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To think the school was wrong to refuse to authorise absence

(94 Posts)
twofalls Fri 15-Nov-13 22:42:55

Next week will be the first anniversary of my friends death. His wife has applied for her son to have the day off so they can travel with their extended family to a place if importance to them. The head has sent back a standard letter saying they can only authorise absence in exceptional circumstances.And her request has been refused. AIBU in thinking the head was wrong? Not to mention incredibly insensitive? Surely this is pretty exceptional??

WooWooOwl Fri 15-Nov-13 22:45:20


And I'm usually one that is very much against term time absence. There is no doubt that one day for something like this is an exceptional circumstance.

Hassled Fri 15-Nov-13 22:45:41

Yup, I'd say that was exactly why the "exceptional circumstances" clause for Heads was written. Worth appealing to the Chair of Governors? Otherwise - a day's unauthorised won't matter; it's just pretty damn insensitive. I'm sorry about your friend.

Auntidote Fri 15-Nov-13 22:45:47

It's not really that exceptional: they could go at the weekend.

Extremely insensitive to send a standard letter, though, not a personal one acknowledging the sadness and saying it was a difficult decision, etc.

CoffeeTea103 Fri 15-Nov-13 22:48:00

Yanbu. This is most definitely an exceptional circumstances. How insensitive of the school to be making your friend have to deal with this at such a difficult time.

EATmum Fri 15-Nov-13 22:50:03

Yup, that's a really bad call on the school's part. Some things are just too important.

owlbegoing Fri 15-Nov-13 22:51:13

Auntidote you'd expect a child to be in the right frame of mind to go to school on the 1st anniversary of it's parent's death? Really? Oh yes that's right they can postpone their grief until the nearest weekend! hmm

amistillsexy Fri 15-Nov-13 22:52:00

Auntidote The first anniversary of the death of the child's parent, not exceptional?



harticus Fri 15-Nov-13 22:53:10

It's not really that exceptional

First anniversary of the death of a parent is unexceptional?
On what planet?
Some schools and some people really have lost the plot with all this unauthorised absence bullshit.
There are some things in life far more important than going to school.

twofalls Fri 15-Nov-13 22:53:16

I am do feel extremely cross on her behalf. As you say, surely that was why the clause was written.

She is going to write and I will suggest she copies the letter to the head of governors too.

This was the same head who told her they would do all they could to support her and her son and promptly did bugger all. Apart from deny a day off in memory of his father.

Not sure "going at the weekend is quite the same".

twofalls Fri 15-Nov-13 22:54:17

Bloody hell, missed the "not exceptional" comment shock

CocacolaMum Fri 15-Nov-13 22:54:35

I would want a meeting with the head to discuss exactly why it is appropriate. What bloody use will the kid be at school that day anyway?!

HarpyFishwifeTwat Fri 15-Nov-13 22:56:45

Auntidote Can you explain exactly what circumstances you would think exceptional enough?

Of course your friend should take her so out if school for the day. And tell the head teacher to take their standard letter and shove it right up their tight arse.

NearTheWindmill Fri 15-Nov-13 22:58:07

YANBU. The head should be ashamed of itself. I'd note the importance of high standards of pastoral care and copy it to the governors with a note that you expect the decision about unauthorised absence to be reversed.

valiumredhead Fri 15-Nov-13 22:58:08

I'd take the day off and not give it another thought. If they fine you, ignore it. Really this has got utterly ridiculous!

optimusic Fri 15-Nov-13 23:00:28

So for the past year the child has been grieving loosing one of their parents prematurely and it is coming up to the first anniversary.. On what planet, well aside from the ht and Antidote, does allowing the day off not fall under exceptional?

twofalls Fri 15-Nov-13 23:00:59

It is madness. And she will take him out anyway but she wanted to do the right thing. It's the utter lack of compassion that gets me, as well as the jobs worthiness if it.

CoffeeTea103 Fri 15-Nov-13 23:01:43

Auntidote your response is on par with the school's letterhmm

twofalls Fri 15-Nov-13 23:04:52

I am wondering what would be classed as exceptional in the HT's world.

LuciusMalfoyisSmokingHot Fri 15-Nov-13 23:07:14

A death of a parent, i'd call that pretty exceptional, that be like my DN's primary school refusing him absence when his baby brothers was taking place in the church next door.

So insensitive, if it were me, i'd take DD out of school that day and tell the to shove their exceptional circumstances up their arse.

LuciusMalfoyisSmokingHot Fri 15-Nov-13 23:08:09


Goldmandra Fri 15-Nov-13 23:11:35

That is exceptional in any reasonable person's mind.

If they issue a fine and she has the strength to do it, she should refuse to pay and offer to see them in court.

The press would rip the HT and the LA to shreds.

foslady Fri 15-Nov-13 23:24:57

My God how callous is that - as if it's not going to be hard enough for them both as it is.

It makes you despair sometimes

twofalls Fri 15-Nov-13 23:29:22

I know. The correct response was "of course and do let us know if there is anything else we can do to help"

So sorry for you loss Lucius hmm

BackforGood Fri 15-Nov-13 23:41:47

In defence of Auntidote - the child has surely been grieving and missing their parent each and every day for the past year. When I lost my parents (not as a child), I found that grief overwhelmed me at the strangest of times, but not specifically on a date that other people thought ought to be significant.

All that said, it's completely irrelevant to the child / family if an odd day's absence is recorded as authorised or unauthorised. The school is penalised on %s of unauthorised absence, but it makes no difference to the child.

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