OMG. Are these 'penalty notices' for taking children out of school in term time legally enforceable?

(768 Posts)
Utterlyastoundedmum Mon 22-Jul-13 14:53:42

Not interested in having a debate about whether it is 'right' to take a child out of schol, in term time for holidays etc. just wanting to know whether they can be enforced from a legal perspective.

I have just read the latest school newsletter and am to be honest, very annoyed indeed to find that as of September the school are changing its policy on authorising absences. Until now it's always been on a case by case basis but now they are saying no absence will be authorised whatsoever no matter what, except for one day for weddings ( with proof!)

The penalty is £60 or £120.

Not very fair on any parents such as myself who booked a holiday for a week in October as we really CANNOT get away in half term this year.

I will not be paying unless this is legally enforcible!!

Yes they are and if you don't pay they can increase or take you to court. It is not the school who impose the fine it is the LEA. The school are just applying the law where they haven't before.
Magistrates take a dim view round here.

Utterlyastoundedmum Mon 22-Jul-13 14:57:44

Bloody great.
So last years parent get off Scott free and anyone who booked a holiday on this basis find they are 'fined' like a bloody criminal!

arabesque Mon 22-Jul-13 14:58:37

Wow, I live in Ireland and that seems a bit draconian shock.

PrettyKitty1986 Mon 22-Jul-13 15:00:17

If this is standard across the UK then I foresee both of my ds's having a nasty bug for a week next June grin

XBenedict Mon 22-Jul-13 15:00:34

Yes it is legally enforcable, has happened a couple times locally.

arabesque Mon 22-Jul-13 15:02:01

You would probably lose more money by cancelling the holiday than paying the fine.

misterioso Mon 22-Jul-13 15:02:47

It has been on the cards since Easter OP, where have you been. It was well documented on the news.
So sorry for you though, what are you going to do.
Maybe speak to your head, and beg.

KellyElly Mon 22-Jul-13 15:03:34

Is it a one off payment for the entire holiday or per day, per week??

5madthings Mon 22-Jul-13 15:05:45

You can request time off and see if it classes as 'exceptional circumstances' it is up to the ht to decide.

We applied for time off in sept as dp can't get time off work in school holidays (we have a letter from his employer confirming this) that counted as exceptional. But its totally up to the individual head teachers.

Not sure who decides if a fine will be given, the school or the local authority? Ours only seems to fine if you have a poor attendance record/persistent offender.

colleysmill Mon 22-Jul-13 15:05:52

Just curious but does that include medical appointments or are they different?

Admiraltea Mon 22-Jul-13 15:06:35

Round here i understand it to be £60 per child per parent so 2 kids = £240.
Also seem to remember Gove intending to make absences need a doctors cert similar to employment requirements...otherwise assumption will be unauthorised so liable for fine.
Got to finance Free Schools somehow. hmm

meditrina Mon 22-Jul-13 15:06:47

Fines were introduced by Labour in the 2003 Antisocial Behaviour Act. If you do not pay, then you can be taken to Court (penalty increases to about the £2k mark), and non-payment of a Court fine can lead to imprisonment (which certainly happened under the last Government).

Like I said it's not new it's been in legislation for years but not enforced in all areas.
The fine is per parent per child so £120 per child per week in a two parent home.
I'm a school governor and we were told by the head about 4 years ago that he had strict orders from the LEA to apply the rules. No term time holidays except for very exceptional cases (I can think of a forces family where dad came home on leave in term time, for example).
I believe the government has now removed what little discretion there was.
A friend who is a magistrate said they had several repeat offenders, mainly MC families taking DC skiing in term time and they used their discretion to apply maximum fine.

josephinebruce Mon 22-Jul-13 15:07:57

Yep. Legally enforceable and thank god :-)

OddBoots Mon 22-Jul-13 15:11:13

The letter we had about it also said that sicknesses needs to be phoned in daily and for the parents to bring in a note to school on the third day or the EWO could be contacted to pay a visit. I guess to stop people claiming sickness for a holiday.

Dahlen Mon 22-Jul-13 15:15:04

I have very mixed feelings about this. I think it should continue to be applied on a discretionary basis.

I have family in Australia. For health reasons I have to go there rather than them coming here. Going over there wouldn't be a "jolly" and there is enormous educational potential in the experience. My DC are in the top of their year and I would be happy to take some work away to ensure they didn't slip behind. There is no way at all that they would be disadvantaged educationally from taking a trip, whereas they would be denied a fantastic opportunity plus the chance to maintain links with their biological family under this ruling.

Dahlen Mon 22-Jul-13 15:15:58

Although given "the right to family life" under EU legislation, a legal challenge could be mounted as schools could be argued to interfere with it on that basis.

Travelledtheworld Mon 22-Jul-13 15:16:05

We had a similar email from the school and yes, it is a new Dept of Education policy which schools are expected to abide by and local authorities to enforce.
I am told that Unauthorised Absences from school are seen as truancy and so large numbers of middle class kids bunking off to go skiing outside the highly priced half term weeks reflects very badly on school attendance records.
I wonder what sort of proof you have to provide for a funeral ?

LadyBryan Mon 22-Jul-13 15:18:22

I suppose though, even if it were under your school's old "case by case" basis, you have booked a holiday and assumed that you would be given permission and have taken that risk.

I'm all for the fine.

Inncogneetow Mon 22-Jul-13 15:19:12

Our HT sent letter that they would honour the agreement for holidays which had already been approved. So if you've already had permission from the school OP, then you may be OK.

PrettyKitty1986 Mon 22-Jul-13 15:24:20

Parents should have the discretion to remove their children for a week or two without jumping through hoops.

I would happily phone in every day for a week saying they were Ill to avoid a fine too. IMO holidays can be hugely educational experiences and we wouldn't be able to afford the holidays we go on if we were limited to school holidays.

josephinebruce Mon 22-Jul-13 15:32:06

Holidays are a luxury. Bollocks are they educational!!!

giddywithglee Mon 22-Jul-13 15:35:36

Imagine if teachers started taking time off in term time because their partners can't get time off in the school holiday period and otherwise they won't get a holiday?

OddBoots Mon 22-Jul-13 15:36:41

I'm not too sure right to family life would be applicable - there are plenty of school holidays if you choose to educate by state school and it is perfectly legal for employers (including schools/LEAs) to restrict holidays to particular times.

LtEveDallas Mon 22-Jul-13 15:38:19

I haven't done this, or expect to need to at all, but I have to say, if I ever fell into this boat, I think I'd just take the fine and be done with it.

Yesterday I was busy surfing the net for Disneyland deals as we are considering taking DD next Easter. By accident I had put 5 Mar instead of 5 Apr. For 2 weeks starting 5 Mar it was going to cost us £3.5K, for 2 weeks starting 5 Apr it was going to cost us £7K shock

After discovering that, I checked for the last 2 weeks in July - £8.5K and the last 2 weeks in June - £4K.

I think I'd gladly pay £120 if that is the kind of difference we are talking about.

I find that really shocking and can see why parents do it, I really can.

Ledkr Mon 22-Jul-13 15:42:14

Hilarious really.
People do far worse to their kids and get off Scott free but take them on holiday and you get fined hmm

Utterlyastoundedmum Mon 22-Jul-13 15:44:09

I think what I am most annoyed about is the lack of sensible warning. I do not hunk it is sensible or fair to tell parents this two days before the term ends when Prior to this for ever and a day it has always been at heads discretion.

My DP cannot take leave this year in school hols. If he does then other people ( his employees) will have to be refused and he does not want to do this for various reasons.

He works 60 + hours per week and by October will be I'll from stress and lack of a holiday.

Actually I feel our right to have one week away as a family is infinitely more important than some arbitrary ' no absence' rule moused by the LEa in order to raise some extra cash.

Last year my Dc had 98% attendance and is out performing most of his peers. Even with having this week off he could still get 98% attendance this year ( most of the teachers don't manage that!) so why the hell should I pay for a decision I take as a parent for the good of whole family.

Nanny0gg Mon 22-Jul-13 15:44:42

Dahlen I see your situation and I do think it should still be discretionary. However, I disagree with the part where you say 'My DC are in the top of their year and I would be happy to take some work away to ensure they didn't slip behind.' unless it's you preparing and marking the work.

It's asking too much of teachers these days for them to sort out work to cover what the children would be missing.

bigTillyMint Mon 22-Jul-13 15:46:02

Josephine, of course holidays are a luxury, but I happen to think some holidays ARE educational. And I'm a teacher.

What about those where the DC learn a new skill/perfect one, eg skiing?

What about those where the family travels independently to a distant and different culture where they do homestays, etc?

The DC will probably get more out of that kind of holiday than a week in the classroom AFAIAC

josephinebruce Mon 22-Jul-13 15:47:20


That's REALLY useful lol

Dahlen Mon 22-Jul-13 15:47:33

They wouldn't have to sort out extra work NannyOgg. I could obtain a copy of the relevant part of the national curriculum myself and all I would need from them is a copy of the lesson plans they would have used for the period we were away.

I am a proactive parent and don't expect people to run around facilitating my choices, but likewise I don't expect to be obstructed in them for no good reason.

Utterlyastoundedmum Mon 22-Jul-13 15:49:20

I don't honk this is about educational success or failure at all, it's about raising cash.if they want t raise cash they should be honest and just raise our taxes.

It is disingenuous to say that taking the odd holiday will for most children result in academic failure.

Academic success or failure is About so much more than being there every single day!

Utterlyastoundedmum Mon 22-Jul-13 15:51:03


Nerfmother Mon 22-Jul-13 15:51:10

Well I have the opposite problem in that dds school have decided to offer all of year ten a term time trip to eurodisney ( end of term trip) for the 'special' price of 299 each. Plus spends and lunch. Would love to just take her somewhere cheaper for those days.

WorraLiberty Mon 22-Jul-13 15:53:28

I suppose though, even if it were under your school's old "case by case" basis, you have booked a holiday and assumed that you would be given permission and have taken that risk.

This really ^^

Why did you book it without seeking permission? Even under the old rules you should have sought permission first.

"right to a holiday away as a family"


A law change made no measurable difference to attendance, so they are moving to clamp down by removing HTs' discretion and enforcing fines.

Right to family life isn't compromised so human rights lawyers would laugh you out of the office.

pinkdelight Mon 22-Jul-13 15:55:55

As an aside, utterlyastounded, your honk and hunk instead of think is really tickling me.

But yeah, the fines suck. As do the crazy prices for peak holiday periods.

CajaDeLaMemoria Mon 22-Jul-13 15:56:09

You can only pay in pennies up to 20p, OP. After that, it can be rejected.

You can pay in 20ps up to £10, and in £1 coins for any amount.

I do think that you are in a better position than some. Your DP could take a holiday at half-term, but he doesn't want too. He could agree with his employees to do it one year and they can do it the next? Or he can just take it, because this has forced his hand. At least he gets the choice.

StuntGirl Mon 22-Jul-13 15:56:30

Oh give over. Just pay the fine and get over it. Fines for taking children out of school during term time have been around since I was at school. So your LEA are choosing to actually enforce it than have a silly rule they never use, you can hardly say you had no idea this would be possible consequence.

As you have admitted above you could take a holiday during school holidays you (or rather your husband) is just choosing not to.

Utterlyastoundedmum Mon 22-Jul-13 15:58:20

Pink yes, my iPad has the upper hand I'm afraid, gave up trying and let it autocorrect to its hearts content now wink

Twirlyhot Mon 22-Jul-13 16:00:54

The 'right to family life' will come in because though you wouldn't ge far arguing your right to a comparatively cheap week at Disneyland, I think you could argue the right to have DC see a dying grandparent who lives abroad or at the other end of the country. Or to see one of their parents/siblings get married somewhere one days absence wouldn't cover it. Or to spend time with half siblings in Australia etc etc.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 22-Jul-13 16:03:18

Holidays can be educational, they aren't always. Even if they are educational, they will be providing the same amount of education outside of term time as they will inside it.

I agree with the fines.

Grindmygears Mon 22-Jul-13 16:03:48

I'm not allowed time off during my kids hols. What do i do?

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Mon 22-Jul-13 16:03:52

I'm going to a wedding next year and I'm wondering whether to ask for permission, have it turned down, and get fined £480 or whether to phone in sick. It's only one day and if I was saving £3.5K on a holiday to Disney Land and taking a fortnight off then I would factor in the expense but it seems steep for a wedding.

Utterlyastoundedmum Mon 22-Jul-13 16:05:06

I think, we have been told you can have one day only for weddings but only with proof, so you should be ok.

norkmonster Mon 22-Jul-13 16:05:14

I believe the fine is per parent per child per day - so it could be £1,200 per child for a 10 day holiday.
For what it's worth, the amendment to the legislation was only put before parliament in April this year, and only comes into force on 1st September. Leaves of absence (which are coded differently to things like religious holidays, funerals etc) can now only be granted in "exceptional circumstances" - previously it was "special circumstances". The schools hands are tied - they have no choice but to implement the legislation.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Mon 22-Jul-13 16:09:28

How do you prove a wedding I wonder? Ask the B&G for a copy of the certificate maybe. I think I ought to get into the selling copies of wedding certificates business, particularly weddings which take place in Florida. I'm considering asking a friend who isn't planning on going to any weddings to ask for me, hypothetically, so I can see how the land lies.

PrettyKitty1986 Mon 22-Jul-13 16:09:48

I find it really sad that some people can be so narrow minded as to think holidays are not educational or useful to dc.

We went to Disneyland and Paris in March. Mainly for the enjoyment...but it WAS educational, especially when you have a five year old asking question after question everywhere you go. We spent ages looking at world maps so I could show the dc where we were going. They went on a ferry and up the Eiffel Tower (again with 5000 questions asked about each). They learnt some words in French (Bonjoir, Merci, Si Vous Plait etc). Experienced local foods in Paris centre. Loads more.

They also had an awesome time...but seriously, how could anyone argue there is no educational value in that?!?

Dying grandparents and families abroad are already in the exemptions list. "Going on holiday together" wouldn't and shouldn't count.

