School Abscense Fine - huge amount

(956 Posts)
PMDD Thu 16-Jan-14 08:08:13

If I am correct, if you take your child/ren out of school without prior agreement, there is an automatic fine of £60/day/child/parent?

So for us, a family with 3 children, a 2 week holiday in (say) June, would cost us £3600 - or double that if we don't pay within a certain amount of time!

Is it me to think that is totally unreasonable?!

That is a huge amount. The people who take their children out normally can't afford the hike in holiday prices, so how on earth would they afford the fine?

WooWooOwl Thu 16-Jan-14 08:11:18

I think the idea is that the fine is enough to put people off taking term time holidays.

They don't expect you to pay the fine. They expect you to send your child to school and go on holiday during the holidays, so being able to afford the fine shouldn't matter.

macdoodle Thu 16-Jan-14 08:11:24

Well a 2 week holiday in June seems excessive to me, I don't understand this need for lengthy expensive holidays. Funnily enough most people don't take their children out of school to go in holiday.

diddl Thu 16-Jan-14 08:11:36

Don't take your kids out-no fine!

Have a holiday that you can afford within the 12wks that there isn't school!

Joysmum Thu 16-Jan-14 08:12:45

So don't take them out of school.

Have a staycation instead. Having been taken out of school every year when I was a child, I made the decision not to do this to my child. No, we don't have holidays away every year but we do weekends away and days out etc.

ENormaSnob Thu 16-Jan-14 08:12:58

Surely thats the idea?

macdoodle Thu 16-Jan-14 08:12:59

Maybe if they stay in school they'll be able to spell absence hmm

Coldlightofday Thu 16-Jan-14 08:13:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ThistletoeAndWine Thu 16-Jan-14 08:14:58

Is it not 60 pound a week per child but x2 (2parents) so therefore fine be 360???

winterchunderland Thu 16-Jan-14 08:15:08

Taking the kids out of school disrupts the other children when they have to have special attention to catch up when they get back.
Reasonable fine to me.

I really don't understand the obsession with costly family holidays abroad over education in this country.

ThistletoeAndWine Thu 16-Jan-14 08:15:20

For one week I should add

Onesiegoddess Thu 16-Jan-14 08:15:58

Doesn't the fine only come into place after a week?

I think it's ridiculous that schools don't allow holidays. Holidays are so enriching for the whole family.

PMDD Thu 16-Jan-14 08:16:23

I realise that the whole point is a real deterrent. However, I was so shocked by the whole per child/per parent/per day calculation, that I couldn't believe I had it right.

Have I got it right?

PMDD Thu 16-Jan-14 08:17:17

Thisletoe, I have read that it is per day not per week.

PMDD Thu 16-Jan-14 08:18:13

If the fine were per child/per parent/per week, the calculation would be more reasonable, In my opinion! However, per day is mad.

Shakirasma Thu 16-Jan-14 08:19:45

Holidays are very enriching for the family, luckily the UK school system gives you 13 weeks a year to choose from.

Peekingduck Thu 16-Jan-14 08:20:52

Why the hell would anyone take their children out of school for two weeks in June? I can understand a few days maybe, but ffs children do need their schooling.

SiliconeSally Thu 16-Jan-14 08:22:33

You seem to consider it the normal default position to take your kids out of school for two weeks to go on holiday. This is exactly the mindset the fine is intended to change.

We all know that prices are higher on peak season, we all know that once we have kids and they are in school holiday abroad will probably be too expensive .

We look for deals, go to holiday parks in a caravan rent, will try camping, drive to Northern France, etc.

Once in a while a short time out of school will do no harm, and I do think it is wring for fines to be imposed like this when no criminal act has occurred, but I don't agree with this 'I am entitled to remove my kids from school as the norm to get a bargain holiday' attitude, either.

They are out of school for 15 weeks as it is. Holidays fit round education, not the other way around.

Coldlightofday Thu 16-Jan-14 08:24:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

er.... think that's the point. Don't take them out of school for 2 weeks in June! confused

macdoodle - ha!

2014newme Thu 16-Jan-14 08:25:50

It is not per day!

slev Thu 16-Jan-14 08:26:16

Just out of interest on this (and sorry for the hijack OP) - am I right in thinking the school can operate some discretion? BIL is probably getting married in Australia next year and as we can't reasonably expect him to plan it around DS's school holidays, that would potentially mean we can't go without paying a huge fine. Which I would probably do rather than DH going on his own.

I completely agree with the school fining people for basic holidays - but surely there are some instances where absence during term time is more excusable as a one-off?

scaevola Thu 16-Jan-14 08:26:25

The fines have been around since 2003, and there was never a 'right' to a term time holiday (it's always been at the head's discretion - the changed wording doesn't change the substance, simply the expectation).

Boreoff456 Thu 16-Jan-14 08:27:27

I would take my kids out of school for a holiday. That's who.

Anyway the fine is per child. Not per day.
It makes me laugh that schools can go on strike when they want, but parents can not decide for their own children.

The one in the newspapers this week was so high due to the parents not paying, she it kept you up.

Its also important to note that these children already had bad attendance before the holiday and since this holiday their attendance has massively improved. So in a way the fine worked. The children now attend school on a regular basis.

The headteacher of dds school says they only usually fine people if the attendance is generally bad.

Joules68 Thu 16-Jan-14 08:28:46

Op you are being ridiculous

Per day is because it's a school day lost

no body needs to go on holiday, children however do need to go to school.

BonesAndSkully Thu 16-Jan-14 08:30:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CatAmongThePigeons Thu 16-Jan-14 08:30:50

It isn't meant to be reasonable, it's meant to be a deterrent.

Boreoff456 Thu 16-Jan-14 08:33:55

slev not usually schools exceptional circumstances are things like parents in the military. But just ask them.

Coldlightofday Thu 16-Jan-14 08:33:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Weelady77 Thu 16-Jan-14 08:34:26

We don't have the fines in place yet, but if and when it does I'd rather pay the fine than spend another £1000-£1500 on my holiday!!

Joules68 Thu 16-Jan-14 08:35:11

I have never ever known a school go on strike!?? How odd

Boreoff456 Thu 16-Jan-14 08:35:34

binky kids don't have to go to school, they have to be educated. But do not have to attend a school. And kids can be educated on holiday.

Joules68 Thu 16-Jan-14 08:38:47

Educate your own kids all year round then? It's not a case if opting out for 2 weeks.... You sign an agreement with the school when you apply for a place

Boreoff456 Thu 16-Jan-14 08:39:28

joules the teachers do and the school is closed. DDS school is attending the voices concert in Sheffield this month. As well as costing over £70, the kids attending have been given permission to have the next day off. Its not the same, but (to me) it seems a bit off to say they can decides kids don't need to attend on certain days but parents can not.

However, unfortunately, not all parents would not be sensible if parents were allowed to make that decision. I am actually not against the fine. However I am not totally against people taking their kids on holiday during term time, either.

I didn't have kids when the fines came in and I knew about them. Did you not see the news that year...?

Don't really get your point tbh. It's expensive. It's a deterrent. Yadda yadda yadda as others have already stated.

Coldlightofday Thu 16-Jan-14 08:40:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Joules68 Thu 16-Jan-14 08:41:05

Er no..... It's not the schools striking is it? It's unions.... Teachers belong to different unions

Come on that's basic stuff!

Boreoff456 Thu 16-Jan-14 08:42:04

I have home schooled my kids. When dd was old enough she wanted to try school. So now she goes. I have taken them out once in October. When the rules allowed it.

slev Thu 16-Jan-14 08:43:10

Thanks Boreoff456 we will do when it gets to it. Just wondering how much of a guilt trip to lay on BIL when he gets to the planning stage (bearing in mind it would only be us and PILs who would be likely to travel out there) or whether it would be okay anyway.

Anyway, I digress. Exceptional circumstances aside (and debate whether my example is exceptional enough!), nobody has a right to a holiday. And as others have said, there are plenty of options outside of termtime .

Of course if you don't like it, home school your children. You can do what you want then. Or would you worry that they aren't getting the best education and might be missing out...?!

Holidays can be enriching, but they are not essential and if you are that determined to have your holiday then raise the extra cash and go during the school holidays.

Boreoff456 Thu 16-Jan-14 08:44:45

joules if the school is closed, the kids aren't there being educated. That's the basics.

cold if a child is home schooled they can take holiday time whenever they wish. As long as the child is being educated it doesn't have to be in the house. I educated my daughter in a house in Florida. Took our stuff and did it there. Schools could provide the same

Like I said I am neither for it or against it.

SiliconeSally Thu 16-Jan-14 08:45:14

Home schooling my DC would be more expensive than peak season holidays!

Tiredemma Thu 16-Jan-14 08:46:26

Its not per day

Boreoff456 Thu 16-Jan-14 08:47:53

slev my dd was home schooled and is now top of her class in school. HE doesn't mean children don't a great education.

But yes that the solution. Unfortunately these are the new rules, so abide by them and pay the fine or home school your children.

But I wouldn't recommend home schooling just for that reason. Its not easy, its great but not easy.

winterchunderland Thu 16-Jan-14 08:48:02

"It makes me laugh that schools can go on strike when they want, but parents can not decide for their own children."

But it affects other children by the teachers having to help the kids catch up when they return.

coco44 Thu 16-Jan-14 08:48:30

What happens when parents can't get time off in school holidays? Or more likely the same weeks as their spouse? I actually think a family holiday is more important than a week at school.People can always catch up on education, not so family time.They are only children so long.
I wonder how long before this is challenged on 'human rights' grounds.A human right is to be entitled to a family life
Also the fines are per child per absence not per day.

Boreoff456 Thu 16-Jan-14 08:48:56

Sorry that should say abide by the rules OR pay the fine.

coco44 Thu 16-Jan-14 08:49:07

It is nothing to do with education and everything to do with milking parents!

Weelady77 Thu 16-Jan-14 08:49:43

I couldn't raise an extra £1000 + a holiday is expensive enough!

Thatisall Thu 16-Jan-14 08:50:14

The fine is £60 per child, per parent up to a maximum of £120 per instance. So that's £240 for you OP. School may try to interpret it differently when they explain it (as a deterrent) but the law is the law.

I've heard that it doesn't kick in until the child has had give days of unauthorised absence but I'm not sure if this is true. If you have a two week holiday then it would kick in anyway.

slev Thu 16-Jan-14 08:50:31

Oh completely agree that home schooling works for some. But for a lot of people it doesn't - and the reasons would be exactly the same reasons that I would quote back at someone about what their children would miss out on if they were taken out of school for a holiday.

winterchunderland Thu 16-Jan-14 08:51:08

It costs the tax payer £12K for 2 kids to be schooled.
I think it's a waste of tax payers money to be honest to take them out.

Boreoff456 Thu 16-Jan-14 08:52:02

winter I didn't find dd needed to catch up last October. She just slid back in. No issues. Her teacher gave her some work for the plane and to do while we were there.

But we did only go for a week. Our head personally doesn't have an issue with holidays as long as the overall attendance is ok. So it can't cause that many issues.

winterchunderland Thu 16-Jan-14 08:53:19


How can it be to do with milking parents? If you decide to waste tax payers money by taking your kids out of school you should be required to refund the state.

Thatisall Thu 16-Jan-14 08:53:56

Does anyone know where the money actually goes?

bellybuttonfairy Thu 16-Jan-14 08:54:20

Hmm. Have been watching this with interest. We are going on holiday in Feb half term. We have had a great deal but we have to drive out to the Alps so that will shave a couple of days either side of our previous week. We also have a couple of days that the accomodation is empty after our week and we have been offered that we can stay for free.....

Its a skiing holiday so children are learning a sport.

They are only 7, 4 (2 year old doesnt count).

Hmmm. Do I take those extra days for free and my children miss nearly a week of school?

Its our only holiday this year and I was going to ask the teacher for copy of worksheets they are doing in class so they can do when we are away.

Albeit a couple of hospital appointments (dd1 had cardiac issue). Attendance is excellent.

Boreoff456 Thu 16-Jan-14 08:54:20

I Think most people will start counting the fines as part of the holiday cost. You know flights, hotel, fines etc.

winterchunderland Thu 16-Jan-14 08:55:09


As someone who was taken out of school as a child I can assure you they will have missed stuff. Or are you saying that the other children learned nothing over those 2 weeks?

Tiredemma Thu 16-Jan-14 08:56:48

Ive just read through my local LEA's guidelines for it and it appears that they they will make the decision based on - number of days UA in previous 12months and that a fine would not be imposed until day 6 of any UA leave.

coco44 Thu 16-Jan-14 08:57:09

How can it be to do with milking parents? If you decide to waste tax payers money by taking your kids out of school you should be required to refund the state
I think you should have had fewer absences from school if you think that argument follows any kind of logic ;-)

Boreoff456 Thu 16-Jan-14 08:57:23

I didn't take my kids out for 2 weeks. Which I did point out. Some kids disk, but some kids it doesn't effect so much. Just how it is.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Thu 16-Jan-14 08:59:20

It is simple just don't take the children out of school = no fines.

But it should be a blanket ban on all families, as much as I respect the military those children will also miss the work and why should fines go on someone job.

Custardo Thu 16-Jan-14 09:00:47

i think this is another indirect attack on the poor.
i was fortunate in that when i was low paid and the kids were in junior school that we could just about affort to take them camping in france

we went for 1 week and at that time there were no fines - i had to ask permission, by the end of their time at junior school things were getting tougher on the taking them out of school front, so they had a funeral to go to 300 miles away instead - thats the excuse i used - what are they going to ask for a death certificate? i dont think so.

i can tell you that in a week, they didn't miss much and as adults they refer to those holidays often - they are the best memories they have of what was otherwise a very skint childhood

Boreoff456 Thu 16-Jan-14 09:01:03

Also mum and dad room me out every year. As did a fee of my friends parents. None us felt we missed out. You may have done we did not. We seem to be fine. Out of 4 of us 3 have good jobs or our own businesses, the other is a sahm and we are all generally happy people. I am sure its effect other people negatively though as well. We are all different.

winterchunderland Thu 16-Jan-14 09:02:15

TBH the argument that they learned a sport is irrelevant. It's the impact it has on the running of the school.

As an adult I feel I missed bits of education having been pulled out of school for odd weeks. It always took a while to get back to speed upon return and my teachers had to spend extra time giving me a few worksheets before or after the time off. I do not feel enriched because I sunbathed and visited some attraction during my time off I feel my parents were wrong.

Thatisall Thu 16-Jan-14 09:03:11

belly speak to the head. People say that their hands are tied but they can still use their discretion. If they have good attendance normally and you explain and ask for permission, you might be lucky.

Our head told me that the fines aren't really meant to attack people taking the odd holiday throughout the course of the schooling, they are meant to be a deterrent for truancy and a punishment for parents who don't get their children to school. But you have to make a blanket rule and this is it.

Tiredemma Thu 16-Jan-14 09:03:16

Does anyone know where the money actually goes?

Well my fine (if i get one, as normally attendance is excellent) will go to Bham City Council- who I would imagine need the money desperately given that they are the worst council in the UK with regards to protecting children. Hopefully my fine will go towards hiring competent staff to deal with excessive rates of child protection issues we seem to have in this city. Or it might go towards expense claims for our local councillors - who knows- they are never really transparent are they with regards to our money and the public purse?

tiggytape Thu 16-Jan-14 09:03:58

Just out of interest on this (and sorry for the hijack OP) - am I right in thinking the school can operate some discretion?

Yes they can. They won't authorise a holiday because it is cheaper in term time but they may authorise time off to see a dying relative abroad or to go on holiday with a parent in the military who won't have any other time off that year due to active service.

Exceptional means just that - an absolute one-off and very important situation that cannot be avoided or moved to another time.

Weddings are a grey area in this. A day off to see their parents get married would be granted but it is unlikely a school would authorise 3 weeks off to see an Aunt getting married in Australia so that the family could attend the wedding and make it into a lovely holiday too.

so how on earth would they afford the fine?

The whole point of a fine it to stop people wanting to do it.
The fine is actually £60 per parent per child. Even if you are unmarried, anyone with parental responsibility for the child (and therefore a legal duty to ensure their education) has to pay it. So for a one week holiday with 2 children, the cost would be £240 (£60 per parent for each child). However, if people keep simply deducting this from the cost of the holidays and deem it worthwhile, there are also court options

winterchunderland Thu 16-Jan-14 09:05:11


"If you decide to waste tax payers money by taking your kids out of school you should be required to refund the state"

Why does this not follow any logic? Please explain.

Tiredemma Thu 16-Jan-14 09:06:25

I had an odd week out of school (so we could go on a caravan to Rhyl of all places, out of season)

I have a good job and a Degree and am half way through a Masters. I don't think those weeks missed impacted upon my education too much. Certainly not to the degree that the Govt are trying to scare us into believing.

Thatisall Thu 16-Jan-14 09:07:02

tired oh you're so right. I would like to see it go into a proper fund that benefits school age children in some way.

Ubik1 Thu 16-Jan-14 09:07:12

We don't have this fine business in Scotland. And everything seems to be running ok

Bodicea Thu 16-Jan-14 09:07:17

While I get the principle. I do feel sorry for people that work in the tourist industry for instance and can't take time off during school holidays. When do they get to have a family holiday.
I work in healthcare and struggle to get time off during school hols a lot of the time - it is managable but still annoying.
Also think it is a bit nanny state. Whatever happened to choosing how you bring up your children?

BigBoPeep Thu 16-Jan-14 09:07:49

I think it's a shame people prioritise sitting in a classroom over quality family time. For me, family takes priority and the notion that two weeks out of school a year will damage your education tot he detriment of what, your career? Your ability to function as a person is completely laughable.

UriGeller Thu 16-Jan-14 09:08:13

What if you were taking your kids to Macchu Picchu or on a really culturally enriching visit to European cities?

You could argue that their education whilst out of the school environment would be vastly superior to any they'd gain during 10 or 15 days of being in school.

Then, even a fortnight in Florida is more enriching and enervating to a child than being stuck in the drudge of a classroom being bored to tears, bullied or having the very love for life sucked out of them. Learning happens everywhere.

Ubik1 Thu 16-Jan-14 09:08:36

If you decide to waste tax payers money by taking your kids out of school you should be required to refund the state"

What a bizarre way of looking at things.

Thatisall Thu 16-Jan-14 09:08:46

ubik. I was going to say, I don't see Scotland falling by the educational wayside!

Coldlightofday Thu 16-Jan-14 09:09:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Coldlightofday Thu 16-Jan-14 09:11:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tiggytape Thu 16-Jan-14 09:11:48

Also think it is a bit nanny state. Whatever happened to choosing how you bring up your children?

People used to have the choice and it was abused.
Maybe not by the posters here whose children have excellent attendance / are in the top set at school / go on sporty and educational holidays strictly once a year / went on holidays with their own parents and are still very successful.
But by many others.

The old rules allowed for parents to request a maximum of 10 days per year for a family holiday. The new rules abolished this because it had got unmanageable and ridiculous.
Parents saw 10 days every single year as an absolute right (it always required authorising but many Heads felt they couldn't say no). People took 10 days as the minimum not the maximum and many did 2 or 3 periods out of school each year. Teachers had 1 child missing pretty much every week with all the catching up and extra work that causes them. Heads could not allow 'good' children time off but prevent struggling children from ever going....

greeningthedesert Thu 16-Jan-14 09:12:44

If you read the particulars if of this case, the father was unable to be part of any family holiday during the school holidays because of the nature of his job. He also frequently missed Christmas and birthdays. Given that they were experiencing problems with their eldest, they decided it was important to have a family holiday all together. It was for one week and, as a previous poster noted, has improved the child's behaviour and attendance following the holiday.

Whilst I don't think that regularly scheduling holidays during term time should be condoned, I also disagree with a blanket ban. If discussed with the school beforehand (and the children can be given work to take with them) then I do think that family circumstances occasionally mean that a short time away from school during term time is the best thing for the child and their family.

It also probably happens far more than is reported since I'm sure that most times the parents and school work together on school absences for such thing as relatives' weddings abroad etc so that it never gets to the fine/court/media stage.

Ubik1 Thu 16-Jan-14 09:13:11

My three are missing three days of school at the end of term in June. This is the only way we can get 2 weeks in the sun as all a/l denied through June/ August

All they do is watch DVDs while their teachers pop antidepressants fir the lady wek of term anyway...

Tiredemma Thu 16-Jan-14 09:13:16

If you decide to waste tax payers money by taking your kids out of school you should be required to refund the state

This comment actually makes very little sense- you could apply it to any concept-

If you decide to waste taxpayers money by sitting in A&E on a friday night pissed up with a head wound through drunken fighting, you should be required to refund the state

if you decide to waste taxpayers money by calling 999 for a cat stuck up a tree you should be required to refund the state

etc etc.

And as a taxpayer I already do 'fund the state'

Whats is your point?

winterchunderland Thu 16-Jan-14 09:13:29

"I think it's a shame people prioritise sitting in a classroom over quality family time."

And this attitude is one of the reasons Britain is falling behind the rest of the world on the education front.

By the time our children grow up the world will be so much more competitive and we will have fallen even further behind. I want my children to be able to be globally competitive and have a comfortable life.

