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Leave during term time - wibu

(70 Posts)
oblada Tue 07-Nov-17 18:39:43

I'm sure the subject has been done ad nauseatum but hey smile just curious! I asked the school to authorised 2 days off for my daughter. She's in YR1. The days are Friday and Monday in a few weeks time. The reason for it is that my grandmother is 90 years old this year and my whole family is throwing her a surprise birthday party that week-end. My family is abroad (where I am from) so that's where the party is. Hence the 4 days required as 1 travelling there then 2 days 'party'/event and 1 travelling back. Most of my family will be there incl people I haven't seen in 10+ years, family settled in Australia, family we barely ever see etc. I've organised a bloody massive photobook requesting pics from everyone as a little gift for my grandma (took me bloody ages!). Anyway it's going to be great, she has no idea, she bloody deserves it smile we obviously wouldn't miss it for the world and that includes my children. Only one is school aged. She's never sick (only chickenpox last year) and no issue academically. Anyway permission has been refused. Obviously we will still go. And face the consequences (a fine right? 60pounds? Or more?).

But I was wondering WIBU to request it? Would others simply not attend such events? I mean it's not going to change my views but curious to know how others feel about it. This is such a subjective topic. We're not British so maybe cultural in part. Not to say we would go to every birthday under the sun! We've not been to my mother's 60th or my MIL 60th. But both of them are young enough to travel and see us regularly whereas my grandma can't anymore.

We won't even go back for Xmas as can't afford it. My parents will come over but of course not my grandmother.

Anyway just wondering really smile what have ppl taken their kids off school for? What have ppl requested permission for and when has it been granted? Would you take child's attendance/academic level/school year into consideration or expect it to be taken into account?

Xx

Sirzy Tue 07-Nov-17 18:43:46

I wouldn’t expect it to be authorised but I would still go for the sake of 2 days.

AnnabellaH Tue 07-Nov-17 18:45:11

We're actually going to be home educating because I'll be fucked if someone else is going to tell me what to do with my own child. Let alone a pen pusher in a Head Teacher's jacket who just wants offsted numbers.

You request was not U. The (dick)Head Teacher was.

Is there a reason why the teacher can't just give your daughter the work she'll miss out on in advance? Didn't they used to be organised and have lesson plans sorted weeks ahead or are they all shoddy at time management?

ProfessorCat Tue 07-Nov-17 18:45:22

YANBU. We don't have the same rules in Wales, but family is important and as a teacher I find it hard to get worked up about children of that age going on holidays or having time off for birthdays.

ProfessorCat Tue 07-Nov-17 18:46:05

Oh and next time, just say she's ill.

AnnabellaH Tue 07-Nov-17 18:49:09

Your* damn numb fingers

Pengggwn Tue 07-Nov-17 18:49:27

The school has to be consistent. They can't authorise your family birthday party because you only need two days and it's your grandmother and then not authorise the family party of someone who needs three for their uncle. The question they ask has to be whether it is fair to say circumstances are extenuating, e.g. weddings of immediate family, funerals etc.

That1950sMum Tue 07-Nov-17 18:50:28

I'm not surprised it wasn't authorised, but I think you should go anyway. I doubt the school will fine you, but if they do it is £60 (doubled if you don't pay within 21 days).

I'm normally very anti term time holidays, but your DD is only in Year 1 and it sounds like a family event she should be part of.

Go and enjoy! grin

Babybrainx2 Tue 07-Nov-17 18:50:48

Our local authority has said no Head Teacher can authorise a holiday absence. It used to be at their discretion (if attendance was normally ok and no major exams being missed) but now it is a blanket no except emergency circumstances.

I don't think anyone will expect you to miss the occasion, but that doesn't mean they can approve of missing 2 days of school for a party.

TeenTimesTwo Tue 07-Nov-17 18:52:28

You ask, they refuse, you take her. No big deal. No consequences for a couple of days.

But don't ask the teacher for work. That's not on.

