WWYD - request for authorised absence turned down...

(76 Posts)
edam Fri 23-Nov-12 12:08:32

Hi, I'm having an ethical dilemma and would be interestedin what you think... ds and I have got an invite to a play by a great children's author - a serious dramatist who also writes for children. So it's 'educational' in that sense. Only it's a matinee on a school day. I asked the head whether ds could have authorised absence and she's said no, which is fair enough I suppose (even though I know plenty of parents 'take' an extra few days around Feb half-term to go skiing and so on).

I really do want to take ds, this is a one-off event and there's no way we could go in the evening (finishes far too late) but also we couldn't pay for tickets - dh has been out of work so money v. v. tight.

WWYD? Would you pass up the opportunity, or would your child have a convenient cold, or would you be honest with the school and say, sorry, we are going, stick it down as unauthorised?

SuffolkNWhat Fri 23-Nov-12 22:29:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Piezilla Fri 23-Nov-12 22:37:03

Can they fine for a half day absence? I always see the figures quoted as being per day. Anyone know?

IslaValargeone Fri 23-Nov-12 22:38:46

Another saying go.
Never let school interfere with your education.

trixymalixy Fri 23-Nov-12 22:40:51

Definitely go.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Fri 23-Nov-12 22:44:33

It is far too brilliant an opportunity to miss. Let them put it down as whatever they fancy <shrug>

edam Fri 23-Nov-12 23:05:24

Aw, you are all lovely. I thought I'd get loads of people saying 'how DARE you suggest your PFB skips school, it's terribly disruptive, how will he ever respect authority if you blah blah blah'. (Not that I want to raise a fore-lock tugger - challenging authority when it is wrong is jolly important IMO but I was worried that in this case the school were in the right and I was wrong.)

edam Fri 23-Nov-12 23:06:32

(Not that I want him to be an irritating know-it-all either. Wow, I'm dancing on pin-heads here...)

CameronSmith Sat 24-Nov-12 04:12:03

If it is logged as educational trip it wouldn't count in the attendance figures monitored by ofsted would it?

It seemed to be that it was when our school got satisfactory instead of outstanding for attendance that policy changed and it all went wrong. There is no balance anymore. It is blanket no to every request unless you are in police or forces.

On the reports our school give, the days that school shut when staff on strike, days for educational trips etc were not in the abscence figures. So surely if HT agrees its educational visit he'd have no issue with his/her stats for Ofsted. I bet if your child was really sporty & was playing in county match somewhere they'd count it as such - ours do! But those of us with non sporty kids who would benefit from academic trip (science festival/ literary festival, theatre,) no!

Go, have a great time but don't go "off sick". Be honest.

PastSellByDate Sat 24-Nov-12 08:05:09

Edam:

Can I just query - has your school ever taken your child as part of a class or whole school trip to see a play or a movie?

In which case, the Head has previously deemed such experiences as educational and therefore she can't now arbitrarily declare an equivalent opportunity as an unexcused absence. Unless she's intending to never allow the class/ whole school to attend a play/ movie again on similar grounds.

If your child has ever had a trip off campus for a play/ movie then I'd raise this directly with the governors now. This is about the school's attendance record (for which you should be reading ££££) - and isn't about providing this individual child with access to an educational opportunity.

I can see a Head saying no to a few days off so you can go to Disneyland on a discounted trip in term time - but this just isn't the case. This is an absolutely defendable educational visit and should be recorded as such - in the same way a ballet exam, a music exam, etc... would be if taken during the school day.

If your DS has attended a play/ movie through school trips, I would begin a complaint and write to the school governors. I would explain what you are doing - what the play is, who the author is, that your son will be meeting him, etc... and suggest to the governors that as a compromise your DS should be asked to produce a report or review on the play/ experience to the Head. Thus documenting the educational benefit for the school.

HTH

edam Sat 24-Nov-12 10:47:29

Irony is, I am actually a governor! Even more reason to be careful - governors really do not get any special favours and I don't want to give people the impression we do. (Boot v much on other foot, governors give an enormous amount of time and energy - we've had a few step down because the commitment is too much when they have other calls on their time.)

