qualms about taking them out that day.

mrsjavierbardem Wed 29-Jan-14 14:45:06

It is the stress, also I think I would not be absolutely certain that I would not be fined and that would make it so stressful that I would rather do something unethical, and I do think it is really unethical to lie to a school, it's deeply wrong and goes against the way I behave.
BUT
if I am going to put myself in a position, even if it's extremely unlikely, that I could be fined then I can't take that risk, it seems abominable to me and I said so repeatedly as a parent governor.
I can't put myself in front of a big fine like that at the moment however remotely the possibility is that I would actually be fined.
I think financially local authorities are strapped enough to pull in every penny they can find from anywhere at all, it's not about logic. Just look at the cash cow that is Hammersmith roundabout and how they milk money out of anyone who stops in the box junctions.
I don't have confidence in fairness prevailing.
one day in 5 years, I can't feel that that's wrong. And I can't agree with a system that even only potentially criminalises me. Certainly when really criminal people like financial crooks and heads of banks etc get gold plated pensions or promoted.
I think the little guy is very vulnerable if he willingly breaks a law and declares it. I disagree with it too much to lay myself open to it.

Taffeta Wed 29-Jan-14 14:47:16

That sucks, op.

HollyMiamiFLA Wed 29-Jan-14 14:51:38

To be labelled a "criminal" because you take your DC out of school for a day is a little OTT.

Sirzy Wed 29-Jan-14 14:53:23

The criminal proceedings (which has always been an option to LEAs) only come into play with long term or persistent unauthorised absences.

One day off would be marked unathorised but that is all that would happen.

mummymeister Wed 29-Jan-14 14:55:59

lljkk no doubt you do have it in writing but this is for your Local Education authority only. each one has its own rules. they are not the same everywhere. and that is the problem. some areas are saying 4.5 days some a week some none at all. its a postcode lottery. the only way to be 100% certain is to ask your LEA for a copy of THEIR rules and they will not be the same across the country.

mummymeister Wed 29-Jan-14 14:58:43

sirzy you just cannot say that. this is not the case in our LEA. one day is being prosecuted. people are being asked to prove that their kids are sick. this is really happening. maybe not where you live but elsewhere. MrsJ I just couldn't agree with you more. a ludicrous situation but how do we highlight it and get it changed?

Sirzy Wed 29-Jan-14 14:59:40

So where are all these people who have been prosecuted for one days absence with otherwise perfect attendance records? Sorry I can't for a second believe that is happening!

HollyMiamiFLA Wed 29-Jan-14 15:01:01

Off to the South on Friday. Have to leave early because it's a long way. Big family birthday.

Unauthorised. We will make it educational by going to the British Musem for a few hours.

mummymeister Wed 29-Jan-14 15:07:21

yeah you are right sirzy. I am such a great big fat liar. it is happening. search a few MN threads to see the kind of crap that some parents are having to put up with because of this. already know of 2 parents at my DC's school who took a day off after Christmas and who have been referred to the LEA with a view to action being taken. unfortunately some areas just aren't taking a reasonable view. just look at the number of threads on this on MN over the last few weeks alone. and this is before the holiday season gets going. and no, I am not going to tell you where I live because I don't share that sort of info with people I don't know. you can believe me or not. but do your own research and you will see what an absolute shambles this law is and how it is impacting on ordinary, decent parents.

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