Education is key. There is nearly half the year that schools aren't open for family time.

tiggytape Thu 16-Jan-14 09:15:36

I also disagree with a blanket ban

There is no blanket ban
The new rules remove the right to ask for a 10 day family holiday just because you fancy one or because it is cheap
The new rules say you need to have an "exceptional" reason for time off and must get the school's permission

If there is a major trauma at home, then the Head still has the power to grant parents the time off with their children.

winterchunderland Thu 16-Jan-14 09:15:38


And do you think it's right to waste tax payers money by sitting in A&E pissed up on a Friday night?

Boreoff456 Thu 16-Jan-14 09:15:46

cold Thank you. Socialising was a priority for us. We always said that if (when she was older) she wanted to go to school we would let her make that choice. It was important to us that she go to school if she wanted.
HE isn't easy (although I loved it and miss her terribly? And expensive. But for us it was worth while.

She has some lovely friends and loves her school.

Weelady77 Thu 16-Jan-14 09:17:40

Winter half the year the school isn't open it's too expensive to go away with a family!

MidniteScribbler Thu 16-Jan-14 09:19:30

I was going to ask the teacher for copy of worksheets they are doing in class

Argh this drives me absolutely mental. Don't ask me for worksheets because there aren't any. No decent teacher is going to be able to provide enough worksheets to cover all the topics that your child will miss in the time you are away. So no matter that you think you're being responsible and think you'll take work with you to do on holidays, it will be me that has to do the extra work to catch your child up when you get back, and I bet I won't get an apology or thank you either.

Thatisall Thu 16-Jan-14 09:20:05

When did tiredmama say she was pissed in a&e? I'm confused

Coldlightofday Thu 16-Jan-14 09:20:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Boreoff456 Thu 16-Jan-14 09:21:01

tiggy has hit the nail on the head. As a parent I should be able to choose what is right for my child. Unfortunately some people abuse and their kids do suffer.

I went to school witha girl whose attendance was 20% and nothing was ever done. These cases are why they are cracking down.

winterchunderland Thu 16-Jan-14 09:21:58

It costs the tax payer £12 a year for 2 kids schooling. Collectively the country has put that money towards education.

Why (apart form special circumstances) should it be wasted?

I think if people were physically paying for things like the NHS and Schooling in this country attitudes would be very different.

Ubik1 Thu 16-Jan-14 09:22:23

I've a friend who has taken her children out for a month do she can visit family abroad. The children will attend school in that country. School were perfectly fine about it.

Floggingmolly Thu 16-Jan-14 09:24:17

It's supposed to remove the temptation of "cheap" term time holidays, so people like you will wait until the holidays to actually take a holiday.
Some people need sanctions to be persuaded to do this, unfortunately.

winterchunderland Thu 16-Jan-14 09:24:57

£12k not £12

Thatisall Thu 16-Jan-14 09:25:25

winter. I've just paid my tax bill, believe me I AM physically paying for schools and the NHS!

winterchunderland Thu 16-Jan-14 09:26:14


It is not your right to disrupt the learning of others and make more work for already over stretched teachers.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 16-Jan-14 09:26:31

It's a bit different if you're sending them to school while you're away, but two weeks in the sun with 'worksheets'? Daft.

If you send your child to a school, you sign up to its terms (in both senses), IMO.

winterchunderland Thu 16-Jan-14 09:28:13


Well you must be a very high earner then because most people won't.

formerbabe Thu 16-Jan-14 09:28:51

I find it the height of arrogance to take children out of school for holidays. The fine is optional...if you don't want a fine, then don't take them out of school.

Ubik1 Thu 16-Jan-14 09:29:26

I'm already a taxpayer. Why should I pay twice?

The 'I'm a taxpayer' argument trotted out constantly is really tedious. It's not some special status.

And we are human beings not effing walking CVs frankly I don't see the function of education as producing a 'globally competitive' product.

bellybuttonfairy Thu 16-Jan-14 09:29:54

I didnt think that asking the teacher for some info re work to do to help was such a big deal midnightscribbler. Surely you use aids to help you teach?

If you werent so against telling a parent what they can go over with their children - maybe you wouldnt have such a big deal or angst in getting children to catch up.

I wasnt going to apologise for it but I would give thanks.

Thatisall Thu 16-Jan-14 09:30:12

winter that makes no sense. We all pay taxes one way it another therefore we all pay for schools and the NHS.

Crowler Thu 16-Jan-14 09:30:41

Presumably a bunch of parents abused the discretion they used to have and it became disruptive, hence the fine.

I sympathize with people who are very keen on seizing the day & doing adventurous/educational things with their kids. I think these people would probably be better off home-educating their kids to be honest. I think it's pretty bad when people choose to take their older kids out of school during term time for a package holiday.

winterchunderland Thu 16-Jan-14 09:31:15

"I don't see the function of education as producing a 'globally competitive' product."

You cannot be serious?

Ubik1 Thu 16-Jan-14 09:31:32

That's the height of arrogance????

I would think more along the lines of MPs expenses etc...but whatever...

Boreoff456 Thu 16-Jan-14 09:32:17

cold your not nosey. She went back in class 4 and is now in class 5.

We used loads of different tools. From BBC bitesized to the local HE network. The LA were very helpful and were always available for advice. And yes we used holidays. Dd speaks French, Spanish and a small amount of Greek (places we have been). Her Egyptian topic at school was easy because we have been and visited and I am a bit of an part time Egyptologist (hobby).

The head teacher was excellent dd was brought in and some her potential classmates showed her round. She watched the play they were doing and they even found her a part so she was included. She attend a couple of taster days and the head spoke to her and explained it was so she could decide if it was the right thing for her.

They have been fab. Couldn't ask for a better school. She did attend an academy when she was young but we weren't happy with it. Seemed more interested in remaining 'outstanding' than the pupils themseleves. But that's another thread.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 16-Jan-14 09:32:48

No Belly, because the worksheet or powerpoint or whatever would be in partnership with what actually happens in the lesson, I would imagine, not just children sitting quietly getting through worksheets that could equally well be done at home. I teach students and get really annoyed when they say 'I cannot come this morning but I will catch up if you send the powerpoint'. Er, no you won't. You miss it - you missed it.

We're only having one week in the sun this summer as DP is away for a week in the school holidays and we can't fit in longer - I don't think it will kill us!

Bodicea Thu 16-Jan-14 09:32:56

Tired - it comes back to the time honoured argument of why should the sensible majority suffer because a few people take the mikky.
Personally I am sick of rules regulations being hoisted upon me because of a stupid minority. If my children end up missing the odd day/week once in a while I know it won't affect their education in the long run because of what I put into their education the rest of the time and I don't see why an irresponsible minority should affect that.
( I should add this is philosophical - I only have a ten week old baby :-) )

formerbabe Thu 16-Jan-14 09:33:01

What on earth has MPs expenses got to do with it?!

Can they not both be considered arrogant?!

Retropear Thu 16-Jan-14 09:33:03

What Custardo said but it's not just an attack on the poor bit the squeezed middle too and quite frankly it stinks.

If holidays and experiences with families are so worthless why do rich families including Dave and co pay premium prices to show their kids the world and take them on countless trips abroad.

I find it worrying that only the rich will be able to show their children other countries,experiences in this country and give them aspirations.

If these experiences are so worthless why do schools offer them throughout the year(for the same rich kids again who can afford it)?Why is it ok for schools to publish enrichment week booklets offering trips that range from surfing to a week in London for the best part of £400 simply to see shows and the London Eye? Why can't families spend that £400 and spend that week doing something en familie?

Why can't we take our kids away during the last week in July when all they're doing is boring our dc shatless with DVDs and death by work sheet?

Why are private school parents allowed to have much shorter terms and take advantage of cheaper prices.Surely if their kids/education are so equal a week off for state kids which will still mean they're in school waaaay more is neither here nor there?

Why are some kids allowed to go on as many sporting fixtures as the school wants in order to make the school look good thus missing the equivalent of several days in school but others can't have a miserly week away with their family?

Do the Tories actually know how even camping in England is out of most families budget.We normally camp in Cornwall and it costs ££££s.Sites are now very expensive in August,you need half decent kit or you will get wet,cold and soggy.On top of petrol and numerous rainy day plan B options it isn't cheap.You also come back knackered.

My dp has a stressful job and camping in rainy UK isn't a holiday when you need a rest.My parents paid for us to go to France last tear.Oh my god it was like a shot in the arm.Actual sun and the things my kids experienced that I took for granted as a kid.Foreign currency,food,different scenery,travel........

Sooo I looked this year for a week anywhere in Europe in August for 5. It is eye watering,even driving through France with tolls,petrol,accommodation costs hundreds of pounds,that is before you pay top premium for a caravan somewhere and spending money.Families do NOT have 2 or 3k just lying about.Forget about flying and hiring a car.

It pisses me off that my kids have never been in a plane.We live in a global world,our kids need to see the rest of the world to be able to compete.By the time I was their age I'd flown round the world twice and travelled extensively round Europe.My parents took us in the last 2 weeks of July and the cost of living was lower.

It is a sledgehammer to crack a nut,utterly patronising and shit.Truants will still truant,those with good attendance will still have good attendance.I think this will come back to bite the Tories on the bum and I can't wait to sit back and watch.

Naff off Gove.

blush Epic post !

Ubik1 Thu 16-Jan-14 09:33:24

Why wouldn't I be serious?

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 09:33:27

i'm amazed so many are so pro the fines.

i just keep wondering if they're actually legal? re: i can see fining you for taking your child out but how the hell can they impose fines for the adult? there is no law broken by an adult going on holiday in term time and it's stazi like to do so.

i'm a teacher but i still believe that parents should have the right to decide if their child is able to take a week off of school (especially when it's end of term bloody videos and carol singing and what not) for a trip that will be enriching for the whole family. i believe a mother has the right to assess that actually she really bloody needs a break and change of scene right now if her family is to smoothly function for the next year. or if you have had a nightmare time of stress and hell that has impacted on you all and genuinely believe it will save your family and sanity to have a few days away together etc.

the state does not own us or our children. i want to know if these fines are legal, there is no right of appeal so presumably someone would have to not pay then go to court and appeal there when they were prosecuted for non payment?

i can't see it is legal for mr smith to pay a fine because he went on holiday with his wife and children. i can see that the family have broken a rule on taking the children out and potentially could perhaps support a fine per child if it was regular and in the context of wider poor attendance. but to fine an adult for going on holiday is surely upholdable by law?

Boreoff456 Thu 16-Jan-14 09:34:03

winter as I have stated not all schools feel that way. You obviously do. You are making assumptions.

winterchunderland Thu 16-Jan-14 09:34:35


It was you who said you have physically paid for your kids education and NHS bill by way of your tax return.

I was merely responding that unless you're a very high earner you probably haven't.

My original point is that we collectively pay for the education of our countries children and that it is waste of the tax payers money to take kids out of school for a cheap holiday (apart form special circumstances).

I will continue to take hols during school hols. I never went on holiday as a child - We had days out and visited family. I am sure a trip to Florida or Thailand would have been very enriching but it was never an option - I don't feel deprived in the slightest. grin

I have only taken my 3 children (aged between 5 and 9) out of school during term time twice, both for family visits (I have family in Channel Islands) who come to the mainland very rarely. Both times only for one day. We take the kids on day trips and go on short holidays in the school holiday periods. They are well stimulated and have plenty of family time and understand we prioritise school. If we need to take the children out in term time the future, we will - but I don't have any difficulty understanding the impact allowing free reign on term time hols has, every one has 'special' circumstances, everyone feels their situation deserves consideration. But if a school allows every hol request to go through unchallenged then the effect is potentially very disruptive. It is not so hard to imagine that - there is a surprising lack of empathy on this thread.

I understand the frustration at not being able to afford a 'proper' holiday - but I do not share it - We have the best holiday we can afford and make the most of it - even if part of it is spent camping on the floor in my welsh relatives living room! Children make holidays special but also quite hard work (when you have three close in age) - I do not have any interest in a long haul flight - with them at this age. Those that do - it must be frustrating.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 16-Jan-14 09:35:05

a fortnight in Florida is more enriching and enervating to a child

I assume you didn't mean 'enervating'? confused. And I bloody hope nobody would argue that a fortnight in DIsneyland is 'enriching'!

meditrina Thu 16-Jan-14 09:36:44

Yes, the fines are legal: they were introduced in the 2003 Antisocial Behaviour Act.

Thatisall Thu 16-Jan-14 09:36:49

Ahh Disney wink

MidniteScribbler Thu 16-Jan-14 09:36:56

Surely you use aids to help you teach?

I use plenty of things, but I can't provide you with two weeks worth of "worksheets" that parents think is the magical cure to taking two weeks off. And I would inevitably get back as a scrunched pile of incomplete paper that has been shoved in the bottom of the suitcase and ignored in favour of the beach. And the parents that think that two weeks of worksheets are going to make up for two missed weeks in the classroom are not the type taking their children on educational jaunts to Machu Picchu or Pompeii. They're the ones going on the cruise (it's always a cruise lately around here) where they'll shove the kids in the kids club while they do their own thing.

Boreoff456 Thu 16-Jan-14 09:37:53

numpty I have actually heard that there is a challenge coming up. But i heard it through the HE network. Haven't seen an official document yet.

Although one guy is charging his school £11 per day for the strikes and is currently fighting that. On the basis he has to pay them to rake his child out, so they should pay him. Doubtful of his success, but you never know.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 09:39:10

that is not common law though is it? it's the other kind of law? sorry, i don't have the vocab.

and i would like to know if it is legal in a wider context re: the european court of human rights for example. i cannot compute a state has the legal authority to fine it's citizens for going on holiday.

Wallison Thu 16-Jan-14 09:39:24

In these days of academies and free schools setting their own holiday dates, what happens if your kids' holidays don't coincide with one another? Do you get fined if you take one kid out so that they can go on holiday when the other kid has time off? They really haven't thought this through.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 09:39:53

i'll be interested to see what comes of it boreoff. i really can't see it being upheld if someone took it far enough.

Ubik1 Thu 16-Jan-14 09:40:26

You described as 'the height' of arrogance - this I took to mean, the fullest example of arrogance you could think of.

I don't think it's arrogant at all. It's just folk living their lives. All my a/l is cancelled this summer due to commonwealth games. Friend in police is similar.

As I worked shifts all over Christmas and New Year - hasty opening gifts before I went back to work - I would like a few weeks to spend with my children doing culturally enriching activities like lying on a sunlounger or chasing them in the pool. I don't think that's 'the height of arrogance.'

Coldlightofday Thu 16-Jan-14 09:40:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

greeningthedesert Thu 16-Jan-14 09:41:38

numpty and retro I do wish MN had a like button for your posts. Totally agree.

Wallison Thu 16-Jan-14 09:41:54

Oh and Retropear I agree with everything you've said.

winterchunderland Thu 16-Jan-14 09:42:55

"NumptyNameChange "

Stazi like shock

Is all leave cancelled during the two week easter holidays or the two half term holidays as well UBK?

Tiredemma Thu 16-Jan-14 09:43:17

wallison isnt it from sept 2015 that schools can set their own holiday dates?

My children will be attending the same schools so wont be an issue for me- but imagine the chaos of non- similar holiday dates?

Biedronka Thu 16-Jan-14 09:43:29

The fines are not in place for parents to refund the state!

My DC are not at School now but all were still in education when these fines came in and I was willing to pay £50 per child (x3) for taking them out usually last week in June/first week in July. I was never fined and the HT always authorised it. We wouldn't have been able to go away if we were at the mercy of tour ops School holiday prices.

All DC never had any problems, were never behind and I never took them out at exam times nor at the start of a new term. All 3 are currently in HE ( 1 A levels, 2 Uni) so never done them any harm.

I can see the Schools frustration when parents regularly choose to take struggling Children out.

Yes I do feel for people like Teachers who don't have the choice but to go then but with all due respect, that's their problem due to their choice of career - it's not really worthy of an argument really.

meditrina Thu 16-Jan-14 09:44:04

Well, under the previous Government, parents sometimes ended up in prison so I think the legality of the fines and enforcement for non-payment has already been pretty well tested.

Retropear Thu 16-Jan-14 09:44:17

My kids hated French and didn't see the point of it until they'd been to France and had time actually hearing it and using it.

Primary kids who have experienced foreign language and currency prior to secondary will have a big advantage.

meditrina Thu 16-Jan-14 09:45:16

"wallison isnt it from sept 2015 that schools can set their own holiday dates?"

VA schools have always been able to do this.

MidniteScribbler Thu 16-Jan-14 09:45:29

Why are private school parents allowed to have much shorter terms and take advantage of cheaper prices.Surely if their kids/education are so equal a week off for state kids which will still mean they're in school waaaay more is neither here nor there?

I can't speak for the UK, but I imagine the reasons are the same as here. It is because the required numbers of days/hours of schooling is mandated, but private schools generally have longer days than public (eg my school the bell goes at 8:25 and lets out at 3:15. The public school next door starts at 9am and let's out at 2:50pm. We also have a 40 minute lunch break and they have 60 minutes. Ergo, we have more holidays because we have longer school days.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 09:45:41

i'm a single mother and i work and i do everything - literally, there is no back up system. if i decide that me and my son need to get away for a few days right now re: to go and stay with a friend because i need some support and adult company as i'm teetering towards major depression for example it is up to me to make that decision. i have mental health issues that mean i have to be proactive in looking after myself, meeting my needs, setting my boundaries etc. my 'family' relies entirely on me and my well being and i am steering that ship - i'm totally responsible for that ship and i am therefore the one to make the decisions for it.

why would it be otherwise? sure if my managing of my ship massively impacts on others, if my son has overall poor attendance or is behind at school (whereas in fact overall attendance is excellent, achievement is way ahead of expectations and behaviour is great) then address that specific issue.

i don't see why you're all so keen to hand over the reigns of your lives to the state.

Tiredemma Thu 16-Jan-14 09:47:01

VA schools have always been able to do this.

So VA schools could work away from LEA dates? (they dont do that locally here though- so 2015 probably wont make any difference)

Elsiequadrille Thu 16-Jan-14 09:48:58

Yes, you could consider home education (and you can take as many holidays as you please then). But you could find the costs of home ed. rather more than that peak time holiday.

LoveSewingBee Thu 16-Jan-14 09:49:37

I totally support the introduction of large fines and as far as I am concerned they can get social services involved as well to help parents to get their priorities right.

Either home school and go on Holiday when you want or enroll your kids in a school and stick to the rules like everybody else.

Term time Holidays are disruptive for the child in question and the others in the class. If you want to mess up your child's education that is your call, but you do not have the right to mess up other children's education.

If Holidays are so enriching, which I doubt in many cases, then I am sure you can use school holidays. There are plenty of enriching things you can do in the UK.

Sorry, OP, I have zero sympathy.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 16-Jan-14 09:50:06

I'm not keen to hand over reins... but I don't think it's too much to ask that parents send their children to school during term time.

Boreoff456 Thu 16-Jan-14 09:50:14

The woman who went to prison didn't go because she went on holiday though.
Persistent truancy is different to family hol.

meditrina Thu 16-Jan-14 09:50:35

Yes, VA schools have always been able to have different dates to LEA ones.

They, like academies, have to provide 190 days per year but it is up to them when. The proportion of schools which can already set own dates is very high. So extending it to the remainder is less of a change than it seems.

Weelady77 Thu 16-Jan-14 09:52:31

Lovesewingbee why would taking a child out of school disturb other children?

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 09:53:20

home schooling is not an option for single parents unless they are independently wealthy.

i wish i could afford an alternative way to educate my son. if i could i would personally.

i totally stand by the idea that a week off school in order to spend a fortnight in the sinai (which we did last year at the end of summer term) is more than merited. 1:1 ration adult to child, the adult being a qualified and experienced teacher, in a totally different culture and being exposed to so much v a week stuffed in with 30kids with one adult following the national curriculum (if they haven't basically written that off for the end of year). you cannot tell me the latter is worth more than the former.

"The 2007 regulations set out the procedures for issuing penalty notices (fines) to each parent who fails to ensure their children’s regular attendance at school or fails to ensure that their excluded child is not in a public place during the first five days of exclusion. Parents must pay £60 if they pay within 28 days; or £120 if they pay within 42 days.

Amendments to 2007 regulations will reduce the timescales for paying a penalty notice. Parents must, from 1 September 2013, pay £60 within 21 days or £120 within 28 days. This brings attendance penalty notices into line with other types of penalty notices and allows local authorities to act faster on prosecutions."

It does not read as £60 per day to me - more like a fixed penalty notice like other fines (parking etc.) - It is also clear that as a parent we obliged by the Education Act to ensure our children are in school in term time and a fine is the result of taking them out without prior permission - but only if the absence is extended - the schools still have leeway over deciding what constitutes 'exceptional circumstances' - but the main change is shortening the timescale for payments - the fines have been the same since 2007.

Retropear Thu 16-Jan-14 09:54:20

How does it disrupt other kids?

I was teaching in the days when everybody did it,it didn't have an impact on others at all.

Why is it ok for children to miss countless lessons for sporting fixtures and classes to be taught by a stream of supply for training,meetings and PPA time.The latter are far more disruptive.

You're talking one week in July when they're doing sweet fa anyway.