TumbleWeeds Mon 22-Jul-13 16:11:12

Is it valid for the whole of the UK?

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 16:12:38

It is legally enforceable and they can enforce it on me next year when I will take DS out of school for 10 days for a holiday. They can suck on my (imaginary) balls.

It's another nice way of kicking the less rich amongst us, for the Tory government, who are the fuckwits that have implemented this fine system. If you can't afford out of term prices, you shall not go on holiday. Well, I can and I will. <flicks the birdie in the general direction of Westminster) And I will pay my fine £1 per week. smile

josephinebruce Mon 22-Jul-13 16:13:12

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

WorraLiberty Mon 22-Jul-13 16:14:35

PrettyKitty, so it would be just as educational in the school holidays won't it?

Of course it'll be more expensive, but then you'll just have to spend longer saving for it...if you feel your 5yr old's education will be so enhanced by a trip to a french theme park.

PrettyKitty1986 Mon 22-Jul-13 16:14:45

I pity you Josephine. You sound very bitter.

LauraSmurf Mon 22-Jul-13 16:14:52

It had been around for a while as PP have said. As a teacher I am pleased to see it. There are far to many parents who think very little of taking children out for a week 'because its cheaper'. Sorry but tough! If you want flexibility for holidays then home school, otherwise you have signed your child up for state education so you should follow the rules.

As teachers we NEVER get cheap holidays and NEVER get to go when it's quiet.

I know I'm about to be flamed but just speaking my opinion.

PrettyKitty1986 Mon 22-Jul-13 16:16:09

Worra that wasn't my point...of course it would have the same value whenever.

I was replying to the poster who seems adamant that no holiday has any educational value. Which is riduculous.

trolleycoin Mon 22-Jul-13 16:16:18

All very well if in school learning stuff. My DD (8) is fed up of watching Shrek etc and can't wait to be off to do all the things we have planned which include:

Going to France and experiencing culture, history, languages, food, museums, helping to plot the routes etc.
PE through walks, swimming, playground, outdoor adventure.
Getting crafty and baking with Grandma.
Behind the scenes tour of local theatre
Wildlife spotting at the local council park
Weekly library trips

I could go on. Just saying...

Nerfmother Mon 22-Jul-13 16:16:34

Dying grandparent wanted to pay for us to visit. School refused. If she was dead that would be fine. Academy.

Nerfmother Mon 22-Jul-13 16:16:45

She is now dead

bishboschone Mon 22-Jul-13 16:17:33

It's not a big deal though is it £60 . Let's face it you haven't paid full sack for a holiday .

LillethTheCat Mon 22-Jul-13 16:17:45

But why does each parent get fined and not just both together for each child? So if I choose to take my DCs out of school for a week and get fined so does DH? Surely it should be per child?

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 16:18:45

Josephine, she said AND PARIS as well as Disneyland. Can you not read?

AugustaProdworthy Mon 22-Jul-13 16:19:43

Sorry if this has been asked but academies operate outside the LEA don't they? So are academies charging or not?

CloudsAndTrees Mon 22-Jul-13 16:22:26

PrettyKitty, the same educational value would have been there if you had gone in the school holidays. You could also have used it as a way to teach them about saving up and waiting to get something you want if it would have cost you more.

GoodTouchBadTouch Mon 22-Jul-13 16:22:32

Right Lilleth.. WHY fine both parents? What if one SAH? Totally unfair

StuntGirl Mon 22-Jul-13 16:22:56

If all these activities are so educational perhaps you should take your children out of the educational system altogether, then you can bake/go on walks/whatever to your hearts content.

EBearhug Mon 22-Jul-13 16:23:15

Although given "the right to family life" under EU legislation, a legal challenge could be mounted as schools could be argued to interfere with it on that basis.
In some EU countries, e.g. NL, and it wasn't the only one, it's illegal to take children out of school during term time, as we discovered when trying to organise an on-site careers thing coordinated with other offices in Europe. So I'd be surprised if a challenge would get through.

AnotherWorld Mon 22-Jul-13 16:23:54

Travel broadens the mind. Of course it's educational.

Feels like lazy legislation to me. Easy to hit the parents going on holiday with an oversized fine who may have otherwise good attendance.

LadyBryan Mon 22-Jul-13 16:25:09

PrettyKitty I honestly cannot see how you can argue a trip to Disneyland is educational. The other parts of the trip to Paris maybe, but the Disneyland part? Really?

And the educational value would be the same whether term time/holiday time.

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 16:26:17

CloudsAndTrees, the "holidays can be educational" argument isn't in relation to the time suring which the holiday is taken. Kitty is saying that it is short-sighted to ban term-time holidays (which will effectively mean NO holidays at all for some families) as they can be educational/culturally stimulating.

And the saving up thing, how patronising? Some families scrimp and scrape all year to afford a cheapo term-time holiday. A holiday in school holiday time will be totally unaffordable to lots of people. hmm

As an aside, I expect the order of service for a wedding or funeral would constitute evidence.

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 16:27:33

I don't think that she said that the Disneyland part was educational. LadyBryan, but do all keep banging on about it, won't you?

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Mon 22-Jul-13 16:27:55

The educational value of going in the school holidays isn't there if you can't afford to go in the school holidays or if you want to go to something which isn't there in the school holidays (thinking specific exhibition OK if you live in London and can go after school )

I can't afford to go away regardless so from that pov it doesn't really effect me and I'm saving hard for my friends wedding and seriously £480 extra is a killer and the difference between going and not (DP is already not going to save money).

LadyBryan Mon 22-Jul-13 16:28:38

I suspect the real crux of the matter is what people class as holidays.

Just been having a look for arguments sake, and you can book a cottage in various places in the UK in August for £250. Which absolutely isn't extortionate.

We holiday in the UK regularly. We also holiday abroad. Both are holidays, all are in the school holidays!

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 16:28:56

There are always ways around it.

Book your holiday the week before a half term, for example. Call in sick for your child for that week. They won't have to go back for another week after returning so you can wang it and say "Oh we went away in half term, that's why Little Ian is tanned." wink

MamaBear17 Mon 22-Jul-13 16:29:16

Our head teacher always used to authorise up to 5 days holiday per year because he said that he understood the difficulties families face in terms of cost etc. However, new legislation means that he is no longer allowed to do this. I am a teacher so my dd will never have a term time holiday because I cant, however, I do feel sorry for families who will be fined for pre-booked holidays.

ohmeohmyforgotlogin Mon 22-Jul-13 16:29:42

This annoys me as dd has done little but watch DVDs the last week. It also is contradictory to the policy of allowing schools to set their own holiday times which could mean people with kids in different schools never being able to go away in half term. It also belies the fact that parents need to cooperate with other people in their workplaces. I'm all for education but this is draconian.

ohmeohmyforgotlogin Mon 22-Jul-13 16:30:42

And it is unworkable to expect doctors in the vastly overstretched NHS to certificate endless kids off sick

NutcrackerFairy Mon 22-Jul-13 16:32:43

I think it's ridiculous and feel that it should be up to both parents and head teacher discretion whether a leave of absence is warranted.

One size fits all approaches rarely work in reality ime.

All those posters saying they agree with fines and that holidays should only be taken during term time, so you either have the money required to take an overpriced break in August or you don't go on holiday at all?

What about if parents can't always take their holiday leave from work in August for example? Is it really crime of the century to take their leave in September and children have a week out from school then?

This is really where it should be up to discretion of headteacher and parents imo. If a child is doing well at school, won't fall behind, won't miss anything crucial like exams [or something that the parents could do a bit of extra home tutoring around] then what actually is the issue?

Like a previous poster I also have all my family in Australia. My father last saw DS1 when he was one year old nearly four years ago and has never met DS2.

Father recently informed me that he has been given the rare opportunity to travel to Europe via an association he belongs to in Aus.
He will be in France and Belgium in November, within term time. DS1 starts reception year in September.

It may not be possible for Father to travel to UK but he will try... however if I have to take DS1 to see his Grandfather for a week I jolly well will do so, fine or no fine.

I do believe that travelling is an important educational experience, it is a life skill that incorporates different forms of transport, languages, culture, navigation, understanding of geography, etc...

I think this blanket rule of unauthorised absences and fines is outrageous and draconian. And frankly also possibly discriminatory to people of other cultures... not thinking of my situation now but is it possible that some children may have important cultural events to attend in their country or origin which would not necessarily fall within term time here? What then?

Imo parents should have responsibilities and rights in regards to the education of their own DC and this unauthorised absence malarkey smacks of nanny state to me.

gatsby79 Mon 22-Jul-13 16:33:10

For the "holidays are educational" argument to hold you must be arguing that they are AT LEAST as educational as what the children would be doing at school. Are all holidays equally valid? Would a package deal to Magalouf be acceptable? Or are you really suggesting schools should be saying "oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realise you we're middle class! Have our blessing!"?

I am just flabbergasted that so many people seem to think it is some kind of human right to have a holiday!!!!

Tinpin Mon 22-Jul-13 16:36:03

This is long overdue. Many parents would like to take advantage of cheaper holidays but they stick to the 'rules' and consequently spend two weeks in a tent or have no holiday at all.

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 16:37:55

Educational may not be the right word but cultural definitely is.

And that aside, even if all you are doing all week is dossing round by the swimming pool reading books, all kids have the right to have some relaxation/quality time with their family. Or is that something that only the richest amongst us deserve? hmm

RoooneyMara Mon 22-Jul-13 16:38:29

School. The most important thing in the world, ever. For all children. All the time, barring nothing except, possibly, an educationally weighted wedding.

At times like this I'm glad I HE one of mine, at least.

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 16:39:03

And I don't understand why posters like Tinpin are so overjoyed by this. How has it been affecting you, personally, if other families have holidays out of term time?! I really wonder about some people...

valiumredhead Mon 22-Jul-13 16:40:04

I'd love to see them enforce it without previous attendance issues.

trolleycoin Mon 22-Jul-13 16:41:19

Nerfmother that's awful sad

Gatsby any family regardless of class can make things fun and educational on a shoestring.

That's just reminded me of the time I worked in a high school where a head of department was given the Friday off in term time to prepare for her daughter's wedding on the Saturday and was also given the Monday off, as its tradition that the family had a family BBQ on the Sunday.

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Mon 22-Jul-13 16:41:35

I wish it could be that schools had shorter or no holidays and that a set amount of 'leave' could be assigned to each pupil to take whenever they wanted like you do at a paid job. on the understanding that exam times were not granted as leave and that work would be assigned to be done whilst away.

PrettyKitty1986 Mon 22-Jul-13 16:43:31

I'd argue that any holiday can be educational. It depends what the parents make of it.

We are going to Scotland for a few days in August for the first time. It has already been educational IMO as the very fact we are going there has prompted so much discussion...different climates in the UK, accents, travel time in relation to distance, different food, places of interest we can go and the history of them.

This is for a 5 and 3 year old...obviously these details may not 'educate' a 14 year old, but i suppose you make it age appropriate.

Again, I'm just flabbergasted at how little worth some place on pure experiences as to educational value. I love watching my ds's show interest in the World around them and helping them learn new things. I thought every parent did.

BatmanLovesAllan Mon 22-Jul-13 16:44:14

I am a teacher, and I disagree with it.

It is important for families to spend relaxed time together, maybe experiencing something new. That is out of the reach of many families in the current financial climate. I would have a problem with a Year 6 disappearing off in the run up to SATs and so on, but other than that, no.

We attended a wedding in a part of the UK we would NEVER have gone to by choice, and learned so much about the area. It was absolutely fascinating. Lots of varied history, sights and so on. We were refused permission, and warned we might be fined. As a teacher, I can tell you hand on my heart my children learned more in those two days than they would have in school, right at the end of term, for sure.

LillethTheCat Mon 22-Jul-13 16:46:58

Another question, is it a you might get fined or you will get fined?

This is ridiculous, yet they can have as many 'teacher training days' as they like (friend is a deputy head, mainly doss days), and they cancel when the weather is bad ( for obvious reasons). I'm sure a couple of weeks a year is probably what that lot all adds up to anyway, so it's ok for them to do it but not us? So wrong.

Darkesteyes Mon 22-Jul-13 16:48:53

Blimey things have changed I dont have DC . But i remember going on a family holiday to Italy in the third week of September in 1983.
I was ten at the time DB was very nearly eight. There was no school fine then. Not even talk of it.
It was to see my mums side of the family The last time we went before that was in 1977.
Havent seen this side of the family since 83 but thats another story.
And believe me if there had been a fine my parents would have moaned like buggery and i would remember that.

Batman, couldn't agree more!

McNewPants2013 Mon 22-Jul-13 16:49:29

I don't agree with it.

I also think there should be some kind of policy in every work place that allows for annual leave in school holidays. ( even if i states that 1 week only)

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 16:49:45

Again, I'm just flabbergasted at how little worth some place on pure experiences as to educational value. I love watching my ds's show interest in the World around them and helping them learn new things. I thought every parent did."

Me too. sad

My first holiday abroad was a package deal to Minorca when I was 13. But it prompted my love of Spain and it's culture and then prompted me to go on and do my degree minor in Spanish.

Kiriwawa Mon 22-Jul-13 16:50:48

INSET days are mandated choccy - there are 5 a year, not 'as many as they like'.

And would you like to spend the day with your colleagues? I bloody wouldn't

Owllady Mon 22-Jul-13 16:53:28

I am a bit with dahlen on this one. I have family MILES away and my Mum had a really nasty accident a few years ago and I had to go there to be with her and I had to take the children, there was no other way i could have done it. i am sure there are loads of scenarios the same, will they be judged in the same light?

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Mon 22-Jul-13 16:53:40

alternatively we could campaign for some sort of legislation that restricts the blatent mark up on holidays in school hols.

re theme parks being educational - DD1 had a day at a theme park as part of a G&T summer school looking at the maths behind queues. Plus a lot of the maths she's doing now (degree) is used for traffic flow planning, equally applicable to pedestrian traffic as well as vehicle traffic

Also, there was at one point an educational travel agency offering a Maths trip to Paris and Disney.

