Leave of absence denied for school open day

(35 Posts)
poshfrock Wed 29-Jan-14 16:20:03

My DD is in Y5 so looking to apply for secondary places in the autumn. Starting to look at schools and the one we really like is a local grammar. It only has open days during school hours, not at weekends or in the evenings ( which is annoying in itself as I and DH both work FT) . So I requested a half day of absence for DD ( she will be back at school by lunchtime) and it has been denied. School apologized and said they knew the situation was ridiculous but a school open day does not fit the criteria for authorized leave. I called the school in question and they said they were aware of the issue but nothing they could do. I suggested having open evenings might be a solution ( which the other local schools do).

Of course the school we are visiting is selective and will want to see a copy of DD's attendance record which will now have an unauthorized absence mark which won't look good.

How are parents and children supposed to make informed decisions about education if they aren't even allowed time off to visit the schools ?

Anyone else come across this situation? Sigh.

FTR DD has had 100% attendance for the last 2 academic years and two days off sick so far this year ( vomited on teacher in classroom so no suspicious circs either) so no issue with that.

Picturesinthefirelight Wed 29-Jan-14 22:36:40

At DDS taster day parents didn't even stay. We just came back at 3pm for a quick Q&A session.

steppemum Wed 29-Jan-14 22:53:05

the grammar isn't being awkward, most schools round here do evenings and mornings, because people like to see the school in action.

We went to evenings as far as possible, especially in year 5, but we went to the mornings for our 2 top schools, (one is a grammar) and went back again to the morning at the beginning of year 6

AbouttoCrack Wed 29-Jan-14 22:59:51

Our school had no problem with me taking ds out for school open days this year. He's y6 though.

senua Thu 30-Jan-14 00:21:40

the super-selectives can do whatever the hell they like

That's what I meant! When we went for the open day at our Grammar the Headteacher's 'welcoming' speech was introduced with (I paraphrase) "I am going to talk at you for 20 minutes. I will not take any questions at the end of it".hmm
I tried to speak to someone about transport problems and the message was "we don't care. It's your problem, not ours." It was a big problem for many people: so much so that, a few years later, a couple of enterprising teachers gave up the day job and made a nice living running mini-buses instead!

The Grammars know that they are over-subscribed and therefore do not need to bend to anyone else's agenda. It's their way or the highway.

HanSolo Thu 30-Jan-14 00:51:14

But people will still do anything to get in!

ShadowOfTheDay Thu 30-Jan-14 14:04:26

...some people.....

rabbitstew Thu 30-Jan-14 16:33:48

poshfrock - does your primary school have a problem with its attendance figures? Sounds like the behaviour of a school scared of Ofsted's reaction to its statistics...

poshfrock Thu 30-Jan-14 17:06:38

rabbit that's a very good point. The school failed Ofsted last year and the Head left. The new Head has only been in post since mid-December so she's probably being very cautious. I don't generally think attendance is a problem.

Someone upthread asked if we could go without her. Well of course we could but the point is for HER to see the school. She's the one who will have to go there every day for the next 7 years. If we look round and she hates it we won't even be applying.

AnswersToAnything Thu 30-Jan-14 17:17:52

The school should use either register code J:

Code J: At an interview with prospective employers, or another educational establishment
This code should be used to record time spent in interviews with prospective employers or another educational establishment. Schools should be satisfied that the interview is linked to employment prospects, further education or transfer to another educational establishment.

or Code B:
Code B: Off-site educational activity
Pupils that are present at a supervised educational activity that is off-site and approved by the school. Schools should ensure that they have in place arrangements whereby the provider of the alternative activity notifies the school of any absences by individual pupils. The school should record the pupil’s absence using the relevant absence code.

or Code C:
Code C: Leave of absence authorised by the school
Only exceptional circumstances warrant leave of absence. Schools should consider each request individually taking into account the circumstances, such as: the nature of the event for which leave is sought; the frequency of the request; whether the parent gave advance notice; and the pupil’s attainment, attendance and ability to catch up on missed schooling.

or even Code V:
Code V: Educational visit or trip
This code should be used for attendance at an organised trip or visit, including residential trips organised by the school, or attendance at a supervised trip of a strictly educational nature arranged by an organisation approved by the school.

https://www.education.gov.uk/consultations/downloadableDocs/Advice%20on%20School%20Attendance%20-%20Final.docx

Ask the school which one they are going to use - and if none, which code they will be using incorrectly ...

curlew Thu 30-Jan-14 17:23:09

If it's a state grammar they can't take her attendance record into account anyway, so just go, don't worry.

What's the point of not having a look at a school during the working day? How can you possibly make any judgements based on a carefully planned and orchestrated open evening?

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