Unauthorised absence from primary school

(63 Posts)
Hoofhearted69 Wed 30-Oct-13 16:09:20

I know that generally speaking it's frowned upon to take your kids out of school, however I am taking my two boys home to NZ as my mum has been very poorly and is in her 80s. They are y4 and y6. We had planned to go next august so we could take the boys skiing and have a winter holiday, but have decided to go now, have flights booked today to depart end of November. This will mean my boys will miss 15 days of school and I'm worried about them losing their place and of course falling behind, although am happy to regularly email their work to their teachers, continue to read with them etc. has anyone else had similar experience and are we likely to be penalised...it's now a done deal so will have to take what comes but I want my boys to see their nana one last time (not been home for 4 years).

DameDeepRedBetty Wed 30-Oct-13 16:12:10

No experience, thankfully my older relatives are all UK based, but I absolutely think you're doing the right thing and hope another expat comes along soon to advise.

sturdyoak Wed 30-Oct-13 16:14:37

As long as the school will agree to exceptional circumstances, IMO poorly and old Grandparent fits the bill, the leave should be granted. I thought schools just needed a solid reason to grant the leave is for exceptional circumstances and not just a holiday.

Pooka Wed 30-Oct-13 16:14:55

I think the year 6 boy is more likely to be the issue - with sats approaching.

I'm sorry your dm is ill and can entirely see why you're wanting to go. Is it actually 15 school days though? That's a very long term time trip.

The school may entirely sympathise and agree with the absence but they are unable to authorise absence.

Much as I loathe sats I think I would show willing by buying some sats practice books and doing prep when you're out there though that won't really replace the teacher input that will be missed.

Pooka Wed 30-Oct-13 16:17:06

I don't think they'd lose their places at the school though since you would be informing the school of when they're going, how long for and when they will be returning.

Given that Christmas hols coming up is it not an option to straddle the holidays, reducing the number of school days
Missed?

Norudeshitrequired Wed 30-Oct-13 16:17:52

I'm one of these people who is totally against taking children out of school for the purpose of a term time holiday, but I think your circumstances are exceptional and are completely justifiable. You will have too many regrets if you didn't do it now and the children didn't get to see their grandmother one last time.
Just go and enjoy what time to have with your mum and let her enjoy a little time with her grandchildren. This is an exceptional circumstance.

itsametaphordaddy Wed 30-Oct-13 16:19:10

I would be furious if anyone in my class lost 15 days. As the teacher I'd be expected to slog my guts out to catch them up, at the detriment to other children who haven't been away. It pissed me off. A few days would be ok in these circumstances e.g. tagged into this half term holiday or Christmas but not 15 school days. Does your child's education mean so little to you? Genuine medical reasons are different but this is your choice. It's not even about your own education.

Norudeshitrequired Wed 30-Oct-13 16:19:57

Pooka - sats are of no benefit to the individual child. Most independent schools don't do sats and the children seem to turn out no less educated than their state educated peers who do sats.
And 15 days is not a long time for a trip to such a far away destination. Nor is it a long time for such a meaningful trip.

Norudeshitrequired Wed 30-Oct-13 16:22:07

Genuine medical reasons are different but this is your choice.

Their grandmother is in her 80's and is very poorly; I don't really think much more explanation is needed.

mrz Wed 30-Oct-13 16:23:40

I was going to say that I couldn't imagine and school or teacher questioning the need

itsametaphordaddy Wed 30-Oct-13 16:25:21

Yes their grandmother is ill. Their is also a half term this week that could have been used as some of this trip. Their is also a 2 week holiday coming up. It is a choice.

sturdyoak Wed 30-Oct-13 16:25:28

itsame ???

I would be furious if anyone in my class lost 15 days.

This reads as being motivated by totally selfish justifications. How would it be if these children missed the chance to see their grandparent and Op missed the chance to be with her mother at a time like this?

Some things are more important than your professional worries. Added to this the OP has said she is prepared to work with the teachers. Pity the poor child who has a parent who dies or gets ill, if they miss 15 days of your teaching and you have to work a little harder!

itsametaphordaddy Wed 30-Oct-13 16:26:21

Sorry about the their/there errors. I'm on my phone and it auto changes randomly.

mrz Wed 30-Oct-13 16:28:10

any not and!

sturdyoak Wed 30-Oct-13 16:28:34

The their / there errors worry me less than your apparent lack of compassion itsame.

itsametaphordaddy Wed 30-Oct-13 16:30:07

Sturdyoak it is more the fact that my time is taken awayfrom other children. Is that fair on them? I don't think so. I am more than happy to work hard. You have no idea how hard I work on a daily basis. You also appear to have no idea about the pressures from above. If I don't get my results then I can easily be in the shit. You have no idea.

Norudeshitrequired Wed 30-Oct-13 16:30:10

It same - if a child in your class was refused time off to visit a dying relative who lives on the other side of the world (because the theory is that they should go 5 weeks later during the school holidays) how would you feel if the relative died before the school holiday and the child never got to see their relative again?
I am always enraged by parents who want to go on their jollies during term time, but this is different.

Hoofhearted69 Wed 30-Oct-13 16:30:26

Hi all, thanks for the replies, the sats are a bit of an eggy issue, In fact they have just done mock sats before half term and he did ok, and I have the CGP workbooks which the kids do for (money) fun during the august hols anyway. They have both had 100% attendance for the last 2 years and as we are going at the beginning of December it makes 15 school days, which sound like a helluva lot ( because it is...) Have booked the first available flights today that I could as they are pretty much booked out for the Christmas exodus. I know if my mum was ok we would go during holiday time, or a bit closer to Christmas to minimise the absence from school, but even waiting the 5 weeks till we go is making me twitch with anxiety...

itsametaphordaddy Wed 30-Oct-13 16:32:02

I never said they shouldn't go. I'm not a fucking dragon. I'm human fgs. I just think it should be tagged onto a holiday so less school time is missed. Not unreasonable.

sturdyoak Wed 30-Oct-13 16:34:35

itsame You are not thinking straight IMO.

You think that child could concentrate on their work and their parent could support when there are much more pressing needs? The if the grandparent dies? The extra time supporting the child would have to be spent anyway, if not more because of the emotional distress of not being able to spend time with a loved one.

I'm secondary school so slightly different but we would certainly work around it. We would have work prepared for them to take with them/email to them throughout. I don't know how you're school will deal with it but it is a dreadful situation you're in and I think v you're doing the right thing. Please don't think itsame 's opinion is that of everybodies .

mrz Wed 30-Oct-13 16:36:08

I think the OP shouldn't worry about school in the circumstances and focus on her family.

DameDeepRedBetty Wed 30-Oct-13 16:37:33

itsametaphor My BIL is Australian, and a teacher here in UK, he was permitted to take three weeks in term-time to visit his father in similar circumstances.

ouryve Wed 30-Oct-13 16:37:44

Itsametaphor - you don't just fly to NZ and back in the space of a few days. The journey each way can take a couple of days.

Pooka Wed 30-Oct-13 16:37:53

Norudeshitrequired - I said I loathed sats. Though incidentally my nephews at private school do way more sats prep than my dd at state school. Practice papers all the time and much more pressure because their school puts great emphasis on how good they are at sats and entrance exams.

But that's irrelevant. I wasn't saying that I felt the yr 6 child missing a chunk was the end of the world. But that the school will understandably prefer a shorter length of
Time out.

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