Who do I inform that I'm taking my child out of school for 4 weeks??

(49 Posts)
kashoph Wed 16-Oct-13 22:55:24

I have booked a 4 week holiday to South East Asia with my 9 year old this coming January.

Can anyone help me on the following questions?

Who do I inform about our travels? Do I go directly to the school or do I now have to approach an education authority since the new changes in September regarding head teachers not being permitted to consider any holidays during term time?

Or, will I have to de-register my child from the school and re-register upon our return and what are the conditions of this?

Am I going to get into trouble for taking her out of school?

Just to give a bit of info about my child for those who may not agree with removing children from school for extended periods...I believe that my child will benefit greatly from travel to another country. She is extremely bright and is way ahead of her peers in most core subjects. But school is not easy for her as she does struggle socially and with friendship groups so I think a break from this was be good for her.

KellyHopter Wed 16-Oct-13 22:57:19

You inform the school.
The school will inform the LA.
The LA may well fine you and the school may well off-role your child.
Nobody, school or LA, will authorise it.

LadyDamerel Wed 16-Oct-13 22:59:58

You need to inform the school. They will not usually authorise this holiday and then instigate a fixed penalty notice of £60 per parent per child.

LadyDamerel Wed 16-Oct-13 23:08:16

And if the child is taken off-roll then their place could be given to someone else while you're away and there is no guarantee you will get your place back.

I'm interested in why you feel that taking a child who struggles socially and is having friendship issues out of school for 4 weeks is a good idea? How do you feel that will benefit her? All that I can see happening is that the established friendship groups will become even closer and she will be more isolated than ever. It seems totally counter-productive to me.

mummymeister Thu 17-Oct-13 15:30:09

have a look at some of the other threads on this OP. you need to fill in a request form from your head. this will be denied most probably. its the law that it should be but not everywhere is enforcing it the same so you may get lucky. if you are turned down then the fine is £60 per parent per child. some Ed Auth and schools are fining £60 per parent per child per day so £120 per day so the maximum amount of fine would be £2,400. they may also decide to recommend you to the Ed Auth for prosecution. this is a new law in this context so at the moment not much to go on but common sense seems to suggest they would only do this if you do this every year. if you are away for more than 20 continuous school days then they can de-register you. have you looked at registering with the Ed Auth as an itinerant traveller? if you do this it apparently lets you have 12 weeks out of school with no fines etc. suggest you do a bit more research on MN across the threads. its going to be expensive though so perhaps you might want to re-think the length of time. no chance you can go 2 weeks earlier over Christmas/new year so you are only out of school for 2 weeks. there is no guarantee if de-registered from your existing school that they will re-register her to the same one. would this be more or less disruptive to her?

KiplingBag Thu 17-Oct-13 15:32:13

Inform the school

Enjoy your holiday. It sounds wonderful.

wannaBe Thu 17-Oct-13 15:42:23

it's not £60 per child it's £60 per member of your household. so if you are a family of four the LA can fine you £240 for unauthorised absence.

personally if your dd struggles socially then removing her from her peers and risking her having to enter a new social group in a new school if she is removed from her current one is a very bad idea.

The school won't authorise four weeks absence, the general rule is ten days at most and not all schools will authorise that. but neither should they have to keep a school place open for a child whose parent things that swanning off on a mid-term holiday is a good idea.

SoonToBeSix Thu 17-Oct-13 15:50:58

No wanna it is £60 per parent so £120 max per day.
Op I would deregister your dd and tell the school you are going to home educate. Do not tell them this is temporary. On your return register your dd as you can change your mind about HE at anytime. Obviously you take the chance your dd school may not have a place after four weeks.

mummymeister Thu 17-Oct-13 15:51:17

wannabe sorry you are wrong. the law changed this year. the 10 day rule has completely gone. please see other threads on this. the school can no longer authorise any leave except in exceptional circumstances and the law now says that that does not include holidays. it is not £60 per person in the household. it is £60 per parent per child so in a one child family it is £120 per day/session/break whatever they deem appropriate. if you are 2 adults with 3 kids and you want to take them all out then it is £360 per day/session/break. your Ed Auth and school should have sent you a letter home about this change. the op just needs to be aware of all the consequences financial as well as social. if she goes ahead then that's up to her as a parent but she could be taken to court (very unlikely but the law is new so we have no idea how it will all pan out)

Methe Thu 17-Oct-13 15:53:34

That sounds like a wonderful learning opportunity. I'd love to be able to do something like that with my children.

As others have said you need to tell the school and then pay the fine.

Have a wonderful time!

hettienne Thu 17-Oct-13 15:57:04

Is her school over-subscribed? If not, I think I would remove her from school, home educate for a month and then reapply for a place.

monopoly123 Thu 17-Oct-13 16:47:24

I'd take her off role too. home educate and then apply for a place when(if) you change your mind about home ed.
The experience will be great for her confidence.
Have you got a route planned or just flights in & out?