Coldlightofday Thu 16-Jan-14 09:54:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MidniteScribbler Thu 16-Jan-14 09:55:22

if i decide that me and my son need to get away for a few days right now re: to go and stay with a friend because i need some support and adult company as i'm teetering towards major depression for example it is up to me to make that decision.

But life doesn't work that way. If you need a break from work, you go and talk to your boss, you discuss the issue and you would hope that an understanding boss would grant you the permission for time off. You don't just disappear and hope that your job will still be there when you get back.

If you're having financial problems, you don't put your head in the sand (or you shouldn't!). You talk to your lenders and try and arrange a payment plan.

People need to stop being so adversarial with the school and start realising it is a partnership. If you genuinely need a break for any reason (outside of 'it's cheaper') then go in and talk to the teacher and the head before you just run off and do what you want. Exceptional circumstances (and a parent with mental health issues that needs to go away may certainly count as exceptional) are able to be approved. But talking, negotiating and compromising is the much better way to do it, just like everything else in life.

Tiredemma Thu 16-Jan-14 09:55:33

I totally support the introduction of large fines and as far as I am concerned they can get social services involved as well to help parents to get their priorities right

Please see my post below.
My local council is Bham- Social services dept in this city have difficulty keeping children alive, I would be pissed right off if I had any SW at my door commenting on my priorities because I want to take my kids to France for five days. They should be out looking after vulnerable children. Not harassing easy targets.

redskyatnight Thu 16-Jan-14 09:55:43

I really don't get this argument that parents should be able choose when their children go on holiday.

I am an adult. Can I choose when I go on holiday? No. I'm at the whim of my employer as to when they will allow it. If they say I can’t go and I choose to anyway, I am likely to get a “warning”. Potentially I could lose my job.

Really don’t see how this is very different to the way schools work.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 09:56:14

i wouldn't risk being open coldlight - not when being open could mean being criminalised.

Wallison Thu 16-Jan-14 09:56:56

Tiredemma and meditrina, I won't pretend to know the details of how it operates, but some schools are already setting their own dates. A friend of mine has three kids and they will all eventually go to the same school but at the mo one is at secondary and the younger two are in a junior school. The two schools, although in the same education authority, have different half term dates. It's a proper nightmare (not to mention expensive) for her to try and cover two lots of holiday as it is; she's a single parent so doesn't have the luxury of another person being around with leave to juggle with her.

Sirzy Thu 16-Jan-14 09:57:52

Not sure why being a single parent is relevant at all, I am a single parent we will holiday within our means during school holidays.

If you choose to send your child to school rather than home educate then barring illness or major emergencies you send them into school. They have plenty of holiday time. If you decide to take them out that's your choice but don't complain when you are fined.

meditrina Thu 16-Jan-14 09:57:56

The 2004 case I linked was meant to show that fines (and even imprisonment) for unauthorised absences have been 'tested' in the sense that it has been through the Courts and upheld. It's not a unique case - not many parents have been imprisoned, but there are plentiful examples of fines contested in Court being upheld (and btw increased). And this applies to any form of unauthorised absence because that is how the fines regime was set up over a decade ago.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 09:57:57

i don't need to negotiate that midnight. i make the decision - i don't need permission. if i'm working it out so that my son's education isn't effected, my financial situation isn't effected and no one else is effected in any way that is quite enough. i don't need to go cap in hand to the school or anyone else.

Coldlightofday Thu 16-Jan-14 09:58:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BarbarianMum Thu 16-Jan-14 09:59:17

I don't think fines are an attack on the poor, ime it's not the poor that want to take their darlings on a '2 week enriching trip of major European cities/trip to Disneyland Florida/ off-peak skiing trip'. If anything it's an attack on the entitled middle.

As for the 'enriching experience so much more valuable than school' argument, I have been dismayed to find that my children are no more enriched by foriegn travel than by a week in the Lakes/Devon/Northumberland. Yes, holidays are enriching but when you're seven the world is all pretty new to you, so you don't need exposure to the rich culture of the Carribean to make you into a rounded person (unless you have roots/family there).

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 09:59:39

i think maybe this thread shows how far we've strayed into seeing the state owning you as the norm.

ds is MY son. my responsibility and choices. if my choices are neglectful or damaging or reckless there are systems in place to deal with that. but if i am simply exercising responsible control over my life without negative consequences then the state has absolutely no business being involved.

totally agree midnight - there is a lot of complaining and very little communication - school head teachers are under pressure to be strict about leave in term time - but they are human beings as well and should listen if you approach them reasonably and with an open mind.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 16-Jan-14 10:01:06

But other people will be affected! And I am always a bit staggered when parents are so confident their childrens' education won't be affected - how can you be so sure? And if you are sure that your child learns and does nothing of any value in a week at school - why send him at all?

Retropear Thu 16-Jan-14 10:02:03

Ermm a week in the Lakes and Devon during school hols are out of most people's budget when you factor in inflated prices,petrol and spending.

The fact people don't realise this is telling.

MarmaladeBatkins Thu 16-Jan-14 10:02:14

The more I hear about this, the more resentful I feel, for several reasons.

1. It's another kick in the arse for the poor. What this government wants is for its rich mates to be able to have a quality of life. The rest of us can live in drudgery with only increasing bills and less money to look forward to.

2. I think it's cute that there are so man posters deluding themselves that this new rule is for the benefit of our children's education. Don't be fooled. It's a money-making exercise.

3. A child missing a week of school to spend quality time with over-worked parents isn't going to bring the country to its knees. MPs shagging us up the collective arse by claiming expenses on mops and buckets, ridiculous and undeserved payrises and cutting benefits from the most vulnerable WILL bring us to our knees. Stop turning against each other! We all have our different values; some parents believe that a child needs to be in school each and every day of term, others don't. It's nothing to do with either faction what the other faction believes in.

4. I am resentful of living in a nanny state, where a head and a parent cannot reach an agreement together on time out of school. Our head is also resentful as she feels that it is damaging to school/parent relationships and preferred being in control of granting leave.

5. A blanket ban is ridiculous and richer folk will not let a £120 fine stop them. Again, it's only the poor that are being shafted.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 10:02:55

i don't want to talk to a headteacher about my private life and business in order to be granted permission to do something. perhaps that makes me a monster in some eyes but ffs - i am 38 years old. my son is exceeding expectations in all areas, his attendance is excellent, his behaviour impeccable and is a joy to teach. that is enough. i don't owe them private details about my mental health or finances or blah blah blah and i don't need their permission for anything that doesn't effect them in the slightest.

Wallison Thu 16-Jan-14 10:03:50

<<Not sure why being a single parent is relevant at all, I am a single parent we will holiday within our means during school holidays.>>

If you're talking about the example of my friend, it's because they as a family only have five weeks' holiday a year. That's difficult enough to cover 13 weeks, but it becomes impossible when there are two lots of 13 weeks to cover. It's easier if there's two of you because that adds up to ten weeks' holiday a year which of course isn't sufficient either but it helps a lot.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 10:03:59

and i'm a teacher - i wouldn't expect a grown adult to have to come and tell me about their incredibly personal business in order to justify their child not coming to school for a few days. i would never want an adult to be in that position of beholdance to me or any colleague.

Retropear Thu 16-Jan-14 10:04:38

Theoriginal my kids did buggar all during in the last two weeks of July.They watched endless DVDs,stripped the classroom,did countless worksheets and had extended play times.

The above doesn't bother me as they're knackered by then but sorry I won't be told that the above is more worthy than a week away as a family.

Tiredemma Thu 16-Jan-14 10:05:34

"The more I hear about this, the more resentful I feel, for several reasons.

1. It's another kick in the arse for the poor. What this government wants is for its rich mates to be able to have a quality of life. The rest of us can live in drudgery with only increasing bills and less money to look forward to.

2. I think it's cute that there are so man posters deluding themselves that this new rule is for the benefit of our children's education. Don't be fooled. It's a money-making exercise.

3. A child missing a week of school to spend quality time with over-worked parents isn't going to bring the country to its knees. MPs shagging us up the collective arse by claiming expenses on mops and buckets, ridiculous and undeserved payrises and cutting benefits from the most vulnerable WILL bring us to our knees. Stop turning against each other! We all have our different values; some parents believe that a child needs to be in school each and every day of term, others don't. It's nothing to do with either faction what the other faction believes in.

4. I am resentful of living in a nanny state, where a head and a parent cannot reach an agreement together on time out of school. Our head is also resentful as she feels that it is damaging to school/parent relationships and preferred being in control of granting leave.

5. A blanket ban is ridiculous and richer folk will not let a £120 fine stop them. Again, it's only the poor that are being shafted"


Boreoff456 Thu 16-Jan-14 10:05:38

meditrina just because rule was legal when it came into force, doesn't mean that adjustments to it are.

Wallison Thu 16-Jan-14 10:05:42

<<Ermm a week in the Lakes and Devon during school hols are out of most people's budget when you factor in inflated prices,petrol and spending.>>

This is true. It isn't a case of 'suck it up and holiday in the UK' but more 'suck it up and don't have a holiday at all'.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 16-Jan-14 10:05:58

But of course it Affects them! They'll be the ones who have to help your son catch up!

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 16-Jan-14 10:07:11

Numpty can I ask what subject/age you teach?

MidniteScribbler Thu 16-Jan-14 10:08:41

i don't need to negotiate that midnight. i make the decision - i don't need permission. if i'm working it out so that my son's education isn't effected, my financial situation isn't effected and no one else is effected in any way that is quite enough. i don't need to go cap in hand to the school or anyone else.

Well the law seems to disagree with you on that one. If you choose to educate your child within the education system instead of home education, then yes, you do need to negotiate with the school at times.

Do you really not see how your actions can impact other people? How about the teacher who has to do extra work to catch your child up? How about your child's peers who will have to wait while he catches up? How about how members of a child's project group will have to pick up the slack for his part of an assessment? You're being very naive if you think your actions have no impact upon others.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Thu 16-Jan-14 10:09:17

The rules do still allow for a head teacher to grant authorised leave in exceptional circumstances. I think that would extend to families where there is genuinely no prospect of a holiday in the school holidays due to a parent's job. It is true that the fine is very large to deter people taking unauthorised absences but because it won't be applied until day 6 of UA parents still have a degree of discretion whether the absence is appropriate.

Retropear Thu 16-Jan-14 10:09:56

Theoriginal kids differ and classes differentiated.Most of my lessons involved supporting many kids to "catch up",it's not that hard.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 10:10:37

is it just me who can afford to go abroad but can't afford to holiday in england?

i don't drive so camping is pretty out of range - how does one get there? how does one adult carry enough equipment food and whatever in order to camp for a week?

accommodation and travel expenses in this country are extortionate so hotels are out of the question and cottages cost more than it costs me to fly to egypt and rent an apartment.

this just go camping in devon business assumes you have a car, enough labour to pull it off (re: able parents), the equipment needed and all sorts.

Numpty - you sound angry and hurt but I don't hear much empathy for the situation state schools are in - they are required by law to teach the children enrolled - Just as we are required to take our children to school. This is not a fascist state - we have elected these politicians that make the legislation, the fines have been in place for several years (well actually I voted for the others but what are you gonna do!!??!). If a school allows every child to go on holiday during term time - then how are they to manage it? How about my special circumstances, or Mrs Jones or etc. etc. etc.?

You are an adult but you don't live in a vacuum - what you do effects other people, what I do effects other people... if your circumstances are truly exceptional then an argument for term time leave of a few days can be made - without going 'cap in hand' which refers to charity not a discussion about holidays. Perspective requires being able to see from more than your own viewpoint. Or accept the fine and add it to your holiday costings. Shit happens.

Boreoff456 Thu 16-Jan-14 10:10:57

Theoriginal how do you make any decision for your child. How do you decide if they would benefit from an after school club every night or just a couple of nights. How do you decide what bedtime they have?

As a parent these are the decisions you make everyday without anyone telling you that you must.

As for 'why bother sending them' missing a few days or a 6-12 week topic is not the same as not going at all.

Crowler Thu 16-Jan-14 10:11:02

I am a bit surprised at the view that there's no fall-out from missing a week of school.

My 11 year old would be reeling if he were to miss a week. We could keep up by working with him, but what if parents don't?

My 8 year old could probably miss a week of school more easily, but I wouldn't want him to.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 16-Jan-14 10:12:45

Well, even just with students I see once a week, it is a right pain when they don't show up - and I'm not even going to be judged on how well they do at the end! The stress caused to groups putting together presentations, or study groups, for example, and the emails I get asking me to sum up what someone couldn't be bothered to turn up for - it all adds up.

I would also worry for my kids that they'd get left out of the loop in friendships and activities, to be honest.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 10:12:55

theoriginal there is nothing to catch up on! he's about a year ahead in reality.

Floggingmolly Thu 16-Jan-14 10:13:04

The parents are not being fined for "going on holiday", numpty (numpty indeed!), they're being fined for not sending their children to school.
Being expected to attend school every day is not a recent concept; there have been truant officers patrolling the streets for generations.

Best holiday I ever had was a week in a tiny cottage at the end of the gower peninsula - sea views beach ten mins (down a steep incline) grin oonly sheep for neighbours - it was 'mazing - even the weather was good. Cheaper still if you stay in a cottage further inland - Wales is great for a cheap holiday.

Retropear Thu 16-Jan-14 10:14:01

Crowler well then schools need to pull sporting fixtures,G&T courses and trips only some kids can go on.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 16-Jan-14 10:14:43

So he's covered the whole curriculum already? Wow!

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 10:16:29

i'm not angry and hurt! is that PA version of gaslighting or genuine???

i don't think you have to be angry or hurt in order to think you have autonomy over your life do you?

what gives you the impression i am 'hurt'? is it because i mentioned mental health issues? could you now, any sane person reason this, understand why i might not want to go and talk to a headteacher about mental health or my private life? given this perfectly demonstrates the kind of thing you open yourself up to if you mention it?

Boreoff456 Thu 16-Jan-14 10:16:48

theoriginal friendships bro g damaged from being missing for a few days? Really? What about kids that sick?

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 10:17:00

and again i'm a teacher. i'm not blaming state schools. this is a state decision, not that of individual schools or staff.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 10:18:59

hurt and angry grin

yeah i really want to tell people i have to have a partnership with over my son about mental health when that kind of attitude is out there hmm

Crowler Thu 16-Jan-14 10:19:17

Retropear all of these things are planned around the existing curriculum. School trips are a part of school. I don't see your point.

I appreciate that this is a nanny-state situation but what does the school do, approve only trips for kids having "good" parents who will ensure the kid doesn't fall behind? Then what do they do when they have a band of "bad" parents who put together a case that they're being discriminated against? I just don't see a great solution for this.

Boreoff456 Thu 16-Jan-14 10:19:42

theoriginal did you mean to come across so snarky?

Its not unusual for kids to be age ahead. Dd is in year 5 in her December 2013 report, she was hitting the targets required at the end of year 6 in most areas.

BarbarianMum Thu 16-Jan-14 10:21:13

<<i don't drive so camping is pretty out of range - how does one get there? how does one adult carry enough equipment food and whatever in order to camp for a week?>>

Whilst it is entirely up to you whether you want camp or not, it is perfectly possible to do it without a car if you camp light and pick many of the hundreds of camp sites with good public transport connections and either a local shop or a campsite shop.

Just because most people now camp with enough stuff to equip an Artic expedition in a fully-furnished tent the size of a house doesn't mean it has to be done that way.

Tiredemma Thu 16-Jan-14 10:21:56

theoriginal - My DS1 is in year 8 but his working at grade is end of year 9.

He hasnt covered the entire curriculum but perhaps this is what the other poster meant?

Wallison Thu 16-Jan-14 10:22:19

Numpty, I've found the same as you re affordability of holidays. Like you, I don't drive or have a car, so camping is out. Holiday cottages in school holidays cost an absolute bomb, especially if again you don't have a car so need to have amenities at least within reasonable walking distance of where you're staying. It's actually often cheaper to go abroad, especially if you all need is a small self-catering studio.

Ubik1 Thu 16-Jan-14 10:23:11

I totally support the introduction of large fines and as far as I am concerned they can get social services involved as well to help parents to get their priorities right

Ha ha ha

Would love that. I will describe how I left my children, not just fir Xmas day but for weekend, Xmas eve, Boxing Day, dec 28 ( DP's 40th birthday) do that I could work fur the emergency services. I will ask fur advice on 'getting my priorities right' from equally stressed SS who us probably also constantly denied AL in school hols.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 16-Jan-14 10:23:41

Ah yes, but I wouldn't interpret being at targets more commonly expected of slightly older children as meaning a child doesn't need school. (Also, people are sometimes talking about 'a few days' here, and sometimes two weeks in the sun - bit different!).

How do these kids get to be at relatively high levels in the first place? Might the school have been any use here?

Sometimes you might need your child to miss school, and sometimes children are ill - indisputable. But I do take issue with the idea that it's a) a god-given right b) not of any impact to anyone else c) never likely to cause a problem. I find the refusal to take any of these things on board rather belligerent and odd.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 10:23:45

oh that's great then barbarian. no doubt a disabled single parent who doesn't drive for example would just be being a lightweight if they didn't feel they could transport enough equipment on their back whilst supervising children and negotiating public transport and call it a holiday.

this is the trouble with blanket approaches.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 16-Jan-14 10:25:02

My kids have frequently done work and been given levels for it that are a bit above the average for their year group - that is not the same thing as being 'in reality a year ahead'!

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 10:25:10

wallison yep. i've never managed to afford holidays in the uk. would love to actually. but it's cheaper for me to go far afield but then have really cheap accommodation and be in lovely surroundings where you dont' have to spend a load to have a nice time.

Tiredemma Thu 16-Jan-14 10:26:37

but they are not behind though? ( I am not stupid- im not suggesting that my DS is actually at the end of year 9)- but he has working at grades at end of year 9- so he isnt 'behind'??

Retropear Thu 16-Jan-14 10:26:56

Barbarian we camp a lot.

A watertight,warm tent that sleeps 5,ground sheet,5 sleeping bags,5 air beds,camp stove,clothes x5,towels,blankets,crockery,cutlery and various other bits of equipment cost money and involve the use of a large car or a trailer.You need a bs re minimum as being cold and wet x5 isn't clever.

In August sites cost £££££.Petrol costs,rainy day activities cost......

Numpty - Gaslighting? I have no idea about your life or you - 'cept what you have posted - your posts to me sound angry and hurt - or actually outraged would be better ... You know little about me 'cept I disagree that the fines are an ooouuttrageous liberty and I have no massive issue with restricting holidays to school holiday periods for school children. I don't think the fines are a massive money making scam either as a success would be no fines not lots of fines.

I am not ignorant of mental health issues - not going to go into the why and wherefores - doesn't actually matter what you think - except I want you to know that I wasn't attempting to mislead or confuse you - just wanted to state my opinion and my interpretation of what had been posted. How you came across in your posts will probably be read differently by others - that is the thing about text - it is open to interpretation and once it is out there you cannot control how people read it. I have come a cropper many times which is why my nn is so apt.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 16-Jan-14 10:28:12

No, they're not behind - I just personally wouldn't think that level 8s in year 8 (for example) necessarily mean a child would not lose out from missing a chunk of school!

Retropear Thu 16-Jan-14 10:29:43

My DS has had the equivalent of nearly a fortnight off school in G&T enrichment courses.Why shouldn't his sister or other children be allowed to be enriched?

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 10:29:50

yes and that is the thing about handing over private information about yourself. some will be respectful of it and not misuse it. some will see it as tool to undermine you and damage your credibility. therefore i choose to be selective about who i share such information with and rarely gamble when it is in a situation as important as my son's education and my credibility as a parent.

2014newme Thu 16-Jan-14 10:30:39

Re the trip to Australia for wedding, in the guidelines from our school it says attending family weddings abroad are not exceptional circumstances. Obviously you can apply for authorisation but be aware you may not get it, discuss with your brother having the wedding in the school hols or pay the fine.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 16-Jan-14 10:30:59

I don't think I would count G&T enrichment as being 'off school', though?

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 10:31:21

according to theorginal he'll be missing out retro because even if he's bright he won't have covered that particular bit of the curriculum yet.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 16-Jan-14 10:32:16

Well, he won't, will he? confused

Numpty, did I read right that you're a teacher? How do you get term-time off, in that case? Or did I misunderstand?

gobbledegook1 Thu 16-Jan-14 10:32:37

The letter from my sons school and my partners sons & daughters schools clearly states the fine is per child per day, so 1 day for 2 children would be £120. It is not per week. We asked for consent to take the kids out for 1 day to go to an agriculteral show full of learning opportunities and were denied and informed if we took them out anyway we would recieve a fine at the daily rate for each child removed.

However YABU OP to go on holiday in term time sacrificing your chikds education for a bit of fun.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 10:32:53

original you don't think G&T enrichment from a qualified parent would be ok though? how would it be less 'ok' than with paid staff?

i'm a teacher and it doesn't make me suppose that parents are idiots who could never be as capable as me of educating their children.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 16-Jan-14 10:34:11

I didn't realise we were dealing in the very specific area of a parent qualified to teach G&T taking a child out of school to do G&T enrichment - I thought we were talking about 2 weeks in the sun? confused

bella411 Thu 16-Jan-14 10:35:25

As someone who has worked in primary education I find it more time consuming for children to be off for a couple of days ill in the week and then have to catch up when they return later in the week as a lot of the numeracy and literacy isbuilt upon in the week. If they are off for a week they just catch up on it when it is next revisited.

