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To be fuming at unauthorised absence?

(31 Posts)
Ayomi Thu 29-Nov-12 05:06:15

My 4 yo dd is in reception class. I had requested 2 days off to attend my wedding (the day after too as I anticipate tiredness and hassle for grandma trying to get her there). I duely handed in the holiday form only to be told her absence will be unauthorised as the reason isn't good enough! I accept that the second day is dubious, but really - ambu to think a mothers wedding is a good enough reason to have leave when you are 4? It's not even as if she is compulsory school age. Very annoyed and have a mind to write s strongly worded letter but do not wish to upset the apple cart :/

Ayomi Fri 30-Nov-12 07:04:21

Thank you all for taking time to post smile
I bumped into head teacher in playground yesterday and she was very understanding but explained her hands were tied. Told her I respected that but I would be taking her out anyway but would try to get her in weds. She even requested dd bring in photos for show and tell smile
Feel so much better now smile

IAmNotACaterpillar Thu 29-Nov-12 17:55:50

Actually legally the school can't do anything anyway if your child is under the legal age of 5 (as in they dont have to start school until the term after they turn 5). I took dd (then 4) out of school for 7 days - a few days before the Easter holidays and a few days after as we were going on a massive holiday. In my holiday request form I listed everything she would be experiencing and demonstrated how this would meet the requirements of the EYFS (lets just say I have a working knowledge of it!!). The head told me he was very impressed with the form and that I was absolutely right. However, the holiday was authorised for the sole reason that she was not yet required to attend school! He told me that legally they couldnt fine me anyway.

So whilst, yes, once your child is in school you are bound by their rules they do have far more discretion to grant authorised absence. In your situation OP, I wouldnt worry about it. Just take her out and enjoy your wedding. Dont ring in sick - she's 4 and bound to let it slip!

Whoknowswhocares Thu 29-Nov-12 17:44:48

As stated above, your DD is not compelled to attend school AT ALL until she is 5. So how some jobs worth can decide she is not allowed to go to her mothers wedding instead is farcical!

Enjoy your day

Startail Thu 29-Nov-12 17:14:20

The whole absence business is totally ridiculous, it simply encourages parents to lie and spoils home school relations.

Twice this term I've chickened out of telling them DD2 was going to be missing, even though the first thing I thought they'd be OK about (almost certainly they can call it educational) and the second was a music exam which I know is allowed.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 29-Nov-12 10:30:38

I expect they have a blanket policy on authorising absence, and they will only authorise things that genuinely couldn't be avoided at all.

Don't take it personally, I'm sure the head would understand on a personal level if you explained it to her, but as your dd is still so little, she won't know whether you are the sort of parent to keep your child off school at the drop of a hat of if you are the sort of parent that tries to avoid absence.

I expect the head wants to send out a message to all parents that they take attendance seriously, because if you told other parents that your wedding was authorised, she could be questioned by other parents who had been refused permission for things that were equally important to them.

Really, don't worry about it.

TroublesomeEx Thu 29-Nov-12 10:09:42

I also think it's a bit odd that they didn't authorise this. Or at least authorise the day of the wedding itself. As much as anything, it looks better for the school to have fewer unauthorised absences on their record. Telling parents an absence will be unauthorised is intended to get the parent to rethink the decision, which, in this case, you aren't going to do!

But in the grand scheme of things, whether an absence is authorised/unauthorised won't make any difference to you.

However, I would just like to dispell this myth (again!) about children not of compulsory school age. Whilst a child isn't required to start school until the term after their fifth birthday, once they have started school, they are bound by the same attendance requirements as anyone else whether they are 5 yet or not. Many people are of the opinion that absences during Reception year don't matter if the child is 4. It doesn't work like that. smile

mumof4sons Thu 29-Nov-12 09:53:08

The school are being unreasonable to mark it as an unauthorised absence.

Have you got any paper work stating the original date of the wedding and the paper work for the cancellation and new date. It would be quite easy to argue that the circumstances were out of your control and that you had to use what you were given.

Otherwise, back down, say DC will be there, and phone in sick on the days.

WinterWinds Thu 29-Nov-12 09:33:24

I wouldn't worry about it and i would also stick to your original plan to take her out both days anyway.
If you had phoned in sick it wouldn't have been an issue.

DD's school had recorded an unauthorised absence for her, which i wasn't bothered about, But miraculously by the time the end of year attendance record was given out it had been changed to authorised.
It looks bad on the school if they have too many unauthorised absences recorded, so will often change it at a later date.

DS's school will not authorise any leave at all although the guidelines state "only in exceptional circumstances" but not sure reason they would put into this catagory, so we just either accept the unauthorised or phone in sick.

EugenesAxe Thu 29-Nov-12 08:43:44

No, personally I wouldn't be fuming. From what I've read about absences they only seem to be authorised when there is no way of preventing them e.g. death/funeral.