However, I'm not sure that 8 year olds being taken out of school for a cheaper trip to eurodisney are really thinking about partial differential equations wink.

Fillyjonk75 Mon 22-Jul-13 16:55:27

The fine isn't for ANY term term holiday, surely it's for unauthorised absence? So if it's authorised, it's fine. Circumstances where parents work somewhere where holidays have to be taken at set times resulting in term time holiday should mean the absence is authorised, meaning no fine.

HeySoulSister Mon 22-Jul-13 16:56:17

owllady....that sort of scenario has crossed my mind too

Darkesteyes Mon 22-Jul-13 16:56:24

SHOULD being the operative word Filly.

RoooneyMara Mon 22-Jul-13 16:56:25

I don't actually ever go on holiday with my children (or without them!) but I still disagree with it.

I actually wonder when Gove is going to make home education illegal. The way he's going I'm surprised he hasn't done it already.

IWipeArses Mon 22-Jul-13 16:57:04

Of course holidays are educational! The lack of imagination and understanding of how human beings learn astounds me.

Even if it's not an overtly 'educational' holiday, just being in a different environment and experiencing new things increases learning potential and creativity.

ohforfoxsake Mon 22-Jul-13 16:57:38

Wouldn't it be lovely if the government introduced some legislation which meant travel companies couldn't right royally rip the piss out of families during the school holidays?

We could then afford to take holidays during the holidays and there would be no need for fines. Someone should tell them.

Ragwort Mon 22-Jul-13 16:58:17

My DS's teacher did have two days off - to go to an overseas wedding hmm - his first term at secondary school, I was not impressed. Agree with choccy - why is it OK for teachers to have 'teacher training days' <and being seen leaving school very early grin>, days off for snow/strikes; dossing around days at the end of term wathing DVDs etc etc but not for children to have a holiday?

I do not agree that holidays are 'educational' in any sense of the word, nor do I believe that anyone is 'entitled' to a holiday, I just hate the double standards that seem to exist. We all know families that just ring in sick when they are going to Glastonbury - so why be penalised for being honest?

StrangeGlue Mon 22-Jul-13 16:58:27

HE saves the gov money so I think you're safe!

Utterlyastoundedmum Mon 22-Jul-13 16:59:00

Step I agree with you but I think it's misleading/ a bit dangerous to assume its always about going on cheaper holidays.
It's about understanding that life happens, a million different permutations and ther should be some ^ freedom^ for parents to make the right choices within reasonable limits.

You know, up until now I was not feeling as strongly as others about the way this government had been 'clamping down' but it's starting to feel more and more like a country which is being ruled with an iron fist sad

NoComet Mon 22-Jul-13 17:01:11

The whole thing is a massive intrusion into family life and I hope sooner or later someone will take them to the European court of human rights over it.

And all those who hate Gove, and I loath the man, remember he is only in forcing A Labour Nanny State Law
ie. which ever bunch of them we vote for we're fucked angry

McNewPants2013 Mon 22-Jul-13 17:01:20

every day out with my DC is educatinal.

today we have been out on a nature walk and been to the park. With my phone in my hand once the kids asked a question i googled it and we found out the answers. Even in the park I asked why does DD stay up and you (to DS) stay down.

ohforfoxsake Mon 22-Jul-13 17:02:59

The value of holidays isn't measured by how educational or cultural it is. It's about re-connecting as a family. Sharing time, being together, playing games, relaxing, eating together 3 times a day, exploring together. The whole experience, sharing it, making memories.

As adults, will our children remember that extra week they spent in school?

Tinpin Mon 22-Jul-13 17:04:41

It affected me when I was teaching the children whose parents thought it was their right to have two weeks holiday in school time marmalade.

Quenelle Mon 22-Jul-13 17:05:48

Marmalade's point is a good one. This is a sanction that won't even bother wealthier parents. They can just pay up and continue to disregard the rules that the less well off have to follow.

PearlyWhites Mon 22-Jul-13 17:07:12

Mrs Hercule it should be every childs right to a holiday yes or are holidays not necessary for poor children.

cheerfulweather Mon 22-Jul-13 17:09:03

Will be enforced in all state schools from September I think (will read thread now).

ilovesooty Mon 22-Jul-13 17:10:03

I'm surprised someone who is allegedly friendly with a deputy head is so misinformed.

Beechview Mon 22-Jul-13 17:13:21

Of course holidays are educational. How can they not be?
Even just going on a plane (if you're going abroad) is educational. A child learns what happens at an airport and what its like in a plane that they've always seen as a tiny thing from the ground.

I'm not one to go off on term time holidays but why shouldn't I take the kids out for a week if I wanted to? I think removing the discretion from the HT has ensured that its now a legislation for making money.

How many people are happy to pay a £120 to save £1000 or more?

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 17:14:02

"It affected me when I was teaching the children whose parents thought it was their right to have two weeks holiday in school time marmalade."

Well perhaps you should be able to manage this since a week off for illness is quite common? You must have plans for catching pupils up, surely?

hesterton Mon 22-Jul-13 17:18:34

Register with the school as a traveller, they certainly used to take time off for travelling fairs/circuses etc. Take them out to home educate then re-apply for your place. But only if there are spaces...

Seriously though, it's the sensible being punished for the persistent offenders.

josephinebruce Mon 22-Jul-13 17:22:19

No I am not bitter.
Yes I can read.
I used to teach - many years ago now, but still remember the disruption that children going on holiday can cause.
But if parents want to do that, fine. Just don't whinge when you get fined.

LillethTheCat Mon 22-Jul-13 17:24:44

I dont think there's any point in trying to get the travel companies to have the prices the same all year round because then wont they just hike up all the prices?

"Mrs Hercule it should be every childs right to a holiday yes or are holidays not necessary for poor children."

That is the point I am making. 'Poor' children in the area I teach don't go on holiday at all, in most cases. It isn't a right to go on holiday, and in my 14 years as a teacher generally it is the wealthier families taking children out in term time for holidays.

Personally I think perhaps we should be focusing on every child's right to clean water, a safe home and living in a loving enironment rather than it costing four grand less to go to euro Disney in term time.

Dahlen Mon 22-Jul-13 17:32:04

Having spent some time with deprived teenagers - the sort who had a criminal record before their 18th birthday, no qualification, etc - the one thing many of them had in common was that they had often travelled no more than a 30-mile radius from their home town.

Holidays broaden horizons. It's one of the reasons why parental income remains one of the biggest influences over the outcomes for children. Wealth brings opportunities and the desire to take them because they're tangible. To a child on a sink estate even a weekend in Cornwall is as real a possibility to them as holidaying with Rihanna in the Bahamas.

alistron1 Mon 22-Jul-13 17:32:10

What about the rights of children of school staff to have an affordable holiday? I'd love to take my kids to Disney land or skiing - can't afford it in the school hols. DP and I can't take time off in term time. Won't anyone think of my children?!

OhMerGerd Mon 22-Jul-13 17:33:36

Lol and if your kids go to a very expensive private school ( like many govt ministers and their mates) they've already three nearly four weeks into the summer hols.
Cheap deals before the rest hit the beach and outside this fines system anyway.
Interesting isn't it. Who is actually affected by this clamp down.

Dahlen Mon 22-Jul-13 17:36:36

I've never taken mine out of school in term time. I have no intention of doing so other than this trip to Australia, which I would be happy to take right up to the highest level in order to authorise because I am pretty sure I'd win. I don't advocate taking children out if avoidable and certainly not at crucial times. Saving money isn't a valid reason unless the price difference rules it out completely, but IMO - and in the opinion of many teachers I know - for some families in some circumstances, the benefits achieved by taking a term-time holiday far outweigh any detriment to their education. That's why it should be discretionary rather than a one-size fits all.

Hercy Mon 22-Jul-13 17:38:51

Am I missing something? (I don't have children yet, so I possibly am)

I really don't understand why a parent feels they should have the right to take their child out of school for a holiday.

Holidays are a luxury, there may be some educational value in them, but not anywhere near the same as being in classes all day.

So what if it costs less? It would cost me less to get a train to work that was off peak (ie after 9am), but I don't think my employer would take to kindly to me rolling in at 10 - 10.30am, even if it would half my travel expenditure.

If you can't afford a holiday in the school holidays, then you simply can't go, or only go every 2nd or 3rd year. That may be a bit shit, but that's life, and holidays aren't a right (time off is, not actually going away).

I can't imagine ever taking my (potential) children out of school for a holiday, just as I can't imagine booking leave when I know I have important deadlines coming up - it's just not responsible.

Maybe actual parents will tell me I'm being naive or live in some kind of utopia. But I was brought up to respect rules, and I don't see how you are teaching that to your children if you take them out of school for a holiday.

lljkk Mon 22-Jul-13 17:39:59

I as advised that the fines will almost certainly only be levied in the case of repeat offenders. So I am not worried as we only go away once every 4 yrs (yes, to see family many thousands of miles away).

Mrchip Mon 22-Jul-13 17:44:07

What about all the parents who work in the nhs? Their annual leave requests may be refused if the majority are all wanting school holiday leave.

There is already pressure to have the same service all year round-to do this leave needs to be spread.

Utterlyastoundedmum Mon 22-Jul-13 17:46:13

Hercy sorry to sound a bit peed off, but yes, you may be missing the point.

When you have kids yOu may find that after ( in our case) 7 years of literally no unbroken nights sleep, coupled with enormous childcre bills (£circa 8k a year for us and that's not unusual) plus having to work 60 odd hours per week plus x y z other responsibilities and pressures which nearly break you on a daily basis, yes you may feel you need and yes deserve a holiday.

For all the reasons stated above you may decide that on balance that will involve taking your child out of school for a few days or a week. Live and learn, live and learn!

thebody Mon 22-Jul-13 17:47:28

hercy, yes sorry you don't understand really.

my dh works away, 6 months in Australia last year so when he gets time off we need to gel as a family unit.

generally this does not include holidays in term time but if that's the only alternative then that's it.

holidays arnt educational but they are vital family bonding times and great if you can afford them.

I expect it will be challenged under the right to family life human rights act and a parent will win so all will be ignored.

EBearhug Mon 22-Jul-13 17:48:12

It's not always about cost. I grew up on a farm, and there's not a chance in hell my father would ever have been able to consider a holiday away during harvest (or haymaking, or silage or whatever.) And if we didn't go away, he wouldn't actually get a break, what with living on the job, so my mother was always insistent (rightly, I think) that we had family time where there was no chance of the farm interrupting.

So twice a year, I was sent into the head with a form requesting permission with the same reasons every time. Actually, our holidays were horribly educational, and I learnt way more about physical geography and various historical events on family holidays round Britain than I did at school.

I don't know if my parents would have chosen differently had we not done well at school, nor if permission had ever been refused. By the time I was in the 6th form, I made my own choice, and arranged to get the train home and stay with a school friend for the week that wasn't half-term so I didn't miss anything.

I don't think I agree with the option of applying discretion being taken away.

Tinpin Mon 22-Jul-13 17:49:47

Marmalade-Yes of course all teachers will help a child who has been ill and try to help them catch up. That's completely different. You are expecting that you can enjoy your holiday and then your child's teacher should spend part of the class lesson times or maybe her lunchtimes helping your child to catch up on everything the class has covered whilst you have been away, Maybe they will have to repeat this many times during the term for several children who are absent because of holidays. That's unfair. You have chosen for your child not to be there.( For the record I would always try to help a child who had missed something important when they had been on holiday)

ChippingInHopHopHop Mon 22-Jul-13 17:52:14

It is ridiculous. This country is getting more and more ridiculous. What part of parent does this govt think it is??

PrettyKitty1986 Mon 22-Jul-13 17:53:05

there may be some educational value in them, but not anywhere near the same as being in classes all day

Really? What do you think taught my five year old more about France? Covering it in school for a week (this was actually something they looked at this year) on and off - or the week we actually spent in France - picking up simple words, speaking to the locals, eating the food and visiting the places of interest?

You are hugely missing the point in this one sentence.

ChippingInHopHopHop Mon 22-Jul-13 17:53:58

Oh & btw, I would have no problem whatsoever with teachers taking time off in term time if they needed to, the world really isn't going to end if the kids have another teacher for a couple of weeks.

piprabbit Mon 22-Jul-13 18:01:22

By removing discretion, it means that only families who can afford the additional financial hit will be able to go away in term time.
The poorer families will be left between a rock (paying the fine) and a hard place (paying higher holiday costs).

crashdoll Mon 22-Jul-13 18:02:52

I love the whole "oh but our holidays are educational"! Just admit you want some sun and fun on the cheap. grin

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 22-Jul-13 18:05:33

This is a daft plan. The info from our school even says that visiting relations abroad isn't allowed in term time.

Tbh though, even at £1200 per week for two children it is cheaper than paying for a half-term week of skiing over the previous week, so loads of people are going to just ignore it.

SaucyJack Mon 22-Jul-13 18:08:46

I think the fines are OTT too and I really don't see a problem with kids missing a week of school as long as it isn't exam week or whatever.

99 per cent of what we learnt at school was pointless twaddle taught to us purely for the sake of it. Nothing learnt in a single week is going to be that important the world will end if they miss it.

bordellosboheme Mon 22-Jul-13 18:08:53

Flipping ridiculous. It makes me want to homeschool or flexi school

thebody Mon 22-Jul-13 18:08:54

agree chipping. this government of millionaire twats have absolutely no idea how ordinary families live.

it's utter bollocks to apply such a blanket rule.

soon there will be government advisors in every home telling you how many times your child needs their nappy changed and standing over you cooking the tea telling you the evils of pizza.

ffs its laughable, parents can home ed their kids without so much as a visit from inspectors and no application of standards or tests to see if they are being taught jack shit.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 22-Jul-13 18:13:01

I have to say, that having spent the year helping out in my child'd reception class, it is really interesting to see the progress of children and how much time off they have.

What seems to do the most damage is the odd day off here and there repeatedly over the year. One family have taken their child out for several long weekends away so he has missed Thursday/Friday or Friday/Monday several times - plus a full week away at one point. His progress really has suffered, partly I suspect because his parents attitude is that school doesn't matter.
Children who have had a week or two off in a block, but whose parents are committed to them being in school the rest of the year suffer far less.