I think 1 week holiday a year is fine.
Think 2 weeks together is a lot as most half terms are 6 weeks so missin a third of a half term.

I value family time, which seems to be eroded away with a 7 day working week. Parents can be a good educator and even if it is a beach holiday, things can be learnt. People can't always get time off work in the school holidays, aswell as the cost.

This rule is penalising the majority because of the minority.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 10:35:35

i wasn't teaching in a state school last year when we took the holiday.

however now i'm teaching mon-weds in a state school and yes i will take my son out on a thursday if needs be if it means the difference between a holiday or not.

missing a small section of the curriculum is not disadvantaging for a child who is working way ahead on levels. do you really think that for a child who is say working in decimals and percentages and fractions that missing a week on number bonds to 20 will leave her behind?

its only been in recent years this obsession with taking children on holiday in school time. I'm not that ancient (37) and remember one child going on holiday in school time it was not normal thing to do and everyone went on holiday in the school holidays.

Now the mindset is so different and people don't like being told what to do, and feel they have a right to take holiday whenever they want. WHy disrupt your child and take them out of school? Since having dc, well since getting divorced really as could afford school holiday holidays abroad when married, I have adjusted where we go, we stay in cheaper hotels, or a caravan. We still go abroad just in the school holidays and not term time. When you had children you knew they would be required to be educated, so in turn accepted that holidays would be restricted.

Norudeshitrequired Thu 16-Jan-14 10:36:10

Theoriginalsteamingnit - I think this is the first thread with an education based focus where I have agreed with everything that you have said. We agree <insert happy but fainting emoticon>.

I find it quite amusing that a teacher (numpty) would be happy for children to swan off on holiday during term time. As a teacher numpty would it affect your end of year results if a different child from your class was off school every two weeks (for a full two weeks). Would you have to repeat things constantly or would you just leave the child with that gap in their learning?

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 10:36:30

theoriginal - every single family has specific circumstances. that's the issue here imo. that blanket rules don't work and individual cases and specifics are the real consideration.

Yours circs sounds exceptional - without being damaging to your credentials. But if your HT/ school cannot be approached then as long as you keep the holiday to a shortish break you won't get fined (kick in is 6 days unauthorised absence ) which if you include weekends (even better a bank holiday there is one during summer term I think???? not sure) could equate to a 10day holiday w/out a fine...

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 16-Jan-14 10:37:54

Norude grin - isn't it nice when that happens?

Numpty I'm surprised as a teacher that you don't feel you add any value to children in your class - that seems a shame.

Norudeshitrequired Thu 16-Jan-14 10:38:21

Numpty - if a child who can do decimals, fractions and percentages is only working on number bonds to 20 in your class then I would argue that you are failing to stretch the child adequately. A child being ahead of the general class population doesn't mean that they are more entitled to take two weeks off school for a holiday. A child always has something new that can be learnt.

2014newme Thu 16-Jan-14 10:38:41

Numpty - yes every child is different, that is why heads can authorise time off if they consider that thee are exceptional circs. They can take all that into account. A lady on another thread just got authorised for a week in the sun in jan. It does happen!

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 10:38:47

norude: 'swanning off', 'every two weeks(for a full two weeks)' really? did you read the thread?

BarbarianMum Thu 16-Jan-14 10:39:30

Retropear holidays cost money. And despite trying I have yet to find a foreign holiday that costs less than camping in the UK. Usually we go as a 4 with the car, but sometimes I've taken the kids on the train/bus.

I don't camp cause I want to, I camp cause its cheap. I'm not alone in this.

I don't buy into the 'forced to go abroad in term time because can't afford the UK' thing nearly as often as it gets trotted out. Yes, there may be the exceptional family for which its true but honestly, most of the families in truly difficult circumstances I know are not the ones this ruling will effect because the only holiday they go on is an out of season caravan weekend in Skegness.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 10:40:05

i add plenty of value - i don't own parents or their children though and i respect their rights to make choices so long as they can demonstrate they are not detrimental to anyone.

not every teacher ends up with a god complex.

Tiredemma Thu 16-Jan-14 10:41:17

its only been in recent years this obsession with taking children on holiday in school time. I'm not that ancient (37) and remember one child going on holiday in school time it was not normal thing to do and everyone went on holiday in the school holidays

I am a similar age to you (a year younger!) and I also remember similar (although secondary school was different)

I think its down to the high inflation of holiday prices now through tour operators. Prices for the main summer holidays are quite ridiculous.

Retropear Thu 16-Jan-14 10:41:37

Theoriginal the curriculum is so jam packed and result focused enrichment is falling by the wayside.How can it not?It's only going to get worse.

Rich parents can enrich their kids during the school holidays the rest of us can't.

Norudeshitrequired Thu 16-Jan-14 10:42:05

Numpty - you are in danger of sounding like you believe that bright children who are ahead with their learning deserve a holday more than other children. Entitlement to a holiday isn't based on how academically able a child is.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 16-Jan-14 10:43:33

It's nothing to do with teachers having god complexes - it's not even the teachers who are imposing these fines.

Marne Thu 16-Jan-14 10:43:50

I was upset when they brought in the new 'rules'. My daughters have autism, we have always taken them out of school to go away for a week during May or June, not because of the price of holidays in the summer holiday but because my dd's can not cope with noise, busy places and crowded beaches, going away in May or June often meant places were a lot quieter, we didn't have to queue or wait for food and my dd's did not have to socialise as much with other children ( yes there were other children about but not as many as there would have been in the holidays).

Now it has become a lot harder for us to find somewhere quiet where the dd's can enjoy a break, we have managed to book a holiday ( we have found a log cabin through hoseasons on a small sight which specialises in fishing holidays ) but this has meant chiseling a sight with nothing else on sight, it has cost a lot more this year to find a sight suitable ( and we are paying double for a place that has less on sight then where we usually go ) but we are respecting the rules and I do understand why they have stopped term time holidays ( but does not mean I fully agree with it ).

I can see how it's going to effect a lot of families who can not afford to pay for a holiday in the summer holidays, I think it's wrong that the price differences are so huge, a lot of families will not be able to take their dc's away, I know there are still some bargain holidays to be had if you book last minute but these will become harder to find.

UriGeller Thu 16-Jan-14 10:44:02

Yes original 'energising' not "enervating" oops blush

I would personally find a trip to Florida enervating but for kids, its exciting, a chance to see how people in other parts live, exposure to different social situations etc. In my family, every second is a learning opportunity whether we're in Tesco or the Dordogne.

If Disney trips are not educational why then do schools offer class trips at extortionate prices to children to Disney?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 16-Jan-14 10:44:55

Good god, do they? shock I'd have something to say about that if our schools tried it!

Crowler Thu 16-Jan-14 10:45:29

I think this is one of many advantages conferred by wealth.

Peekingduck Thu 16-Jan-14 10:46:01

OK, so there's a few things to consider I suppose.
Whatever the ability of your child, whatever their attainment levels, rate of progress, additional needs... the school is tasked with challenging them to do the best that they can. Even if a child is working at age-expected levels, they have to see if they have the capacity to go beyond that. (Apart from anything else, if a child is coasting along they get bored and disengaged).
So at any time a school can be putting short-term interventions in place to address any number of things. They might be looking to "close a gap" that they have identified for a small number of children (they could be high achievers). They might be dealing with a number of children who need some help to come up to age-expected levels, or some sort of special or additional needs. It could be that a whole class needs a bit of extra boost in one subject. In any of these cases extra support and staffing may have been put in place to help things along. They might be working on one day, or one period a week for 6 weeks, there are many ways they might tackle these issues.
When you book your holiday you don't know whether your child is going to be involved in this sort of activity, and the school might not know either at that point. But if your child misses that slot it's going to be very difficult for the staff to backtrack or put in extra support for just that one pupil. They might even have been using some extra support or funding - from the LA, Pupil Premium for example - to deliver the intervention. Once it's spent, it's spent.
So that's why parents need to think very hard before taking any child, however bright or advanced they think they are, out of school for a week or two in term time. The child may miss out on something useful that has been put in place specifically for their benefit.
In the example given in the press I have no doubt that the school were already tearing their hair out about the lost hours from the oldest child's absence.

Norudeshitrequired Thu 16-Jan-14 10:47:11

Marne- you may find that your situation counts as exceptional. Nobody with any sense and understanding of autism can argue that it is difficult to holiday during the busiest time of year with 2 daughters who have autism. You are clearly not just choosing term time for the cash saving, you have a genuine reason.

Retropear Thu 16-Jan-14 10:47:34

I think any primary kid with good attendance isn't going to suffer with 1 week off during the school year.Actually I don't just think,I know.And if said week was in July it would be a hugely better use of their time.

People who agree with fines ime are those that can afford hols in the hols or who are driven by jealousy.

Tiredemma Thu 16-Jan-14 10:49:07

The fines have been there for years haven't they? Its only now that the Govt have seen it as a way of clawing money back.

Rather than go after Corporation Tax dodgers etc.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 10:49:32

or teachers (though they may fall under the jealous camp grin )

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 10:50:17

tiredemma - i think it depended on your lea. they only came into effect here in september just gone.

I hate busy places - and my dh works in London so he wants peace - so we don't go to resorts - we get a little cottage as far away from others as we can grin - conversely the children would probably like the busiest seaside town and the cheesiest campsite - and be quite happy.

We make our holiday choice based on the cheapest cottage we can find in the sleepiest location - so that can mean somewhere cheaper as it is not the most popular. Weather can be a bit crap - but as I got sunstroke in Scarborough as a child I like to avoid sunny climes. Armed with a bag of food, macs, sweeties, map book and sturdy sandals we have had great adventures in the less fashionable parts of Britain - try it you might like it.

Sadoldbag Thu 16-Jan-14 10:51:35

Personally I would rock up with the money the day before you set off it's still cheaper than paying the extra during the school holidays

Quite frankly for the last 3 years the last week of every term ds watches videos plays games and larks about oh and there are lots and lots of end of term parties

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 10:52:08

my other concern is how divisive it is.

this family are allowed because they have dual heritage, this family are allowed because they are travellers, this family because they have religious duties etc. it's the kind of thing that causes resentment and understandably really in some ways.

Marne Thu 16-Jan-14 10:54:54

Sadly our case does not come under the 'exceptional circumstances' sad

We will manage to find holidays somewhere quiet but it's not easy during the summer holidays, we have to chose holidays that are being sold to older people ( or in this years case a fishing holiday ).

My dd's school is full of people who ( up until now) would often take their kids out to go abroad several times a year ( skiing in the winter, Florida in the summer and a break in the uk during the spring ), these people are not happy but can afford to still do these things in the holidays but there are a few people who will no longer be able to go on holiday due to the price.

I don't think it has done my dd's any harm taking them out for a week once a year, dd1 is working at a very high level and dd2 works t her own pace smile ,they have never had to catch up on work when they return but I can see how it could be a problem when children do need to catch up.

Tiredemma Thu 16-Jan-14 10:57:53

this family are allowed because they have dual heritage, this family are allowed because they are travellers, this family because they have religious duties etc. it's the kind of thing that causes resentment and understandably really in some ways

I read through our local LEA guidelines and there is a section regarding children going far overseas to visit family and then coming back just under 20 days (which is when the school place can be withdrawn)
So some children can get up to 20 days to visit a relative but I might have difficulty in getting 5 days to visit our own relatives- but in France. It is divisive.

sofuckedup Thu 16-Jan-14 11:00:43

its a wonderful world we live in with a government more concnered about school attendance than child abuse but hey ho priorities and all that

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 11:00:45

agreed tired. we all have special circumstances - not just those of a particular culture or religion or heritage. only allowing for some not all to exercise those rights is divisive.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 11:02:05

yes sofucked up - and a country that wants to fine parents for going on holiday but doesn't fine absent parents who refuse to support them and wants to charge resident parents for the privilege of seeking maintenance. interesting priorities isn't it?

Tiredemma Thu 16-Jan-14 11:04:01

its a wonderful world we live in with a government more concnered about school attendance than child abuse but hey ho priorities and all that

I think this is why I am so enraged about my LEA -

When you read stuff like this and then think that they have the very nerve to get all shitty about term time holidays- they need to sort their priorities out

42andcounting Thu 16-Jan-14 11:08:12


42andcounting Thu 16-Jan-14 11:08:14


KatnipEvergreen Thu 16-Jan-14 11:11:57

This is what I posted on another thread:

I have thought about this for some time, and I write as a parent of primary school children but not someone who has not had the need to take children out of school for a holiday.

My first point/question is what problem is actually trying to be tackled here? Presumably that a lot of absence from school adversely affects children's education outcomes. My question would then be are most of the children of parents who might be affected by the fines the ones who really need to worry about their educational outcome?

In my experience, the families I know who wanted to take holiday during term time and were not allowed did not ask for financial reasons, but because one or more parents couldn't take holidays out of term time because of their work- and we're talking the last week of summer term. They are parents who are very supportive of their children's education, the kids are bright and engaged at school and the parents help out regularly to raise money for the school. I just mention this last point as some bright spark on R5 yesterday implied that parents who take term time holidays do not value education.

Further, private schools have longer holidays than state schools. Yet I don't see the attainment of pupils suffering too much there...Also parents there can take advantage of lower prices as they aren't going on holiday when the state sector are. Another example of one rule for us (politicians and their mates) and another rule for the hoi polloi.

Isn't the problem really persistent truancy and parents who really don't value education, and don't support their children at home? How do fines/imprisonment of parents help tackle that?

I think if you are going to fine/sanction people, it should not be completely left to the headteacher's discretion as to whether a requested absence is authorised. At the moment it seems too woolly. There should be clear guidance from the DoE on matters such as:

- How the child's attendance has been generally
- medical factors/additional needs
- Examples of when an absence could be granted, taking the above into account - for example attending a family celebration or funeral abroad, parents' work not allowing holidays during school holidays, with a letter from the employer confirming this.

A good deal could still be left to the HT's discretion but I think it needs to be clearer for both parents and HTs.

At the moment it really feels like the policy is using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. And in fact is missing the nut entirely and knocking over a tree.

sofuckedup Thu 16-Jan-14 11:20:34

having been on the receiving end sadly of service provision, or rather lack of it, for victims of abuse, I can categorically state that I do not give a flying one what this government thinks about whether my children need 100% attendance

they do not provide help and support, they penalise those with a disability, they are driving the vunerable to despair

this is just a policy designed to put those on a low income in their place, we live in a capitalist society those looking to blame the holiday companies are missing the fundamental point of the way our economy works

the importance of family bonding cannot be underestimated but we have a government who wants us all like sheep not thinking for ourselves

this is a ll part of a bigger picture and those who think its simply about education are niaive in the extreme

Tiredemma Thu 16-Jan-14 11:21:30

Im just curious to know also-
The school skiing holiday that my DS would like to go on, how is that much different to the skiing holiday that i would like to take him on?
What does he do much different in the school skiing holiday than he would on my holiday?

4athomeand1cooking Thu 16-Jan-14 11:23:43

Personally we go on our holidays during school holidays.

But I do wonder if there is an option to fine the school for the 4 learning days they lost to strikes last year!! hmm

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 11:24:37

careful now - not bleating like a sheep apparently means you are hurt and angry and therefore without credibility smile i couldn't agree more that those who think this is about education are naive, it is a much bigger picture and what is being eroded is much more than whether you can go on holiday or not.

MarmaladeBatkins Thu 16-Jan-14 11:28:05

I'm also interested to know if those who are so vehemently against children going to term-time holidays were in a perpetual state of angst before the rule change? Were you lobbying MPs to get it changed or petitioning your LEA?

Or is it just now that Gove has told you that this is the way to go that you're so behind it?


sofuckedup Thu 16-Jan-14 11:28:44

they are in effect criminalising those who are easy targets, no children do not NEED a nice sunny holiday, but this government, thinks the children of the poor or lets face it, the average, do not need one

one day we will wake up to a world where our small chiildren are in school, from 8-5 from 3 or younger, the value of parental involvement in their childrens upbringing is being dismissed out of hand and we will have no say in whether we actually want that to happen and whether we want to be there for them

Ubik1 Thu 16-Jan-14 11:29:37

So it's ok if:

*your child is Gifted and Talented
*your child is a year ahead anyway
*you go somewhere culturally enriching
*the school organises an 'educational' trip away skiing or shopping in New York.
*florida not allowed.


Sirzy Thu 16-Jan-14 11:30:07

I have always been against term time holidays, which is why I would never take DS out of school fro a holiday. If parents make the choice to take their children out then thats fine but I agree with it being unauthorised absence and therefore you risk the fine.

Aussiemum78 Thu 16-Jan-14 11:35:24

That sounds like a stupid policy. Unless a child is missing a lot of school, it should be at the parents discretion. Illness, family issues, holidays and emergencies should just be covered by a reasonable allowance of absent days. Fining parents is patronising and beauracratic.

We holiday in term time when circumstance around work etc make it the best option. Dd has no more than 2 weeks off per year including illness, her grades are fine and I prearrange that she takes homework and reading.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 11:37:10

agreed fuckedup. it's like people have been lulled so gradually by the piper they don't see where they are.

you have to seek the permission of a low level beaurocrat to go on holiday or the full weight of the law will come down on you.

yet people are all for it.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 11:40:28

i think there is a basic divide here of whether you think that parents are employees of the state and children are the states property or not.

at what point in our social contract did we agree to hand over authority over every single detail of our lives to the state or face sanction?

the contract should be that so long as you don't break common law (ie. laws about damage to person or property etc) and you are supporting yourself and your children you have personal freedom to control your life.

DownstairsMixUp Thu 16-Jan-14 11:41:51

It's a fucking joke that's' what it is. So because I am in a low paid job, I will NEVER be able to have a holiday with my children?! Because that is what I am being told. I will NEVER be able to afford the ridiculous prices it costs to go abroad with my child in the six weeks holiday/easter holiday so I will never get a holiday with my kids. Right. Only the rich/well off will be able to afford to have a holiday with their kids. Righty ho. Sorry but I am my child's mother, I know what is best for him, not the school. Ten days off a year to have quality time with family away will not kill them. If they are that concerned, why not compromise, and supply the parents with some work to take abroad for the children? I had a holiday every two years with my parents in school time, I passed all exams (top grades to) as did my brother. It's not about the kids at all, it's just about money grabbing.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 11:42:29

like seriously this is criminalising normal, average, law abiding citizens for behaviour that does not cause damage to person, property or anything that we universally agreed is essential. how on earth is that ok with people? is that what the law and the apparatus of the state is best used for? policing parents? it's madness.

ouryve Thu 16-Jan-14 11:43:32

It's less unreasonable not to take your kids out of school for a 2 week holiday in termtime.

MarmaladeBatkins Thu 16-Jan-14 11:43:42


It's all creeping towards parents having less and less autonomy over their families. We're dictated to on what we can pack into lunchboxes, when we can take them on holiday, what laces they have in their school shoes...

Marne Thu 16-Jan-14 11:44:38

I know a few people that have always been against it and these tend to be the same people who send their kids to school when they are ill ( not saying that's always the case ). I think parents should have some say in weather it's ok to take their children out of school. My dd's schools have always had the choice to say 'no' to holidays based on the child attendance, one year my dsd was refused a week off because her attendance was poor ( which was fair enough as she was getting behind with her work, a extra week off would make it even harder for her to catch up ) but I think it's wrong to say 'no' to any time off. All the jobs I have worked in I have been able to chose when I took a holiday ( yes there was times the boss could say no but over all I could get the week I wanted off ) so why can't children ask for a week off?

The times we have taken a week off have often been the last week before the summer holidays or before half term, the kids don't tend to do a lot that week so they have never really missed much work.

uwotm8 Thu 16-Jan-14 11:44:44

I rather like a thread that disputing taking children out of school in term time with a title with such a simple spelling error.

Go on many term time holidays op?

DownstairsMixUp Thu 16-Jan-14 11:44:51

Numpty hits the nail on the head anyway with that post. They are OUR children ffs! At the moment I work in retail but I worked as a carer at one point, unsociable hours, often no breaks, working my arse off for a pittance and the wages were shit (worse than the wage I am on now for shop work) so I'd never be allowed a break abroad with my kids because I couldn't afford it due to being restricted to ridiculous prices in the half terms? I suppose the old "get a better paying job" line will be trotted out or something, so depressing when people agree with this bullshit.

ouryve Thu 16-Jan-14 11:45:02

People need to get it out of their heads that a holiday, somewhere, every year is a right. It's not. It's a luxury.

Coldlightofday Thu 16-Jan-14 11:45:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

uwotm8 Thu 16-Jan-14 11:45:51


on phone

MarmaladeBatkins Thu 16-Jan-14 11:47:15

"People need to get it out of their heads that a holiday, somewhere, every year is a right. It's not. It's a luxury."

In your opinion. hmm

And in my opinion, it is not about the holiday but about being told when I can and cannot spend time with my child.