Ali2666 Tue 07-Nov-17 18:54:15

Although it's been unauthorised, you'll probably find you won't get fined. It will just go down as an unauthorised absence. The Head doesn't make the decisions on fines, the Education Welfare Officer does. It probably won't even get passed to him/her if your child has a good attendance record

fairgame84 Tue 07-Nov-17 18:57:12

Our local authority has the same policy as babybrains. HT is not a dick as Annabelle so politely hmm put it unfortunately, as a state school, his hands are tied. He often chooses not to refer parents for the fixed penalty notice.
Most parents just take their children anyway and just accept that the absence will be unauthorised and they may get fined.

lljkk Tue 07-Nov-17 18:58:07

Say you're not going to Australia & back in 4 days.

oblada Tue 07-Nov-17 18:58:48

It's interesting to see people saying they wouldn't have expected for it to be authorised but that they would go too... I don't know much how it works, I like to do things 'properly' I suppose, the rules are confusing. So will I not get fined then potentially? I'm confused by the whole system I have to say smile

Butteredparsn1ps Tue 07-Nov-17 19:00:06

I believe that any fines are issued by the local authority and not school. I also think most LA fine after 5 days absence, so 2 days is snotty letter territory.

Have a fantastic time!

BuggerOffAndGoodDayToYou Tue 07-Nov-17 19:00:45

You request was not U. The (dick)Head Teacher was.

In this area NO Head Teacher is allowed to authorise holidays! This does NOT make them dicks!

You are not unreasonable to take the time if you DD genuinely has otherwise excellent attendance. You are unlikely to get a fine as it is only four sessions of absence. The School WILL NOT fine you as school's don't have that power, that power belongs to the local authority!

I would have to write you a letter acknowledging your request and advising you that the absence will be unauthorised and that would be the end of it her - unless, of course, you make a habit of it.

oblada Tue 07-Nov-17 19:01:00

Not going to Australia no LOL would love too though! Going to an EU country. But my cousin who is in Australia is coming too and I haven't seen him in 10+ yrs! We did go to a wedding in India a few yrs back (brother in law's wedding) and only went for 4-5 days I think due to work commitments... No school to worry about at that time smile

Sirzy Tue 07-Nov-17 19:01:06

Basically the system is you can’t take an authorised holiday in term time unless it is very exceptional circumstances. Sadly the definition of exceptional does seem to vary.

In most places fines only seem to be isued if they miss 10 sessions (so 5 days)

I am anti term time holidays but when so young and for only 2 days as a one off I would do it.

BuggerOffAndGoodDayToYou Tue 07-Nov-17 19:01:37

OMG the end of IT, IT not her!

We don't end children for unauthorised absence!

lljkk Tue 07-Nov-17 19:04:24

The HTs have some discretion about who they refer for a fine. I would suck it up if we ever got one (haven't had one, & I've taken DC on a few unauthorised hols). I reckon HTs don't like to refer people for fines.

allegretto Tue 07-Nov-17 19:05:47

Not unreasonable at all. It woukd be unreasonable not to go!

grasspigeons Tue 07-Nov-17 19:06:21

sadly, the school can only legally authorise an absence for something called 'exceptional circumstances' there is some discretion as to what counts as exceptional but local authorities are gradually building up what they consider 'exceptional' in my area it doesn't include holidays which this would come under. I totally understand there are people you haven't seen for 10 years etc, but I think the idea is you should arrange to see them in the holidays.

You can probably contact your Education Welfare Officer and query that you that a 90th birthday is exceptional and see how you go. I know people who have had a travel day authorised for weddings abroad.

Obviously go and I doubt you will actually get fined anyway. In my area you have to be off for 10 consecutive days before they start fining.

hippyhippyshake Tue 07-Nov-17 19:08:16

Crikey annabelle, so much wrong, stereotypical misinformation in your post I don't know where to start. In short, don't change your mind and send your child to school, knowing my luck you'll end up a parent in my class.

Quartz2208 Tue 07-Nov-17 19:10:10

For my LEA you only get fined if you have 5 unauthorised days and your attendance drops below 95% or 10 consecutive days. I think HT only have to refer now if the attendance drops (and that is always the case)

The only people I know fined took 2/3 week holidays.

I average 2-4 unauthorised days a year and still end up with a 96-97% attendance rate. There is no shame in having an unauthorised absence

oblada Tue 07-Nov-17 19:11:50

Babybrain - maybe it's that then! I can't say the rules are very clear, they don't actually say what are exceptional circumstances... Its all a bit weird smile

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