AIBU / WWYD - taking child out of school for a day so they can attend a family event

(47 Posts)
OrlandoWoolf Sun 01-Dec-13 09:39:12

DS has good attendance record. Family event so need to take a Friday off to get to it as a long way to travel.

Chances are it won't be authorised. It might be but who knows with the current climate

AIBU to take him anyway and just ring school on day to tell him we're off?

WWYD?

Age?

If he's 15 and he's in the middle of his mock gcse's then it might be a problem wink

notapizzaeater Sun 01-Dec-13 10:02:05

Agree depends on age, why could you not pick up at school and start travelling then ?

OrlandoWoolf Sun 01-Dec-13 10:02:55

DS is 8. It's a 5 hr train ride - probably 6.

at 8 and for an important family event, he'd have d&v grin

NurseRoscoe Sun 01-Dec-13 10:44:44

YANBU. At work it's possible to book annual leave for things like this, family events don't always fall in school holidays!

He won't miss any more by attending this than he would if he was poorly for the day. As long as it's not a regular thing then it's fine IMO. I do think you should stress to him though that it's being allowed as a special one off occasion for this family event and won't be done over any little thing, the amount of children I've met who's parents think they are entitled to their birthday off school just because it's their birthday is unbelievable!

DameDeepRedBetty Sun 01-Dec-13 10:47:06

Use D&V only if you're certain he won't blow the cover story by talking about it in front of teachers at school the week after, and be aware how easy it is for photos to creep around FB.

Nanny0gg Sun 01-Dec-13 10:58:01

How important a family event?

Is it just before Christmas?

What will he miss?

Christelle2207 Sun 01-Dec-13 11:06:53

I would seek permission and even if declined go anyway.

SimplyRedHead Sun 01-Dec-13 11:11:57

My Grandad's funeral will be coming up soon and I plan to take my Yr2 child out of school for a couple of days because the whole family will be there and it's a 7-8 hour drive away.

I think it's perfectly fine. I will tell her teacher directly and if necessary, then tell the head.

When she was a bridesmaid for my sister (half a day travel away) I told the teacher she'd miss the Friday her teacher just marked her down as 'family something or other' (can't remember the exact words) and we didn't need to ask the head.

I'd speak directly to the class teacher and see what he/she says.

OrlandoWoolf Sun 01-Dec-13 11:51:55

After Christmas. It's a milestone birthday party. All the family + extended family will be there.

I will take him anyway. 1 day of school in year 4 is not the end of the world.

OrlandoWoolf Sun 01-Dec-13 11:53:40

off - not of grin

PesterPower Sun 01-Dec-13 11:55:31

I'd do it regardless of what they say tbh.

I really hate that schools don't take into account how much kids can get from family days like this. Obviously they need to keep a check on attendance but I think children learn a lot about relationships etc from things like this and that is just as important as formal education.

OrlandoWoolf Sun 01-Dec-13 11:57:14

What really gets me is schools I work in have a real issue with attendance. Not holiday issues but children who just don't turn up.

zatyaballerina Sun 01-Dec-13 12:15:04

I don't see a problem with it, a rare family get together is more important than one school day.

Rockinhippy Sun 01-Dec-13 12:18:26

Just be honest, but expect the HT not to be able to sign it off anyway, doesn't mean they won't understand, just that they can't do it because of new rulings,

My DDs attendance isn't good for health reasons, but having to keep her off for an important Friday wedding - our HT was lovely about it, but can't sign it off - just be honest

ilovesooty Sun 01-Dec-13 12:28:19

Well of course you could book annual leave from work..
unless you're a teacher or TA. Why do you need a whole day off to travel?

OrlandoWoolf Sun 01-Dec-13 12:31:06

Because it's 350 miles away.

Hassled Sun 01-Dec-13 12:32:00

I think tell the school the truth, just so you're not called by them wondering where Little Jimmy is on the day - just to be polite really. It won't be authorised because the HT can't authorise it, but one day's unauthorised in an otherwise good attendance record won't be any sort of a deal.

NynaevesSister Sun 01-Dec-13 12:56:41

Except that you get fined. £60 per parent per child.

maddy68 Sun 01-Dec-13 13:04:39

I'm a teacher. I would just say he's ill. smile

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 01-Dec-13 13:06:47

I thought that the whole getting fined was something which ultimately the LA administered. I thought that there were only fines if there was a genuine attendance problem.

Hassled Sun 01-Dec-13 13:11:32

Referring a child/family to the LA for the penalty process is at the headteacher's discretion, up to a point. I can't imagine a HT would refer for 1 day.

ilovesooty Sun 01-Dec-13 13:23:56

If you want the day out just take him. I doubt if the HT will refer it to the LA for a one day family event.
I don't believe in lying and saying he's ill.

OrlandoWoolf Sun 01-Dec-13 13:27:33

Exactly. I don't believe in lying either as I think it sets a bad precedent.

NynaevesSister Sun 01-Dec-13 13:28:09

Unauthorised attendance goes straight to the LA and they fine you. The HT only has the choice of authorising leave in exceptional circumstances or not. Maybe it varies between LAs but that is how it is with ours.

babywipesaremagic Sun 01-Dec-13 17:20:10

If you are going to take him and feel it is important enough to miss school just be honest with the HT. Don't lie and say dc is ill when they aren't, that sends them the message that lying is ok plus puts them in an awkward position if they slip up (which they probably will) and the school will remember that you lied about this every time they are late/absent in future.