Only1scoop Thu 16-Jan-14 11:47:39

Uwotm8 grin

AlternativeMoniker53 Thu 16-Jan-14 11:47:43

I took DC1 out of school for one week when he was in Reception and I do wish I hadn't. I've not done it since with either child, DC1 is now in Year 10.

I think it sends totally the wrong message to the child, that school attendance is optional and rules can be broken when convenient. It's extremely disruptive to their education and to that of the other children in their classes which are having to cope with children who've missed large chunks of the syllabus.

You can't predict what unavoidable gaps might occur in their educations, don't voluntarily make it worse.

Tiredemma Thu 16-Jan-14 11:48:30

"I rather like a thread that disputing taking children out of school in term time with a title with such a simple spelling error.

Go on many term time holidays op?"

Thats a bit mean.

DownstairsMixUp Thu 16-Jan-14 11:48:58

That's your opinion ouryve for parents that work all year round, full time, piss poor wages, a two week break is something for them to look forward to. Luxury to? Seriously? You can get holidays very cheap in term time, especially if you go last minute or whatever, if you work hard all year round, running after kids then a two week break is well entitled i think. It's not down to you or anyone else to dictate what or what is not a luxury to some people.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 11:49:21

coldlight i admire your optimism but ds's school sends children out with stickers on their jumpers to say their parents haven't paid for timetabled activities and thought it was funny when i was shocked and complained. i have also heard such gems as, 'well of course poor kids won't do as well as children with involved parents' hmm

also - my child doesn't need extra support thanks smile

sofuckedup Thu 16-Jan-14 11:49:43

there was a time when travel was valued, when family was valued, that time is rapidly passing in this country - I am currently making a photo book of our last holiday - you know what at 5 my son got a lot more out of that than 2 weeks in school which is apparently all about play at this age (and not about indoctrination)

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 11:50:34

it's not down to anyone to dictate things like this to families imo. when on earth did we sign over such liberties?

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 11:51:47

they're also setting up our children for accepting and thinking nothing of a state in which you can't breath without permission from an official and you have no rights over your own life.

DownstairsMixUp Thu 16-Jan-14 11:53:04

No we never did numpty I also get sick of the Lunchbox Police. It's none of their business if I give MY son, yes, MY son squash ffs! For the record, he only drinks aspartame free stuff or water/milk but it's not the point. If I want to send him off to school with a fruit shoot, greggs sausage roll and a mars bar that is my business. I don't know why people are so with strangers telling us what to do with OUR children.

MarmaladeBatkins Thu 16-Jan-14 11:53:05

I feel sad and sorry for people who think that a holiday isn't a necessity. And I'm not talking two weeks abroad, I'm talking about anything really, a week in a caravan in Weston Super Mare, whatever.

It's about spending time together, isn't it? I think we all need a bit of that.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 11:55:31

our list of duties as citizens and things we can be punished for seems to be getting longer and longer whilst our list of rights, expectations, services etc that we can expect from the state we finance is getting shorter and shorter.

surely we know that's not right. we don't owe the state our souls simply for being born.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 11:56:58

apparently anything other than being an obedient little citizen and doing as you're told is a luxury and one that only the super wealthy should be allowed. apparently we're born slaves and stay that way unless we can buy our way out of it with a serious chunk of wealth.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 11:58:14

oh dear god is this how people turn right wing?!?!? shock except there's no right or left anymore is there? just a political class stuffing their pockets and stamping on everyone else.

MarmaladeBatkins Thu 16-Jan-14 11:59:20

I agree with your last three posts, Numpty. smile

Retropear Thu 16-Jan-14 12:04:22

Exactly the rich can do whatever they damn please.

The rest of us should just slave away paying off a national debt we never ran up,living a life of austerity and ever increasingly being told what we can and can't do with our children.

It's like we're all little worthless drones only fit for the poorhouse who should be continuously lectured to by the big cheese above re all areas of life and doff our caps when they reward us with the odd penny thrown out of the carriage window.

Naff off.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 12:05:12

thanks marmalade. this thread has quite scared me! grin feel like i'm stuck in the crowd of sychophants (spelt wrong, cheap dig opp if you need one) falling over themselves to praise the emperor's new clothes.

DownstairsMixUp Thu 16-Jan-14 12:05:34

Marmalade even them weeks away in caravans/butlins/centre parcs are so much more expensive in half terms but even if we just want a caravan break in bognor it's a "luxury" I am honestly shocked at how many people have this attitude! I certainly will not be following any rules that's for sure.

MarmaladeBatkins Thu 16-Jan-14 12:08:49

Absolutely, numpty. It's on threads like this that I start to think that the conspiracy nuts who believe that the government contaminate the water with chemicals that make us more compliant might have legs...

I'm not following rules either, Downstairs. I'll take a cheque in for the fine on the day I go on holiday. smile

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 16-Jan-14 12:09:27

What a lot of hysterical and hyperbolic posts! It's nothing to do with thinking your children are 'the state's property', or being right wing, or a sheep, or anything of the kind.

School attendance is very obviously linked to achievement, and frankly taking your child out of school to go on holiday somewhere hot, whether they're a year ahead or a year behind, is a decision you make and you have to face the consequences. If you send your child to a school, I think you have to be supportive of that school and what they're offering your child - not just decide that some weeks are of no value and you'd be better on a beach.

I don't like or support Gove at all, and I suspect his motives for this policy - I object to parents equating Gove's policy with teachers ('how come I can't go on holiday but they can strike' etc). But nobody is making anybody pay these fines - people can choose whether they want to incur fines, and if they don't, they needn't take the child out of school.

sofuckedup Thu 16-Jan-14 12:11:15

thats right but why do the children of the wealthy deserve less?

A week in Bluestone this week is £150 - its over a thousand in ths school hols, thats because these people need to make money as a business that emplys hundreds

DownstairsMixUp Thu 16-Jan-14 12:11:24

What links? Can you provide the studies? Pretty much all of my friends at school had a holiday IN term time every year or two. The school had a very high pass rate. If you believe all that rubbish then good for you.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 16-Jan-14 12:14:00

Well, to be perfectly honest, Numpty, there's a time and a place for pulling up posters on their spelling, and if ever that was the case it is when someone who says she is a teacher, and that she's going to be responsible for her son's 'enrichment' on a holiday in the sun, but doesn't know the difference between EFFECT and AFFECT, and thinks 'beholdance' is a word!

Manchesterhistorygirl Thu 16-Jan-14 12:16:22

I've not got to time to finish reading the whole thread, but following the logic behind the theory that if you take your kids out of school you should have to refund the taxpayer, what if I chose to send my child to private school, could I then get a tax rebate?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 16-Jan-14 12:16:22

You don't think there's a link between attending school and educational attainment? confused

a holiday isn't a necessity though is it? Yes spending time together as a family is invaluable, but does that have to be on a holiday away from home, whether that be 2 weeks in the Maldives or a week in Bognor? No holidays aren't a necessity as a family at all. There are plenty of people who can't afford even n overnight stay in a Travelodge at the seaside let alone take children out of school to save a few hundred pounds on an expensive holiday (realistically a family holiday is going to run to over £1000 for most families)

It certainly is not the fault of teachers and as is stated on mumsnet a million times, teachers are the scapegoat everywhere. If they say well we can't take holidays in term time then they should have known what the job entailed when they signed up for it, if they complain that it takes ages to help little johnnie catch up after his little jaunt to see mickeymouse the art galleries of Paris, they are told stop complaining you work short hours get long holidays and get paid squillions.

Again its the I'm alright jack everyone else mentality, that's made this country like it is today.

bochead Thu 16-Jan-14 12:18:00

Numpty - couldn't agree more! I had real issues with the lunch box police in reception. At the time he was severely underweight and on a diet prescribed by a clinical dietician. Strangers peeling back the bread on his sarnies meant he then didn't want to eat them.

Illegal exclusions are on the rise exponentially and the numbers of SN kids forced to accept part-time or no education for long periods makes a mockery of the whole "attendance" malarkey for me. My own DS has had one term with 50% max lessons permitted - took the threat of legal action to for him to be able to do a full day. It's common place for SN kids to wait terms/years for a school placement. That's OK though because that's the authorities choice.

I want schools to educate, not parent - especially in the all important primary years. If they excel at their historical purpose & core function teaching the 3R's, it's so much easier to do mine.

I find it all very hypocritical and do wonder when we agreed to give over some of the most important choices about raising our kids to a nanny state. There is a good reason the numbers of home educators is rising exponentially year on year. It's also why the independent sector, as a whole remains strong despite all the economic turmoil of recent years.

Retropear Thu 16-Jan-14 12:18:42

Steaming my dc have excellent attendance(well the G&T kid doesn't thanks to his courses but thats ok) which is only a tiny part of why they're doing so well at school.

You still haven't told me what is so worthy in July re stripping classrooms,DVDs and worksheets that 1 paultry week away should be ridiculously fined for.Ditto kids sitting in school halls during Dec rehearsing plays they're not even in.

You also haven't told me why the sporty kids can have weeks worth of fixture days etc off,rich kids can go on expensive school trips only a few can afford etc without having their education damaged.

Continual truancy damages education,1 week taken in primary school at a carefully thought out time doesn't.I know as during my teaching career I experienced several who did it.In fact I'd say it enhanced their education.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 12:18:44

i don't think it's a word in your sense original (ironic name) but i think it communicates meaning perfectly well amongst adults having a conversation. i also like to throw a few crumbs to the desperate. hth.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 12:20:44

i tend to think i'm in the business of communicating on here and expressing my views rather than being marked for punctuation or spelling. and if i were to follow your PA approach i'd now be saying i found it shocking that a teacher would mock someone for spelling or using the wrong word when for all they knew they could have SEN or disabilities that explained it.

DownstairsMixUp Thu 16-Jan-14 12:21:15

Provide me the links? You honestly think two weeks out of a year or every two years will effect the child? How come it was very common for most parents to do this and none of us are "suffering" As I said, most of my friends from school, me, my brother, people I know still taking their kids out for one or two weeks a year, why are we all NOT behind if it's soo bad.

Again a holiday not being essential - YOUR opinion. Some parents work weekends so barely see their kids so they don't have a choice. My dad did security work so I'd get home from school, he'd be off, weekends he'd work, holidays were a great time for us to get to see one another.

DownstairsMixUp Thu 16-Jan-14 12:24:30

Continual truancy damages education yes to this.

UncleT Thu 16-Jan-14 12:24:50

Education is compulsory. Going on holiday instead should be strongly discouraged. There's always a thin end of the wedge, but the principle is sound. I don't buy the whining about expense during holidays. It is a fact that families with less money can afford less stuff than rich ones - get used to it. And yes - I know very well what it's like to be in the poor group, but that's life. It's perhaps regrettable that increased control is needed these days, but it shouldn't be beyond any average person's wit to understand that there's a very significant minority of parents out there who actually can't be trusted to do the right thing, be it with attendance, nutrition or whatever. There have to be rules when education is compulsory. And please, stop comparing teachers having to take industrial action at their own expense in defence of teaching standards for your children, with the selfish, disruptive choice of depriving children of whole weeks of education just to go on holiday. As already pointed out, that's not something that just affects the individual. People can argue that holidays during term time are some kind of right, but the fact is they're not - the law requires your children to attend school. Holidays are for holidays, so suck it up.

Poppy67 Thu 16-Jan-14 12:26:00

I strongly believe holidays away from the home are important. Being away stops everyone from having to do the usual chores. Look at the Thomas Cook advert - the dad is a monster until he goes on holiday where he can relax. People may not like the advert but most people IMO chill when they are away. Holidays away from home provide quality family time together. My family would certainly act differently if in a hotel for a weekend compared to being at home. Holidays are very very important, whether it be camping down the road, a give in France, villa in Florida or waterside beach hut in Maldives. I appreciate this time with my family and feel as the kids get older it actually becomes even more important.

Term time holidays are fine, though not at the beginning of term ideally.

Schools can take kids out for concerts, trips skiing etc so why can't we.

Schools and the government should spend more energies on the persistent truanters who are off school on a daily/weekly/monthly basis.

BlueberryWoods Thu 16-Jan-14 12:26:16

I don't understand how people can afford the time to take their kids out of school for two weeks. My annual leave + DH annual leave + GPs help only just covered all the school hols, in-service days, polling station closure, sick days, etc. How do people find another two weeks (each) for an extra holiday?

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 12:27:03

so deal with that minority uncle.

i don't punish whole classes because one child is naughty. it would be utterly lazy and unfair of me to do so.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 16-Jan-14 12:27:16

Do we really want to discuss ironic names? No, not a word in 'my sense' or anyone else's, I'm afraid. It is worrying hmm

retro - Well, I've never encountered my children spending a fortnight stripping classrooms, to be honest! Of course exams being over etc, there's less nose to the grindstone in the last week of the summer term, though of course we're not talking about whether, specifically, children should miss the last week of term, are we? Sports' days, parents' evenings, school performances and concerts are often also held in those last weeks, and I personally would generally not consider myself the best arbiter of what is worth missing and what isn't, at any time of the year.

Why can sporty kids go to fixtures - well playing for your school is part of being at your school, I would have thought. Also, it usually entails, as far as I've experienced it, missing the last bit of the last lesson - or perhaps the whole of the last lesson, sometimes. If Mr S knows that Jake, Sam and Josh will be leaving Maths at 3.10, and it's been in the staff bulletin, he can probably give them a plenary a bit earlier and I can't see it causes too many problems - I don't know of any sporty kids missing lessons frequently or for a whole week at a time.

Expensive school trips I think are a different issue with lots of other associated concerns, and I am not sure what I think about them.

But the fact remains that nobody has to pay this fine.

KatnipEvergreen Thu 16-Jan-14 12:27:49

The business of human beings should be to make life fairer though UncleT not to just shrug our shoulders and say "Life is unfair, suck it up."

Otherwise you may just as well have survival of the fittest, dog eat dog, no-one helps anyone, I'm alright Jack. If anyone has any problems they have to "suck it up".

DownstairsMixUp Thu 16-Jan-14 12:27:55

Oh here we go, that's life, suck it up blah blah blah. Are these the same sort of people who want benefit claimaints to use vouchers for their benefits to? Boring. I'll still take my son out thanks, my son, my choice. Fine will still be less than a two week break in peak time anyway.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 12:28:01

but hey keep clapping and cheering about 'them' whilst all of your liberties and rights and whittled away to the tune of divide and rule and how we all have to give up everything because of those scallies over there.

winterchunderland Thu 16-Jan-14 12:28:02

All this nanny state talk is ridiculous. School's need to operate with rules for the good of the entire school.
Just as in the work place there are rules and procedures for holidays.
Society only works with written and unwritten rules and norms.

People can argue all they like that it makes no difference if their kids go out if school at term time but it does impact upon the smooth running of the school. Especially if everyone does it at random times.

UncleT Thu 16-Jan-14 12:28:48

Except mandatory attendance is not punishment. It applies to all for the purpose of ensuring educational standards for all. The lunch box thing I would agree with that principle on though.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 16-Jan-14 12:29:08

Look at the Thomas Cook advert as proof that holidays are a Good Thing?? Yeah, because there's very unlikely to be much at stake for Thomas Cook is presenting holidays as something you need for the sake of your family harmony! confused

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 16-Jan-14 12:29:21

in presenting!

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 16-Jan-14 12:30:19

but hey keep clapping and cheering about 'them' whilst all of your liberties and rights and whittled away to the tune of divide and rule and how we all have to give up everything because of those scallies over there

Er, what now?

Retropear Thu 16-Jan-14 12:30:55

Sooooooo because of a minority the majority should miss out.That makes sense,not!Said minority will still truant and feed their kids crap,they still are.

It is harder to go on holiday now financially.When I was at school the cost of living was lower and parents could take their kids out on top of that.This wasn't abused as like now parents are adults and fully capable of deciding what is best for their kids.

UncleT Thu 16-Jan-14 12:31:03

Katnip - No, but one has to be realistic. We were poor, we had some help, it got us through - but you still have to accept that you can’t necessarily afford what some others can.

DownstairsMixUp Thu 16-Jan-14 12:31:39

Numpty you may as well be talking to yourself I think confused think i've stumbled off mumsnet in the dm comments section haven't i?!

KatnipEvergreen Thu 16-Jan-14 12:32:00

No-one has yet addressed the question of what the problem was with the old, more flexible, non-fining system that existed when we were at school.

It seems like change for change's sake. Political interference in schools. Not tackling the main problem, pretending there is a more easy to solve problem elsewhere and dealing with that.

DownstairsMixUp Thu 16-Jan-14 12:32:48

No we are poor retro we don't deserve holidays. We should just trundle off to southend once a year in the six weeks and be happy with that because we are poor and we don't deserve anything else, dur.

Poppy67 Thu 16-Jan-14 12:32:57

The thomas cook advert shows how people change when they are away, and they use the dad who spends all his time at work as an example. I didn't say the advert was proof that holidays are good, I said it demonstrates how people change on holiday.

Ubik1 Thu 16-Jan-14 12:35:00

Well fir many workers, Xmas day with your family isn't a holiday it's a luxury

Everyone's circumstances are different. The problem is that these absence guidelines work when school is allowed to exercise some discretion. But absence becomes tied to school ratings and HT job, that discretion is no longer exercised.

It would be a pretty bleak year fir my family without that holiday, especially as i am aldo working sll over easter bank holiday too. We save £700 by going three days before end of term.

And if you thi k I am a rare case, think again. This is true for so many in frontline services/hospitality/manufacturing.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 12:35:21

katnip - it wasn't a profitable way of dealing with things and it didn't advance the notion that none but the super rich should have any control over their lives. ergo it was ineffective.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 16-Jan-14 12:36:32

You know it's not real though, right? You might as well say the Kinder ad shows how good chocolate is for children, because those actors look really happy when they get the eggs! It doesn't 'demonstrate' anything - it's there to sell you the idea of going on holiday by making you think any underlying issues in your family will vanish when you do!

Thetallesttower Thu 16-Jan-14 12:37:11

School attendance is very obviously linked to achievement, and frankly taking your child out of school to go on holiday somewhere hot, whether they're a year ahead or a year behind, is a decision you make and you have to face the consequences. If you send your child to a school, I think you have to be supportive of that school and what they're offering your child - not just decide that some weeks are of no value and you'd be better on a beach.

This is just not true. Missing one week or even two is not linked to lower achievement, missing substantial portions of school is linked to poor achievement but it is also linked to chaotic lives, poverty and general issues with coping with life (unless due to illness). So- yet again the government targets the wrong group.

Secondly, class sizes are huge, the entire school my dd's are in is at capacity, 30 in every classroom, all those small boxy low ceilinged classrooms suited to 20 children and with no storage space. The system is creaking at the seams. I think having two or three children (10%) missing due to illness or authorized absence is probably a blessed relief!

I agree with everyone who thinks that state interference with previously normal everyday activities (what you give your children to eat, attending a wedding, going abroad to see grandparents) is unpleasant and creates further upset.

And of course it effects the poor most, we went in the holidays last year to my children's home country to see the other half of their family and it cost us so much we are still in debt over it, a year later. The year before it was just within our budget as went for a few days in the middle of November when it was extremely cheap. Now we can't afford to book for next year at all- bad for us, huh, having a family in another country.

I hate this system and what it says about our country. Their target obsession is driving the NHS and the education system and those that work in it to the brink.

Poppy67 Thu 16-Jan-14 12:37:55

People change when they are on holiday, IMO. Thomas Cook have clearly undertaken research hence the nature of their advert.

DownstairsMixUp Thu 16-Jan-14 12:38:40

Also the ones that keep saying it's not about a holiday to, it's about time with the kids, well how does that work then? Retail workers don't get much time off, they will most likely work all through xmas apart from xmas day. I worked boxing day, nye, new years day and christmas eve. This year I will also work all through easter (i'm not allowed to book it off as it's too "busy") so I'll work good friday and easter monday to. December is a no go for annual leave. When I was a carer I worked xmas day to. So it's not as simple as just book off time in the holidays, some of us still have to work through them and getting anytime during the six weeks off is a fight at my place, most of us have kids so you have to book it in advance and even then it can get turned down.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 16-Jan-14 12:39:49

Thomas Cook have clearly undertaken research hence the nature of their advert

This strikes me as quite staggeringly naive.

Poppy67 Thu 16-Jan-14 12:41:26

Taken from Marketing Week:

Thomson Holidays, the TUI Travel-owned travel brand, is launching an "epic" marketing campaign demonstrating the importance of taking holidays, in a bid to challenge consumers' perceptions of the travel brand.
The campaign, created by BMB and launching on 27 December, uses motion capture and special effects technology to tell the story of Simon the Ogre.

There is some meaning in this, though any holiday will help, not just Thomas Cook, who incidentally I have not used.

Retropear Thu 16-Jan-14 12:41:37

Yes Down heaven forbid that kids with non rich parents should start secondary knowing what learning a foreign language is actually for.Or that these kids should be aware of the global market re jobs and have confidence in thinking they could be part of it.Or that these kids should experience life beyond their back door and have aspirations to travel afar even to another city and earn money in order to do so.

Drones that's what we're all becoming.Do what you're told,learn your place,suck it up,hand your kid over to the state who know best in all things.


Only1scoop Thu 16-Jan-14 12:42:05

That's not a Thomas Cook advert by the way.