Obviously this is only a straw-poll of one class.

Holidays are definitely educational, because they broaden horizons. Anyone who can't see that needs their head examining.

bordellosboheme Mon 22-Jul-13 18:15:13

Holidays are generally way more educational than being droned at by a probably bored teacher stuck in a classroom. Really, can anyone not see that ????

youarewinning Mon 22-Jul-13 18:16:49

My mum who is a teacher also questioned how legally enforceable this is. She doesn't have the full facts atm but has said she'd be surprised if it was.

She also believes that childrens education should be all rounded and that sometimes these trips are beneficial to a child - for example my brother and sister came to visit me when I lived abroad in a ski resort. She also thinks the odd day off for once in a lifetime opportunities, eg Olympics and even football matches is ok.

She actually joked how teachers used to look forward to June and July when the class was quieter as everyone took their holidays grin

LadyMilfordHaven Mon 22-Jul-13 18:17:38

if you dont pay them you end up at the magistrates court

so yes

bordellosboheme Mon 22-Jul-13 18:18:29

Course Disney is educational. You could have a discussion about tourism industry and impacts.... It's all in the framing isn't it? Bloody nanny state

SoupDragon Mon 22-Jul-13 18:19:37

Holidays are definitely educational, because they broaden horizons. Anyone who can't see that needs their head examining.

Anyone who thinks all holidays are educational needs their head examining.

LadyMilfordHaven Mon 22-Jul-13 18:19:58

they have penalty notices atm - you lost just dont see them. People given loads of chances to pay and if they dont they end up at mag court.

They offer rather odd excuses on the whole, some understandable, some bizarro, then they get fined.

interestingly even the hearsay that a kid was on holiday rather than ill is enough, there is no burden of proof to show this on the prosecution.
you are either in school, or not.

AnotherWorld Mon 22-Jul-13 18:20:10

Just pondering - what is educational? Going on a plane? Experiencing a different country and their culture? Visiting important world sites? Spending quality time out and about with the whole family? Even learning how to ski?

I would argue the point of education is to prepare our kids for useful working lives. In that context pretty much every holiday sounds educational to me...

LadyMilfordHaven Mon 22-Jul-13 18:20:37

so dont post on facebook that you are in florida when you are supposed to be at death's door.

LadyMilfordHaven Mon 22-Jul-13 18:21:07

the educational argument doesn't work in court either. The law is you must send your kid to school. End of.

youarewinning Mon 22-Jul-13 18:25:13

But holidays are educational - it may not be maths and English but airports, coach travel, being in hotels, being around other cultures etc are all educational in a way.

Even after years working as a rep I find I learn new things when going away now I'm an adult. This has happened with trips in the UK too. Even if it's tolerance of twats other people around you.

bordellosboheme Mon 22-Jul-13 18:25:30

I think it's just power hungry jobs worths who don't care about kids spending quality time WITH THEIR OWN FAMILY. I'm dreading sending dd to school....

AnotherWorld Mon 22-Jul-13 18:25:35

No. The law says they must be educated - and if you choose to use state education then they must be there.

Sadly I do choose to use state education. The downside of which is having to put up with utter bollocks policies like this one.

daisychain01 Mon 22-Jul-13 18:25:51

Taking kids out of school during termtime is just saying to them "school rules dont count, they are there to be bent or broken when it suits us", then its just a downward spiral of sickies, duvet days, etc because kids learn from their closest role models. If you only ever give them the message that school comes first, period, that will be the value they uphold through life, because it is part of their belief system. And if their friends at school take time off? Two wrongs dont make a right, Sonny-Jim!

Sounds draconian, but it is true.

LadyMilfordHaven Mon 22-Jul-13 18:26:50

well obviously anotherworld.

LadyBryan Mon 22-Jul-13 18:31:42

But quality time doesn't have to be a holiday does it? I spend quality time with my daughter every day.

ohforfoxsake Mon 22-Jul-13 18:40:12

I do too but DH doesn't. We need holidays so he books the time off and switches off.

I didn't go on holiday as a child. It's only since having children and a DH with a job which takes up 90% of the time do I realise just how important a break away together is.

crashdoll Mon 22-Jul-13 18:41:50

"Holidays are generally way more educational than being droned at by a probably bored teacher stuck in a classroom. Really, can anyone not see that ????"

Do you really think that's what happens in schools?! How offensive to teachers! (Not a teacher btw!)

PrettyKitty1986 Mon 22-Jul-13 18:42:22

If you only ever give them the message that school comes first, period, that will be the value they uphold through life, because it is part of their belief system

I agree. Thankfully I have no intention of installing that belief in my dc. Good grief.

thebody Mon 22-Jul-13 18:43:15

but ladyBryan that's just your good luck.

some parents work away so don't have this luxury.

LadyMilford, the law does not say you have to send your kids to school at all, just a require to educate them and very little interference if you don't.

what about private schools where cabinet ministers kids attend? long long holidays so they can go way in the cheap rates, not that they need to!!!

family bonding, relaxing and units are far more important than attending school every day.

agree there must be a limit to absence but there should be some lassitude.

very interesting to see how this will apply to traveller children, and children who are taken to the Indian subcontinent for weeks at a time visiting family.

or is it just 'ordinary' parents who will be targeted and bullied.

LadyBryan Mon 22-Jul-13 18:45:46

No fair point thebody - but even when parents have time off, quality time doesn't immediately have to be boarding the nearest jet plane. Some of my fondest memories of childhood are holidays in the UK. In fact some of the most special times we've spent with our daughter have been holidays in the UK.

My daughter is at private school. She finished a week ago, still within the premium pricing band of summer holidays.

LoveBeingUpAt4InTheMorning Mon 22-Jul-13 18:53:32

So only those who can afford to pay the fee will be going away then hmm

5madthings Mon 22-Jul-13 18:54:22

For us its not about holidays being educational its about spending time as a family. Dp works long hours, shift work only gets one wkend off a month. The hours of his shifts mean he goes days without seeing the children ie not home till 11pm and them out before they get up the next day. Plus night shifts etc. His leave is restricted by his employer so this year he cant get time off in the school holidays. He is never allowed to book anytime off in december either and routinely works xmas, only gets bank holidays if it happens to fall on his rotad day off etc. So time together is limited. We have booked a holiday, in the uk at the end of sept, the children will have five days off.

bebanjo Mon 22-Jul-13 18:58:38

So work within the law and de register your children the Friday before you go away and re register them when you come back.
Some leas have an unofficial 21 day cooling off period when you de register, if your school is not over subscribe or your head has no idea what to do with a de registration letter you'll be fine for two weeks.
And when thousands of family's all across England are doing this every week then the goverment may rethink the policy.
Yes the parent chooses to send there child to a state school, but the goverment is voted in by the people the serve the people.

LadyMilfordHaven Mon 22-Jul-13 18:59:42

oh for gods sake i KNOW about home education.
i meant if they are registered at school OBVIOUSLY

lljkk Mon 22-Jul-13 19:01:58

My mom took me out for a skiing holiday every year when I was growing up. There was no downward spiral to duvet days or whatever. And I hated school, was bullied & had panic attacks and all. Don't be daft.

josephinebruce Mon 22-Jul-13 19:02:36

Oh FFS. The parents who take their children away for "educational" holidays are generally the first ones to whinge when their little darlings don't get the grades they think they should get in their exams. Yes, missing school affects results. Exam results affects choices later in life. Get over it.

lottieandmia Mon 22-Jul-13 19:05:19

This kind of crap makes me glad my children go to an independent school.

All that will happen is that parents will claim their child/children are ill.

lottieandmia Mon 22-Jul-13 19:09:04

Having said that, I only took mine out of school when they were very young.

5madthings Mon 22-Jul-13 19:09:35

I had time off every year as my dad was RAF i still got good gcse and a level results and then a good 2:1 degree.

My ds1 is predicted a* and a's in his gcses and ds2 just got level 5's and level 6's in his sats, despite having five days off for a holiday last year. Ds3 is doing very well and my reception age child got expected/exceeded in all his early learning goals. Having time off does not always affect results, persistant tine off yes but a child who otherwise attends school and has supportive parents who value education and learning but also has five days off for a holiday...doesnt necessarily have an impact.

TabithaStephens Mon 22-Jul-13 19:11:49

Maybe more people should homeschool, then they can take holidays whenever they want.

geeandfeesmum Mon 22-Jul-13 19:12:43

I am genuinely shocked at the number of people that think this fine is perfectly acceptable. I am also appalled at the people who suggest that a holiday is not educational.

Of course a holiday is educational. Yes. Even a package deal to Magaluf is educational. I know when I was a child, I learned far more on my trips abroad than I ever did in school.

The experiences and education I gained from various travels are what have made me the person I am today.

Also, why do people keep bringing up the fact that there are plenty of holidays to go on here in the UK? What relevance is that? Even holidays in the UK cost more out of term time!!

Teachers complaining about the fact that they don't get holidays out of term time? You chose your career with the knowledge that you would have limited holidays. Parents, generally, don't have that kind of choice.

I, for one, will be taking my children on holiday when I see fit. DD, is autistic and doesn't handle crowds well. If I want to go on holiday (UK or abroad) at a quieter time of year to make it less stressful for her, then I will. I think that fining me for that would be discriminatory and I would fight it to the end. It is not always about the cost of the holiday. It is also about timing. My children both seem to get ill around the end of term anyway (Summer Term and Christmas). I don't see why I should miss out on a decent holiday with my family when I could take them and avoid them getting ill because they are not so burned out.

I think this government need to recognise that it is a school's job to educate. It is not a school's job to dictate. That is including things like, packed lunches, reading private letters from children to parents and the holiday situation.

yabyum Mon 22-Jul-13 19:16:42

When I was teaching, I used to love it when parents took their kids out during term time. They were always the type of kids whose absence improved the atmosphere of the whole class. We used to have a nice rest for two weeks until they got back from Disneyland (it was always Disneyland).

TabithaStephens Mon 22-Jul-13 19:17:33

Schools are not there to be used as childcare as and when the parents see fit. If you want to send children to a school, you abide by it's conditions. Otherwise, send your children elsewhere, or educate them yourself at home.

yabyum Mon 22-Jul-13 19:18:12

it is a school's job to educate. It is not a school's job to dictate

Schools operate within a legal framework which they are obliged to enforce. Nobody really cares whether your kids pitch up or not. But they have to go through the motions.

geeandfeesmum Mon 22-Jul-13 19:25:47

I realise that schools are obliged to enforce this. I am saying that the government needs to realise what school is supposed to be for.

Literacy rates are low, education standards are slipping but instead of dealing with the task at hand, the government (and the schools to some extent) place the entirety of the blame on parents.

If schools were allowed to concentrate on doing their jobs, instead of dictating to parents,our education system would be in a much better place.

TabithaStephens Mon 22-Jul-13 19:28:29

I think parents are more to blame than teachers tbh. Although teachers are hamstrung by regulations that prevent them from having discipline in schools, and being able to boot out disruptive kids.

MissStrawberry Mon 22-Jul-13 19:29:16

Easiest, and most sensible, thing to do would be to implement legislation to stop holiday providers from being able to charge more in school holidays than term time.

5madthings Mon 22-Jul-13 19:31:26

So what about parents with restricted leave, really not that unusual at all.

Or families that cannot afford a break otherwise, the ones who go on a £10 sun holiday where the dates cannot always be chosen? These are the families that will suffer. Not the middle class who can afford to holiday whenever, who will probably just pay the fine and go anyway.

Or families like the poster above whose dc's have special needs and cant cope with the crowds etc.

The law still states that head teachers can authorise leave in exceptional circumstances, this is what they should do and look at each case on an individual basis not issue blanket bans.

5madthings Mon 22-Jul-13 19:33:43

Oh and my kids have never been to disneyland, we holiday in the uk. They also are not disruptive, infact they get described as model students, polite, well mannered and behaved etc yabyum so your stereotype doesnt fit.

TabithaStephens Mon 22-Jul-13 19:39:11

"Easiest, and most sensible, thing to do would be to implement legislation to stop holiday providers from being able to charge more in school holidays than term time."
What good would that do? There's only so many hotel rooms, campsite space etc. If holiday companies were charging too much, there'd be loads empty all summer long.

Do you expect there to be millions of hotel rooms sitting empty for 40+ weeks a year so that everyone can go on holiday during the school holidays?

Viviennemary Mon 22-Jul-13 19:39:21

I'd just be tempted to go on the holiday anyway and write a letter saying the child was ill. I bet nothing would be done about it. Good point re the right to a family life. These schools need putting in their place.

geeandfeesmum Mon 22-Jul-13 19:40:57

Ah yes, I forgot to mention that despite the fact that my children have been to Disneyworld twice, we also holiday in the UK and Europe. DS is a model student who is top of his class. Very polite, well mannered etc. DD is different but not because of holidays. She only started school this year and we haven't been away (or are planning to) this year.

So, once again, the stereotype does not fit.

LaTrucha Mon 22-Jul-13 19:41:56

A holiday with their grandparents would most certainly be educational for my DC - they would learn more fluent Spanish, (their second language)and also learn what it is to have an extended family as we don't have any in this country. Unfortunately, we haven't even been able to afford to go in term time. We were just about getting there. An extra £120 makes a big difference to us. It stinks. And our headmaster thinks so too.

josephinebruce Mon 22-Jul-13 19:42:27

Yes, a school's job (among SO many others) is to educate.

Can't do that if your child is not there, can they.

TabithaStephens Mon 22-Jul-13 19:43:29

The right to a family life doesn't include the right to a cheap holiday!

jamdonut Mon 22-Jul-13 19:47:03

In our area ( a northern seaside town) there is a bigger leeway given to children having holidays during term-time,because an awful lot of parents have to work during the summer season,(seasonal jobs) and aren't allowed time off then. That is usually allowed at the Head's discretion.