Piddlepuddle Sun 01-Dec-13 17:22:14

Our headteacher gave the specific example of granny's 100th birthday as being "exceptional" in his letter last week.

lljkk Sun 01-Dec-13 17:32:33

Not every LA fines, and nobody is too sure what fines are imposed for what.
I would risk it.

I would love to hear from people who have been fined & for what.

My grandmother's 90th birthday is in 2015.

OddFodd Sun 01-Dec-13 17:58:05

Our HT grudgingly conceded that DS could have the day off to attend his grandmother's funeral but wouldn't authorise my friend taking her DD out for the day to attend a wedding at which she was a bridesmaid! shock

I'd apply but just take it whatever she says

OldDaddy Mon 02-Dec-13 16:28:20

Pfft. It's ridiculous. My dad took me and my brother out of school one day to go to an AC/DC concert. Never did us any harm. Although laughably the head said he heartily disapproved of "devils music". Tell them it is happening and do it. Doesn't do the kids any harm when it snows and they get a day off. (or when teachers strike)

ilovesmurfs Mon 02-Dec-13 16:35:57

Just notify them of when you are going and wy and go.

My three school aged boys and five days off this term for a holiday! And no fine.

In our LA the attendance officer checks attendance every half term and you are flagged up if you go below a certain amount, the ht didtn think they would notice but assured me he would show the evidence we had provided (letter from employer and hospital letter) and he would Arie that we shouldn't be fined, kids have otherwise good attendance, are never let, as a family we have a good attitude to education etc.

It may depend on the LA but our ht has to agree with the attendance officer re who gets referred for fines.

OrlandoWoolf Wed 04-Dec-13 09:51:04

Well the form's in today. States clearly that family celebrations will not be authorised. Also looks at 12 month absence history - think he was ill for a bit.

We're off anyway. Mentions something about each parent being issued with a fine for each child so 2 parents, 2 children equals 4 fines.

Is the fine £60 per day per child per parent?

Just a thought, could he leave at lunch time?

Scholes34 Wed 04-Dec-13 11:26:59

Be honest with the school and if they fine you, sell your story to the Daily Mail

OrlandoWoolf Wed 04-Dec-13 11:28:34

Should I be practising my sad face?

Maryz Wed 04-Dec-13 11:37:25

What time on the Friday could you leave?

Drop him in for first thing attendance. Pick him up at 10.30 for a "dentist appointment", and don't go back.

I think this entire thing is bonkers. Fair enough to stop people taking 12 year olds out of school for a fortnight every June, but a day every so often, why not?

OrlandoWoolf Wed 04-Dec-13 11:41:22

I don't believe in lying. Plus it's really cheap first thing.

Mystuff Wed 04-Dec-13 11:44:16

I would take my dc out of school for a family event.
There is more to nurturing children than formal education.
What about the benefits he will get from seeing his family?

I despair at people who prioritise school over absolutely everything.

Purplehulk Wed 04-Dec-13 11:54:24

Well as my yr6 DD spends most of Friday in Golden time and watching a DVD, I'd have no problem taking her out for a family celebration at the other end of the country. Enjoy yourselves!

forceslover Wed 04-Dec-13 12:38:57

I have to take my child out of school soon for family reasons, I am going to collect him just after pm registration, is that an option?

claraschu Wed 04-Dec-13 12:51:35

I would lie. Knowing when and how to lie is an important life skill. It's like the argument over alcohol; is it better for you never to drink in front of your children? never give them a taste of champagne at a wedding? or to model responsible, occasional drinking, and let them try it at a sensible time.

I believe the system is forcing families to lie when they shouldn't have to, and that children can understand this. It may even help them to distinguish between useful lying (such as this situation), and harmful lying (lying to your doctor, lying to your reasonable parents about where you are).

claraschu Wed 04-Dec-13 12:52:18

As Dr House says: "Everybody lies".

TattyDevine Wed 04-Dec-13 12:59:00

I managed to get my son off for 4 days for travel to Australia by saying we were travelling there to scatter my dead grandmas ashes. We are scattering her ashes by the way, but I made sure I didn't use the word "holiday" on the form and it was all about the ashes baby. (I hope this holiday isn't all about the ashes by the way - if it is, I hope Australia win). No really, we are scattering her ashes and raising a glass of something bubbly having planted her favourite native Australian tree so there will be a proper ceremonial element to it.

My head teacher will authorise one off family celebrations (like 1 day). She won't authorise cheap sun holidays, but she wont fine either. And she runs a tight ship. I mean, a seriously tight ship she's fucking scary

This is all under the new (post July 2013) rules btw

WhataSook Wed 04-Dec-13 13:24:19

Like Tatty I will need to travel to Australia and would like to sometimes do it not in the middle of an Aussie winter! This rule is going to give me grief I can see already (DD hasn't even started school!)

I just don't understand how this rule and fines got through, it is utter bollocks.

greenfolder Wed 04-Dec-13 14:35:15

I would just phone them in sick. I don't believe in lying either but you learn. If it was just going to be unauthorised, ok but if there is a risk of a fine and my dc had perfect attendance I would happily send a note on the monday saying dc were under the weather. Worst case scenario ds tells teacher all about his lovely party.

OrlandoWoolf Thu 12-Dec-13 13:25:24

So the headteacher has not authorised it -as it's a family even and you can't authorise those.

We're going anyway - we've had 2 family funerals in a month so it would actually be nice to go to a fun event.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now