Term-time absences banned by Gove? Have you heard anything?

(211 Posts)
FantasticDay Wed 12-Jun-13 13:43:22

Just that really. A colleagues had heard that all schools had received a letter from the Education Minister saying that term-time absences were not to be authorised. I wondered if any of school staff on here could confirm /deny? Cheers.

scaevola Wed 12-Jun-13 21:19:33

You have to abide by the law, which includes attendance, if yo go for state schooling. Which means other than (genuine) illness, agreed flexi-schooling, or authorised absence, your DC must attend.

If you don't want to be bound by that, don't use state schools. That's not OTT, it's the pragmatic solution for those who can't fit round term dates.

BoneyBackJefferson Wed 12-Jun-13 21:33:44

kayakaya
"A school simply provides a service"

Wow, really just Wow.

rabbitstew Wed 12-Jun-13 22:35:39

scaevola - I think you will find that parents who opt out of state education have to abide by the law, too. confused Not everyone does abide by the law, though, but by not abiding by the law, they are not excluded from anything offered by the state - in fact, I think you'll find our criminal justice system is currently provided by the state.

exoticfruits Wed 12-Jun-13 22:36:47

Just as well that kayakaya doesn't live in my area- the LEA don't see it her way!

exoticfruits Wed 12-Jun-13 22:37:48

I know at least one school that would fine her.

rabbitstew Wed 12-Jun-13 22:38:29

It's one thing fining a parent and another thing actually getting the money out of them.

Can I just shoehorn in here that the last week of term is not spent 'watching DVDs'? I know someone will say, 'Well at my dd's school they do.' That they might, but it a'int general practise. They don't do it where I work, nor where I worked previously.

rabbitstew Wed 12-Jun-13 22:42:07

As for the law, the law permits parents to take their children on holiday during term time in exceptional circumstances. The headteacher can decide what exceptional circumstances are. The result is, some parents in some schools can still take their children on holiday if the headteacher, having reviewed the reasons given for the holiday being taken during term time, the child's behaviour, attendance and achievement record, decides that a term time holiday would do them no harm and might even be beneficial in the circumstances, and in other schools, this would never be allowed.

And I know this, because I am sufficiently lowly that it would be me supervising the whole school in front of 'Tangled' and it's never happened yet.

DameSaggarmakersbottomknocker Wed 12-Jun-13 22:48:39

Kayakaya - The school don't 'provide a service'. If you register your child then you can't pick and choose when to send them. It's a criminal offence - failure to secure regular attendance at school of registered pupil.

That said the current DfE guidelines say that schools should not have a blanket ban and should consider all applications for leave on an individual basis.

wrongmove Wed 12-Jun-13 22:51:00

It's o.k though for schools to keep disabled children on part time hours for months or more without an education? hmm
It seems rather hypocritical to ban some absences but enforce them on some children when it suits.

OttilieKnackered Wed 12-Jun-13 22:52:51

I assume all the parents who see 'no harm' in taking their children out for a normal holiday would see no harm in the child's teacher doing the same. It's only one week in 13 years, right?

dollybird Wed 12-Jun-13 22:57:47

we haven't taken any time out during term time this year as DS had SATs but last year, having previously written virtually an essay about why we needed two days off tagged onto Feb half term and then discovering DS's friend's teacher mum regularly takes her DC out of school for a week at a time 'because it's her right to go on holiday when they want to', we simply wrote to the HT and said 'DS and DD will not be in school on X day as we will be returning from holiday over half term. No different really to phoning in sick when they never ask what's wrong or ask for a letter on return (although most my DC have been off sick for is 2 days).

We wouldn't generally have a term-time holiday simply because we don't have enough holiday to cover school holidays and weeks off in term time! The cost of additional holiday childcare would probably make up a lot of the difference in price of the holiday

BoneyBackJefferson Thu 13-Jun-13 06:27:21

"then discovering DS's friend's teacher mum regularly takes her DC out of school for a week at a time 'because it's her right to go on holiday when they want to'"

I would love to know where these teachers work, as I have never worked in a school where that would be allowed.

rubyrubyruby Thu 13-Jun-13 06:29:17

I had better get my form in quick then!

scaevola Thu 13-Jun-13 06:34:03

Yes, of course I know that home education is legal, that's why I recommend it to those who don't want to be fussed with term-times and other attendance issues.

It's not compulsory to use something just because the state provides it, and it will remain in place should people want to opt in later. It's nothing to do with whether people are criminals or not.

It is however to do with your ethos and priorities in family life. And if attendance is a low priority, and you see greater educational value out of a classroom rather than in it, then school-based lessons are not going to be a particularly suitable option.

rubyrubyruby Thu 13-Jun-13 06:35:58

I didn't read to end of thread so didn't realise this had turned into a bit of an argument so apologise for my flippant comment

Blueskiesandbuttercups Thu 13-Jun-13 06:48:15

It's utterly ridiculous and unfair.Holidays and experiences aren't a privilege they're hugely beneficial,educational and shouldn't just be the lot of rich kids eg Gove's,Cameron's kids.

Even camping now in the holidays is out of a lot of family's league.

Given that my kids seem to do sweet fa in the last few weeks at school there is no justification for the sledge hammer to crack a nut approach.The truants will still truant.

Will be signing whatever needs to be signed.

Growlithe Thu 13-Jun-13 07:03:20

Does anyone know if unauthorised absences on a child's record would affect the secondary school selection process? Genuine question BTW.

scaevola Thu 13-Jun-13 07:05:28

I doubt there is anything that can be done to change this. The legislation was passed in 2011.

The change to the verbiage really is very slight, and absences remain totally up to the HT's discretion. All that has been removed is the list of examples (that were often mistaken as entitlements).

There has been no change, even with this redraft, since 1996 to the actual entitlement, other than the introduction of fines (non-payment of which can lead to prison) by Labour in 2003.

exoticfruits Thu 13-Jun-13 07:06:20

Depends on how many you have Growlithe.
I don't think there has been a problem collecting the fines, rabbitstew.

scaevola Thu 13-Jun-13 07:06:26

Growlithe no, absence record isn't a permitted criteria for school entrance.

scaevola Thu 13-Jun-13 07:07:33

That's entrance to state secondaries: private schools can select on what they wish and can request you provide a reference including attendance.

exoticfruits Thu 13-Jun-13 07:07:58

The letter came from our LEA saying that it was no longer up to the HTs discretion. That was at least 4yrs ago.

TheDoctrineOfAllan Thu 13-Jun-13 07:16:04

Holiday prices are not inflated out of term time, they are reduced during term time.

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