You could choose to marry on the weekend. You could have chosen to marry before having children. Nothing wrong with your choices but the fact the options exist mean the school has a get out for giving you the big two fingers.

foreignmummy Thu 29-Nov-12 08:35:43

Perhaps you could make an appointment to discuss it with the head teacher? Don't go in all guns blazing but just explain the situation and that you don"t agree with the decision. As your daughter is new to the school it would be nice to maintain a good relationship with the school if possible. Even if the school don't agree (which i really think they will and should) you will have tried to resolve it in a calm way and can take your daughter out of school with a clear conscience. Good lucksmile

Ayomi Thu 29-Nov-12 08:23:50

Luckily the place we booked the reception were very accommodating and changed no bother. We were quite annoyed to say the least but what can you do? Administrative error booking us first time apparently

nilbyname Thu 29-Nov-12 08:19:31

It is just the school making sure that they are seen to be doing the right thing. It is officially "unauthorised" but it doesn't make any odds to you or them really. Just let it go.

Northernlurker Thu 29-Nov-12 08:18:58

The registry office cancelled on you? That's terrible! Had you booked reception etc for that date?

hygienequeen Thu 29-Nov-12 08:13:43

I've had this twice with the school, once with a wedding - they said no, but i took the kids out anyway.
The second we were in the UK for my Grandmother's funeral ... by the time we got home ( about 1am ) the kids were done in, so the next day we kept them off and stated reasons why and were told quite firmly it was unauthorised absence ... didn't care !

I have friends who have called the kids in sick from airports with the tannoy sounding off in the background and funnily enough the school are ok with that ( less paperwork one friend was told !)

Lavenderhoney Thu 29-Nov-12 08:12:42

I would have said it was a courtesy to the school, as for you it is hopefully a one off event, and unfortunately it is on a weekday. I would put it in writing too. I would say I am taking her anyway, and I would be happy to discuss with the authorities if need be.

If she is suddenly sick those days, what will they do? She might be overtired and needing a day quiet anyway, as she is only 4!

DaveMccave Thu 29-Nov-12 08:09:42

I'd def keep her off the second day too, you don't want to be worrying about her getting to bed on a reasonable time on your wedding night, let her enjoy it. She could always go in for the afternoon after a lie in if you were really worried. ftr, at 4 I'd keep dd off even if I thought she was over tired (summer baby) or just because I thought she needed a day at home or a day out one to one. I didn't think the month she was born meant she should have suffered. I haven't done it since she turned 5.

Startail Thu 29-Nov-12 08:08:28

She's 4 she doesn't have to be in school.

Have a lovely day and don't worry about it.

Up until the last year or two no one battered an eyelid, lots of DCs had week holidays and no one gave a monkeys.

The schools have to sound tough because they get leaned on from above. I'm certain our primary head still wouldn't really mind.

Ayomi Thu 29-Nov-12 08:06:43

Ours states for exceptional circumstances and one off events.. Had hoped a parents wedding was one of those.
I'm just grumpy about it now lol

DaveMccave Thu 29-Nov-12 08:06:27

It's ridiculous. Ever since my DC's school stopped authorising absences for anything other than illness, I just don't bother pre-warning them and call up on the day to say she is ill. shrugs I figure it's better for their records too.

WiseKneeHair Thu 29-Nov-12 08:06:06

I had this when I applied for authorised leave for my two DC to attend my DBro's wedding. They refused. I said I'm taking it anyway and lo and behold, I got the authorised leave! A school teacher friend of mine said that it looks better for their stats if they give authorised rather than unauthorised leave.
So, stick to your guns. Let her have the two days off and enjoy your wedding.
Even if they font authorise it, so what? It's not going to make any difference anyway.

BeaWheesht Thu 29-Nov-12 08:04:39

Our school handbook states all leave will be recorded as unauthorised unless ill or child of armed forces.

Ayomi Thu 29-Nov-12 08:01:39

Originally booked wedding for weekend and we both booked leave from work (special request for me as its December) only for registry office to cancel as they are moving! Tuesday was the only day available for 3 months.. sigh

I don't bother requesting permission from school. I just tell them of the children will be off. They are 8 and 6. If it goes down as unauthorised so be it. They are very rarely off sick so I doubt I'm going to end up being investigated.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 29-Nov-12 07:58:42

I don't think it's too harsh, it's understandable that the head would record the absence as unauthorised when it's an event that could have taken place on a non school day. I'm sure you have valid reasons for having your wedding during term time, but those aren't the heads concern, whereas good attendance is the heads concern.

Don't worry about it, it makes no difference. It's a mark on the register, meaningless as long as attendance is otherwise good. Forget about it and carry on enjoying your wedding planning.

Groovee Thu 29-Nov-12 07:58:24

I wouldn't be too bothered about an unauthorised absence as our school won't authorise any absence these days. So I just tell them the children won't be in.

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