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to wonder why parents of children who take them out for a day or two in term time are fined because it's not considered acceptable to miss a day at school but...

(72 Posts)
Supercosy Wed 19-Feb-14 08:35:16

the parents of children who are home educated are allowed to do largely what they like?

I'm not anti home schooling, have considered it myself and have friends who do it but I just don't understand this disparity. My friends who HE say they really do have very little interference from anyone at all, their children follow whichever schedule they fancy Yet it's considered wrong for parents to take their children out of school for a day or two even though the trip they are taking will most likely have educational value....certainly emotional value ifyswim.

I say this as a teacher myself. I really don't see much of an issue with parents taking the odd day or few days each year.

Dominodonkey Wed 19-Feb-14 09:19:17

Should NOT , obviously...

dappleton Wed 19-Feb-14 09:19:34

what I don't understand, and please correct me if i'm wrong, is that why are parents fined for taking their children out of class in term time yet teachers can have time off in term time? (I believe it's unpaid but that's not the same as a fine). Surely it should work both ways.

Dominodonkey Wed 19-Feb-14 09:21:20

Dappleton - teachers can only have time off for the same things as a student. For example a funeral.

TeamHank Wed 19-Feb-14 09:23:12

Dappleton, I've never had a single day off in term time!

I know someone who's just taken their child for a week's holiday and the HT has agreed it. Not all HTs are enforcing the new charging policy.

Degustibusnonestdisputandem Wed 19-Feb-14 09:27:37

All of my family reside in Australia (in-laws are all here in UK). Although we do intend to move to Australia in 4-5 years, these rules mean that once our girls start school we would never be able to visit Australia in summer/for Christmas (2 weeks is not long enough to travel that far). If all my family was in the UK I'd have no problem with it, but as they stand, if we were to continue to live here, and stick to the rules, it would mean no Australia trips.

bella411 Wed 19-Feb-14 09:27:40

I agree a few days a term isn't going to cause harm, especially if parents plan for them to have educational trips. School's do outgoing and day trips for enrichmentso why cant parents.

A HE child needs only spend a few hours a day learning and the curriculum is set by the parents, but a parent of a state schooled child cant decide to take 1 or 2 days off for learning, even if it is a day at the seaside.

If people say it is detrimental to their education will we stop children being allowed sick days? Though I know low attendance does become an issue.

Maybe all parents of state educated children should sign off their children to the state to send them to school work houses til they are 18. I do feel the right of the parents to choose is being eroded by these stupid laws. I think more parents will home school so they don't feel dicated to by the government.

When I was a child at school in the late 80s and at secondary mid 90s there was no problem takin a week or 2 holiday during term time.

TeamHank Wed 19-Feb-14 09:32:43

I was at school in the 80s and missing school for holidays was seriously frowned upon - think it depended on your school.

I don't believe for one minute that rates of home ed will go up - while a lot of parents are happy to let their kids skip school for two weeks to lie by a pool I don't believe those same parents would be jumping at the opportunity to be solely responsible for their education day after day after day!

ChocolateWombat Wed 19-Feb-14 09:39:19

When children have a day off s hool for a day out or holiday, they miss out on a day of schooling. It also affects others, because when they return, they need the things explaining which they missed out on. When you are part of a big organisation like a school, it is not possibl to tailor the education to fit around the whims of individuals to have time off. When you home school. It is possible because choosing when to take time off affects only the individual child and educator, who then simply pick up where they stopped. This is the difference. If you want that flexibility, you can have it by home educating. You can't have it within school. You can choose which option to go for.
Time off is now only authorised for exceptional circumstances. Exceptional is defined as something that does not occur frequently and which cannot occur at a weekend or in the holidays. Things which count are funerals and visiting terminally ill relatives, or medical appoint,nets which cannot happen at other times. Family parties can occur at weekends or in holidays, which is why they are not exceptional and days out and holidays can also be organised for non term time, so are not exceptional and authorised either. This is the law and not down to individual heads or teachers.
The law has changed because the amount if time taken off was so much and many people felt it was perfectly normal totals time off and did cot realise the effect on their education or the impact on others. If the system doesn't suit you, choose the alternative of home schooling. If that doesn't suit you, like most things which involve wider groups of people, you have to accept that everyone can't just do whAt they fancy when large groups are involved.

wordfactory Wed 19-Feb-14 09:41:59

Parents will take sole responsibilty for their DCs education 24/7 so they can go to Mallorca in term time? My arse.

Orlando Wed 19-Feb-14 09:43:32

Might be slightly off-topic, but what annoys me is that often my children (all teens now) spend lessons watching TV, especially in the two weeks leading up to the end of term. I'm one of those cowed people who wouldn't dream of taking them out of school, but I sometimes think of all the horizon-broadening things we could have done with the day that they've just spent watching Titanic for the fifteenth time.

bella411 Wed 19-Feb-14 09:44:48

But a child off sick causes just as much work for the teacher as a child having a holiday. I think personally sickness/holiday should be seen as one and if a child has had less than x % of illness then a holiday can be automatically be authorized.

In my experience of teaching ks1 it is much better for the teacher if a child to miss a whole week than a day or 2 as most of the numeracy n literacy was planned to a weekly climax.

DownstairsMixUp Wed 19-Feb-14 09:46:59

This is a genuine question BTW but where does the state get the money from to educate the children? Is it is the tax payer I.e the majority of us parents who work?