My husband works for Tesco, and I work in a school. Trying to get our holidays to co-incide is almost impossible, and we end up (more often than not) not getting them at the same time. We are mostly lucky in August when we usually get 1 week off at the same time.

yabyum Mon 22-Jul-13 19:50:03

OK, fair enough - not all truants are going to Disneyworld. But what they all have in common is parents who don't support the school, don't support teachers, and whose ghastly entitled attitudes rub off on their children.

motownmover Mon 22-Jul-13 19:50:17

Can anyone tell me if I trip to Nz or Oz to visit grandparents counts? Otherwise when my child goes to school there won"t be family visits??

I am very concerned about this?

5madthings Mon 22-Jul-13 19:54:00

Err no we do support the school actually and i have a good relationship with their teachers and head teachers who are understanding of issues re my partners work, hence why they authorise the leave smile

ohforfoxsake Mon 22-Jul-13 19:54:25

It's not about holidays being CHEAP. It's about them being AFFORDABLE.

YonisAreForever Mon 22-Jul-13 19:56:07

Any travel opens and broadens the mind.

At the moment holidays are a luxury because of cost, but it will be the poorest among us as usual who will be hit by this.

I want my DC to be well travelled - we can't get far, long haul as it is, ideally I want them to see the whole world, we can only get short haul but that too will be out of grasp now DD is in school.

Agree ledkr the appalling things so many - so many do to their DC and all we want to do is take them away once a year for a week.

You only get one childhood.

crashdoll Mon 22-Jul-13 19:59:03

I feel sorry for teachers. It's clear some people don't appreciate the free education their child/ren get. And before someone claims their tax covers it, well most tax payers will never put in as much as they take out. For some people, it just seems a place to plonk their children between 9 and 3 when they don't fancy going on Ibiza.

motownmover Mon 22-Jul-13 19:59:12

yabyum- what total utter rot. You have no idea.

All of my and my DH's family live a 26 hour flight away that can cost 1K plus per adult.

We have fundraised for the local nursery and would do for a school.

2 GP's can not travel for health reasons. It takes a long time to save for the travel.

When I grew up in NZ and Aus thankfully teachers supported travel outside term times -and it was seen as very educational.

This policy is insane - many parents currently in the UK are working longer hours and will entrench inequalities.

YonisAreForever Mon 22-Jul-13 20:01:10


would my DD teacher have been lying at parents evening when she said my DD's fantastic attitude helped to propel the less enthusiastic along, she was always the one who just wanted to get on and do things, and always happy and smiling? Who is excelling in reading, writing and maths?

Who prides herself on being in the " good gang" and never gets told off.

Who has feckless parents who want her to see the world and with them!

You were really a teacher? Yikes

nkf Mon 22-Jul-13 20:01:13

There are so many weeks off. 13 or so. I know that it is more expensive and I know that some families have real problems matching dates up. But - despite the individual stories - all available data seems to show that high attendance in school is a major indicator of educational outcome.

MadeOfStarDust Mon 22-Jul-13 20:01:16

You can take a trip to NZ or Aus in the holidays though - over Christmas or Easter, or Summer. If it is double the cost in the holidays, you go half as often...

I hated when my parents took me out of school, playing catch up for weeks - people always forget exactly what was gone over - like long division - the number of times I was told "you covered this in Y5" - erm no I didn't I was away for a week when the fundamentals were covered and it slipped through the gap when I got back etc...etc....etc... but I was one of those rare-as-hen's-teeth people on mumsnet - shhhhhh... NOT top group of the class....

I wish my parents had been told NO instead of "the monuments of Greece, how interesting and educational - have fun" - FUN?!?! it was hot and boring for an 8 year old - woo another bloody column.....

motownmover Mon 22-Jul-13 20:04:17

Why do you feel sorry for teachers Crashdoll going to school in NZ when kids left out of term to go to HK, UK or China - it was fantastic.

The parents who did take their children out during term time and travelled made it seem exotic and wonderful.

I remember postcards, stories, gifts and learning a great deal about different cultures and I did not go overseas my class mates did.

I don't know these people who just plonk their children in class while they are not in Ibiza!

Oh and 2 of my class mates who had to travel to see family ended up being Head Girl and Dux so I don't think it harmed them or the teacher or the children left behind.

motownmover Mon 22-Jul-13 20:07:21

Actually because of my DH job it is extremely difficult to get time off at Easter or Xmas. I have trouble getting time off in August hols too!

And we seldom go because of cost! I am sure it is ok for some people here to throw away 2+K to travel on a plane but I think if they were in my position they would think differently!

crashdoll Mon 22-Jul-13 20:07:35

motown I feel sorry because parents seem to have no respect. You know when you send your children to school that they are there for 38 weeks a year. Some people feel they are above the rules. Also, anecdote does not equal data.

TabithaStephens Mon 22-Jul-13 20:07:37

"It's not about holidays being CHEAP. It's about them being AFFORDABLE."

There's no right to affordable holidays either. If you can't afford them, don't go. Too many people seem to think they are entitled to a holiday or several holidays a year. This is not the case.

Whereisegg Mon 22-Jul-13 20:10:46

My dd goes away for 5 days on pgl in September.

I wonder if the LEA will be paying her df and I our £60 each per day, in cash or by cheque??

motownmover Mon 22-Jul-13 20:11:35

Tabitha and others spouting this crap have you ever had it where you have not had a holiday! Not even had the same time off together of say a week as a family... now be honest I'd love to hear.

crashdoll Mon 22-Jul-13 20:14:38

motown What planet do you live on?! I cannot afford a holiday right now, it sucks but it's one of those things.

motownmover Mon 22-Jul-13 20:17:07

Crashdoll I fully realise anecdote does not equal data. I mean again it is only my experience but there were some days during my schooling which were wasted and not always educational and I had really fab teachers who thankfully supported people opening their horizons and being with their family but I guess that is also to do with the geographical position of NZ and because my school had also overseas boarders. I guess the teachers I had were just really intune when it came to dealing with a wide range of families and cultures.

The very fact that children have 38 weeks a year at school should surely mean if they are taught well that they can take time off and still be ok?

I really think people have no idea just how hard many families have it.

MadeOfStarDust Mon 22-Jul-13 20:17:45

mowtownmover Yep - had the first 7 years of the kids lives where we did not have a week off together - the demands of work and childcare meant we were stretched as it was - so no holiday - or even week off as a family- we did not self-destruct, we just got on with life..

ooooooh sorry we had the time between Christmas and new year together at home or at MIL 25 miles away ...... that is about a week... including public holidays...

motownmover Mon 22-Jul-13 20:18:18

Crashdoll so please explain why you begrudge others a holiday then?

crashdoll Mon 22-Jul-13 20:21:08

I don't begrudge anyone a holiday as long as they don't pretend it's more educational than school because that makes them a big fat hypocrite if they actually send their children for the rest of the year.

My friend certainly begrudges others' holidays. If a child in her DD's class fucks off to the Costa del Sol for a week, it's her DD's 1-to-1 who has to catch the child up, or take the class while the teacher does the catch up. Meanwhile DD (profoundly deaf) misses out.

One child's absence can affect the whole class - in the case of holiday it is completely avoidable.

crashdoll Mon 22-Jul-13 20:22:22

"I really think people have no idea just how hard many families have it."

Oh the irony. I work with some very desperate families in extreme poverty. Not getting a holiday does not make it 'hard' FFS.

jacks365 Mon 22-Jul-13 20:22:26

Motownmover I haven't had more than a weekend away for 4 years because of time constraints, nothing to do with costs but because between us and the dc we have not had even a single week when we've all been free but I'm not taking the dc out of school to get that time we just make the most of the free time we get.

geeandfeesmum Mon 22-Jul-13 20:23:51

crashdoll, perhaps you should stop pretending that school is the only place a child can learn. Perhaps you should stop pretending that every parent that wishes to take a holiday during term time is raising a delinquent who will never amount to anything purely based on the fact that they missed two weeks of school to go on holiday!!

motownmover Mon 22-Jul-13 20:24:00

Wow MadeofStardust you must have a really strong family unit. I guess that the real problem is that the rigid 38 week year only seems to work for schools and teachers and not families, unless there is a SAHP.

I find it hard as do my DC I really wish other family (other than DH and DC) were 25 miles rather than 11,000 miles away.

Anyway it doesn't surprise me that LEA's are going to bring this in. The whole school year only works for the very few and no doubt holidays will only be enjoyed by the very entitled.

MadeOfStarDust Mon 22-Jul-13 20:24:06

Horry - totally agree - this happens at our school too - the TA (who is shared between classes) is used to catch kids up instead of to help the 4 whole classes...

motownmover Mon 22-Jul-13 20:25:57

Crashdoll really - you work with desperate families? I don't really get what that has got to do with the rigid school year and holidays.

Don't you think really really desperate families deserve a break too? Respite care or holidays!

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 20:26:09

Yabyum, you talk shit.

DS has always been taken out for a week term time. He is one of the top readers in his class, constantly has his work on the school website and just got 39/40 in his phonics assessment.

There is no downward spiral. Allowing a bit of downtime for 1% of the time and applying yourself for the other 99% doesn't make you destined to fail.

FFS, my dad took me out of school for a MONTH, in third year secondary, to go to America (no theme parks before you all start clutching your pearls) My mum went into school to speak to the head about granting me the time off and he practically leapt out of his chair to sign the consent form for the LEA. He said that a month travelling America wasn't to be passed up. Sadly, common sense seems to have gone out of the window now with the prevailing nanny state telling us when we can and can't take our annual leave/what we can pack in our kid's lucnhbags. I can see a very strong case for home educating emerging. A lot of the pompous teachers/ex-teachers on here are doing a good job of seeing to that.

motownmover Mon 22-Jul-13 20:30:04

marmalade you say it much better than me.

I so agree.

I am so glad I had cool teachers.

chicaguapa Mon 22-Jul-13 20:32:22

I was all indignant about this until I remembered that DH doesn't get time off in term time either, so it doesn't make any difference to us. I can see why it's galling to have to pay a fine, but overall if it's still cheaper than going in the school holidays, you're still better off overall.

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 20:33:29

And if a week out of school for a break is the devil's work, how do they explain a week in Corchevel (at our school!) doing little more than skiing? I'm pretty sure that they don't have to do a skiing practical when they get back...

crashdoll Mon 22-Jul-13 20:34:17

"crashdoll, perhaps you should stop pretending that school is the only place a child can learn. Perhaps you should stop pretending that every parent that wishes to take a holiday during term time is raising a delinquent who will never amount to anything purely based on the fact that they missed two weeks of school to go on holiday!!"

I don't think school is the only place a child can learn but some people are excusing their holidays by implying they can educate their children better. Maybe they can and good on them but then why send to school? I am criticising the parents for being hypocritical, I never made a comment on the children. You are making things up! grin

crashdoll Mon 22-Jul-13 20:35:14

motown I made that comment because you said I didn't realise how hard some people have it. confused I do!

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 20:35:34

I will pay the fine. I will have my holiday in June. LEA can fuck off. Gove can fuck off. I will put £1 each from DH and I in a jar a week and then when I get invoiced, I will take it down to the council offices and tip my sack of quids into their little tray.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 22-Jul-13 20:36:21

I think its great that they are clamping down, children get 13 weeks a year and 52 weekends off school so no excuse. Added to that, a holiday is a luxury and not essential.

Parents use school results, ofsted etc when choosing a school yet are quite happy to then affect future ones by removing their child term time.

revealall Mon 22-Jul-13 20:37:21

Well what about my situation. I am taking my DS for 4 days in September because we have a completely free holiday to the South of France. My friend is working out there and her company are paying for it all.

As a single parent I could never afford to holiday in Monte Carlo even for four days. It may or may not be educational but in terms of social/human capital it will be priceless. It also lets me pick up work Monday as we are going Tuesday - Friday.

hermioneweasley Mon 22-Jul-13 20:37:45

If education is so valued, why not fine parents whose kids don't do their homework (or blatantly do it for their kids!). Why not fine parents who are persistently late, disrupting the entire class several times a week when they come in late again? It's a crude approach to hit a crude target - get unauthorised absences to a certain level. It's one of the reasons most of the schools around us close at the first flake of snow - if the school is closed, then there are no unAuthorised absences. If they stay open and kids don't make it in, then it hits their figures.

The system we had was fine - HTs could authorise for those kids that they knew woukdn't suffer educationally for missing a week and apply discretion and judgement. If kids already had high levels of absence or were struggling, then decline.

How can you be fit to lead a complex organisation such as a school but not be trusted to make a simole judgement like that?

hermioneweasley Mon 22-Jul-13 20:38:49

Marmalade - you are not thinking small enough. In coppers please!

motownmover Mon 22-Jul-13 20:42:04

Really I think Crash was going off on a deserving or underserving holiday stance much like we have the deserving and underserving poor.

Happymummyofone actually a lot of parents in London don't have a chance of choosing a school according to Ofsted.

Go for it revealall and enjoy!

MrsTedMosby Mon 22-Jul-13 20:42:27

My child. Not the governments. I will decide when I take MY child on holiday. Really pissed off at the government deciding what I can do and when with my child.

Not that I'm going to take them out, because I work in a school, but I hate being told that I can't.

And already the "illnesses" are starting, amazing how many ill children there have been where the family can't be contacted at home for a week.

YonisAreForever Mon 22-Jul-13 20:44:02


Exaxclty , you have hit nail on head there

YonisAreForever Mon 22-Jul-13 20:45:16

Good idea marmelade, I think lots of us will have a holiday fine jar!

trolleycoin Mon 22-Jul-13 20:45:27

Spot on Hermione.

Where do the fines go to? Which coffers are they allocated to?

What about Gove's ideas of longer school hours and scrapping the long summer break as its based on agricultural requirements? Would that mean more parents taking kids out of school for holidays?

crashdoll Mon 22-Jul-13 20:46:53

Give it a rest, motown I explained myself. Stop talking shite!

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 20:50:29

"Added to that, a holiday is a luxury and not essential."

