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

(44 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?

duchesse Sun 20-Oct-13 22:35:48

OP I think it sounds like a wonderful, enriching experience. As long as you treat it as an educational experience it can only benefit her. If however, you are just going to lie by the pool for 4 weeks I'd think she'd be better off in school. She needs to be doing this with her eyes open.

Friend did this for a term with her son at age 10. He's still behaving foully aged 15 but he benefited greatly from a term away.

I disagree with people who think that the way to cure social problems is to force them to stay doing the same humdrum things they always do for an extra month. She's 9, presumably in year 4 or 5- how are social problems suddenly going to be sorted in school during the month of January 2014 when they haven't yet? I fail to understand the argument.

She will however remember this experience for ever.

kashoph Sun 20-Oct-13 23:35:52

Absolutely this is going to be an eye opening and educational trip for her (and me). We are both going to write a diary everyday, which will include the main learning basics (and more) such as: Literacy - writing about experiences and observations. Maths - distances, using foreign money, times... History - visits to historical sites, learning about the King...
Geography and nature - maps, rivers, forests, animals, islands etc... Art - visits to sites, general awareness of surroundings. Culture, obviously. Physical exercise. And the all important taking time out to relax and take everything in.

I agree with you duchesse that any issues won't be solved by being at school. However, I'm not expecting things to be solved by going away, I'm just hoping that having a break from the norm and having her eyes opened a bit will be beneficial and help her (even if just a tiny bit).

kashoph Sun 20-Oct-13 23:51:17

My daughter does still seek out other children to talk to and to play with when we are out somewhere so I'm not concerned about her being isolated from children in her age group. Admittedly this is becoming a bit less as she is getting older but thankfully this is not an issue to be worried about just yet.
Yes, vaccinations! She is more up to date than I am, but we both need a rabies jab and Hep jabs. Already stocked up on Deet and Avon Skin So Soft.

EBearhug Mon 21-Oct-13 00:01:51

Have you tried DEET? I mention this as it brings me up in impressive welts, and I stuck to using Mosiguard on my skin when I spent 3 months in Borneo in the middle of the jungle and just used DEET on my mossie net and the like - though check the fabrics, it can melt plasticky stuff.

MerylStrop Mon 21-Oct-13 00:11:20

Doesn't really matter whether its educational or not - but you will in all likelihood be fined and possibly deregistered.

If you can live with that risk, no problem, but also consider the impact on the school which will like all school be utterly under the kosh in terms of improving attendance. Stuff like this brings down average attendance, and there are many egs on here of kids who have been refused authorised abscence for much more credible reasons.

It also seems to me that you are not happy with the school and what it provides for your daughter, perhaps this will give you the opportunity to consider that properly and think about whether another school would be a better fit.

trianglecirclesquare Mon 21-Oct-13 00:31:48

DEET is great stuff and incredibly effective - but you'll need a 7% or 10% for your DD. Mosiguard is also very effective and entirely natural - you can order it off Amazon. Avon Skin So Soft does not deter mossies in clinical trials - please don't rely on it (unless you're just using it to make your skin soft, in which case go for it!).

Oh, yeah, deregister and have fun!

BeCool Mon 21-Oct-13 00:45:17

I back packed around SE Asia with my Dad and Step mum when I was 12. For 6 weeks.

It was truly the best thing that ever happened in my life (until I had DC smile).

Your DD will love it. Happy travels - enjoy.

Aeroaddict Mon 21-Oct-13 13:48:58

I don't have any advice about what to do re school, I just wanted to say what a fantastic idea. I've seen the effects travelling can have on children's confidence, after several children in my extended family have done this, and really blossomed. I hope you have a great time and it helps your DD!smile

BeCool Mon 21-Oct-13 14:55:35

Just to add I missed my first 4 weeks of high school to do these travels.

It had absolutely no negative impact on my schooling at all, and overall was a massive boost to so many aspects of my formative years.

specialsubject Mon 21-Oct-13 15:27:04

forget 'natural' insect repellents, they do work - for about 30 seconds. Mosqiutoes are natural too. As is dengue fever, for which there is no vaccination, prophylactic or treatment. It is very serious in children and having it once will mean she takes a very high risk in ever visiting anywhere tropical ever again.

Blu Mon 21-Oct-13 16:21:11

Mosiguard is effective.

kashoph Tue 22-Oct-13 22:18:27

Great! Fantastic to hear from people who have positive experiences to write about.

With regards to mozzies, I haven't tested out the DEET yet but will checking it out and seeing if we are both ok with it soon. I am a bit scared of it to be honest! I have been looking into it a bit more and think we will probably take a range of both chemical based and natural products - possibly douse ourselves all over in natural ones so we stink to the little blighters then apply chemical ones on more exposed areas: ankles, feet, hands, wrists, neck and shoulders. Although I am thinking we will use a deet based product in slightly more remote areas where there is likely to be more mozzies and less people for them to choose from.

Anyone know what is ok to apply to the face?

EBearhug Tue 22-Oct-13 22:40:32

The main thing to do is to cover up in the evening/at night. You can get hats with built-in mossie nets (annoying, though.) I used mosiguard on my face - avoid the eyes, though!

Also, tiger balm for leeches. A dab of balm next to any approaching leech, and they won't hang around. Trouble is, you might not notice till it's too late.

BeCool Tue 22-Oct-13 22:50:47

YY cover up esp dawn & dusk. long sleeve pale clothing. Use those coils you burn, sleep under nets. no perfume. check your products are low/no perfume.

You can apply all the repellent you like but really you need to avoid the mosses.

You worry about all this now, prepare now - when you are there you just get on with your adventure.

milkybarsrus Wed 23-Oct-13 20:34:17

Your child, your choice. I think that you know whether being out of school will be good or bad for her. But the decision has been made now based on your adult decision which is highly important! Enjoy every minute of your time together having these valuable life experiences.

specialsubject Thu 24-Oct-13 11:13:04

Some very dangerous ignorance here. You need to protect against mosquitoes all day. The dengue mosquito bites during the day time. Dengue is more prevalent in urban areas.

you are made of chemicals. You cannot avoid them.

SavoyCabbage Thu 24-Oct-13 11:39:08

It sounds like you are going to have a wonderful time. Not the mozzies, but the rest.

monopoly123 Sun 27-Oct-13 21:16:46

I spoke to a few doctors about deet and they told me the risk was with eating it/licking hands so advised me to apply it to my children (then 3&6ish so too old to be chewing fists). We covered up in the evenings and didn't have many moxie bites between us.

EBearhug Sun 27-Oct-13 23:45:16

I would just test it at home first, in case any of you react to it. Most people I travelled with were fine, but I had impressive red marks on my skin. Like you're meant to do sensitivity tests with hairdye before you use it. Easier to find out and deal with it when you're still home than when you're in the middle of nowhere.

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