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AIBU to tell you it is not illegal to take your child out of school to go on holiday

(510 Posts)
Pseudonym99 Fri 16-Oct-15 02:40:09

Seeyounearertime Fri 16-Oct-15 06:19:45

"I cannot allow a local education authority to tell me what is right for my kids - I know what is best for my kids," he said.

This is what I think. I know my child better than any head teacher, any MP and most certainly better than any white shirt wearing pencil pusher from Westminster that's never met my child.

I understand some parents need a little guidance, some parents need a lot of guidance, but don't punish every parent for the sake of a few who can't be arsed to get their kid to school every day.

icklekid Fri 16-Oct-15 06:22:32

But what if in some schools its not a few but the majority who don't value education and can't be bothered to bring children to school. The impact of the poor attendance then has a huge impact on the schools results. They need the government to back them up to ensure they can improve their attendance. ..this isn't just about 1 week cheap holidays for those that do value education. ...sorry devils advocate over...

Axekick Fri 16-Oct-15 06:29:23

The problem is that this rule does not tackle persistent behaviour. People who can't be arsed I send their kids, won't send them because of this rule. You can take your kids out of school dor a holiday and still have a good attendance.

The old rule that you could go at HT discretion if attendance was generally good, was at better.

But to be honest I have taken my kids out and not been fined.

At the end of the day, I make decisions for my kids everyday. I wouldn't take them out on a whim. They have great attendance and have never fallen behind because we have taken them out every few years.

I am quite happy about this decision. We did home school dd for a while and the school we removed her from tried to tell us we couldn't de register her. The education system seems to enjoy having an iron grip on kids. I act silly wish dd didn't want to go back to school. I miss the freedom of home schooling

Axekick Fri 16-Oct-15 06:31:44

ickle if the parents don't value education and can't be bothered. Blanket banning term time holidays may raise the schools attendance figures slightly, but isn't helping the kids of feckless parents.

Seeyounearertime Fri 16-Oct-15 07:33:33

Ickle OK, what if that was expanded to everything about school life? Schools has 500 kids, 450 can't be arsed to do homework, so punish all 500?
450 are constantly late, instead of sorting those, punish all 500?

See what I'm saying?
You're boiling all the good apples to cure the one bad.

ollieplimsoles Fri 16-Oct-15 07:40:47

I agree with seeyou

At the moment, I hate this creeping assumption from politicians that all parents cant be trusted to make decisions about their own children, so we have blanket rules for every family, its really unfair.

Aquarius320 Fri 16-Oct-15 07:44:21

Face it, we live in a nanny state!!

TheFallenMadonna Fri 16-Oct-15 07:47:03

Our school's attendance target is 96%. When you include run of the mill sickness absence, chronic sickness absence and the odd wedding/funeral, it doesn't leave much discretion for holidays if we are going to meet it.

AuntieStella Fri 16-Oct-15 07:47:16

I wouldn't count on this judgement making it OK.

Surely, there will probably be a further test in court about what "regular attendance" means, because the 1944 Act could be interpreted as all 190 sessions (to a non-lawyer reading it, that's how it seems).

SouthAmericanCuisine Fri 16-Oct-15 07:55:21

If he knows what's best for his kids, then why choose to use a schooling system to meet his legal responsibility to educate them that includes regulations that he believes are detrimental to his DCs.

I just don't understand the froth about this, it's simple. There is a legal responsibility to ensure your DCs are educated. There are various options available to achieve that - all of which have regulations, restrictions and rules.
A child can't be educated in private school if their parents don't pay. Parents must provide evidence that they are home educating. And parents must ensure attendance if they opt for state school.

Personally, I'd be a lot harsher - chuck the non-attending kids out of school and leave them to suffer the consequences of their parents poor choices.

GruntledOne Fri 16-Oct-15 07:55:54

YABU, simply because this case doesn't set a binding legal precedent and it would be foolish to assume that another court would take the same decision.

SouthAmericanCuisine Fri 16-Oct-15 07:58:46

This particular magistrates court has a track record. confused

00100001 Fri 16-Oct-15 08:05:24

People take education for granted in the UK.

TaliZorah Fri 16-Oct-15 08:13:06

I hate this ridiculous crap about not being able to take your kids out of school. It's up to the parents, others shouldn't interfere.

x2boys Fri 16-Oct-15 08:17:09

well thats it TheFallenMaddona ds,s attendance is a ok but last yr he had a week off at the begining of september for tonsillitis and six days off in may for chicken pox if his attendance was dropped to about 94.9% if he had had another couple of weeks off for a family holiday his attendance would have been unaccetable?

