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would school allow time off for this?- surrogacy abroad

(15 Posts)
petuniastar Sat 08-Feb-14 21:32:12

I have a soon to be school aged dc. We are thinking of surrogacy abroad but would need to spend several months in the foreign country following the birth of the baby.

I wouldn't be able to leave eldest dc and so they'd have to come with us. but I am worried re the schooling situation. would they lose their school place? could we just pay a fine or would being away for a few months cause terrible problems? Do you think a sympathetic school might allow time off? (I would plan to education older dc myself when away)

I just feel that enlarging our family shouldn't depend on school absence rules! The only sure fire way I can think around it is home ed but wanted to see what others thought.
tia for any views!

MaxsMummy2012 Sat 08-Feb-14 21:40:14

I'm a teacher and we had a child in my class from abroad who's visa ran out, the school kept her on roll for a couple of months as the family were trying to sort out returning to the uk but it affects the schools absence record so they have now remived her and told them they will need to reapply for her place if they return to the uk. I'm not sure anout the fine situation. I'd speak to the school and see what they say as they may not be prepared to hold a place for your child.

MaxsMummy2012 Sat 08-Feb-14 21:41:13

Sorry about the spelling errors - on my phone grrr

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 08-Feb-14 21:44:26

Is the school over subscribed? As in - if you came off roll but went on the waiting list the day you got back would you be likely to get back in?

Littlefish Sat 08-Feb-14 21:44:43

State schools are not allowed to hold places open for situations like this as far as I know. You would have to relinquish your place and then re-apply on your return.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 08-Feb-14 21:46:31

How old is eldest?

OddBoots Sat 08-Feb-14 21:47:23

The only way to know is to talk to the school, strictly speaking having a few months away would usually lose a school place but there might be room to be flexible depending on local factors including waiting lists etc.

Kewcumber Sun 09-Feb-14 01:04:26

I just feel that enlarging our family shouldn't depend on school absence rules - it doesn't does it confused

But your plans to leave the county for months shouldn't result in a child who needs that place being denied it. I doubt it will be up to the school will it? Wouldn't the LA have a policy about long term absence.

drspouse Sun 09-Feb-14 10:55:42

I am not sure of the answer but I feel your pain. We adopted DS from overseas and my right to adoption leave didn't start until we got back to the UK, meaning that I was reliant on my employer being nice and allowing me annual leave during intros and when DS was placed with us but we didn't have his visa yet - when UK adopters start their adoption leave during intros, or on placement.

And I am aware the allowances for surrogacy are even less generous!

BettyBotter Sun 09-Feb-14 11:52:13

As far as I know but may be out of date here, the school will probably not agree to keep your dc on roll if you are going to be away for more than a short time. (If your dc is not enrolled at any school then there will be no issue with absence or fines). As you say, you could choose to HE and if you're not in the country anyway, how you educate your dc will not be the UK's concern.

When you return to the Uk, you will have to re-enroll 'in year'. There will be no guarantee that you will be able to get back into the same school and it will depend entirely on spaces. You may have little choice and only be offered a place the other end of your LEA. Again, depending entirely on what school has spaces.

Moomoomie Sun 09-Feb-14 20:10:23

Personally, if your child will only be in school for a short while before you go abroad, I would consider not actually enrolling at a school until you return. You could start off home educating, continue while you are away, then enrol once home. If there are no places at your desired school, you could add to waiting list and continue to HE in the mean time.
It may be less stressful

petuniastar Mon 10-Feb-14 15:02:41

hi thanks for the thoughtful replies. Eldest will be either in reception of year 1 (depending on finances and if surrogacy works first time) but it will be after he needs to be in compulsory schooling.

I hadn't actually considered the idea that he would lose a school place as the school is undersubscribed anyway. I know this could change - I was just worried about them getting angry due to absence as I know the rules on that have tightened up a huge amount.

I think we might be able to get the baby sorted in 2 months or so after birth so I guess my best chance might be a summer baby and hope that I could take ds and that we wouldn't lose the place and be back by September.

how much discretion do schools have? I think our situation must be pretty unusual so perhaps they will be sympathetic?

Feeling very stressed by the situation already. I asked my dh whether we could do things earlier but we need to save up sad

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 10-Feb-14 15:13:52

If the school is undersubscribed anyway then it probably isn't something to worry about. I think their discretion is limited because if they have a waiting list, it would be unfair to not give a spare place to someone else.

Littlefish Mon 10-Feb-14 18:52:16

Doctrine is right. Whether a school has a school has a waiting list or not, they cannot hold a place open. The local authority simply will not allow it. if a child comes along wanting a place at that school and there is a place available, it will be allocated. Schools simply can't afford to keep spaces empty.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 10-Feb-14 18:56:34

If you are planning on teaching your dc yourself then all you need to do is deregister your dc from school.
When you return you register again and the LEA find you a school.
I doubt if they will keep a place for any amount of time due to it affecting their absence record.
I think they can remove after 10 days, if you haven't an agreement of some kind, like an on going illness they are aware of.

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