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To ask the school to authorise absence for DD(5)

(48 Posts)
UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Sat 04-May-13 16:09:07

DD, aged 5, in reception. We submitted a request for one day off school to accommodate travel for a family holiday ( i.e. not a particularly important thing) and have been refused.

This is the first time we have asked for time off school, she's had a few days off because of illness (chicken pox before Easter, an infection before Christmas) but otherwise her attendance and progress has been excellent.

AIBU to challenge this? Or is the majority opinion that children should be in school? Would appreciate some perspective, new to all this.

quoteunquote Sat 04-May-13 16:11:57

challenge it, arrange a meeting with the head and explain why you need to take her out of school.

concernedmate Sat 04-May-13 16:12:19

I have taken dd out of school for a few days, for a similar reason, she has had a few days off ill, hers was approved though, if it wasn't I would of just called in sick.

poodletip Sat 04-May-13 16:14:07

It's up to the school if they authorise it or not. Our school is very clear that time off will only be given in exceptional circumstances. I wouldn't worry too much about it though. Consider them informed. One day unauthorised absence won't cause any trouble for you, unless there has been a lot of other time taken off of course.

HollyBerryBush Sat 04-May-13 16:14:14

Whats her percentage attendance though? anything under 95% and you are on a sticky wicket.

Geezer Sat 04-May-13 16:14:32

I wouldn't bother to challenge it. I'd take my child out and go on holiday without discussing it further. I don't see that one day at the age of 5 - or one week, come to that - would damage her education for life.

Just as an aside, your child doesn't have to be in education until the first term after their 5th birthday so if by chance she has only just turned 5 since the start of this term she doesn't have to be there at all.

KobayashiMaru Sat 04-May-13 16:15:37

Just go. Who cares whether they authorise it ot not?

YummyCalpol Sat 04-May-13 16:17:23

^^ what Kobayashi said.

HollyBerryBush, it's under 90% attendance that there are problems. Schools aim for 95%+ attendance but it wouldn't be flagged up as a problem with the authorities unless under 90%

Patchouli Sat 04-May-13 16:18:22

Don't bother challenging it. They wouldn't authorise that at most schools.
Just take it unauthorised.

SelfRighteousPrissyPants Sat 04-May-13 16:19:06

Mine's going on a weeks holiday for a family birthday trip. We filled a form in but I don't know if it'll be authorised or not. We'll be going anyway as we figure seeing his grandparents who live abroad is more beneficial at this stage that a week of school but accept that the school might not agree!

MerylStrop Sat 04-May-13 16:21:35

Our school has a blanket ban on authorising abscence for holiday. IT's the LA position too.

The refusal probably has more to do with the school's overall attendance, not just your DDs.

It's not worth challenging, just take the day off - the worst that will happen is a snotty letter.

Unless of course it is assessment week, because that will be a total PITA for the teacher.

VonHerrBurton Sat 04-May-13 16:22:53

I would just go, nothing will happen unless attendance is poor, which you have said it isn't. Don't worry about it. Some schools have a blanket 'no' policy, others are more lenient.

I must disagree with you though, Geezer. You are correct with your comments about not having to be in full time education at her age, but if, as a parent, you have decided to enrol your child before that, you have a duty to abide by the school's rules, you can't pick and choose, once in, they should be subject to the same restrictions as every other child.

idonthaveone Sat 04-May-13 16:23:38

the achievement odd the pupils is affected by attendance at 94,7% by DS school is in the lowest quartile for attendance and it affects the achievement of the pupils so its up to you just bear that in mind next time you book a holiday

MissLurkalot Sat 04-May-13 16:24:19

Our school generally accept week or two weeks off, but barely ever agree to one day.
Weird I don't get it.
But, if I were you, I would arrange a meeting with the head.

likeitorlumpit Sat 04-May-13 16:26:31

dont know why people even ask , just phone in sick .

somewhereaclockisticking Sat 04-May-13 16:29:44

I took mine out of school for 3 days for a holiday - first time they've ever taken time off school actually for a holiday and the time wasn't authorised but the school didn't day anything as they're usually always in school unless ill or at appointments. I am now upset though because it does look bad on their attendance records when I view them on line yet have just discovered the teacher has been given 3 weeks off to do something with her dogs!!! (this is High School) - also last year we couldn't see one teacher at parents' eveningbecause my DD1 said she was on holiday - makes me angry that kids cannot be given authorised holidays during school time yet it's ok for the teachers to!

MerylStrop Sat 04-May-13 16:29:56

The odd day when it can't be helped is surely fine, but all those of the "it's more important to have experiences than be in school" persuasion really piss me off.

There are 13 weeks of school hols (yes it is a disgrace that it is more expensive then) but this issue is not just about your own child's achievement, but about the community of the school.

MerylStrop Sat 04-May-13 16:33:02

"if I were you, I would arrange a meeting with the head."

It is really, really, really not worth wasting their time. HT unlikely to change their view, you'll just be more pissed off, they've got better things to do. Just go

Geezer Sat 04-May-13 16:37:03

VonHerrBurton, I agree with you in principle, but the practice and the theory are often two different things. smile Even if the school were of a mind to be ultra snotty about unauthorised absences the age of the child at the time of the 'offence' might determine the severity of their reaction.

BackforGood Sat 04-May-13 16:47:23

I agree with MerylStrop - you'd just be wasting everyone's time. The school have to follow LA guidelines, which say you can't authorise non attendance for a holiday. End of. OTOH, you've told them why your dd won't be there, so no safeguarding issues, and you can just go on your holiday. It matters not a jot to you or your dd if her absence is authorised or not.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Sat 04-May-13 16:56:17

Her attendance is 95.9% (it's on the refusal slip).

School policy is that they will authorise up to 10 days per school year so I don't know why this has been refused. This the first time we have asked.

I won't lie and say she is sick (it would be pretty obvious nowI won't teach DD that it's ok to lie to school, and she's super sharp so she will pick up on that stuff.

We are planning a weekend away to attend an event and because we live in a fairly remote place the travel time is 6+ hours, hence wanting to extend the trip by one day.

clam Sat 04-May-13 17:02:33

They're never going to authorise it, so there' no point in challenging it.
And "School policy is that they will authorise up to 10 days per school year" is not strictly true. HTs may authorise up to 10 days ^in exceptional circumstances." Your request clearly isn't exceptional. Or rather, they used to be able to - I have a feeling they can't even do that nowadays.

HollyBerryBush Sat 04-May-13 17:02:33

if you are attending an event, preferably a family orientated one, that may or may not include elderly relatives or relatives who have flow in from abroad - see where I'm coming from???? - make your request again, pointing pertinent things out.

fortyplus Sat 04-May-13 17:06:55

Geezer I'm a former school governor. There is no obligation to place a child in school until the term after its 5th birthday, but once yoiu accept a place you are compelled to abilde by the school's policies.

JWIM Sat 04-May-13 17:10:44

OP - Does the school policy say they will authorise or that it is at the HT discretion that absence may be authorised up to x days if for exceptional/unique reason or similar?
If the policy has no qualifying statement then you might want to question why the school has not followed the policy - or why the policy has not been revised.

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