I don't think it is up to you to decide for other families what is a luxury and what is an essential. My DH is close to depression due to his job. A week/10 days family time is hallowed. It IS essential, to us.

dippingbackin Mon 22-Jul-13 20:51:13

As a teacher (and a parent), I totally understand why students are taken out of school during term time. However, what I do not understand is when the parents demand huge amounts of work to be supplied and then complain two weeks after their return that their child did not understand the entire Chemistry module they have missed.

If you want your child to learn, keep them at school, if you want a holiday then make it exactly that. Do not expect me to re-teach an entire fortnights worth of work to one child - essentially free tutoring on top of the cheaper holiday.

servingwench Mon 22-Jul-13 20:55:49

The letter we had at dd's school was great...the governors are taking a hard line on this topic....that's the same governor that just had a week long holiday and took his 3 kids out of school grin

EBearhug Mon 22-Jul-13 20:58:27

Taking kids out of school during termtime is just saying to them "school rules dont count, they are there to be bent or broken when it suits us", then its just a downward spiral of sickies, duvet days, etc because kids learn from their closest role models. If you only ever give them the message that school comes first, period, that will be the value they uphold through life, because it is part of their belief system.

I don't agree with this. I grew up with the message that school definitely came first, but you could ask for privileges and do things if you had permission first. We were absolutely not allowed sickies - I had about 3 sick days off school in my life, and it would have been fewer than that if I hadn't vomited up my breakfast as I went out the door to get the school bus...

Being able to justify why something should be allowed is a useful skill to learn. My parents had to justify why they wanted to justify taking us out of school in term time. It's not dissimilar from having to do business justifications and so on at work. (Or asking for a day's leave when it would leave the office shorthanded. Ahem.)

hermioneweasley Mon 22-Jul-13 20:59:31

Dippingbackin - I completely agree that you shouldn't be expected to sort out extra work or catch kids up.

motownmover Mon 22-Jul-13 21:00:10

Crash I am allowed to read your posts how I see them. This is a AIBU thread.

We can disagree.

ivykaty44 Mon 22-Jul-13 21:00:13

I think it would be interesting to see if there was a test case what happened.

I wonder whether it could be taken up as against human rights to fine a family for going to a family wedding abroad or such like. Espcially a situation such as owllady has suggested -though in here case she could de register the children from school and state she was home schooling, that way there would not a a fine as it is not illegal to home school

Someone sooner or later will do so and then the whole system will be in jeopardy

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 21:00:24

And when I take my big bag of change in, I will take a bag of those shit sweets you get from the airport, for the LEA staff.

Hotbots Mon 22-Jul-13 21:03:04

The thing is, whilst there is a correlation between attendance and achievement, there is no evidence whatsoever that there is any correlation between families who take a weeks holiday in term time once a year, and achievement.

Unfortunately the government is too stupid to see that, and are once again falling over themselves to drag british education standards back to the top (fools) by leaping on this statistic (instead of listening to plenty of other credible evidence that they and labour choose to ignore).

If anyone did a proper study I am absolutely certain that the correlation with poor achievement would be with so called low attendance due to persistent truancy and not with a family holiday in term time one a year.

motownmover Mon 22-Jul-13 21:06:31


That's it there is no evidence that families who take some holiday in term time impact the achievement of their children or anyone else.

The thing is I can see HT's and LEA's wasting valuable time on someone like Marmalade - just plain stupid.

misterioso Mon 22-Jul-13 21:09:31

I think if your dc aren't in an important year you should be allowed to take the holiday.
It isn't fair for school to suffer when it is SATS years, also you shouldn't expect to be given work for what they have missed

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 21:10:09

<twirls and sprinkles paella rice all over thread>

dippingbackin Mon 22-Jul-13 21:10:37

Hotbots - you are probably right that one week off in an entire school year is not going to make a massive difference. However if schools allow holidays out of term time it most likely won't be once per year for some children. If that is the case then achievement will definitely suffer.

This will become a massive issue when performance related pay comes in and teachers are possibly going to be judged on the results of their students. If I have a class of 30 GCSE children and some go away in term time, this not only affects their results but through no fault of my own may affect my pay going forward. My job is to maximise the students chances of achieving the best that they can, this is not possible if they are not in school.

TumbleWeeds Mon 22-Jul-13 21:11:04

this is a PRIMARY school issue though. No one where I am will think about taking a child out of school for a skiing hols in secondary school as this is just NOT allowed.

Which then raise the question: How can people have so many opportunities not to miss with primary age children but with secondary age children?
Why is it essential for a teenager to always be at school but not for a younger child?

Tbh, this will have an impact for me too as taking one week off out of school hols is the only way I can go back to my home country. I couldn't afford it otherwise.
But I always astonished at how most people find it OK to take their dcs out of school for a hols.
A case by case evaluation would obviously be better but perhaps not as lenient as it has been until now?

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Mon 22-Jul-13 21:11:24

It will still be cheaper (and more pleasant/less crowded) to swallow the fines than pay over the odds for a holiday at peak time. School can go fucking whistle for all I care.

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 21:12:50

I actually agree with that, mister. I wouldn't dream of taking DS out if he was in SATS year. As it is, he is Year 1 going into 2. I don't think that a week out is going to damage his chances of becoming a Lego designer (his dream job)

FieryChipotle Mon 22-Jul-13 21:14:36

I'm a teacher (as is DH) and we are trying to dream up ways we could possibly take our DCs away while its cheap. Holidays out of term time are far too expensive and frankly, if I thought I could get away with it, I would feign illness for my children to get a nice holiday. I have absolute sympathy with parents over the term time holiday fines. Our term doesn't end until Wednesday and there has been little teaching since the week before last, what is the point in fining parents so kids can miss three days of film-watching?!

greeneyed Mon 22-Jul-13 21:14:46

Oh balls DS hasn't even started school yet and will be taking 6 days out next year for a holiday - It's to stay with Family and they have paid for our flights, So I will be fined, he will be four ffs, how much will he miss?

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Mon 22-Jul-13 21:15:57

Our head teacher has been told he is no longer allowed to authorize any absences and he HAS to go with planned certificates for 100% attendance.

Doctors, dentists, illness means you don't get 100% there are no exceptions.

He isn't happy about it at all.

MoominMammasHandbag Mon 22-Jul-13 21:15:57

I live on the border of two LEAs. Younger kids go to primary in one LEA, teens go to high school in another. They regularly have different holiday weeks at February, May and October half terms and only a few days' overlap at Easter, only four or five weeks overlap in the summer too.
So, apart from a few weeks in the summer, if we want to do any kind of family time away, and that includes visiting my parents who live 250 miles away, we need to take someone out of school.
Obviously we normally choose to take them out of primary, but this new rule is a complete pain, not least for teachers at our primary with kids at school in the other LEA who have different holidays.

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 21:17:02

"But I always astonished at how most people find it OK to take their dcs out of school for a hols."

You just have different priorities to other parents. No need to be "astonished".

And our local secondary school DO take out DCs for a week's skiing! And DS will NOT be going! £600 for a week?! Do me a favour.

ohforfoxsake Mon 22-Jul-13 21:31:49

What happens when the schools set their own holiday? Children at different schools, with different holidays?

I don't think it applies to 4yos because they aren't in compulsory education. I'm sure I'll be corrected if wrong.

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 21:34:40

No, you are right Horry.

greeneyed Mon 22-Jul-13 21:39:21

Thanks Horry that's good to hear!

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Mon 22-Jul-13 21:42:09

It's Ok - just don't pay, don't turn up at court and then when you finally have to say you can't afford it. £60 fine reduced to £15 in these circumstances for a parent whose daughter was in school less than 70%!of the time.

AudrinaAdare Mon 22-Jul-13 21:43:28

Off-peak holidays aren't just cheaper, or even more affordable. they make being out and about accessible for DS who has autism. We spend all day during the six weeks avoiding the crowds at the park and pool and even the shops. Last year (three days on the IoW) was the first time in six years he felt safe and calm enough to tentatively play on a beach FGS. Tourist attractions worldwide now recognise this problem. Even bloody Disney!

DD has a medical condition which means that she is unable travel abroad at all due to having to transport live cells through passport control, so no skiing or French exchange for her.

I wonder if the disability discrimination act and the requirement to make reasonable adjustments to ensure equality of opportunity would cover this? That is an actual law and surely not subject to the HT's discretion?

I am going to saving my pound coins. I'd like to see them get any money from XH though, I've been trying for thirteen years, or would my DH have to cover it?

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 21:52:08

Audrina, that's tough going sad flowers

TartyMcTart Mon 22-Jul-13 21:56:52

FFS, you have kids then the sacrifice is that you holiday during the school holidays. Yes, it's more expensive but hey, that's life. Get over it.

motownmover Mon 22-Jul-13 21:58:59

Audrina I really hope the school is able to apply common sense make an exception.

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 22:03:58

Luckily Tarty, most of us couldn't give a tiny tit what you think. smile

Tilly333 Mon 22-Jul-13 22:04:43

Holiday was booked for last day before half term in October, last October. Not changing it.
I shall find out what the other kids did on the last day and then send in a counter claim (knowing the answer will be watching films and not educational in the slightest)
DD has been watching films for the last week (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire today!) so I know the form of the school. Makes my bloody blood boil.

AudrinaAdare Mon 22-Jul-13 22:07:20

Thank you smile

I put all this in an email recently after our request for next September was turned down flat. Along with the educational opportunities for DD (I'm a former teacher) It was granted eventually but only on the grounds that DD's previous school had already given permission early in the year. No mention of any of other issues so I am loathe to even ask them next year.

DS' special school was fine with it.

I wouldn't even mind but we don't want to go to the IoW especially but last year was the only short U.K break we have never had to abandon half-way through due to DS' meltdowns. I think because it was so quiet and calm. Stayed in a farmhouse, animals wandering around etc it was amazing - he even told us on the last day that our house / car / the ferry were all broken so we couldn't leave grin

Tilly333 Mon 22-Jul-13 22:07:58

Fiery Chipotle - just a question - but how do teachers get away with not teaching and letting the kids watch films?...I just don't get it

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 22:08:07

DS has been doing a mixture of film-watching and free play since last Monday! His reading diary hasn't been entried by his TA for three weeks! They're on a wind-down, which is fine, but don't bollocks me that every second they spend in school is spent doing something essential to their future. Unless DS wants to do a degree in Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, as he has watched it five times this year hmm

NewNameForNewTerm Mon 22-Jul-13 22:08:33

I'm a teacher and my thoughts are that parents can make that choice - term time holidays and fine or costlier holidays out of term time. I'm completely happy with that level of parental choice. Holidays can be great at broadening the mind and do have an "educational" element, but that doesn't negate that children are missing a chunk of teaching in an area that isn't covered by experiencing another culture.

While I have no complaints about parents wanting termtime holidays I will not provide work for your child to do when they are away (if the work is that important to you keep them in school) and I will not spend my lunchtimes helping them catch up.

One poster said they would have the teacher's lesson plans - sorry, no chance. My plans are for me. I plan Monday and Tuesday over the weekend, then the rest of the week day-by-day as I assess what the children need. Often I don't even stick to the topic originally planned; what's the point of a week on money when the children pick up the planned skills in two days? I'll go back to place value or Venn diagrams that they are still finding tricky. My plans are working documents in my on short hand that will make no sense to someone outside myself and maybe the TA. They also have notes about children on them which is confidential. So, sorry I'm not writing them up neatly and sanitising the confidential stuff for parents. I'm not saying parents can't teach the primary curriculum, but I am saying they will not know what to teach to fill what their child is missing and at which level and with which focus.

Oh, and if the "we can't afford a holiday unless..." train of thought, what about teachers taking term time holidays? I've not been able to afford a holiday since I had children, so where does that leave me? I work at least double my contracted hours already, so surely a week off in June could be arranged?

NewNameForNewTerm Mon 22-Jul-13 22:12:37

PS - I know all these videos are frustrating, but not all schools do them. I do one in the last week of term and it is linked to our summer term topic.
But at least it is everyone chilling in one week of term when all the children are too tired to be productive, rather it being a constant rotation of different children missing different weeks that would happen if term time holidays were permitted. Maybe a compromise would be that term time holidays would be permitted in the last week of term? (only the travel agents would sound twig and put the prices up for that week????)

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 22:16:38

But that's your choice,NewName. You chose a career knowing that. Just like I work part-time in retail, I know that annual leave in November/December is off-limits. I can't moan about that because I am choosing that line of work.

I think that what most of us resent is being told what is best for our children and not trusting us to make decisions for ourselves. A blanket rule is stupid in this case. Case-by-case was working fine. Just another way of making sure that only the rich get to do nice things.

Tilly333 Mon 22-Jul-13 22:16:57

NewName... I agree with you. I wouldn't expect you to have to do more work in a child's absence, but can you answer the question about film watching and 'wind down' at the end of terms.. does your school/you, allow/do this?
It just seems the new rules unfairly penalise the 'few days' before or at the end term holidaying parents.

TartyMcTart Mon 22-Jul-13 22:17:24

Just as well then as most people on this thread are talking a lot of bollocks smile

foxy6 Mon 22-Jul-13 22:20:45

for all children any new experience, place visited is education so therefore a holiday somewhere New doing something new is educational. education is not just maths and English learnt in a classroom.

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 22:21:40

Your opinion, Tarty. I think that most people are talking sense. Just a few joyless sticklers on here clutching at their pearls, as usual. smile

Dahlen Mon 22-Jul-13 22:22:20

I think teachers should be allowed term-time holidays. Other public servants are allowed to take holidays when they want to provided it doesn't clash with essential services and is fair to their colleagues. I certainly wouldn't object to my DC's teachers being away for a week and their lessons covered by another teacher. If the children fall apart completely after one week, something else is going on.

I also think - given the emphasis schools place on parent-school communication, that not allowing teachers time off to deal with their own DC's school sends a very hypocritical message.

Still can't see why rough lesson plans can't be handed over though. I'm not on about a point-by-point breakdown of every hour in the classroom, but a summarised breakdown of the topics and learning objections for that week is not too much to ask IMO. I'd expect a good teacher to have those as standard. Every other institution of learning and training does.

