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To keep my child home from school on polling day

(145 Posts)
SchoolOutForSummer Thu 27-Apr-17 16:42:17

Name change as this post will out me to all parents at our school ;)

Minor gripe here. School notified parents of holiday dates in September and these included the dates the school is closed for poling, including this Thursday.

Just received a letter today, telling us our Year 6 children must come to school on Thursday, to do extra work for their upcoming SATs exams.

I am slightly concerned that they will not be able to monitor ALL the members of public who will be in the school voting and wandering on and around the premises and keep them away from the children, which is why the school is closed.

I feel that as the rest of the school is closed from nursery up to year 5, then it should be closed for year 6 too. The year 6 children are all upset on the playground and feel they are being punished to lose their day off school.

School are concerned about their sats score. Which is laughable to think that one six hour day will make any difference to their scores. Teaching resentful children will not be effective...just let them have their 'planned for months' day off. The school has never pulled in year 6 children into school on polling day before and has reasonable sats scores and is a 'Good' school in ofsed terms.

Many parents including me have either paid for child care or planned a fun day out with siblings. Which will have to be cancelled last minute.

I know it is no big deal but I am tempted to just keep her off ill. Our letter promises that all absent year 6 children will be receiving a phone call from the school. My response would be the truth. She is very upset and stressed from all the pressure of these sats exams, therefore she will be staying home today. Would that be so unreasonable?

If the school had told us about this extra day in September or even a month ago, I would of sent her but leaving it so late and upsetting all the children seems so self defeating.

Plus I think sats is a massive waste of teachers time, I told DD to work hard and do her best but I don't want anymore headaches, tears and stomach aches over this issue

SchoolOutForSummer Thu 27-Apr-17 16:43:20

This Thursday is next Thursday...sorry for any confusion when reading.

MsGameandWatch Thu 27-Apr-17 16:45:30

I absolutely would.

franciemczoo Thu 27-Apr-17 16:46:23

Keep her off OP. It pisses me off that the schools put so much pressure on kids when the results are for the school not the children.

Tell them they've given you too short notice and it's not convenient to change your arrangements at this stage.

HermioneJeanGranger Thu 27-Apr-17 16:46:30

YANBU. They told you it was closed, so you have other plans, right?!

NancyDonahue Thu 27-Apr-17 16:48:19

They said it was closed, they can't just change their minds at the last minute. Keep her off and go out for a day of fun. I've a feeling the head will be making an awful lot of phone calls!

Seeline Thu 27-Apr-17 16:48:35

I suppose they weren't expecting another polling day the next month - what is happening then?

NancyDonahue Thu 27-Apr-17 16:50:29

It's crap that schools are used for polling. There must be other places they can use, surely?

SingingSands Thu 27-Apr-17 16:50:32

Absolutely keep her off.

viques Thu 27-Apr-17 16:52:14

I would not worry about wandering voters, the returning officers for the poll should have been informed and they will have to be satisfied that both the polling station and the school will be secure, using different entrances etc.

I do agree with you that it is a very sad state of affairs to drag them in for an extra day. Far better to tell them to go off, have fun and forget about SATS for a day. If they don't know it now then tough.

SchoolOutForSummer Thu 27-Apr-17 16:53:45

So the next question is. Do I do the mature thing and refuse to sign their letter Send a short note with this type of response (which I love)
Tell them they've given you too short notice and it's not convenient to change your arrangements at this stage

Or just tell them when they ring on the day.

I am leaning to leaving it to the day. Better to ask for forgiveness than permission.

Summerisdone Thu 27-Apr-17 16:53:58

YANBU. I'd tell the school that you have made plans for this day already and have had to fork out for said plans (e.g train tickets or attraction tickets) and therefore will not be willing to lose the money you've already spent as they've suddenly changed their mind.
Tbh if it's only year 6 in school I can't see it even being all that productive, as the children will resent being the only ones missing out on a day off and probably not put in nearly as much effort because of this.

Witchend Thu 27-Apr-17 16:55:04

Lots of schools round here partially close for polling day. As a standard rule the older you are the more likely you are to go in.

SweepTheHalls Thu 27-Apr-17 16:55:23

Results do matter to the child though..... Their GCSE targets are based on. Do well , have challenging targets, be stretched to achieve the highest grades........ Just saying smile

gabsdot Thu 27-Apr-17 16:57:24

I'm surprised anyone is allowed into the school at all if it's being used as a polling station.
Our school is attached to a community centre which is used as a polling station, there is another school attached on the other side and on polling day both schools are closed.

TipTop333 Thu 27-Apr-17 16:57:35

YABU. The students can easily be kept separate from the public. It happens easily in schools that don't feel the need to close.
Schools don't close for staff so they have identified that the best use of their time is to prepare Year 6 for SATs. The same happens on things such as inset days for GCSE and A Level students. SATs clearly not as important but they've said it isn't closed for students so what can you do?

MongerTruffle Thu 27-Apr-17 16:58:56


Most secondary schools do their own tests - either on induction day or at the beginning of the Autumn term. All secondary schools mix sets around/change targets in the first term. National Curriculum assessments are there to test the school, not the child.

halcyondays Thu 27-Apr-17 16:59:29

SATS aren't really comparable to GCSEs and A Levels, in NI we don't even do them.

Lules Thu 27-Apr-17 16:59:54

My polling station is a school. There is no way a voter could get into the main bit of it. You can get into the hall to vote and that's it. Same with my last one.

SoupDragon Thu 27-Apr-17 17:02:02

I am slightly concerned that they will not be able to monitor ALL the members of public who will be in the school voting and wandering on and around the premises and keep them away from the children, which is why the school is closed

YABU for this.

halcyondays Thu 27-Apr-17 17:04:08

Depends on layout of the school building, at my dds', the hall is right in the middle of the school. At my old primary, it was closer to the front door but they still closed on voting days.

BadKnee Thu 27-Apr-17 17:08:51

Completely normal. Send child in.

Really, if all schools were private and you had to pay per day you wouldn't be keeping children off. We have it the wrong way round Education is expensive and we treat it as if it is Them and Us and They are forcing Us to go and any chance We can get one over on Them we should take it.

The sooner we change this attitude the better.
Still the wants of an 11 year old come first I see.

(Aware that this is not a popular view)

sticklebrix Thu 27-Apr-17 17:14:16

I can't see this doing your DD any good and would definitely keep her off.

dementedpixie Thu 27-Apr-17 17:16:39

OP has already been told school would be closed on that day. Just say you've made other arrangements or don't answer the phone. We don't have SATs in Scotland either and we seem to cope ok

DoesHeWantToOrNot Thu 27-Apr-17 17:19:02

My school was never used as a polling station so at every election we were always in school. We always felt very bitter especially as we were in 9am - 3.30pm every day and all other schools were 9am - 3pm.

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