Another 'take my child out of school thread'

(45 Posts)
WWOOWW Sat 08-Feb-14 12:14:24

Too many details given which could link to my regular name - Nc'ed

My son is 11 (year 6), doing his SATs in May this year. My sister and her kids are coming from the US to visit for a week in June. She can not take time off work during our 6 weeks holidays plus she is divorced and has to go to court to get permission to take the kids out of the country when their dad has access to them. We only see her once every 3 years. I can not travel to see her as I suffer from agoraphobia/Panic disorder and have not been on a plane for over 30 years.

I would like my son to have the opportunity to spend every minute he can with his Aunty and cousins and would therefore like to take him out of school for the week in June.

AIBU?

WWOOWW Sat 08-Feb-14 13:02:28

School is very important to me and to my son and this will not be a decision taken lightly. He has a very high attendance rate. I do not want to put my son in a position where I am forcing him to lie - that much I am clear on. I think it is terrible to make or condone an 11 year old lying.

Interesting points to consider. Does anyone know what the fines are ?

whichdidyouchoose Sat 08-Feb-14 13:04:28

Really, either kids get it or they don't, 2 months isn't going to make a difference either way?

WWOOWW Sat 08-Feb-14 13:06:16

Collar personally it would not bother me but I am aware that I place family in high regard and more important then anything else. Also there is a difference in a child missing school and an adult missing work.

collarsandcuffs Sat 08-Feb-14 13:08:10

You would not bother if you child's teacher said they were having a week off? I think there would be uproar at my school if that happened. And what is the difference...both are obliged to attend?

GimmeDaBoobehz Sat 08-Feb-14 13:09:09

£60 per child per parent. So if one DC and just you it's £60 if a partner too or a Dad who has parental responsibility it would be £120.

I wouldn't, you can see them after school and at the weekend/s.

GimmeDaBoobehz Sat 08-Feb-14 13:11:05

I would just miss one day and have a nice day out btw. If you will still be fined though might as well take the week off. Make sure he catches up on the topics he missed.

WWOOWW Sat 08-Feb-14 13:24:04

The fine is £60 no matter how long they take off? Interesting.

If I decide to do this he will of course catch up on anything he misses. FWIIW he has a secondary place at a selective school - I/we do take school seriously.

desertmum Sat 08-Feb-14 13:25:34

yes really - there is a huge build up to the SATs as they reflect on the school's performance record - then after that while they will be learning it won't be a life changing issue to take the children out of school. But as mine are both now at Uni and I can't remember what their SATs results were (and nobody is interested either), AND they missed days off school to travel the world or see family I can't see any problem. I do think people can get terribly precious about school and attendance - there is a huge wide world out there to explore and having relatives over from America will be fun and exciting for them. I get that constant non attendance is an issue but a one off isn't going to change their chances of becoming a doctor or a vet or whatever they want to be as long as they are aware of why they are having time off school and don't think they can do it all the time on a whim.

WorraLiberty Sat 08-Feb-14 13:26:59

Collar personally it would not bother me but I am aware that I place family in high regard and more important then anything else.

So more important than school then?

See this is one of the reasons why I wouldn't do it.

You're sending the message to your son, that actually school isn't that important if there's something better to do.

HeisenbergsHat Sat 08-Feb-14 13:31:27

Your LA should have their unauthorised absence policy available online. The policy at our LA is to issue a fine for 5 or more days of unauthorised absence. You could request 2/3/4 days holiday, and if refused permission, keep him off school anyway without a fine - although it will affect his attendance record. Obviously the policy may be different in your area but worth checking.

FunkyBoldRibena Sat 08-Feb-14 13:33:34

Also there is a difference in a child missing school and an adult missing work.

The point [again] is that if a teacher did this, as a parent you would be up in arms.

Homebirthquestion Sat 08-Feb-14 13:38:05

Yes, I would take him out. He will be building his relationship with his cousins which is far more important.

WorraLiberty Sat 08-Feb-14 13:39:53

Heisen are you sure the 5 or more days isn't in any one term?

I know it is in my LA, although it's not particularly clear from the website.

Homebirthquestion Sat 08-Feb-14 13:40:01

He's not a teacher though. He's a child.

And plenty of teachers have been granted permission to take time out for things like honeymoons. It depends entirely on the head. I wouldn't be up in arms if my child's teacher did this for good reason and there was a plan in place for their absence.

WWOOWW Sat 08-Feb-14 13:40:26

Yes I guess I do see family in this instance more important then school.

Again - no I would not be 'up in arms' if a teacher took time off work to see close family for the first time in 3 years - particularly if there was no alternative. Ds is more then aware that his education is important and he has worked very hard to get into a school.

teacherwith2kids Sat 08-Feb-14 13:40:40

Although morally, all 'non essential' absences rom school are equally, in reality it depends a lot on what th school will be doing.

I do know of some schools where SATs are given such high importance that, frankly, once they are over almost no learning happens - the Y6 teachers see it as their role to cram for SATs, and after that it is basically free time punctuated with some enjoyable activities.

In other schools, SATs week is simply a short interruption to the real business of teaching and learning, and the pace of learning in Y6 is maintained pretty much to the end of term (as it is for all other years) to set children on the right trajectory for the start of Y7.

In yet other schools, a different type of learning takes place - residential week, preparation for a school play, cycle proficiency, life skills such as first aid, ciooking, budgeting, and work skills such as IT, presentation, debating etc take centre stage. If this week meant that your child was e.g. the only one without a part in the Y6 playm, would that create a problem?

I would, in your place, have a discussion with the Y6 teachers, and guage their response. i would also ascertain the fining cstructure in your area. Some areas interpret the £60 per session very literally - so at maximum that could be £120 per parent per day, as each day has 2 school sessions. 5 days in that scenario could be £1200. Others do £60 per 'period of absence', so £120 for 5 days for 2 parents. This is NOT under the school's control in any way.

"We only see her once every 3 years."
"We could do the after school thing but that would mean only mean spending 4pm -7pm together each day."
So, your son hasn't seen his cousins since he was eight, is that right? Maybe, seeing them 4pm-7pm for a week will be enough for him? I realise that YOU want to see as much of your sister/niece/nephew for this brief week, but can you be sure that your son wants the same? Maybe he doesn't want to drop his own life/friends for two children he hasn't seen fir three years and he won't see for another three years? He might find the week together, 24 hours without respite, a bit much?

WWOOWW Sat 08-Feb-14 13:58:51

Whereyouleftit - already considered.

SparklyTwinkleGlitter Sat 08-Feb-14 14:07:16

My DS is in Reception at the moment and we're leaving the country before he moves to Yr1.

Must say, I'm surprised that people regard missing a week of school as so detrimental to a child's education.

Personally, I think that's bonkers. Education is not confined to 4 walls of a classroom.

Think the idea of taking Thursday/Friday off sounds best.

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