UncleT Thu 16-Jan-14 12:43:09

Thomas Cook want to persuade you to buy a holiday. That's it.

Anyway, it's also not true to say that this is something that only affects poorer people. Plenty of well-off families are quite capable of arranging holidays at inappropriate times too. Bottom line - education is compulsory.

nativityplayer Thu 16-Jan-14 12:43:40

As long as you don't mind your child's teacher taking two weeks off during term time because her OP cannot get time off during the school holidays ...

Poppy67 Thu 16-Jan-14 12:44:19

Shows how much attention I paid, but they are part of the same group!

if you can afford a holiday at all are you really poor? Fuck no! Stop misusing the word poor and have some general understanding or those that are truly poor. They are the ones not complaining about the fines. Why because it doesn't apply to them, they won't be going on holiday in term time because they aren't going away.

Some people really have no idea what happens in the real world. I am thankful everyday that I have enough money to house, feed and clothe my children the rest is a luxury, which I am fortunate enough to have. I have no sympathy for those squabbling over a fine, you're still going to go anyway, so get on with it and carry on with the self righteous indignation that someone might tell you no.

Only1scoop Thu 16-Jan-14 12:44:55

Poppy I can assure you Thomas Cook is not part of Tui group.

Poppy67 Thu 16-Jan-14 12:45:14

Holidays are to provide a feel good factor, give you something to look forward to, sleep better, have fun .....thomson are playing on this.

Thetallesttower Thu 16-Jan-14 12:45:54

Funnily enough, one of the teachers at my dd's school did want to go away when she started her new job, she had a week off to attend her sister's wedding in Australia in the middle of term. Perfect normal reasonable thing to do, except it is now essentially illegal for parents to do this.

DownstairsMixUp Thu 16-Jan-14 12:46:20

Yeah let's just do everything were told like good people. pats on head

Poppy67 Thu 16-Jan-14 12:47:57

Teachers should not holiday during the term time as they take that job on the basis of knowing holidays will be in the holidays. I know that due to my DH job he won't be home always on Christmas Day. Its part of his job and he knows he won't get every christmas day off.

SoftSheen Thu 16-Jan-14 12:48:16

YABU. Someone who took a 2 week unauthorised absence from their job would have a lot more to worry about than being fined- they would very likely be fired.

Children do not need a foreign holiday every year. If prices are too high during school breaks, take them camping instead.

Poppy67 Thu 16-Jan-14 12:48:36

If a teacher has a wedding to attend, fine. But not to spend on a beach or camping.

DownstairsMixUp Thu 16-Jan-14 12:50:15

That's the point, no one wants to take unauthorised time :S Being allowed 10 days leave a year is not going to make the child fail everything then end up working in a dead end job forever because they had a holiday once a year or every few years. hmm

KatnipEvergreen Thu 16-Jan-14 12:52:05

I don't think a foreign holiday every year is a necessity. But families spending time together is, and kids should be granted the last week of term off if that's the only time their dad can take time off work.

Retropear Thu 16-Jan-14 12:52:43

Oh not the camping phrase which gets trotted out every time.Have you read the thread Soft?

Camping in August costs £££££ plus the cost of kit(which I've noticed has gone up) and the need of a large car.

Camping is not a cheap option everybody can afford.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 12:52:44

as a teacher i am very aware of a myriad of reasons why young people don't achieve at school. some of the reasons would make you weep. none of the underachievers i've encountered were such due to suffering from having the odd term time holiday.

KatnipEvergreen Thu 16-Jan-14 12:53:58

We don't tend to have a foreign holiday in July/August as most of Europe is too hot, IMO.

May whitsun holiday is much better for that.

MarmaladeBatkins Thu 16-Jan-14 12:55:15

"Some people really have no idea what happens in the real world. I am thankful everyday that I have enough money to house, feed and clothe my children the rest is a luxury, which I am fortunate enough to have."

Oh here we go. Competitive hardship...

Oh and camping in Cornwall cost me more than a week in France. True story.

Thetallesttower Thu 16-Jan-14 12:55:38

When I was little and went to primary school in the 1970's, I went in my normal clothes, ate what my mum gave me and had no homework til I was 11. We went away very rarely but on the odd occasion took a day off school.

Our overall level of attainment in this country is not higher now and we have sunk down the league tables. For all the compulsory school uniforms, harassing ordinary parents who have never done anything like parked on double-yellow in their lives, who put their bins out on the right day (wrong recucling- we don't collect those!), telling you what to put in your lunchbox, there are lots of minor petty ways in which our lives are now regulated which in themselves are all extremely small but make the UK a less nice and relaxing place to live.

This is one example, making life just a tiny bit harder for lots of parents and children, but to no great effect. The children who are really struggling with reading and writing, who get no ok GCSE's aged 15/16 won't be cured for staying in school one extra week per year, will they?

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 12:55:55

in really simple terms. if for example, like me, your family consists of one child and one adult it is actually cheaper to buy flights to a cheap country where you have friends and can access free or very cheap accommodation, where the cost of living is low, the weather is great allowing lots of free fun and you don't need a car than it is to attempt to go on holiday in the uk as a non driver who can only carry so much and can't afford to pay for expensive meals and days out if it's pissing down with rain. the flight is the biggest cost and you spend way less than you would have in the uk.

Poppy67 Thu 16-Jan-14 12:55:57

No offence but bollocks to camping.. can't think of anything worse. Its not even cheap.

UncleT Thu 16-Jan-14 12:56:56

Excellent point, Dont. Holidays for us meant going to the Grandparents for a couple of weeks. No problem there.

KatnipEvergreen Thu 16-Jan-14 12:57:20

Camping is not a cheap option everybody can afford.

Plus for parents, it's not exactly a break from household chores. Slightly different chores, done in freezing and wet conditions. No thanks. We went camping and walking in Derbyshire once, pre children. Had fun, but I felt like I needed another holiday to get over it.

tiggytape Thu 16-Jan-14 12:57:33

No-one has yet addressed the question of what the problem was with the old, more flexible, non-fining system that existed when we were at school.

Yes they have. The problem was it was abused and highly disruptive.
Most MN posters will say their child's normal attendance rate is 100%
They are in the top set
They are willing to help them catch up
The holiday is only for a week and is sporty and amazingly educational

However, the experience in many schools when 10 days could be granted just for holidays with no special reason was that parents viewed this as an absolute right and often took more than the 10 days maximum allowance in a year. Some even ignored requests not to be absent during SATS, GCSEs and controlled assessments!

Heads in reality could not authorise leave just for "good" kids and force struggling children and those absent through disability to stay at school and not have holidays that others got.

Teachers constantly had one child (sometimes 5-7 children in the summer term) absent so any new topic had to be delayed or restarted. Returning children then needed help catching up and, if that was more than 10% of the class, all the rest got less attention whilst that happened and this might go on for weeks between April and July.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 12:58:54

they aren't the kids who are going on holiday in term time anyway thetallest, and often their parents aren't the parents who'd pay the fine anyway. much like the parents who give their kids red bull and a mars bar for lunch don't give a flying fuck about letters home anyway.

they're just red herrings used in order to regulate and regulate the rest of us until we don't know we even have the right to say boo to a goose let alone challenge the ruling classes.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 13:01:17

tiggy - it's not a legal requirement to have your children sit sats! i will quite possibly withdraw my son from them.

Thetallesttower Thu 16-Jan-14 13:03:57

Excellent point, Dont. Holidays for us meant going to the Grandparents for a couple of weeks. No problem there.

My children's grandparents do live in a different country! I have never requested time off for a separate holiday, only to visit their family and if we didn't have to, I'd not bother in all honesty

UncleT Thu 16-Jan-14 13:06:05

It was an example. Going to stay with Grandparents is not the only option, and is obviously not compulsory - unlike going to school.

Thetallesttower Thu 16-Jan-14 13:06:18

Numpty that's why I know this will have no effect on lifting up those really poorly attaining students. Budgets for things like Reading Recovery and literacy programmes have been scrapped, things that actually worked and helped semi-literate children get back on track with their lives. Instead, the government has decided to clamp down on children doing just fine- a week's absence in term-time once a year of itself would never trigger an attendance officer's investigation as they are too busy trying to find all the kids who have been missing for weeks if not months and have missed say 1/4 of their schooling!

tiggytape Thu 16-Jan-14 13:07:33

Numpty - if you keep them off SATS week, the school are now allowed to administer the tests after the child returns. It used to be a very tight deadline (depending on whether it was Year 2 or Year 6 SATS) but now teachers have much longer so unless you are going to keep him off school for weeks, then you won't avoid SATS.

Legally the schools must enter all qualifying children for SATS and parents have no rights to insist a child is withdrawn. The only way around that would be to withdraw your child from formal education and Home Ed and then reapply for a school place at a later date (you'd not get the same school though if it was full) or go private.

My comment was more that parents who abused the system didn't even show basic common sense about their children missing external exams and GCSEs!

MarmaladeBatkins Thu 16-Jan-14 13:09:27

I love these threads. They start off with "What's wrong with camping?" then "What's wrong with a week at granny's, plucking her chin hairs?" then it'll be "I'm happy having a day on the nearest beach with a flask of weak lemon drink and my cagoule zipped up to keep me from the lashing rain."


Oh here we go. Competitive hardship...

not competitive hardship at all, I'm far from the poverty line, I just seem to have an understanding and empathy for those that are poor, but you carry on in your own little bubble, and take things out of context.

MarmaladeBatkins Thu 16-Jan-14 13:12:01

I just don't like the "appreciate having the bare minimum" tone of your post. There is nothing wrong with aspiring to something else and wanting a bit more, within reason.

It's a week's break, not asking for a diamond-encrusted palace.

Ubik1 Thu 16-Jan-14 13:15:05

I am thankful everyday that I have enough money to house, feed and clothe my children the rest is a luxury, which I am fortunate enough to have."

Oh bollocks to that. I live in the 'real world' and frankly on my third nightshift the though if that two weeks in Majorca gets me through.

And bollocks to camping too

I like camping but once you have children it isn't a cheap option.

UncleT Thu 16-Jan-14 13:16:41

That's not the intention at all. I just think we have to be realistic. I think education should be the priority, and holidays come second - and I have no shame in saying so. It's when people counter by basically saying that rich people have it better. The fact is that yes - rich people will always materially have it better! That's not in any sense to say aspirations are bad, as they're anything but - it's simply a statement of fact.

MarmaladeBatkins Thu 16-Jan-14 13:21:04

I think that aspiring to have time with your family is really sad. It should be a given.

Retropear Thu 16-Jan-14 13:22:19

But education is my priority.That is the whole point.I want my kids to experience more than a very tight curriculum and tests.I want them educated in a whole host of things they don't get at school.

Thetallesttower Thu 16-Jan-14 13:26:17

Tiggy I didn't know that about the SATS, so you can't keep your children off for that. I wasn't going to, because I don't feel so strongly against them.

I wonder if all of these initiatives and compulsory enforcements is why there's so much sick leave and stress-related illness in teaching, as well as them leaving the profession in droves (will get worse after recession over). It can't be very nice starting out thinking you are going to make a real difference to children's lives and then ending up policing small petty matters which put you in conflict with parents and children. It is somewhat similar in my workplace and it does grind you down.

StarlightMcKingsThree Thu 16-Jan-14 13:27:34

'4 weeks in the summer holidays camping around Cornwall or the Lake District is just as enriching as a fortnight in Magaluf...'

It may or may not be. One thing is for sure though, both the Lake District and Cornwall are a lot more affordable in June, and more effective use of time as there are no queues or waits to access tourist things.

Norudeshitrequired Thu 16-Jan-14 13:27:53

YABU. Someone who took a 2 week unauthorised absence from their job would have a lot more to worry about than being fined- they would very likely be fired.

Perhaps schools should adopt a similar approach. Instead of imposing fines (which most people who can afford a holiday will just include as part of the holiday cost) perhaps they could give the school place to somebody who is on the waiting list. Okay that's probably very unreasonable (definitely unreasonable) as ultimately the child is the one that will suffer. But it's the child who suffers when he misses a chunk of learning due to his parents desire to have a cheap term time holiday. If it really is a case of the parent has no choice but to holiday in term time due to issues such as disability, work commitments, armed forces families etc then it is more understandable, but for most people it's just about saving some cash.
A moe reasonable solution: make the fines for an amount that would mean there is no cost saving by taking a holiday during term time, therefore only people who are taking the holiday at that time for reasons other than finances will continue to do so.

StarlightMcKingsThree Thu 16-Jan-14 13:28:36

'I think education should be the priority, and holidays come second - and I have no shame in saying so.'

It depend who you define 'education' though. Some would define holidays as education.

I know I do.

Norudeshitrequired Thu 16-Jan-14 13:29:44

But education is my priority.That is the whole point.I want my kids to experience more than a very tight curriculum and tests.I want them educated in a whole host of things they don't get at school.

Have you considered home-ed? If it's possible then it might be ideal for your family.

SoftSheen Thu 16-Jan-14 13:29:54

Camping isn't free (and to be honest isn't my first choice of a holiday either) but is generally cheaper than flying somewhere and staying in an hotel/apartment, whatever time of the year.

At any rate you just have to do what you can afford, which might be staying at home and going on day trips. But within school holidays.

Dahlen Thu 16-Jan-14 13:33:12

I am a parent who always arranges things around school hours and never allow my DC time off unless they are practically dying. I do my best to support the school in the education of my children. The value I place on education is extremely high, as I am someone who has benefitted from it enormously myself.

I think this blanket policy is bonkers.

The people it is aimed at - the families who abuse term-time holidays, allow their children to truant, who allow their children time off whenever they say they just feel a bit tired - will just ignore this. They will continue to call up and say that the child is sick and because the onus is on the prosecution to prove that the family were on holiday, rather than the family to prove that they weren't, very little will be done about it (especially if the holiday is taken during the last two weeks of the final term and there is an eight-week gap between absence and questioning when the parents can simply claim the child was confused about the dates...

The well-off with a sense of entitlement will simply factor in the cost of fines.

The poor will simply have to stop going on holiday.

IMO the education of a child of average or above intelligence, with parents who value education and work closely with the school, will not suffer because of a week or two's absence once every couple of years or so. A child with learning difficulties might, but I'd hazard a guess that the family would not want to disrupt the education unnecessarily in those circumstances anyway. Taking such a child out during term time probably would be because of exceptional circumstances or because the benefits outweigh the lost education. And not all educational experiences are academic ones taught in a classroom. That point seems to be sadly lost on the likes of Gove.

I think the right to family life is something that this rule will fall foul of eventually. A holiday that could be taken at any other time of the year does not fall under that right IMO. However, in cases where a parent can only take leave during term time, or for family events where contact can be difficult, costly but precious, I think denying families the right to decide for their own children that this is more important sets a very dangerous precedent.

But the serial offenders at whom this is aimed will be largely unaffected. Bonkers.

Numpty - I clearly offended you. I am sorry that is the case.

Opinions are divided on taking children out of school in term time and the right of schools to fine parents for this - surely this means that there is a case for more than one view? Some may agree with both fines and strict adherence to term time others may be less rigid. Not a wall between haves and have nots, naive sheep and rugged individualists.

I don't seek to damage any credibility of the individuals posting on this thread - by making statements that disagree with other statements a counter argument is constructed - nothing personal. Questioning of motives is natural - I am not sure fines are the answer or that holidays in term time is a big problem -and I don't think the issue is black and white.

I am not PA - unless by that you mean Pain in the Ass - cos I do have coccydynia.

differentnameforthis Thu 16-Jan-14 13:34:44

We don't have this fine business in Scotland. And everything seems to be running ok

we don't have it here in Australia either & we don't seem to have too many issues. Infact apart from 2 or 3 families who have such low attendance rates anyway (fines wouldn't make a difference to attendance & parents couldn't afford to pay) because of family problems, our school has a decent attendance record.

Retropear Thu 16-Jan-14 13:42:06


Re home eding the issues of work, the cost of actually doing it and the social benefits of school don't make this viable for me.

I'm after a week off for my kids that's all .I make sure they have excellent attendance and do above and beyond what is expected at home alongside working hard to support school in everything.

Not sure why wanting a week off to educate them further and do what rich families do regardless should counter the need for me to home ed.hmm

As for hols abroad - pft - a week in a 'luxury' apartment in G Canaria with the in laws, a 3 yo, a 18m old with a sky high temp and a vomiting bug - me newly pregnant - also ill - that was my last family holiday abroad with the kids - what a joy that was hmm But we did go in September so it was a bit cheaper.

Give me a weekend in Norfolk over that fiasco.

take em out for a week and you won't get fined anyway - only persistent non attendance for a sustained (i.e. longer than a week) period - will the fine kick in - but you won't get permission from the school anymore.

LaGuardia Thu 16-Jan-14 13:50:48

It is only the working classes who feel they are entitled to take their kids out of school for cheap holidays.

songlark Thu 16-Jan-14 13:51:19

If you haven't much money the only way to afford a holiday is to go in term time because that's when it's affordable. Until these holiday companies agree to stop ripping off their customers and keep their prices consistent this kind of thing will happen. Or is it just the privileged few who can go on holiday now.

Sirzy Thu 16-Jan-14 13:57:30

no it isn't the only way. My parents had very little money yet we always managed to holiday during holidays even if it was just a "cheap and cheerful" week somewhere.

If it is only the privileged few that go on holiday in the school holidays why are all the holiday destinations crowded with people and kids? Norfolk was busy last August - If the traffic jams were anything to go by and the long lines at the chippy/ ice cream van/ solitary toilet at beach etc.

Only1scoop Thu 16-Jan-14 14:00:44

Agree Sirzy....op talks of fortnight holiday in term time ....maybe a week away instead in the holidays....

winterchunderland Thu 16-Jan-14 14:01:19

So there's a petition asking the government to intervene to force holiday companies to limit how much they can charge during school holidays signed by the same people who are whining that they don't want to be dictated to by the government about when they can take their kids out of school.


winterchunderland Thu 16-Jan-14 14:02:54
Worriedthistimearound Thu 16-Jan-14 14:03:04

I dont take mine out in term time so it doesn't apply to me. But I think this policy is madness, certainly at primary school. I was a teacher for many years and it wasn't the otherwise good attenders taking a week off in June for a family holiday that caused disruption to my teaching, it was the children who had every other mon morning off and came in late (around 10am) 3 days a week.

I want to see this tackled head on. When they get their bum off the fence and do something to properly tackle this then I may begin to support other measures.

AgaPanthers Thu 16-Jan-14 14:05:18

The holiday companies aren't ripping anyone off.

Let's say that when you average out fuel, staff costs, maintenance, debt, etc., then the airline need £700/seat to fly London - Singapore. If the price is £700 all year round then flights in July/August will sell out quickly and the flights will be half-empty in May or June.

That means they lose money, go out of business and you can't go on holiday at all.

But if they charge £1000 in August and £500 in June, then the flights are full all year round and they make money and you can go on holiday.

Leisure hotels in the UK obviously need to cut their prices midweek, otherwise everyone would just book at the weekend.

It's perfectly fair.

The government are the one who set school holidays, not the holiday company.

MarmaladeBatkins Thu 16-Jan-14 14:05:51

"It is only the working classes who feel they are entitled to take their kids out of school for cheap holidays."

Any why do you think that might be?

Oh and Winter, I don't think anyone on this thread set that e-petition up, though I could be wrong...

BerylStreep Thu 16-Jan-14 14:05:55

IME children do very little in school during June anyway. Don't know if that changes for big school.

nf1morethanjustlumpsandbumps Thu 16-Jan-14 14:09:28

I work in the tourism specifically the camping and caravan industry, what about my family are we not entitled to a break too? I haven't had Easter, Summer, Half Term or Christmas holidays for the last five years. Its written in my contract my holidays must be taken during term time as our site is open all year round and I'm obviously needed when everyone else is off on their holidays.

We try to have City breaks during the year instead, weekends to Dublin, London etc which my son really enjoys, its very rarely he is off school anyway.

Just pointing out that work is a consideration for some peoples holiday choices, with the financial climate as it is I can't to pick and choose jobs as I could 10 or so years ago. So i have to suck it up. We do work damn hard though and my son has crappy treatment and procedures to go through so I'll be sticking to my guns we deserve a break away from it all as much as anyone else.

winterchunderland Thu 16-Jan-14 14:12:09

I think it's important to mention that the idea of going abroad as a right came about very recently during the time of budget air travel.

Those days have gone and environmentalist would argue it's not a bad thing. What's wrong with saving for a few years for a trip abroad and in the interim years have stay cation.

And as for the poster who talked about Disney as an educational school trip, I have never heard of any school trip to a theme park abroad. shock

I'm in Wales where there is no fine and the school seems pretty OK about children having time off for holidays in the early years as long as attendance is OK.
We have 2 weeks booked in June. DD is in reception.
I have no worries about her missing out as I view holidays as educational. It won't be 2 weeks lazing on the beach with a 2 and 5 yr old!

It will probably be the only year we do it though. Next year we won't, following year we're getting married and the year after we've saved enough to buy a caravan.