LadyDamerel Thu 17-Oct-13 19:26:31

The school won't authorise four weeks absence, the general rule is ten days at most and not all schools will authorise that.

NO school will authorise that anymore. If you take a holiday during term time you WILL be fined. It's a central government directive and there is no leeway for schools any more.

To make the fines situation absolutely clear, each person with parental responsibility will be fined for each child who is absent. It is usually per period of absence, not per day.

milkybarsrus Fri 18-Oct-13 18:28:45

I believe that it's upto the parents to make decisions for their children. The adults should know their child well enough to know whether taking a child out of school is detrimental or not. It's not upto the government to decide. I'm sure the OP has thought long and hard about what she has booked and the potential benefits the trip may or may not bring.
I hope you have a lovely time.

CaptainSweatPants Fri 18-Oct-13 18:40:51

Agree with LadyDamerel, it does sound counter productive to remove her from friendship groups if she finds social situations awkward

How do you know she's way above her peers?

looselegs Sat 19-Oct-13 22:29:21

I would be extremely surprised if this was authorised-especially for 4 weeks.
As others have said it is now ILLEGAL for a headteacher to authorise holidays during termtime UNLESS it's for exceptional circumstances.

Blu Sat 19-Oct-13 22:38:41

I am sure the OP knows her child well enough to have weighed up the pros and cons.

If your school is not over subscribed the taking her off roll tactic sounds a good one.

Do you think your Head will in her heart of hearts be sympathetic? Does she understand about the social issues? If you were to tell her 1 day before the Xmas hols (or even on the first day of the Spring term, perhaps by e mail if you have already gone) that you are about to try Home Ed for a month, and will then consider re-enrolling your dd, you might fnd that over Christmas and everything there isn't actually time to get a new child in.

Someone posted the other day the length of time after which a place can be offered up to someone new - I think you need to study that bit of the regulations, and see how you can 'work' it.

nancy75 Sat 19-Oct-13 22:43:15

Interested in those saying no school will allow any holiday, my dds school recently emailed out a holiday form form for parents to use when requesting a holiday.

MissBattleaxe Sat 19-Oct-13 22:44:52

I don't think you should do it.

What a massive pain in the arse for her teacher who has to help her catch up on four weeks of work whilst teaching the rest of her class at their differing abilities and speeds.

You are also teaching your child that school is optional and that sneaking around the system is OK.

The kid is 9 and struggling socially.

I can't see how an extended holiday in a foreign country will help her with her social issues with school/peers in this country.

Your job should be to do what's best for the child - who have you consulted for advice on helping her settling socially?

Have they said that a month holiday is the best way to tackle this ? confused

kashoph Sat 19-Oct-13 22:54:26

Thank you for the replies.
Thanks to those who have advised de-registering with the view to home schooling for the month. I have looked into this further and think this will be the best option.
I believe my child will certainly learn more during a month of travel than she will at school for the month. She is often bored in class, often finishing her work easily and before everyone else, then she gets bored and frustrated while she waits for everyone else and can be disruptive as a result.

Lady Damerel, I respect your views and in response I will add that the friendship groups are already very well established and have been for a long time and are unlikely to change now. Her class is quite small and so interaction with people on the same page as her is limited - particularly as most of the girls in her class are into 'One Direction' and playing 'girly' games - things that don't interest my child. Lunchtimes are spent with children in different years.

As her parent I think it will be a brilliant opportunity for her to engage with a much wider range of children from all over the world. And hopefully if she enjoys this trip and is beneficial to her I will be saving up to take her again in a couple of years.

WannaBe, I am a little offended by your description that I am "swanning off", This is a considered and thought out trip. Hopefully it will encourage confidence and it will be a good opportunity to challenge ourselves in areas that are difficult to approach in everyday life. And if it doesn't work out, it is only 4 weeks not 6 months, and we will put it down to an experience. Life is about experiences.

Thank you to the people who have wished us well. And I respect the views and opinions of those who don't agree with what I'm doing but I beleive that the benefits will outweigh the negatives for my child. And it will be a flippin brilliant holiday!!! Yay

specialsubject Sun 20-Oct-13 12:33:28

other thoughts: she is too old to play with other kids where there is no common language, so 'interaction' will vary on where you are.

hope she is also thoroughly vaccinated, for her protection and that of the children you will meet.

don't forget 24/7 Deet to protect against dengue, too. And you may need malaria tabs.

mrscog Sun 20-Oct-13 12:40:12

Hope you have a great trip smile

No idea about the school side, but it sounds like a really good opportunity. schooling doesnt have to all take part in a classroom.

nappyaddict Sun 20-Oct-13 22:16:26

I would disagree that she is too old to play with kids where there is no common lanugage. My 7 year old did this recently. 9 isn't that different to 7 surely?

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