Head Teachers Rights

(7 Posts)
CarrieMe Mon 09-Sep-13 10:23:36

My DS' head teacher has just said that he can refuse to physically release a child from school to parents if he hasn't granted permission for the absence. This stems from the last Friday of summer term when I wanted to collect DS 1.5 hours early to collect DH from airport. The head opened the door 2 inches while he lectured me and decided if we could go. Bearing in mind DS had 2 half days off all year I felt this was heavy handed so asked for a meeting today to discuss. He maintains he can refuse to release my child to me in school hours. Is this true??? Although I have no future plans to collect him early it makes me uncomfortable being told I could physically be prevented from having my child :-(

tiggytape Mon 09-Sep-13 10:51:07

That all sounds very stressful and very acrimonious. Can you not sort out holiday arrangements with the school before it gets to a battle of wills through 2 inches of open doorway?
Did you ask for permission for the time away from school?

There are no specific rights that says a Head can refuse to release a child to a parent (assuming no legal restrictions are in place about you having access to your child) but the Head can ban you from the school grounds if they wanted to which would make it difficult I suppose.

To be honest though it shouldn’t boil down to whether you have a legal right to go into school and pull your child out or whether the Head has a legal right to keep you away, any holiday issues shouldn’t lead to a tug of war on the day of the holiday.

You should ask permission for time off school and if it is refused take the consequences which would be a fine and the possibility that the school won’t allow you to come in early to collect but you’ll have to keep your child off the whole day. It all sounds a bit of an overreaction on both sides.

CarrieMe Mon 09-Sep-13 10:56:25

I did ask the class teacher and she was fine with it - she told me to let him register after lunch so it didn't count as an absence and then come get him... I didn't think to make a fuss before hand as it was just an hour and a half off on a Friday afternoon.

I hadn't anticipated him making such a big deal of it but unfortunately telling me he will decide if I can have my child or not has somewhat peeved me!!! I think it's a grand claim to be able to prevent a parent from collecting their child - I just wanted to know if it's true...

tiggytape Mon 09-Sep-13 11:19:02

In that case it sounds like the teacher was to blame for perhaps not sticking to the school guidelines and giving you duff advice but it was you not her who got the telling off from the Head.

I suggest at the meeting you tell him what was agreed - it is hardly your fault if the teacher doesn't back up the Head or the Head overrules his staff. In future though, you do have to ask permission in writing for time off - even if your child wouldn't miss registration - it is all much stricter about term time holidays now. It isn't up to the class teacher to make this decision - she doesn't have the authority to do that.

The Head can decide not to grant you permission to take your child out of school. You can decide to ignore this and keep him off that day.
He can decide not to allow you on the premises but that would be drastic and unlikely. Just as it would be drastic and unlikely for you to drag your child out physically if the school had refused permission for the time off.
So if his grand claim is that he has the power to prevent you entering the school so you couldn't get your child then that is true but in reality this isn't going to happen any more than you are going to storm the school to drag DS out.

CarrieMe Mon 09-Sep-13 11:38:19

Thanks tiggytape - I'm a usually supportive parent (school trips/sewing costumes etc) so just didn't appreciate the tone from him. Unfortunately I think there are 2 types of teachers; those who feel strongly about educating kids and those who feel strongly about hearing the sound of their own voice. It appears he may fall into the second category. I don't anticipate any future issues but quite fancy my chances as he's 5'2 and 7 stone wet through! :-)

daftdame Mon 09-Sep-13 11:47:35

I wouldn't take it personally. Forget about it. Sounds like he was having a rant. If he's like that over this (quite small incidence) he probably will get the opportunity to rant a lot. Thus he will probably forget the details.

At the same time check the school's policy. Children leave early for all sorts of reasons, appointments etc, they should outline the correct procedure - & he didn't refuse in the end....

clam Mon 09-Sep-13 21:58:58

Sounds all a bit unnecessary. But actually, the teacher was out of line telling you to come and get him after registration.
My Head would go berserk if one of us did that. All such things have to go through the office.

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