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Unauthorised absence at school, aibu to go eh?

(13 Posts)
Scrumbled Mon 21-Jul-14 17:22:23

We booked out summer holiday months ago. We'd been planning it for ages then got a letter from school with term dates and booked. It turns out they'd made a mistake and the date they said was the last day of the holidays was actually the first day of term.

We didn't realise for ages that the date had been corrected, in our minds all was fine. Every year we get back for holiday the day before the children start. Not that there was anything we could do about it anyway.

We filled in the holiday request form detailing what had happened, we have copies of the letter we based our booking on and referred to it. Our request came back with a terse Holidays are Not authorised in Term Time scrawled.

Part of me doesn't care too much, I assume they wouldn't have the audacity to try and send a fine in our direction hmm I'm fighting indignant feelings about never having wanted to extend our holiday into term time in the first place. We weren't really asking for permission but explaining why they wouldn't be back. Inside my emotions are stamping their feet wondering how can they not authorise it confused

It would have been easier to have called them in sick by Skype in the middle of the ocean.

Nomama Mon 21-Jul-14 17:29:43

Send a copy of everything including their last letter and ask them to confirm that, even though you were acting on their, incorrect, information and have explained this, that they will continue to penalise you for their error? Make them state that... despite the initial misinformation being their error they are now continuing to penalise you for it.

Then forget about it. Go and enjoy your holiday, fight this one out when you get back. It can be sent to the LA for them to sort out.

Basically, sod them!

Nomama Mon 21-Jul-14 17:30:15


Basically, sod them! You are NBU at all!

LewisNaiceHamilton Mon 21-Jul-14 18:13:18

It's the local authority, not the school, who issue fines.

I'd be surprised if they bothered.

IAmNotAMindReader Mon 21-Jul-14 18:17:13

Don't believe for a second the our hands are tied approach. Heads still have discretion to rule on what they perceive as exceptional circumstances etc.
They still get the final say.

greenfolder Mon 21-Jul-14 18:21:22

you are better than us. we are back on the 7th September, school for dd3 starts on the 4th.

i havent even told them. the policy is that permission wont be given. the county website says fines for more than 10 absences in 12 weeks, so we are within this.

i wouldnt give it a second thought

Topseyt Mon 21-Jul-14 18:24:50

We had this happen once, a few years ago when I had children in the infants. The school published the wrong week for its October half term holiday and we booked flights to go and visit my MIL, who at that stage still owned an apartment in Majorca and would be out there then.

Fortunately LEAs were not so into fines then as they are now. I spoke to the headmistress about it (I had kept the letter the school had sent home with the wrong holiday dates too). She said they were aware of the mistake and would be authorising any holiday which had been booked on the strength of it.

Keep all correspondence you have, particularly the bits with the wrong dates on them. If you are threatened with unauthorised absence and fines then challenge it by writing to the LEA, the headteacher, the governors etc. enclosing copies of the documents needed to prove your point.

Their mistake, so I think it makes for "exceptional circumstances". They damned well should authorise it.

TheTertiumSquid Mon 21-Jul-14 20:21:19

Apart from the fines, which I believe kick in at 10 half days of unauthorised absence, as far as I can see, unauthorised absence is much worse for the school than for a parent, isn't it? I mean, it's not like ofsted is coming round inspecting parents' rates of unauthorised absence is it? One or two here or there hurt the school more than the parent. I would have thought it was in the school's interest to authorise?

TheReluctantCountess Mon 21-Jul-14 20:25:13

How can you think the date of the first day back is the start of a holiday?

Stinkle Mon 21-Jul-14 20:30:41

We had similar at May half term.

They had a development day for the Friday before half term, we booked a holiday, around these dates.

In March they then sent out a letter cancelling the development day.

The Head wouldn't authorise it either. We went anyway, but never heard anymore about it

Here, I think it's 10 absences in one half term period before they issue fines

lessthanBeau Mon 21-Jul-14 20:34:50

she said the last day of the hols is actualy the first day back.

what I cant believe is, after all the hoo har over fines and term time holiday, people still havent got a clue what the rules are, YOU WILL NOT BE FINED FOR AN ABSENCE OF LESS THAN FIVE FULL DAYS!
sorry for shouting but how many times is this going to have to be repeated before people stop worrying about 1,2,3 or 4 day absences....

have a great holiday op

taxi4ballet Mon 21-Jul-14 20:47:17

You might not be fined, but the OP still won't want an 'unauthorised absence' marked on their dc's report, when it's the school's cock-up.

Perhaps a terse letter to the Chair of the school governors, with a copy to the LEA and another copy to the head (as an afterthought).

Enjoy your holiday!

TheReluctantCountess Mon 21-Jul-14 21:23:34

Oh I see!
I doubt very much if anything will come of it, so don't worry.

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