LadyInDisguise Thu 16-Jan-14 14:15:23

I personnaly think that the old system was too lenient but that the new one is too strict tbh!
No reason IMO to have anybody taking hols in the term time just because they can (and you know it's allowed to do so therefore we will) type if attitude.
On the other side these exceptional circumstances thing is .... Well not defined well enough that all school will give the same answer (some schools haven't introduced it yet!). It's creating big problems for me to go back to my own country and for my dcs to see their family. And I am not sure how stopping them from being fully bilingual and bicultural us a good thing in itself. Other people have mentioned before other specific circumstances (eg being able to table an NT child on hols away from their SN sibling which can only happen during term time so someone can look after said sibling. Ie giving respite to the child). But the wY the text is laid out, depending on the school the answer can easily be a NO.

So yes it was important to things back in place. Yes it was important to teach parents that school is important. But it looks like someone somewhere has decided to use a sledge hammer to crack a but tbh. And some children will be paying the price unfortunately.
Maybe the idea is that it doesn't matter because do many more will benefit ??

Wallison Thu 16-Jan-14 14:19:36

<<by making statements that disagree with other statements a counter argument is constructed - nothing personal. >>

You did get personal with numpty though - you said that she sounded angry and upset (code for 'irrational' and you know it) and also that she lacked a sense of perspective.

bassetfeet Thu 16-Jan-14 14:20:12

We always had a week in June in a caravan with our lads when in primary school. They made a holiday diary and wrote it up every night so they were getting spellings and writing practice. Collected stuff for nature tables and we all have such fabulous memories of those happy family times. The teaching staff were fine with it and both sons are in good jobs
It is cruel to deprive a child family time that is very precious and one week only.I am so angry on your behalf .

mummymeister Thu 16-Jan-14 14:21:23

There is a thread about this in chat. but just in case you don't go and read it my situation is that due to my job I cannot take time off in school holidays. Ever, for as long as I stay in this job. I have to work then and so do my team. I don't let them take time off in school holidays either. I therefore can only go on holiday in term time. this isn't about holidays abroad it is about a wet week in Wales in December. I am not alone lots of people due to their specific jobs or their employer not letting more than 1 person off at a time for example cant take holidays in school holiday time either. the blanket ban is bonkers. This law will make the price of holidays in school holiday weeks go up because now companies cannot sell holidays to families in May, June or Sept. so if you think that this is going to happen - dream on. This has nothing to do with how much a holiday costs me. I cannot take leave then. the discretion to grant it falls solely with head teachers - I know this Mr Gove wrote and told me so after numerous letters to him and my MP. H/T are shit scared of Ofsted because all absences have to be coded and if there are too many or too many under discretion they will ask why. anyone who thinks that this does not apply to them and their 1 day at the beginning of half term or 5 days to go for a special family holiday in Australia is in for a big surprise because it does. if you want to do something don't sign useless petitions telling holiday companies/private businesses they have to reduce their cost. lobby the govt to change this law. it criminalises parents.

Poppy67 Thu 16-Jan-14 14:22:04

What pees me off is how there is one rule for England and another for Wales and Scotland..... Id wales and Scotland don't have the fines then why should we.

Only1scoop Thu 16-Jan-14 14:23:20

Different countries maybe?

Hissy Thu 16-Jan-14 14:23:24

* Its a skiing holiday so children are learning a sport*


BerylStreep Thu 16-Jan-14 14:23:31

No fines in NI either.

Poppy67 Thu 16-Jan-14 14:24:33

Still the UK, or Great Britain.

LadyInDisguise Thu 16-Jan-14 14:25:49

The other issue is low attendance. In that case a child who happens to be ill quite about one year, as my niece was 2 years ago, could easily be getting into trouble because she had been away from school 3 times for a week at a time. How will you be able to tell if a child was actually or on hols? Some threads on here are already showing that some schools are coming out all guns blazing and telling people that they will have to pay a fine as it is clearly not a real illness.
Or the ones that tell parents they need to see a prof before they allow the child out of the school for a few hours for doctor/SALT etc appointment.

The role of the school is NOT to have a police role but to educate children. Unfortunately giving that sort of power to anybody can also lead to abuse if the system..,, the other way around.

mummymeister Thu 16-Jan-14 14:28:23

It isn't just about the fine. it is about it being a criminal offence. my DD is in year 9 several kids in her class are having 4 separate weeks out during term time through the school - 1 week in France, 1 week in Spain, 1 week skiing and 1 week outward bound but I cannot have 5 days out at the end of term without a fine. and why are these kids going on these 4 holidays in term time organised by the school? because they can afford it. why doesn't the "missed work that cant be caught up" or "take them out in school hols" apply to this. Oh yes that's right because it suits the school to do it in term time.

Worriedthistimearound Thu 16-Jan-14 14:30:35

I actually had a teaching student once whom I had taught in my nqt year. I remembered her well as she didn't start until October as she was in Florida with family for a month long trip if a lifetime (this was y5 so she must have been 10)

HT told me they took the first two wks every year as it fitted in better with her father's job. But this year they went for 4wks. Anyway, she talked fondly if that trip as an adult and she had obviously done very well educationally as had attended an excellent uni and was doing a pgce back locally. I think he'd experience probably cemented my views on it all. I doubt very much if the boy who was rarely in school and who was in regular but ineffectual contact with the EWO did anywhere near as well. (Hope I am wrong if course)

Bonsoir Thu 16-Jan-14 14:32:43

I agree that absence from school for holidays needs to be clamped down upon. I also think that school trips should not allowed in term time unless they are very specifically linked to course work and the curriculum, are cheap and accessible.

Worriedthistimearound Thu 16-Jan-14 14:38:45

Yet the government are doing nothing effective to target the real problem.
Why not come out and tell parents who don't bother sending their kids once a week/fortnight and are late most other days that they are feckless and irresponsible? They get reported to EWO and they are visited and given gentle coaxing and incentives etc but there's no heavy handedness as the EWOs I've spoken to say there's no point as it would just be ignored.

Coldlightofday Thu 16-Jan-14 14:39:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bonsoir Thu 16-Jan-14 14:40:36

There are lots of problems with schools.

Communicating clearly on the basics that should apply to everyone - school is obligatory and children must attend every day unless they are ill - is a good start.

nickymanchester Thu 16-Jan-14 14:43:07

its only been in recent years this obsession with taking children on holiday in school time. I'm not that ancient (37) and remember one child going on holiday in school time it was not normal thing to do and everyone went on holiday in the school holidays

As a few other people have already said, this is my recollection as well.

However, I would say that it is not just recently that prices have shot up - they've always been like that. Growing up I certainly never had a holiday abroad and my parents wouldn't even have considered taking us out of school.

Holidays for us were a week at Butlins. The first time I ever had a holiday abroad was after A levels when we drove to northern France and spent two weeks in a little gite.

Bonsoir Thu 16-Jan-14 14:45:52

People take far more holidays these days than they did in the past, hence the issues surrounding availability. We live in the era of mass tourism...

On the one hand parents want cheap wrap around care and holiday care so they can work and on the other they want to be able to take their DC out of school when it suits their place of work/budget to go on holiday.

Worriedthistimearound Thu 16-Jan-14 14:50:25

Bonsoir, that's all well and good but the parents I'm referring to font really care about the overall ethos of school. It's like the elephant in the room. Everyone knows this is the biggest cause of low attendance and poor attainment yet it's expensive and politically sensitive to tackle so we place an outright ban on holidays to try and claw back a little in the attendance stakes. Just so government can say how much they've managed improve attendance figures.

Worriedthistimearound Thu 16-Jan-14 14:53:51

I think talking about holidays abroad confuses the issue. Many parents taken children out during term time are staying in the uk.

Lucylouby Thu 16-Jan-14 14:57:15

At our school it is acceptable for the school to be closed and not providing my children an education because the school is used as a polling station. This happens most years for a day in may. I have decided to take my children out of school for the other four days that week to go away. If its ok for them to shut the school without a good reason (I don't class polling as a good reason, they should provide somewhere else for that purpose) it's ok for me to remove my children from school for a holiday. And even if they fine me I have still saved more from lower prices in term time than going in school holidays.

mummymeister Thu 16-Jan-14 14:57:19

well put worried. so here we have a problem - feckless and irresponsible parents keeping their kids off one day a week/turning up late - and the solution is to stop everyone having time off in school term time even if their job means that they have no option. and the feckless parents? oh yes that's right they are just carrying on but overall the figures look better on attendance so it must have worked mustn't it. Why aren't EWO taking a tougher line. why do we tiptoe around these issues. missing 1 day a week or a couple of lessons a week will have a huge impact on learning. missing 2 or 3 days in July wont have anything like the same impact. not sledgehammer and nut but manipulation of the facts.

mummymeister Thu 16-Jan-14 14:58:48

Lucylouby - it isn't about the fine its about it being an offence. you will be made a criminal for doing this. if it were just the fine I would still be cross but this makes me furious that it is an offence.

DuskAndShiver Thu 16-Jan-14 15:06:19

It's really insulting that capitalism is otherwise so generally unregulated - let the market decide - and there are so many cases where regulation is genuinely needed and strongly resisted, like:

decent minimum wage
housing costs and obligations upon landlords
privatisation and contracting out of every fucking thing in sight
etc etc etc

And yet this is a massive glaring exception. So incredibly insulting.

It's not just about tourism. we live in an increasingly globalised world with friends and family all over the place (as decreed by the free market of course, most people have moved for economic reasons if they are far from their place of origin), so to attend a wedding on a Saturday might require time off school if it is in another country. It is bizarre and unreasonable that making decisions like this is no longer considered to be within the parents' control, and as pointed out upthread, the penalty will hit some much harder than others.

Coldlightofday Thu 16-Jan-14 15:22:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

My dS is in first grade in the states. They seem to have a sensible attitude to this. There are so many days required attendance to enable the child to pass the grade, if they don't attend they don't progress. I can't remember the amount, but say it's 80% attendance, leaving it at parental discretion if they take dc out for holidays or save them in case of medical issues.

If they're late to school 5 times, they get an absence, and I think 5 absences, ie unexplained, triggers investigations.

As an aside, the posters saying refund taxpayers who fund the schools, if your child is out of school on vacation, parents are taxpayers!! On the whole, so that seems a non issue.

I think the government needs to stop babying people and being so rigid, set parameters where they can manage their child's attendance within reason to suit the family. We all have different things going on in our lives, a cookie cutter approach doesn't work for all.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 16:16:54

wallison - thank you SO much.

coldlight i assure my child does not need additional support from primary school teachers because i have a mental health condition and i don't like your implication that he will do because somehow if mother's teeter on the edge of depression their children will ultimately need the likes of a primary school teacher to support confused

many people have mental health conditions and do not allow them to impact on their children or get to the stage of being likely to. some of them may do that by taking a few days off of the end of the term to get away for a much needed holiday that they know will do the world of good. it doesn't mean you need to have the social workers on stand by.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 16:18:30

and you are another demonstrating why i would not go and tell the school about my private business.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 16:20:12

in reality it is me who has had to give my son tonnes of extra support some years and make an effort to put even more than usual into educating him because he's been lumbered with such a poor teacher.

Floggingmolly Thu 16-Jan-14 16:22:34

Numpty, as a (presumably currently employed) teacher; why did you need tiggy to explain to you how SAT's work?

LadyInDisguise Thu 16-Jan-14 16:28:24

I would be much happier with a system that tells exactly what us ok and not ok to do than leaving at the discretion if the HT.
Atm there is too much variable from one school tithe next that the system can be deemed fair.

At my dcs school they have agreed for my dcs to be awY out of school for a day. Mainly I think because they both gave 100%attendance so far.
But that is rarely talked about. That if your child ism ever I'll then it is ok to take them out for one day whereas if they had been loosing quite a few days then it's not.
I have yet to see to the limit when school can say yes it's ok compare to No it's not.
The ack of transparency us confused and hmm

Euthah Thu 16-Jan-14 16:29:13

Clearly the policy is flawed because it leads to illogical decisions.

Headteachers do still have discretion to grant term-time leave.

The Education Act still says that children must be educated in full time school "or otherwise" - this is not defined, so my interpretation is that if the child is always learning there is no legal reason they have to go to school - hence flexi schooling is legal. Nowhere does it say that flexi-schooling has to be agreed with anyone beforehand.

A few posters have mentioned that it's disruptive to the rest of the class when pupils return because they will take up the teachers time in catching up - but there will be some students for whom this is not the case because they are ahead of their peers. Should those pupils be allowed out?

sofuckedup Thu 16-Jan-14 16:29:38

no one said school was the enemy

MarmaladeBatkins Thu 16-Jan-14 16:34:16

I'm confused that DS's teacher has had today off to go to some choir competition... hmm

mummymeister Thu 16-Jan-14 16:39:14

sof the school isn't the enemy but this will start to cause problems. imagine 2 kids in different schools. you apply for leave and one head grants the other doesn't. what then? Mr gove is making the head the enemy because he is saying in the law it is solely up to them. He has made a stupid law that he is now expecting someone else to enforce and take the crap for. hardly fair. my children aren't educated free of charge. the state aren't doing me a favour by doing it. I pay for it through my taxes and am a net tax payer. don't I then have a right to expect it to be fair? Its a partnership or at least it always used to be. why should I play a full part in the life of the school through the PTA when the school refuses my kids leave? i feel embittered by it. I have no problem with laws that aren't manifestly stupid. huge numbers of parents have no idea about this. it is just starting to be raised.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 16:43:38

flogginmolly - i am a secondary teacher and the last i knew parents were still able to withdraw their children from sats. i cannot actually believe that it would be legal now for a school expressly ignore the instructions of parents and force them to sit them against the parents expressed written wishes.

if it is i'm even more convinced the world has gone mad.

UriGeller Thu 16-Jan-14 16:44:01

Roundabout £500 a few years ago for ds1 to visit France including Eurodisney when he was 15.

We have a place in France. He was translating for the teachers!

LadyInDisguise Thu 16-Jan-14 16:44:30

I also suspect that school with a not too bad but could've better attendance level will be stricter than the ones where attendance levels are ok.
And that the ones aiming for outstanding with OFSTRF will be harsher as they would have to explain why so many days out are allowed under exceptional circumstances.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 16:44:42

who said the school was the enemy? schools don't write laws and legislation as far as i'm aware. might be more of that god complex going on.

LadyInDisguise Thu 16-Jan-14 16:47:39

Euthat does it mean that in essence I could plum out my dcs from school for 2 weeks on the ground they are going to be taught in a different way, at home, and my family home so it's not an absence anymore but education out if school and flexi schooling?
Would that also mean they would keep their place at that school?

Gossipmonster Thu 16-Jan-14 16:50:04

Unlikely the LA actually will if your DC usually have good attendance - they can't afford to!

sofuckedup Thu 16-Jan-14 16:51:58

I just take mine out, always have always will, I more than anyone understand the impact of government cut backs and how little this ruling is because they care about children.

Where are the sure start centres, etc, gone, where are the social workers and play workers, gone, I will never blame the head, in fact I feel sorry for him, he is a lovely man with his hands effectively tied, but nor will I pander to this ridiculous criminalisation of the masses, when the current government in increasing pressure on exactly the sorts of families who need help and support the most.

Our local EWO, who I personally contact for advice, when my DC was school refusing (traumatised) actually suggested I got in the car and pretended I was leaving them home alone.

Where was the support DC needed, nowhere, there was and is no help so I will parent my child in the way I see best and not some ridiculous bureaucratic pen pusher who has never met them.

But even before this I believed that special magical time that comes from a holiday and suspension of day to day living as a family, far outweighs any educational benefit small children get from 10 days in school.

They are children, babies really at 3 - when attendance starts to be monitored. The most important person to them should be their mother and father.

Time will come when they have to live their lives by a rigid set of rules, but not when they are children who deserve a childhood.

I am actually removing mine from school for the summer term so we can home ed without them being the schools responsibility - I think they will learn more rampaging through the woods, the fields and the beaches, splashing in rock pools and having the time of their lives then they will in an over filled classroom.

That said my preferred option would be flexi schooling - this was a legal option, but the government have effectively removed this flexibility from a head by forcing them to change codes and have it affect their attendance figures.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 16:52:28

it doesn't mean the school wouldn't withdraw their place or fine you ladyindisguise but it does mean that their doing so is on very shaky ground legally. sending children to school is not compulsory in law. but if they are going ahead with fining adults for going on holiday i daresay they have long lost respect for what is actually legally sound.

tiggytape Thu 16-Jan-14 16:55:06

i cannot actually believe that it would be legal now for a school expressly ignore the instructions of parents and force them to sit them against the parents expressed written wishes.

Schools have a statutory (legal) obligation to ensure all eligible pupils sit the SATS. They must do this by law.
The reason for this is obvious - a data collecting exercise would be pointless if schools just chose which pupils to enter and which ones to leave out!

Parents don't have a legal duty to make pupils sits SATS as such but indirectly they do. Parents must ensure a child enrolled at school attends regularly and, when they attend, schools have a legal duty to make them do statutory assessments such as SATS. If a child misses SATS exams they can now be set much later than a few years ago when the deadlines were much tighter

Of course this doesn't apply at secondary school because there are no statutory SATS in Year 9 and haven’t' been for some time. It is just Year 2 and Year 6

Coldlightofday Thu 16-Jan-14 16:57:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

motheroftwoboys Thu 16-Jan-14 17:02:16

Apologies if this has been mentioned - long thread - but those of us who work in schools can't take term-time holidays either so we have to pay the inflated costs just the same. What would happen if teachers were all allowed to take term-time holidays?

Coldlightofday Thu 16-Jan-14 17:07:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 17:09:02

i found what you said offensive. it didn't make me resentful and angry. gosh all this foisting emotions on people.

you made assumptions and felt able to talk to me as if i was a special case or something and my son was in some way at risk of needing your special attention. that's why i would choose not to talk to the school unless it was essential to do so.

mummymeister Thu 16-Jan-14 17:09:43

motheroftwo - and those of us who work in other industries like mine cannot take time off in school holidays ever. so what would you suggest. people in my job shouldn't have kids. or perhaps my family should just go on holiday in school holidays without me. its not about cost for goodness sake. its about the same thing you are under. you cant take holidays in term time, I cant take holidays in school holidays. I used to be able to do it with negotiation now I cant.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 17:11:26

i need to find out the actual legal facts about sats. i cannot believe that a school can make the child do things that they have written to the school to tell them they don't want done. parents can withdraw from rs, sex education and all sorts and have the legal right to do so yet you're telling me a school can literally force examinations against a parents consent? i don't buy it. i think it's enough way of making parents believe they have no power when in reality they do have the power of that decision.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 17:12:54

enough? i meant another sorry. wiped up from hauling beds upstairs on my day off

mummymeister Thu 16-Jan-14 17:13:34

Numpty - don't make the mistake of thinking you have the power when it comes to your kids any more. you have all the responsibility but none of the power. its been subtly changing for years. this is just another brick in the wall.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 17:16:06

what is that poster actually saying though mummy? that she'd tie a resisting 7yo to their desk and force them to do their sats against their will? grin ridiculous delusions.

NumptyNameChange Thu 16-Jan-14 17:17:27

there are kids assaulting other children, kids swearing at teachers, disrupting their classmates day in day out and exposing them to awful behaviour and language but the concern is those naughty parents who want to go on holiday or not comply with sats?! hm'ok.

mummymeister Thu 16-Jan-14 17:17:41

no numpty that they would fine you for not sending your child into school and making them do sats because sats as we all know are the most important things in the school calendar and aren't just a paper exercise where year 6 kids spend the first 2 terms being taught to a test and not learning anything else of any use.

Coldlightofday Thu 16-Jan-14 17:25:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

candycoatedwaterdrops Thu 16-Jan-14 17:49:55

Oh FFS - people who can afford a holiday calling themselves 'the poor'! grin

Worriedthistimearound Thu 16-Jan-14 17:59:07

SATs are one of the top 3 reasons I chose independent schooling for my children. I taught in state schools both primary and secondary for many years and they are nothing other than a barometer for ofsted to measure schools by. Which is fine in itself but why should my chf ten bd subjected to sats practice day in, day out from feb half term until may?

Worriedthistimearound Thu 16-Jan-14 18:00:54

Children be subjected that should say

tiggytape Thu 16-Jan-14 18:03:10

you're telling me a school can literally force examinations against a parents consent? i don't buy it.

Yes - that is exactly correct and that is the legal position.

The school has a legal duty to make sure every eligible child is entered for SATS. That is a statutory obligation on the school which means it has the force of law.

There is no parental right to withdraw a child. There is no option to decide not to let a child sit the SATS. Of course a parent who feels stronglt can opt out of state education entirely or for the years SATS are an issue but there is nothing a parent of an eligible child can do to prevent them taking SATS if enrolled in a state school.