PugStaffyCross Mon 22-Jul-13 22:23:00

plenty of time in the holidays for taking them away. its usually cos its cheaper people want to take them term time.

giddywithglee couldnt agree more to your comment, teachers cant take holidays during school time so why should school allow kids too?

They are right to fine people for taking kids away from education.. education is a privilage that many don't get the opportunity to do. If its a family emergency thats different but for a jolly over to spain then no.

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 22:24:53

"plenty of time in the holidays for taking them away. its usually cos its cheaper people want to take them term time. "

No flies on you, Pug!

Onesleeptillwembley Mon 22-Jul-13 22:25:23

I agree with the fines BUT I read upthread that religious holidays will be treated differently. That's wrong, and IMO it's discriminatory and will most definitely be divisive. How can non proven beliefs be more important than a holiday?

ThePrinceofCambridge Mon 22-Jul-13 22:25:28


At the moment teachers earn a great deal more than the parents of the children they teach.

Private school children of course get much longer holidays so the richer parents can enjoy the cheaper holiday times, along with their teachers.

ThePrinceofCambridge Mon 22-Jul-13 22:26:25

We will start our own religion, the worship of holidays and seeing the world.

NewNameForNewTerm Mon 22-Jul-13 22:27:37

Of course my school allows it. One or two only, in the last week of term and they need some curriculum link. 6 & 7 year olds are shattered and grumpy at the best of times by this time of the school year. Add to that the weather and it is a complete waste of time trying to teach them. A couple of usual lessons I taught last week had children practically in tears as they couldn't think straight. I know they could do the maths (easily) but they were just too tired, hot, etc.
Yes I agree it's hard for parents wanting to take the last few days off this week. I know quite a few children are "ill" after the weekend.
Marmalade - I'm not moaning about my lack of holiday I'm making a point that if your children are entitled to holidays, so are mine. I've worked department store retail before I got into teaching and its tough around Christmas and New Year.

Onesleeptillwembley Mon 22-Jul-13 22:27:57

Ok, I'm god, though. Send me 10% of your gin allowance and you'll be Saved!!!

foxy6 Mon 22-Jul-13 22:28:50

pug education is not a privilege in the UK everyone gets educated regardless.

Abitlikechicken Mon 22-Jul-13 22:29:03

PrettyKitty a lot of the parents at our school hold your view. I manage attendance and have had upwards of 50 holiday applications in the last six weeks. What exactly do you expect schools to do when poor attendance alone can tip a school into special measures? Yours is a selfish and self-righteous view. Schools are very much on to parents who lie to cover their holidays too and know the signs to look for, any doubt and no medical evidence and we don't authorise.

dippingbackin Mon 22-Jul-13 22:29:47

I don't know any teachers that show films in the last week. We would have serious questions to answer from the SLT if we did.

PugStaffyCross Mon 22-Jul-13 22:30:43

Some posters on here really are talking a load of rubbish.... find me a child who wants to do school work on holiday and the parent who is going to force them to? It amazing how many peoples kids are top of the class and can afford to miss school. If people can afford to spend 7K on a holiday then educate your kids privately and stop complaining about a 60 quid fine

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 22:32:15

"What exactly do you expect schools to do when poor attendance alone can tip a school into special measures?"

Well then the LEAs need to use their little noggins and carry on allowing HTs to award discretionary authorised absence. People WILL get around it. People WILL pay the fine. It will do not much to deter parents from going on holiday.

Medical evidence? What medical evidence do you require? Doctors don't certificate for children unless it is an extended illness.

Whothefuckfarted Mon 22-Jul-13 22:32:32

Just tell em the kids have a nasty bug. have a great holiday smile

PugStaffyCross Mon 22-Jul-13 22:33:06

foxy6 in the UK yes of course but in some countries no. In the UK we are lucky to have a good uducation system that is now trying to make sure kids attend as there are some parents who dont care. I dont mean the ones who go on holiday I mean the ones who just dont send them.

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 22:34:36

"If people can afford to spend 7K on a holiday then educate your kids privately and stop complaining about a 60 quid fine"

Seven grand?! My last three holidays abroad have cost us £1000, there or there abouts. We aren't Richard fucking Branson, you know?

PugStaffyCross Mon 22-Jul-13 22:36:05

MarmaladeTwatkins thats the reason we used to take ours in the school time! so much cheaper. Schools are trying to improve attendance so maybe parents should support this?

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 22:36:48

" I dont mean the ones who go on holiday I mean the ones who just dont send them."

Then penalise them! Not us responsible parents who send our children in when they are supposed to be there but might like an authorised week away.

There is a mother at DS's school who doesn't send her son in for odd days, a few times a term. Because she can't get up in time. I see her shopping with him in town! WTF?! That's what needs to be cracked down on!

We've just been sent a letter for the LEA as well.

I know I've asked this on here before (and elsewhere) but I keep getting contradictory advice. If children are performing (so need headteacher's permission for the licence) is that okay? When I spoke to ds2's new school (from Sept) about some (very limited) time he might have to miss for performing next school year they said it was fine & just to let them know as soon as I had the dates. But our LEA seems to have issued the no holidays guidance since then. In his case I think performing in a west end tour is educational tbh

AudrinaAdare Mon 22-Jul-13 22:37:29

I've posted about our three days on the Isle of Wight. DD had been learning about coastal erosion in Geography and actually got to see where it had happened. Osborne House. Roman villa. Fossils. Also, strangely a Creationist community grin

Access to education is indeed a "privilage", but it doesn't necessarily have to take place in school if parents have a modicum of intelligence.

foxy6 Mon 22-Jul-13 22:38:20

well that's kind of me then my 14 year old doesn't go to school but my 9 and 6 year olds do. that doesn't mean he doesn't get an education he has probably learned more over the year he has been out of school that he did the whole tome he was in comp.
and as for if you can afford 7 k on a hop you can afford the fine, I think the point people we trying to make is that they can't afford 7 k for a holiday during school hols. my budget for holidays this year is 200 for 7 of us we are camping grin

PugStaffyCross Mon 22-Jul-13 22:40:45

MarmaladeTwatkins lol if you read through the thread you will see that some people spend 4k upward on a holiday, unless they are bullshitting to make the rest of us paupers jealous. 800 quid for a week is about my limit, I could think of a lot better things to do with 4k than a holiday

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 22:40:47

"MarmaladeTwatkins thats the reason we used to take ours in the school time! so much cheaper. Schools are trying to improve attendance so maybe parents should support this?"

Tough shit.

If they (LEAs) are going to be so draconian about it and dictate when we can use our annual leave then I could not give a shit about their attendance rates. Doesn't affect me. Perhaps if they went about it sensibly (like the current system!) I would care more and continue abiding by the rules. However, I won't be dictated to on when I may take my child on holiday, when I may book my annual leave, when DH may book his annual leave and how my finances should be worked to cover this wanky rule change. If the LEAs start acting like arses, parents will start acting like arses.

ohforfoxsake Mon 22-Jul-13 22:40:54

So it's ok for holiday companies to charge inflated rates as they have us over a barrel? Get over it, don't go away together, it's our fault for having children. Bollocks.

NewNameForNewTerm Mon 22-Jul-13 22:42:20

start ?

5madthings Mon 22-Jul-13 22:43:00

7grand on a holiday? We pay £400 for a self catering cottage and then patrol/days out costs! Oh to spend seven grand on a holiday...

revealall Mon 22-Jul-13 22:44:22

saintly - so do I

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 22:45:13

Holiday companies can charge whatever they like as the demand is there, sadly. There will never be any talk of them being regulated so that they aren't shafting us up the arses as this is how business works. It sucks.

So the sensible action has to come from the LEA. 7 or 10 days discretionary leave if attendance has been over a certain percentage. Therefore absence is authorised and won't affect attendance figures. I can't help but think that they are shagging themselves with this one. Everyone I know has said they will just pay the fine and have done with it.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Have a child about to go into reception and another 3 years behind her. I also have an older child with SN who attends a school that has some holidays at different times to the state mainstream school that my dd will go to.

What do people think of deregistering the kids and then, after the holiday, re-registering them. It is an oversubscribed school and we'd loose our place for a bit, but we live on the doorstep so would be first on the waiting list and it is a huge school.

I'd be happy to homeschool in between. Holidays are extremely important to us and imo essential for the development of our children. It is vital though that we go to places when they are less crowded due to ds' autism.

ThePrinceofCambridge Mon 22-Jul-13 22:46:36

As ever no use moaning on here.

write to MP's complain, ask what they are going to do about feckless parents and how responsible parents whose DC;s do love to learn are going to be punished for one bloody holiday.

I also feel very much my childs teacher. I have 100% been behind her as she learns.

Her reading came on enormously when we were away.

I have no faith in her school to teach her without my and DH back up.

So, she is not going into a black void when away, she is still being brought along by us.

'I have no faith in her school to teach her without my and DH back up.

So, she is not going into a black void when away, she is still being brought along by us.'

This ^

PugStaffyCross Mon 22-Jul-13 22:53:19

it is going to cause mass uproar and what do they expect? I took my kids up north last year in february for my grandmothers 90th birthday party. its a 6.5 hour drive up there so cant do it one day. the HT said no if I took them it would be unauthorised which affects thier attendance figures. They had 3 days off and I had a shitty letter, my kids are in exam years now so wont be taking them out as important time. I alays try and support school but thinking about it - there are exceptions when they can sod off.

Trigglesx Mon 22-Jul-13 22:53:42

Starlight We've already told DS1's SS (and DS2's MS school) that if we manage to take them on a couple days holiday somewhere, it will have to be during term time, as DS1 cannot cope with crowds. If we went during the busiest times at most places, he wouldn't be able to either leave the room or enjoy himself at all. Hopefully as they understand his SNs, it won't be a huge issue. I will happily pay a fine if it means he is able to enjoy a brief holiday like other children can.

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 22:57:58

Well yes, Pug.

They are targeting the wrong families, here. The families that request permission for a week's leave are being honest and seeking approval for a bit of leave, which was only ever granted if the child's attendance was above 92% anyway. But this is going to make arseholes of us all. Those of us who have complied with the rules and shown support to the school will be less reluctant to do so now, I fear.

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 22:58:39

I might even do my own bake sale at the gates to fund the fine. grin

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Mon 22-Jul-13 23:00:24

So what happens if you've already booked the holiday before you realised about the new rules? Is it down to the head teachers discretion or will you just get fined anyway?

Wuldric Mon 22-Jul-13 23:00:36

Going against the prevailing trend here - but I think this is a brilliant idea and long overdue.

As for those who hope it will be challenged under EU law, that is quite the most ridiculous thing I have heard for a long time. Good luck with that! Bringing a touch of realism to the thread - a challenge under EU law (which would fail, btw) would come an awful lot more expensive than paying the fines for disrupting the school and getting the teachers to do extra work to help your DCs catch up.

AudrinaAdare Mon 22-Jul-13 23:00:42

I still think its covered by the DDA, Starlight. Lack of crowds and queues off-peak make getting around accessible for your DS.

Onesleeptillwembley Mon 22-Jul-13 23:01:56

You shouldn't be fined for that, triggles, but scarily, how many people would catch wind of it and use it as an excuse if they thought they could get away with it. If your ds has issues with things like that I can see(although sorry if I'm wrong) that getting away in a safe quieter environment could maybe help him slowly overcome fears, and so be very beneficial in many ways.

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 23:01:56

Ilovemydog, I think that they may honour it. I would check and then if they won't, appeal against it.

revealall - you don't know how it will be treated do you? I keep hearing the extremes from 'don't worry it's recorded differently, to no it isn't it won't be allowed'. Ds2's school were very positive about the benefits so I hope they're not going to have their hand force by the LEA

Tilly333 Mon 22-Jul-13 23:05:43

well last day of school for DD tomorrow...and its a day of rounders .. a good all round sporting activity ... minus lunchtime of an hour....and they get to go home last day of term equates to 4 hours of 'education' - what will the rest of the teachers who do not teach sports on the last day be doing if they are not teaching their normal allocated lessons?

Whippetwarmer Mon 22-Jul-13 23:06:21

I was talking about this with a friend who was HE and has very strong views about parents' rights to keep their child out of school if they so wish.

Her opinion was that if you word how you tell them you will be keeping your child out of school correctly, then you should be ok.

E.g rather than say "dc will not be in school because we are going on holiday," say "dc will not be in school because I will be educating them myself between these dates". And while you are away get the dc to do a scrap book about their trip, draw pictures and keep a diary about places they have visited etc. the law states that your child must be in education, not in school, so as long as you can prove that they were doing something educational there's bugger all they can do about it.

Could be completely wrong but worth a try maybe?

AudrinaAdare Mon 22-Jul-13 23:08:20

Onesleep, what a horrible thought! I can see that it might catch on though sadly.

As I pointed out earlier, every major tourist attraction worldwide including evil Disney understands these issues and has accessibility policies for people with ASD. Why should schools be an exception?

Actually I have answered my own question there. Chessington et al realise how awful and traumatic it is for their neurotypical guests to have to queue with people who cannot do this, so their motives are probably profit-driven.

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 23:08:20

"E.g rather than say "dc will not be in school because we are going on holiday," say "dc will not be in school because I will be educating them myself between these dates". And while you are away get the dc to do a scrap book about their trip, draw pictures and keep a diary about places they have visited etc. the law states that your child must be in education, not in school, so as long as you can prove that they were doing something educational there's bugger all they can do about it."

Would they force you to deregister your DC, though? Good idea, if not.

PrettyKitty1986 Mon 22-Jul-13 23:09:06

What exactly do you expect schools to do when poor attendance alone can tip a school into special measures?

Purely by holidays? My ds1 has had a bit over a week off this year...his attendance was 95%. I thought that was good...maybe only by my standards, but then i'm the type of slack parent that takes him out of school of course.