And I WILL be honest and say we are going. Partly started this this thread because dh wasn't sure - he thought if the head said no, we shouldn't go (he's a conformist whose first instinct is to obey rules, bless him). Fortunately MN has stiffened his resolve. grin

edam Sat 24-Nov-12 10:48:28

And they have had trips, of course, although the last time I remember a theatre thing the company came into school.

motherinferior Sat 24-Nov-12 10:53:40

I took DD1 out of school to go to Paris for a Friday as part of a weekend there. Which was only sort of arguably educational, although it was rather terrific for her. School authorised it.

edam Sat 24-Nov-12 10:57:01

Hello MI! Did you get my email?

motherinferior Sat 24-Nov-12 10:59:44

I did. I was getting all overexcited at the possibility of spending my days editing about episiostomies so I will re-focus back on it on Monday grin

Blu Sat 24-Nov-12 11:15:00

If anyone is interested in going to CERN, it's actually quite do-able if you can save up for the flights.

We got day returns on EasyJet for about £18 each way each, and then it is a very short door to door bus or tram form the airport to CERN. We got a 7.30am flight out and a tea time or early eve flight home, and we had time to get the tram to the lakeside for a coffee and ice cream, too.

They have a culture of being v open and welcoming. There is a good public exhibition and museum, I'm not sure if there are public guided tours of the research sites and the testing place where they test new sections of tunnel. We were shown round by a relative who was on student placement there. The cafe is incredibly expensive, being Geneva, but there is no differentiation between top researchers and visiting public, they all eat in the same canteen, and there is a big display showing the particles in various tunnels and every so often a table full of physicists will leap up and rush to their labs.

I would take a packed lunch, even the Burger King at the airport was bank breaking!

edam Sat 24-Nov-12 13:16:27

Ooh, thanks Blu, that is a huge tip-off. I didn't realise CERN was open to the public at all.

MI grin

You can go to Cern??!

pointythings Sat 24-Nov-12 18:00:29

I have to say that I have given up asking for authorised absences. I just lie. Sorry, schools - you've brought it on yourselves. not your fault, blame OFSTED. But that's the way it is.

Not that my DDs have had a day of unauthorised absence ever, but I'll do it this way if I ever have to - I have lost all faith.

edam Sat 08-Dec-12 00:01:00

Update: well, we went. grin

It was fantastic. Funny, exciting, thought-provoking... went down extremely well with an audience mainly composed of kids ds's age. And ds read the script from start to finish afterwards.

PastSellByDate Mon 24-Dec-12 06:07:15

Good on you edam!

Happy Christmas.

PS Thanks for posting - I found out you can visit CERN and DD2 is space/ Brian Cox mad. Maybe not this year - but DH is very excited by the idea of a trip there for DD2's benefit.

Glad you went.

Think my dds school is in the minority- we just took them out of school for 5 days at end of term to go to centre parcs which was authorised by the head.

They are in reception & nursery.

Fil booked it not ages ago before he realised schools broke up so near Xmas this year as sil and kids over from Australia.

I was panicking but we got it authorised with a note saying don't make a habit of it. Nephew at same school also got authorised - yr 3.

My sisters kids different school same LEA never get authorisation for any absence

alanyoung Tue 08-Jan-13 20:38:06

As I understand the situation, parents can remove their children for religious festivals, so why can't you remove them for such an inspiring educational trip?

SE13Mummy Tue 08-Jan-13 21:46:13

I'm glad you went and that your DS enjoyed it.

FWIW, I'm a teacher who, if offered a similar opportunity for my own DCs, would have contacted the school to let them know that I'd be 'collecting X at 1.45pm on the Xth of December for an appointment'. By collecting after the afternoon registration period the DCs wouldn't be absent and this is what I've encouraged parents of children in my class to do too.

pylonic Tue 08-Jan-13 22:40:45

How refreshing, that people, even teachers, are suggesting it's perfectly adequate to take a day off for recreational purposes and stuff the school because it's only all about their Ofsted grades anyway.

Another thread, another time, and this advice is turned inside out, eh? wink

Primafacie Thu 10-Jan-13 21:01:59

Hmm, yes Pylonic, it's EXACTLY the same as having such a shit record at getting your child to school that you are threatened with SS.

I'm sure your child gets massive educational benefit every single morning when you are snoozing in bed, too lazy to get up.

I honestly cannot see any difference whatsoever. Can you? hmm

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