SouthAmericanCuisine Fri 16-Oct-15 08:18:36

I hate this ridiculous crap about not being able to take your kids out of school. It's up to the parents, others shouldn't interfere.

So why choose to educate your child in a way that requires them to attend school regularly, then?

If you don't like it - don't use it!

Bunbaker Fri 16-Oct-15 08:19:17

"This particular magistrates court has a track record."

For what?

SouthAmericanCuisine Fri 16-Oct-15 08:21:08

bunbaker For finding in favour of the parent when the LA prosecute for non payment.

Osolea Fri 16-Oct-15 08:22:18

Whether it's illegal or not, it really isn't an ideal thing to do. There are plenty of days throughout the year when children aren't expected to attend school where they coudo go on holiday.

It may not make a difference to the brightest of children, but to many children, it really does make a difference, no matter how well those parents know their children. And however well you know your children, unless you have access to all the teachers plans for the time you plan on taking off, you have no idea what they will be missing, or if it will make a difference.

I've seen plenty of children whose parents think they know best sit and struggle in lessons because they have missed the main input of something, I've seen plenty of them sitting and looking sad because they can't be included in the end of term Christmas or summer plays but they still have to be around for the rehearsals.

PennyHasNoSurname Fri 16-Oct-15 08:33:27

Until a time when it becomes affordable to take kids away in school holidays (places that add £1k to their prices are just robbing bastards), then most people would consider it.

In my opinion all schools should be allowed to set their own term dates (within reason).

teacherwith2kids Fri 16-Oct-15 08:35:08

I feel we need to make a distinction here between 'unauthorised' and 'illegal'.

From a school's point of view, it is better for a child's education for them, to be in school every day. This is particularly true for children who are already 'vulnerable learners' due to particular needs or home background or whatever (I used to analyse data for a school with many such learners due to the nature of the cohort, and the impact of additional absence for such children was very stark). By asking schools to 'authorise' holiday absence, you are basically asking a school to say 'yes, that's fine, we hve no problem with children being absent', when this is not in fact the case.

Parents can still take children on holiday in term time, but it is 'unauthorised', which seems fine to me, as it is the school saying 'this isn't ideal, and we're not going to pretend it is, but we can't physically stop you'.

IMO, the point where fines should kick in is for persistent offenders, where holiday absence is only part of a much bigger picture of regularly missing school without good reason, where the law that children should be 'receiving a full time education' is being broken.

GoblinLittleOwl Fri 16-Oct-15 08:36:37

"I cannot allow a local education authority to tell me what is right for my kids - I know what is best for my kids," he said.

"This is what I think. I know my child better than any head teacher, any MP and most certainly better than any white shirt wearing pencil pusher from Westminster that's never met my child."

This demonstrates so clearly why it is such an uphill struggle educating children today, because parents have the mistaken idea that they, with possible ten years experience of dealing with two or three children in a home environment, are able to make long-reaching decisions concerning their education and health and welfare.
Of course they know their children better than officials, but they do not know their children in an educational context, in comparison with thousands of children over a number of years. Taking children out of school for holidays does damage their education: they miss vital work that cannot be replaced.
This sort of behaviour also sends a clear message to children that it is all right to defy authority, 'because I know best.'

I despair.

teacherwith2kids Fri 16-Oct-15 08:53:43

I also think what is missing here is an appreciation of the 'common good', as opposed to the 'desire of the individual'.

In a class of 30 children, if each child takes even 1 week of holiday in term time each year, it works like this:

Child 1 misses week 1. In week 2, Child 2 is absent, but more importantly, Child 1 has missed week 1 and now has gaps in their learning that need to be filled before they can access the work done in week 2. So an adult spends additional time with child 1 to do this, diverting the time that they would normally be using to accelerate the learning of others in the class. This repeats in week 3, when child 3 is absent but child 2 now needs catch-up, etc etc.

What the parents of each individual child will see is 'my child didn't really suffer from being away for a week' (not because the learning they missed was unimportant, but because the staff did their utmost to fill any gaps after they returned - an often overlooked fact).

Looked at from a 'common good' perspective, everyone in the class suffers (and disproportionately, those children who need most adult assistance to make progress) because adult attention has had to be diverted to this constant 'catch up' process.

teacherwith2kids Fri 16-Oct-15 08:56:04

I do also wonder what parents might say if we genuinely let their child suffer the consequences of being away and refused to offer any additional help after they returned. IME, schools often 'mask' the full impact of holiday absence by working to hard to 'catch up' a child after their return.

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