NewNameForNewTerm Mon 22-Jul-13 23:14:57

How I understand it if you worded a letter like that it would be de-registering your child. If it's an under-subscribed school it won't be a problem. If it is like my school you could write that letter on a Friday morning and your place will be refilled by Monday morning. Then you've lost it and will need to HE until another space comes up.
This thread brings to mind a conversation we were having at school about educating children in their rights and responsibilities We are good at the first, but not so hot on the second and we are reflecting on our PSHEe curriculum for the new school year to rectify this.

ninja Mon 22-Jul-13 23:15:04

Not sure if this has been covered here - but if stbexH and I are separated and he takes the kids away (which he's going to do to despite me telling him about the legislation - apparantly the school HAVE to give you 14 days off hmm) -

would I get fined as well?

frogwatcher42 Mon 22-Jul-13 23:15:59

My dc have done nothing but bake bread, garden, play sports etc for days. My year 6 has done nothing since sats that is of any use educationally so that is several weeks of very little education (in fact the class has openly been moaning about being bored and missing proper lessons!).

If education is so important that term time holidays are banned, then the schools need to educate each day - not give up on the dc once they have their excellent sats results, or as end of term draws near and children and teachers are knackered.

Audrina, I don't think it is covered by the DDA though, because I wouldn't be taking ds out (Well I would but his school will be fine), it is his two siblings I'll be taking out so that we can go on holiday as a family.

It's the school his siblings go to that is likely to object. They won't give a toss about a sibling of theirs that they have never met.

Whippetwarmer Mon 22-Jul-13 23:27:01

Not sure if they would go that far if its only for a week or so. The example my friend gave me was that for years her younger dsis was HE by their dm 2 days a week, but in school the other 3 days. The school hated it, and the lea were involved, but essentially there was nothing that could be done as the child was receiving a good education whilst not in school.

I think the lea are trying to scare everyone into complying but I think it would be definitely worth arguing the toss with them.

AudrinaAdare Tue 23-Jul-13 00:02:53

Oh I see, sorry Starlight. Your DD1 is a Young Carer though and might be qualify under respite? Guidelines rather than legislation though I think sad

ICantFindAFreeNickName Tue 23-Jul-13 00:17:49

One effect that we have noticed in our school, is that parents are saying kids are sick and then the kids get upset & confused when they slip up and talk about their holidays. Its not fair on the children and it also teaches them that their parents think its OK to lie to school.

Please don't knock schools for this clampdown - its the government setting the rules and taking away all the discretion. We will have to spend hours filling in forms for the lea for all the unauthorised absence.

I do knock the schools. There are ways to make this alright but schools can be so inflexible and prefer the 'outreach' model of partnership with parents to true partnership where parents are seen as equal and significant player in their child's education.

How about the parents do the paperwork!?

How about creative/modern use of code B?

How about the PTA fund and maintain an admin position for dealing with this and making it possible?

MidniteScribbler Tue 23-Jul-13 04:58:14

I think there needs to be a level of discretion for schools. Parents should be able to approach the school, provide a valid justification for why they need to be absent during term time, and what they are going to do to meet the child's educational needs during that time. But parents also should consider the school and what is going on at the time. There are certain key times that really are very important for the child to be in school so as not to miss out on vital learning or exams and parents who are open and flexible to working around that are much more likely to have the absence authorised.

Sadly, there are some parents who just take it too far, and it's why the schools are now penalising everyone. We have a big show here, every year, which runs for ten days. Students get two school days off (one is a legislated public holiday, the other a curriculum day for staff) during that time, plus weekends. So during the ten days they get 6 non school days that they could go. But inevitably, every year, we get people pulling their kids out on other days to go because they "don't like crowds". The show is exactly the same every year - dog show, horse show, cow show, sideshow alley, showbags and lots of junk food. There really is no reason for a child to need to miss another day of school that week.

Sensible, justifiable and legitimate reasons for taking children out of school are fine. There are many however that are not and parents who do it constantly are jeopardising their child's education.

babyhammock Tue 23-Jul-13 05:45:28

I got fined £60 a few weeks ago for taking my 4 year old out of reception to go to Florida for 2 weeks. I wrote a justification to the school namely that it was the holiday of a life time, they know I'm a lone parent, and they know that we escaped a very domestically abusive situation which has been extremely traumatic with the courts etc. They still said no as they pretty much have a blanket ban already.

Then our local LEA who rarely actually fine, decided to this time!

However the holiday was great and DS's handwriting went from OK to absolutely amazing and his reading improved no end as we did far more of it while we were away than he would have done in school... well worth the £60 fine but it really pissed me off at the time.

Ledkr Tue 23-Jul-13 06:37:56

When dh left us, going on holiday with the dc was one way of reassuring them we,d still be ok.
With four of them and one income it would have been pretty impossible to do in school hols.
I rem dr sitting on a beach with them one evening as we talked through how we all felt and what the future would be like.
I'd have paid a fine to have that moment.

floatyjosmum Tue 23-Jul-13 06:44:38

Only read as far as page 3 so not sure if its been mentioned.

Some local authorities are already doing this and one eat me on their guidance says its if they miss 10 school sessions which is 5 days.

For proof of a wedding we were asked for a copy of the invitation but this was for 1 day off. In the end we picked him up late am and it didn't matter!!

floatyjosmum Tue 23-Jul-13 06:46:20

One near me not eat!

Babyhammock - at 4 she doesn't need to be at school so there shouldn't be a fine

babyhammock Tue 23-Jul-13 06:50:50

Exactly Ledkr, sometimes holidays are just completely priceless. Our holiday certainly went a long way to healing the damage.

If anything its made me more inclined to go away again in term time, obviously during a 'quiet' time in school and I know the curriculum so I'll make sure he doesn't miss stuff.

All that's going to happen is parents will either lie about being sick or just budget the fine into the holiday. The children who truant will still do so.

babyhammock Tue 23-Jul-13 06:53:54

Floatyjosmum that's exactly what I thought as he's not even legal school age! But apparently as soon as you sign them up for full time education you have to abide by the rules. He's not 4 till August! Just ridiculous sad

babyhammock Tue 23-Jul-13 06:57:36

Sorry 5 till August..doh!

yabyum Tue 23-Jul-13 06:58:14

apparently as soon as you sign them up for full time education you have to abide by the rules

Only on MN.

babyhammock Tue 23-Jul-13 07:01:57

Yabyum given his age! He's still 4 so not even legal school age. That was the point I was making so please try not to take it out of context

floatyjosmum Tue 23-Jul-13 07:06:40

I would argue it with them and speak to an ewo. I work with them and I'm aware of a family with 2 children where there were issues with attendance (less than 40%) but they couldn't do anything in relation to the younger one as they wasn't 5.

It also means that if children stay at day nurseries because its easier for working parents etc then they can go on holiday when they want whereas if you put them in school nursery or reception class you can't.

Katnisscupcake Tue 23-Jul-13 07:12:59

DD starts school in September and we are planning to take her on holiday in June next year. Her 5th birthday coincides with my 40th and it will be our first ever holiday as a family.

We're not even going somewhere amazing, but I would be concerned about how much she will miss out on. But then I figure that it's only 6 weeks before the end of her Reception year. So hopefully not too much... I am prepared to pay the fine if I have to, but I guess it depends. If we decide to do a long weekend and do Friday to Monday, I guess I could call in sick for her, but then she's bound to tell them when she gets back that she's been away, even if we keep it a secret from her beforehand. So I guess I'd be better off being honest and up front.

But then if the fine is the same for taking one days holiday as it is for taking a week, we might aswell take the week!!

But I am prepared to pay the fine, absolutely. But the holiday companies need to sort out their prices...

SoupDragon Tue 23-Jul-13 07:13:43

The thing is, obviously everyone on MN is responsible and takes their children on terribly educational holidays and they only do it in term time once in a sky blue pink moon. However, there has to be a blanket rule to cover the average parent who does it purely for the money aspect and doesn't give a stuff about education.

You have never had the right to take your child out of school in term time. The 10 days has always been discretionary and a threshold rather than a right.

IOnlyNameChangeInACrisis Tue 23-Jul-13 07:24:51

I am hugely irritated by this. Up until this year, my children had near-perfect attendance at school because we've been lucky with illnesses AND very conscientious about getting to school on time. This year my brother got married overseas and we had to take some time during term time (just 3 days over a school holiday, but certainly more than 1 day and I have no idea how I would have "proved" my brother's engagement).

How dare the Dept of Education decided whether I can take my children out of school or not. I have just spent 3 years demonstrating, day after day, that I place a HUGE value on their attendance so if I'm going to take the out, it will be for a damned good reason. The idea that I can no longer have a damned good reason because the "computer says no" is infuriating.

SoupDragon Tue 23-Jul-13 07:28:00

How dare the Dept of Education decided whether I can take my children out of school or not

They have always been able to.

I phoned Educatijn welfare to inform taking my son on holiday . Got a long lecture etc and that I should not be going in term time Educatijn important . I then when got word in edge ways said well LEA can't find a school place for him anyway so he have no school whole September so don't you think that's a bigger issue ( to complex ms to bright for ss ) LEA will carry in negoating after summer holidays but reckon be October half term

Dd school agreed to her coming out due yo circumstances

IOnlyNameChangeInACrisis Tue 23-Jul-13 07:29:49

I think you knew exactly what I meant, SoupDragon. Why you're so keen on this whole business I can't quite fathom.

IOnlyNameChangeInACrisis Tue 23-Jul-13 07:31:26

...also, don't think I haven't noticed that you chose to quote the ONE outraged sentence in my comment, and completely ignored all the positioning statement. You didn't used to work for a tabloid by any chance, did you?

PrettyPaperweight Tue 23-Jul-13 07:43:21

The whole debate bewilders me, tbh!

As parents, we are legally obliged to provide our DCs with an education. We can either do that ourselves, or, enter into a contract with one of the many education providers available - some of which are provided by the state, others independent.

If we enter into a contract, we agree to abide by its terms. I really don't understand the expectation that we can ignore the terms that don't suit us?

Amrapaali Tue 23-Jul-13 07:48:22

So what exactly are the "exceptional" circumstances? Des anybody know?

Planning to go in October. Both sets of grandparents abroad and a religious occasion falls during that time. Want DD to experience that bit of her culture.

mamadoc Tue 23-Jul-13 07:57:35

I really hope that there is some 'exceptional' discretion given.

I am against term time holidays and have passed up opportunities in the past but this year we may be taking one.

My mum is dying of cancer. It is basically her dying wish to go on a family holiday with her children and grandchildren. She is a very family orientated person and hands on fantastic grandparent and she is dying far too young and will miss them growing up.

Over summer she is having chemo and won't be able to go. If we wait until half term she may be too ill to go.

It will only be UK. She is too ill to fly. It is not about the money. They can fine me whatever they want I will still do this for my mum.

SoupDragon Tue 23-Jul-13 08:07:18

IOnlyNameChangeInACrisis Not entirely sure what your problem is confused

And as for your tabloid journalist suggestion, do get a grip.


Sorry about your mum . Go make those memories there mean so much in the future

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Tue 23-Jul-13 08:10:20

Attendance fines have been in place for a long time. We warn if child dips below 92% and then refer to legal team. Below 80% is likely to be fined, unless there is a good medical reason. Also do fixed penalty notices if excluded child is seen out during school hours. This has happened for years. It is only now that holidays as unauthorised absence have hit the headlines that people are taking notice.

Where does the £60 per day come from, btw? Our standard fixed penalty is £60. We don't see the money.

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Tue 23-Jul-13 08:11:18

Exceptional circs - we have a child with a terminally ill sibling. Charity is funding a holiday. Of course we are agreeing.

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Tue 23-Jul-13 08:14:22
SoupDragon Tue 23-Jul-13 08:15:12

don't think I haven't noticed that you chose to quote the ONE outraged sentence in my comment, and completely ignored all the positioning statement

Well, you are imagining things because I didn't ignore it. The positioning is irrelevant - you were apparently seething that that the education dept decides whether you can take your child out. I merely pointed out that this has always been the case, even back in the dark ages when I was at primary school you needed to ask permission. All the "positioning" in the world doesn't change this.

Theycallmestacy Tue 23-Jul-13 08:23:02

Dd has just got back is morning from Paris, she has been both theme parks and all the usual Paris sites. It was a term time holiday, with school. If we had taken her we would have been fined.

All the other kids in school have been watching DVDs and going on day trips to theme parks.

Our holidays for the last five years have been in the UK, next year we are going to have two weeks at Whit, one week holiday time one week term time.

Ledkr Tue 23-Jul-13 08:51:18

I've never known any of my dc do very much during the last few weeks if term anyway.
Secondary school does activity week - lots if very expensive trips or free ones that make them feel inadequate.
Primary school have literally done sod all for weeks.
Don't see why we can have a holiday then tbh.

Ledkr Tue 23-Jul-13 08:52:18

Can't not can.

Kiwi mama

Sorry, pressed post. Regard the mandatory INSET days and having to spend time with your colleagues, I will correct you there. There are not only 5 days per year where we are.
My friend is a deputy head of and ofsted rated outstanding primary school in my area.
They recently had a doss day 'teacher training day' and closed the whole school (4-11) due to ONE year coming back from a week long school trip on the Sunday and they thought it unfair for that year to go to school on the Monday so they closed the school!
How the hell is that a day spent with your colleagues?
This is all very one way. I think we should fine the school in cases like this and when they close for not reason!
The 2 weeks they have here at the moment I think is fair and they should leave it alone.

Aquamildred Tue 23-Jul-13 08:59:44

Tbh most people will suck up the fine, we went term time once and got it as a very very last minute deal for £520 for three of us. The same holiday In holidays was £5000 plus. The government knows people will just suck up the cost.

Could i have saved up the extra 4480? Yes eight years later!

its just a tax for the poor and middle class.

Silverfoxballs Tue 23-Jul-13 09:23:51

Coming to this late but Travelledtheworld asked what proof would be needed to attend a funeral. To miss an exam or extend an essay deadline due to a death requires a death certificate where I work. This is higher education.

An order of service would not be accepted as too easy to just make one as suggested by another poster.

When a student comes to you in distress and you have to ask for this proof it is crap.

Oh dear, that is awful.

My thought about orders of service is that they would tick a box for providing proof for a school who would previously have been quite happy to take your word for it.