ChocolateWombat Wed 19-Feb-14 09:49:01

Word factory, I'm laughing at the idea too.
It's funny isn't it how people become anti state involvement when it's not convenient (ie the 2 weeks they want to be in Mallorca) but are happy for the state to do the work of educating their child the other weeks when it is convenient.
There are some people who genuinely don't like the states involvement in their live and so home educate, but most home educators do not do it for this reason.
Trouble is, people value their own convenience very highly, especially if they can save a few quid. The broader implications for the child and class and teacher seem to be forgotten. Give this new scheme a few years and once fines are seen as the norm, I think there will be a new attitude from most people, but it will take a good 5 years. Back in the 80s people bought it was a nanny state to tell us to wear seat belts. No one questions it now. Took time though and quite a few fines!

diddl Wed 19-Feb-14 09:53:06

Perhaps more trips by schools then?

juule Wed 19-Feb-14 09:53:42

Bella that would mean a sick child wouldn't be entitled to holidays in term-time but a well child would be. It doesn't seem fair to penalise a sick child for being sick.

Wantsunshine Wed 19-Feb-14 09:54:08

I assume if this is based on cost as was mentioned up thread then there is no issue for private schools if you want a term time week off?

ChocolateWombat Wed 19-Feb-14 09:57:22

A child off sick can't be avoided =exceptional. Creates work and child behind, but can't be helped. Day off for hols etc can be avoided and happen at another time = unexceptional.
The fact that we pay for the education through taxes (and yes we do) is not really relevant. We can opt into the education system or out. If everyone wanted a tailor made programme because they had 'paid' there would be chaos. People who go to private schools don't get this either, because again, they Re part of a wider collective and the education is arranged around the who,e group not individuals.

Bella, the way you are seeing it is that time off is normal to certain limits. A child who is neither sick nor off for other reasons has the best chances educationally. Because they have not been off sick, does not mean they have a few days spare to take off, to get up to (or down to) the national norm of attendance. Surely we should be aiming for the max attendance we can manage, not the minimum. This attitude of seeing what. We can get away with and tryi g to get the most time off poss, suggests schooling is not very highly valued. Pity.

ChocolateWombat Wed 19-Feb-14 10:02:05

Private schools can make their own rules. Funnily enough, parents who are paying tend to not take their children out in term time nearly so much. Not saying it doesn't happen at all but rarer. Yes holidays are longer (but increasingly the week or so before state school hols is barely cheaper than mainstream hols) but I think there is also a sense of wanting to get value for money from what you've paid for.

Of course we have all paid for the state education too, indirectly through taxes. Perhaps though , some people (and I'm not saying everyone) value a days education less, because they haven't written a cheque for £70 for it.

bella411 Wed 19-Feb-14 10:02:53

Seat belts can be a life or death issue. Missing a week off school isn't!

So school holidays are frowned upon is cause it causes more work for teacher, not cause it is detrimental to the child. Boohoo, and this is from a teacher. Though maybe if schools and government took the pressure off teachers for sat levels and ofsted on attendance percentage and actually thought about the child and fully developed holistically rather than just academically this wouldn't be an issue like it wasn't 15 years ago.

Imo it is just a sticking plaster to the real issues of children's achievement et c.

TeamHank Wed 19-Feb-14 10:06:55

I never had any problem helping kids catch up if they'd been off sick but not when they'd been on holiday - especially if the parents were stupid enough to moan to me about the cost of holidays! When did they think I went on holiday?!?

TeamHank Wed 19-Feb-14 10:08:35

Bella, don't be daft! Of course it's not because of it causing more work for the teachers - that was a side issue. I never set any extra work so didn't create any work for me.

bella411 Wed 19-Feb-14 10:08:46

And is actually causing more friction between schools and parents than a cohesion.

In the city I work, parents already have a distain for school, education and people in authority and I dont think this law will make them warm to school or see education or its attendance as important and these arent even the parents who cant take their children on holiday in term time or not.

ChocolateWombat Wed 19-Feb-14 10:09:22

Anyway, I'm off now. There have been a few threads on this topic recently, some of who h are very long.
In my mind, the key issues are that,
Schooling is very valuable and we should look for our kids to be there as much as possible. There is a strong correlation between Ttendence and achievement.
Missed time does damage our childrens education and also has effects on other children and staff.
We are part of a wider group, and as such, individual needs for time off for non exceptional (see definitions above) cannot and should not be accommodated and authorised.

There just needs to a be a change in thinking, which I think will occur gradually. There has been a sense that the odd day off (non sickness)here and there is okay and the norm. We need to stop thinking like that and see it as not the norm. It may inconvenience us and our families occasionally, but achieves a bigger goal of educating our children.

TeamHank Wed 19-Feb-14 10:09:43

Children can still develop without taking expensive foreign holidays! I never went abroad as a child but thanks to an excellent education and a good job have travelled widely as an adult.

MrsOakenshield Wed 19-Feb-14 10:13:11

well, I wasn't educated by the state so they had no say in my education, but my parents made the decision that we would, come hell or high water, be in school during term time. Christ, even when I had a multiple leg fracture I was back in a week! And I would be unimpressed if my child's education was buggered around by teachers taking term-time holidays left and right.

A child who is HE has a parent who has given up work to dedicate their days to educating their DC, with no financial support from the state (so a double hit to family finances if you like). And they only have their DC to worry about.

I don't think you can really compare the two. I would hate to HE and I'd be crap at it, so I'm glad to hand that side over to the state, and therefore abide by their rules.

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