DownstairsMixUp Thu 16-Jan-14 18:03:39

Oh FFS at people thinking those who can afford to go to butlins/haven or something but only in half term MUST be loaded and therefore should wait till the school holidays... :/

DownstairsMixUp Thu 16-Jan-14 18:05:42

mummymeister I said that above, no one has replied. There's a lot of jobs you can't take half terms off or it's hard to as many others book the same holidays as they have kids. Apparently we knew this when we took the jobs so we are forbidden from ever having holidays with our children. HTH. grin

Ubik1 Thu 16-Jan-14 18:06:34

'poor people' do go on holiday

Perhaps this is something else IDS should put a stop to.

on behalf of the taxpayer

Ubik1 Thu 16-Jan-14 18:07:10

Downstairs grin

DownstairsMixUp Thu 16-Jan-14 18:12:24

I went to Southend to stay in my grandad's caravan Ubik when my Dad lost his job after my Mum walked out. and in the half term We were clearly rolling in dosh though. Can't get better than sarrfend on sea. smile

DownstairsMixUp Thu 16-Jan-14 18:13:39

Sorry I meant term time. I failed all my GCSE's, SAT's and fell so behind in school I ended up busking on the end of my street to earn cash.

42andcounting Thu 16-Jan-14 18:30:23

I'm going to try again now my phone's not playing up. .. to pick up on fortydoors point, the reason for the military "exceptional circumstances" is not respect for the job, it's to allow parents to spend time with their children when returning from deployment (which can mean they have been away for up to two years). In this case clearly they don't have the choice to do it only in school holidays.

JustGettingOnWithIt Thu 16-Jan-14 18:30:46

home schooling is not an option for single parents unless they are independently wealthy.

That's just not true.
Pisspot poor home educating LP here, and I know a fair few others.

3 of my DGC’s are also being home ed by a LP on a low income.

It's all a question of what you value most. We value education, educational outcomes, family happiness, and freedom, more than we value a lot of things others may put higher.

Dahlen Thu 16-Jan-14 18:33:36

JustGettingOnWithIt - how do you/they manage that? I often wondered about home edding, but dismissed it partly because no way could I afford tutors.

JustGettingOnWithIt Thu 16-Jan-14 18:50:11

You don't need tutors. I can't speak for the autonomous home edder's but for the structured, and semi structured, you need the ability to understand what learning is, the ability to understand the difference between an education and an exam syllabus, the ability to research, the ability to plan, and the ability to be prepared to look as stupid as it takes going out and finding out, if the subject matter is something you have absolutely no previous understanding of.

You also need to have the basic presence of mind to work out when exams will be, find out the costs, and do very basic maths to work out how much a week to put by for them.

TiffanyAtBreakfast Thu 16-Jan-14 18:55:10

I feel like people have recently decided that holidays are some sort of human right. It's lovely to go, but if you can't go in term time it's just tough! Nothing will happen if you don't go on holiday.

Sorry but this has been bugging me for a while!

Euthah Thu 16-Jan-14 18:57:25

TiffanyAtBreakfast similarly, nothing will happen that's to the detriment of the child's education if you do miss a week or two every few years.

What's your point?

hamptoncourt Thu 16-Jan-14 18:58:11

My kids went to a c of e junior school and the head actually permanently excluded two siblings because the parents kept taking them out of school in term time.
He warned them he would do it if they persistently did this and the mother went straight out and booked two weeks in Fuerteventura.
Such a shame for the kids to have such pratts as parents.
If you don't want to pay the fine don't take your DC out of school in term time. I don't know why parents think it is OK to do this. If you can't afford to go in school holidays then you can't go or you adjust your holiday to suit the budget you have.

Dahlen Thu 16-Jan-14 18:58:41

What about time? Presumably you don't need the same amount of time as a full-length school day because of the lack of other children. How long would you say is an average learning day?

As a lone parent I have to work, so I'd have to fit it in teaching around that. Which I'm happy to do if DC have an alternative lifestyle (e.g. later nights because they don't have to get up to go to school), but I'd still have to pay for childcare while I'm at work, which is where it gets prohibitive for me. sad

mummymeister Thu 16-Jan-14 19:00:57

downstairs - shame on your parents for allowing you to miss that one week of school and now you are busking. how dare they show some sensitivity to the crap that was going on in your personal life. next you are going to tell me that they were the sort of rubbish parents who cared about your homework and made you go to school every day. That week off - its just the slippery slope isn't it. its not about the money its about the principle. I am the parent. I do everything right. I don't break the law. I send them to school in the right uniform - no order marks between them for bad behaviour. they work hard. I go to the PTA. I make bloody cakes to sell for next to nothing. I help out at the prom. I volunteer. I go to every bloody concert, speech day you name it. why? because I thought educating my children was a partnership. well it isn't is it so that's the end of my involvement with their schools.

mummymeister Thu 16-Jan-14 19:04:44

Argghhhhh Hampton Court and Tiffany. read the thread. I will say it again. I cannot ever take holidays in school holidays. I can only take them in term time. it isn't about the cost its about the job that I do. neither can my team take time off. of course its a bloody human right to spend time with your family. Neither of you ever go on holiday then. ever. not even a weekend (when incidentally I also have to work as the schools are also closed then as well) what bugs me is people thinking we all live in the same little world with the same little jobs and we can all conform. well we cant. it isn't about the bloody fine. its a criminal offence. just like speeding. just like stealing.

hamptoncourt Thu 16-Jan-14 19:24:08

mummymeister I think it is very strange for someone who considers it a "human right" to have holidays with their DC to take a job that does not allow them time off in school holidays.
Just sayin'.

mummymeister Thu 16-Jan-14 19:33:09

hamptoncourt - hmm take a job. no I am self employed run my own business and employ other people. under the old rules I could take my children out with mutual consent. circumstances have changed. taking a holiday is not a human right spending time with your family is. perhaps I just ought to sack all of my staff, sell my business and go on the dole. then I could take them out in school holidays. be reasonable Hampton. there are loads of people in work where they cant take school hols or there is an office lottery for holidays.

Euthah Thu 16-Jan-14 19:35:12

The new rules say you can take your kids out with consent, mummymeister.

DownstairsMixUp Thu 16-Jan-14 19:35:43

Pahaha mummymeister I blame my Dad for everything now. DAMN him and taking me on holidays once a year. If it wasn't for that I would of been a consultant or something by now. hmm

hampton yawn. i have already said that. Not all of us have a CHOICE. Unless you have no knowledge, there are more unemployed people than jobs at the moment, yet alone people who want to switch careers applying. It's tough. And for some people, jobs like caring, are a passion, and they are the sort of people we need in them jobs. You often get restricted when you can take holidays then to and that's that. Some people work in retail because they have no other choice. To make it sound as easy as you do is quite frankly ridiculous. Wouldn't we all love a job where we could work 9-3, monday to friday, weekends off, no bank holiday work and NO restrictions on when we take annual leave? I sometimes think people live on another planet to me I really do.

DownstairsMixUp Thu 16-Jan-14 19:41:11

Oh yes I can't go because the school dictates what I do with the child i pushed out my vagina. hmm Good luck with them getting any money off me if they try to fine me.

JustGettingOnWithIt Thu 16-Jan-14 19:44:07

Dahlen there's many ways of doing things. You’re looking at it as a school model in your home, and that’s not what most do as it’s generally not a good thing.

Most home edders don't 'teach,' ie pour their expert knowledge into an empty jug, they 'facilitate learning', and there really is a huge difference, because done right the children are actively learning for themselves because they want to, and enjoying it. Which means the parent doesn't necessarily have to be present for all of it. When you are, you're directing, steering, seeding, linking, listening, and expanding, generally. A much smaller part of the time is spent actively teaching, and autonomous home edders spend no time teaching.

Hence it’s a bit hard to answer how long’s a learning day, plus age and stage come in.

But yes you can do massively more in smaller amounts of time, because without knocking them, schools are actually a very inefficient use of children’s time.

Home edders are very good at reciprocal arrangements, (and sharing stuff!) others use registered home edding childminders, or ones sympathetic to HE. (some get help with childcare costs just as working parents with children using schools do) Others choose to change their work patterns or work, or become self-employed.
Go check out the home ed boards about what it can look like because there's lots of solutions.

candycoatedwaterdrops Thu 16-Jan-14 19:44:24

I'm not saying poor people shouldn't go on holiday but bleating on about how poor you are while discussing holidays does not make my heart bleed for you.

sofuckedup Thu 16-Jan-14 19:46:04

to be fair I've looked in home education and partly because of location - my view is it is an expensive way to educate - it can be done cheaply but you do need to buy in a lot the school provides as they get older

Thetallesttower Thu 16-Jan-14 19:48:39

I feel like people have recently decided that holidays are some sort of human right.

We go away to see family not on holiday, as I said, I'd rather not holiday with my husband's family as it is not a holiday but that's what happens when you have international families or UK people disperse around the world. The right to family life is a right upheld by the European Court of Human Rights, I can't be bothered to take them to court to uphold it, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time before somebody does.

And, please don't say, there are 13 weeks to take them. If I could afford to visit in those 13 weeks I would not be so pissed off with the new legal interpretation and fines. You will notice most countries around the globe don't place these restrictions on travel even though, like the US, they are full of immigrants from all around the world who want to see their families.

DownstairsMixUp Thu 16-Jan-14 19:48:43

Well my holiday when I was a kid apart from some 2's to put in the machines at southend, petrol money to get away (which was only 20 miles from home anyway) pretty much cost my Dad nothing. I can tell you, we were struggling all the time. Infact, even most of the food my Grandad left us in the van for the week we stayed. Some people will even just go camping for a holiday but again, they might need to take it in term time as job doesn't allow them to do it in term time. Not all of us are blessed with these amazing jobs I keep hearing about on here that let you book off whatever time you like either.

DownstairsMixUp Thu 16-Jan-14 19:53:21

thetallest no sorry

you can't go even if it's to see family
you can't go if you have a job that doesn't allow you to take term time off (just get another job people, there are tons about you lazy arses)
You can't go if your a low income family either as just accept your poor you lazy feckers, poor people aren't entitled to holidays, don't you know?
A holiday isn't a right, let's make sure we get that in one more time in this thread.

mummymeister Thu 16-Jan-14 19:55:59

Euthah - "which is only given in exceptional circumstances and this would not normally include holidays except for the armed services and religious exemption"

Euthah Thu 16-Jan-14 19:56:47

"not normally", mummymeister.

mummymeister Thu 16-Jan-14 20:01:48

euthah. please have a look at the new law as it is written. I am sorry I shouldnt have paraphrased. Here is the Dept for Educations advice copied from their website

"...Headteachers have the discretion to grant leave, but they should only do so in exceptional circumstances. If a headteacher grants a leave request, it will be for them to determine the length of time that the child can be away from school. This leave is unlikely, however, to be granted for the purposes of a family holiday..."

Head teachers have been told very very clearly by LEA's not to give time off for holidays. there have been threads on MN and unless they are lying these threads are saying people cant get time off for funerals of family members or to take a day off to remember a parent on the anniversary of their death. try it. go into your kids school tomorrow and ask for a couple of days off. If there was some common sense about it there wouldn't be a thread like this but there isn't.

Charley50 Thu 16-Jan-14 20:02:51

We can't all afford to take them abroad in the school hols; I think the fine is totally unfair and biased against poorer people. Yes it's nice to go camping some years but I really want to take my DC's on a long haul holiday tropical somewhere. The fine is totally ridiculous and typical of this shit government.

JustGettingOnWithIt Thu 16-Jan-14 20:04:30

Sofuckedup I'm not on here trying to convert people to home ed, but because it keeps being thrown up as accept whatever the state system says or home ed, I was initially rebutting a misunderstanding about a home being a classroom, and a later 'it's impossible because.'
But I have to say as one dc here is at A level taking six of them and two other qualifications, while it means making sacrifices it's certainly not impossible to do on a low budget. We do. The better your location, connections, and finances, the easier it can be, the same as everything in life, but few things are impossible.

ForalltheSaints Thu 16-Jan-14 20:05:06

I would have a bit of sympathy if you were going to visit an elderly relative a distance away who was unable to travel to you, but not otherwise. What we should be campaigning for is some staggering of school holidays, so that perhaps Yorkshire had one week for half term and Derbyshire the next, and not all the same weeks in the summer.

DownstairsMixUp Thu 16-Jan-14 20:05:11

Charley, according to some dickheads people on this thread, if you can't afford to go on holiday with your children in term time, you don't deserve to go.

sofuckedup Thu 16-Jan-14 20:09:50

yes sorry I meant my location makes it expensive I have to factor in £15 petrol to get to a group, although there are local groups springing up everywhere and it is tempting me more and more as I grow more disillusioned with the governments attempts to turn our children into clones at a younger and younger age.

BarbarianMum Thu 16-Jan-14 20:11:47

Yeah, because "a long haul holiday tropical somewhere" is an inalienable human right. hmm

Worriedthistimearound Thu 16-Jan-14 20:15:55

It's still an expensive option though, is it not? I mean if it means you can't work yourself.
Can I ask (genuine question not a dig) If what you do is facilitate learning rather than formally teach, do the children learn formal stuff that requires learning by rote such as times tables? I'm fascinated by home ed but couldn't do it myself. Plus my older 2 fight constantly and would probably kill each other if they had to spend all day together too. 1 to1 I could probably have done esp with ds1 as he was an inquisitive little sponge but no way with ds2 who is both super bright and super wild. doing it with 4 would do me in though! grin

Feenie Thu 16-Jan-14 20:16:16

flogginmolly - i am a secondary teacher and the last i knew parents were still able to withdraw their children from sats. i cannot actually believe that it would be legal now for a school expressly ignore the instructions of parents and force them to sit them against the parents expressed written wishes.

Parents have never, ever had the legal right to withdraw their children from SATs.

DownstairsMixUp Thu 16-Jan-14 20:16:53

Omg if I hear this human right shit one more time I'll blow my top.

When I had my child, I had him to bring him up with my choices and what I want to do with him. I will not fucking let some idiots tell me my child wil suffer if he has a holiday because quite frankly, it is bullshit and you know what, if some people feel it's their right, then that's their opinion and quite frankly, it's no one's business. People just make it theirs.

Also basically, I could potentially never have a holiday with my son because the school tells me no? Don't think so. I'll probably never earn a good wage, even in my chosen field, the job I love, it's bad pay and I'd have to wait till he was what, 16 when he left school or he was old enough to pay for himself, by this point, he probably won't give a shit about going on holiday with his Mum (just like I didn't by that age) If your so rich you can afford holidays in the term time, good for you. Your life must be so amazing. hmm not all of us have that luxury. Stop banging on about human rights it's fricking boring.

JustGettingOnWithIt Thu 16-Jan-14 20:20:20

Sofuckedup more and more people are feeling the same way. This isn't about holidays etc, it's about who should decide what's in who's children's best interests, and why.

ladypete Thu 16-Jan-14 20:20:49

Surely don't take them out of school? I dont understand all this term time holidaying.

It's a shame that some families can't get time off together in august, but there are also people in some professions who will never get a Christmas Day at home for example, and lots of other things which aren't necessarily "fair". It really isn't a right.

hamptoncourt Thu 16-Jan-14 20:32:40

Far too much entitlement on this thread for me. I am off smile

Worriedthistimearound Thu 16-Jan-14 20:39:45

Fine for everyone to say tough, get over it but, it really is utter nonsense to say that one week out of primary school in early/mid July, say, is seriously detrimental to a child's overall education and a serious hindrance to achievement.

The reason behind this policy is political. Agree/disagree at your leisure but nobody should be fooled into thinking the government have done this to protect the education of the these children.

Tiredemma Thu 16-Jan-14 20:43:15

The reason behind this policy is political. Agree/disagree at your leisure but nobody should be fooled into thinking the government have done this to protect the education of the these children.

Its a way of local councils getting money. That is all.

teacherwith2kids Thu 16-Jan-14 20:50:54

"Yes it's nice to go camping some years but I really want to take my DC's on a long haul holiday tropical somewhere."

If you were saying 'I need to take my children in term time because I genuinely cannot afford to go ANYWHERE in the school holidays', I would have some sympathy. I have taught families in that situation, and have not begrudged the hours taken over the following weeks doing extra work with those children so that they can catch up.

I am never likely to be able to take my DCs on a long haul tropical holiday, ever. For obvious reasons, I am absolutely unable to take holidays in term time, and we cannot afford it in holiday time. That is 'normal'. That, IME, is what everyone does - they don't go on long haul holidays, ever, because they can't afford it. End of story - and I am terribly MC and live in an achingly MC area.

So I am not quite sure why the huge ranting that not being able to take long haul holidays in term time somehow infringes some right that everyone else is exercising but the government is intent ion depriving you of??

(IME, I can pick out the children who have taken term-time holidays in any term, just by looking at their attainment tracking. If a child takes a term-time holiday every year, then again IME that drop in attainment is cumulative. The only exception is, again IME, if a holiday is taken in the final 5 days of the summer term, as very little of educational value is done - though much of social value, which for some children is more important)

Coldlightofday Thu 16-Jan-14 20:53:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Coldlightofday Thu 16-Jan-14 20:54:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LadyInDisguise Thu 16-Jan-14 20:58:55

Having had a caht with my school, any request to go away on holiday is rejected. So you need to word it appropriately so it is accepted (even if you still do exactely the same thing).
So I am not going away on hols to <<Insert home contry>>. I am going on a trip to enable the dcs to see their family and be raised as bilingual and bicultural children.
You get the just of it.

Harder for mummy and the likes who can't go away on hols at all but it then gets a game on who will be able to word things the best way so the HT can't possibly refuse.

NB the school actually routinely allow children to be away during term time. Going to some competition with the school is clearly OK (swimming, football etc..) as is going to do a concert, a special tournament etc... But somehow it doesn't go under the 'exceptionally authorized absence' so it's OK hmm

teacherwith2kids Thu 16-Jan-14 20:59:12

Taking term-time holidays is, again IME, a 'creeping' thing. First time round, it's exceptional, a once-in-a-lifetime thing. Then ... well, it was great, we'd like another holiday ... so the same family takes the same couple of weeks off every year. Then it's perhaps an extra week in the winter, as well as the one in the summer.

A single week in a sngle school year, taken by a child with 100% attendance and at a sensible time of year and never repeated, has very little long-term impact on a child's education. However, once the 'creeping' has taken place and it's a couple of weeks at different points in the year, every year, and every child is doing that so there is ALWAYS someone who has to have extra attention - e.g. the TA who would otherwise be supporting the less able, or the more able, children within the class, or the teacher who would otherwise be spending their lunchtime running a choir or running a reading intervention or a G&*T group - to catch up with what they missed ... not only the education of the child away that week suiffers, but the education of all the children present in the class each week suffers too.

It is one of those irritating 'common good' rules, and I understand why it is now phrased in such an absolutist way, because once every parent believes that 2 weeks' term-time holiday every year is 'what we're allowed', then the disruption to all pupils is significant.

Bonsoir Thu 16-Jan-14 21:00:21

I agree with everything you wrote, teacherwith2kids. I am also stunned by the lack of respect for teachers that is shown by parents who think that they should be able to take their DC out of school for holidays during the school year.

JustGettingOnWithIt Thu 16-Jan-14 21:01:24

Worried but you can work! Most of us have to. It’s just how, when, what at. I’ve worked from home, worked self-employed, and worked nights to manage it.

Again I don't know about autonomous, but structured semi structured do yes, apart from one of mine who has systemising recall difficulties and failed to learn them either through school, home, or home ed, but he has learnt to sing the tables, now in his head, vey swiftly. It hasn't stopped him taking further maths.

The difference is usually how it's done. My (young) grandchildren are learning them as part of a family board game, where you have to successfully shout them out before an electronic ball (made by an older one as part of DT) burps, farts or yells at you. Get it wrong and another player hits a button that makes it do all of them. Because they don't have the concept that learning is somehow fraught with issues, it's no different to them than something like twister or buckeroo. We go up to 12s, plus timed by itself one. They play it along with monopoly, junior scrabble etc. They learnt the seven life processes and acronym MRS GREN playing an adapted form of grandmothers footsteps.

It’s interesting to see how very most different children’s behaviour is when they aren’t in the school system and either gearing up or gearing down, or collapsing after.

They don’t never fight or argue, but it’s a well observed phenomena which is why people have a de-schooling period if they come out of school into home ed. Hth.

DownstairsMixUp Thu 16-Jan-14 21:01:55

Oh my goddd, entitlement they are OUR kids. NOT THE GOVERNMENTS. Why are some people so happy to let them just tell you what to do with YOUR kids?! Lul at people who really think the government have done this to "protect the education of your children" yar, that's what our government do, look out for our best interests and stuff. Nothing to do with money. I to am off this thread as I cannot take the huge amount of brown nosing and DM type comments on here.

Coldlightofday Thu 16-Jan-14 21:02:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DownstairsMixUp Thu 16-Jan-14 21:03:03

Respect for teachers? Oh ffs. I am sure the teachers sit there crying their hearts out when a child is gone for two weeks out of a year.

Bonsoir Thu 16-Jan-14 21:03:43

Parents have to obey the law in respect of their DC and, strangely enough, those laws are put in place to help and protect DC (from their negligent parents... among other things).

LadyInDisguise Thu 16-Jan-14 21:03:56

teacher do you think it's the case if the child is taking a week before chrsitmas too when they mostly prepare for christmas show at the end of the year...Do you think you can also see a drop of attainment in children who have been ill for a week? What about the ones with a poor health who have been ill several time in the year?

Unless the children are repeatedly not going to school, they will just catch up after a few days/weeks.
Sayig that by taking a week off year after year will show up in their result is going too far. It would be like saying that a child who has a week off each year for ill health will never be able to do well...