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Taking DD out of school twice

(74 Posts)
Pippa12 Thu 18-Jul-19 12:49:40

We took our DD out of school for 4 days for a family holiday in April. When I say it poured down, I mean the weather was awful, it was a washout. Never got in the pool, and once my fake tan had washed off I looked paler than I went!!!

We have been invited to a wedding abroad at the end of September. My initial response was no, couldn’t take our DD out of school. But I’d love to watch this couple get married, I’d love my DD to enjoy the pool/entertainment in the sunshine and not the freak weather experienced for our main holiday!!!

We didn’t get fined in April due to short length of time (4 days) and otherwise had 100% attendance. She will of started a new class year but technically I’ve took her out twice in 6 months if we go... I am expecting the fine but is the punishment likely to be more harsh due to being a repeat offender within 12 months??? FWIW I wasn’t lucky enough to get any annual leave in the 6 weeks holidays this year hence the April trip.

Sirzy Thu 18-Jul-19 12:52:05

How old is she?

Two holidays in school time in 6 months is taking the Piss a bit imo

GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat Thu 18-Jul-19 12:53:18

How old is she? I mean it’s irrelevant to me as I wouldn’t do it but it will help others form an opinion.

JacquesHammer Thu 18-Jul-19 12:53:41

How old is your DD?

Pippa12 Thu 18-Jul-19 12:54:59

She is 7

DidUReallyJustSayThat Thu 18-Jul-19 12:55:46

I would for if she's in Y6 and under, Year 7 onwards, probably not. If it's a close family member getting married I would though.

Pippa12 Thu 18-Jul-19 12:56:44

I do agree it’s not ideal, if it wasn’t a wedding I wouldn’t do it... but that is swaying me to think we only live once!

sneakypinky Thu 18-Jul-19 12:57:00

Tell them she has conjunctivitis or something.

superram Thu 18-Jul-19 12:58:22

We bottled in and called in sick.... I’m a teacher and my head gave me time off but primary wouldn’t. Didn’t sleep worrying but now had a gin and feel ok.

Sirzy Thu 18-Jul-19 12:58:56

If you do go please don’t take the advice to tell her to lie.

Personally I wouldn’t do it

Pippa12 Thu 18-Jul-19 12:59:11

grin I couldn’t, there will definitely be pictures on SM that I couldn’t police. I don’t use it myself but it will be a big flamboyant event if you get my jist

JacquesHammer Thu 18-Jul-19 12:59:23

Double check your LEA rules.

For example ours works on a rolling 4 months basis. It also doesn’t go over two school years.

How many days would you take her out for?

mummymeister Thu 18-Jul-19 13:00:42

I think that the ban on holidays in term time is a bit of nonsense and more so for kids in primary education. so, I would just take her. but there will be someone along in a minute who will tell you that if you do you had better be prepared for her to fail her GCSE's and end up in a dead end job. Its a marmite issue. we have always taken ours out because we cant take holidays in school holidays. always made sure I sorted out work for them and that they didnt miss any thing.

Imustbemad00 Thu 18-Jul-19 13:03:19

I would do it. I usually call in sick, but I don’t ask the kids to lie. If they tell the teacher then so be it. I think once as long as the office mark it as sick it’s ok. Even if he tells his teacher I don’t think she’d mention it anyway, I don’t think teachers are that bothered about kids having a day or 2 off once a year for a special occasion.

Basecamp65 Thu 18-Jul-19 13:03:53

20 years ago no one would have batted an eyelid at this - we have lost all perspective on this issue at the moment I think.

But you do need to bear in mind the consequences in terms of action by the LA - there will not be any consequences in terms of your child's long term development.

SooticaTheWitchesCat Thu 18-Jul-19 13:04:53

Why don't you just ask and see what they say and then decide?

Pippa12 Thu 18-Jul-19 13:05:52

Thanks @JacquesHammer that’s a good point, I’ll look into that!

We would definitely only go for 1 week max.
So she will of had 9 days off in total for both holidays.

I do agree @mummymeister it makes things very difficult for my DH and I, I rarely get AL in the holidays due to the nature of our jobs and the demand from other colleagues. We end up squashing a holiday into 5 days or at obscure times of the year... I am fed up of going away and the weather being dire angry

ChicCroissant Thu 18-Jul-19 13:06:46

It is unfortunate that your first holiday didn't live up to your expectations, OP, but if it had been more sunshine than showers I don't think you'd even be considering going to the wedding - which makes me think it's more about you wanting another holiday.

What does your DD want to do, does she know the couple getting married?

Pippa12 Thu 18-Jul-19 13:08:14

Totally prepared to pay the fine (£120 I think) disagree with it but wouldn’t kick up a stink about it. My DD is a good all rounder, I am not concerned it will have a negative impact long term xxx

noeyedeer Thu 18-Jul-19 13:09:32

Weddings usually count as "exceptional circumstances". You're not asking for a holiday, you are attending a wedding. If you choose to spend more time than the wedding and a day either side away from school, the non-wedding days could be unauthorised, but you have no choice as to when the wedding is held.

Pippa12 Thu 18-Jul-19 13:10:02

@ChicCroissant can’t deny that one bit, the temptation would of been a little easier to resist if we hadn’t spent the vacation wrapped in beach towels and wearing our coats grin she wants to go although which child wouldn’t!

Alarmclockstop Thu 18-Jul-19 13:10:38

Just take her. Most councils it is more than 4.5 days in a 10 week period. Worst that will happen is you will get a fine. Pay it in time and all is good. She is not going to harm her life chances by missing some school at 7.

Pippa12 Thu 18-Jul-19 13:12:23

I did wonder about special circumstances @noeyedeer but as it’s close friends rather than family not sure I could use that card. I do have complicated family history tho, sure I they’d be a 6th cousin removed if I dug deep enough grin

Chocolatelover45 Thu 18-Jul-19 13:12:47

I would go. Shame to miss the opportunity, sounds like it will be the only family holiday she gets this summer. Family holiday is more important than 1 week of school at age 7.

RedSkyLastNight Thu 18-Jul-19 13:13:22

Weddings usually count as "exceptional circumstances
Depends whose wedding it is. And even then the school could argue that if it was so important that DD attended the wedding organiser could have chosen a different day (e.g. if it was the child's parents getting married)

Rosejasmine Thu 18-Jul-19 13:15:00

I thought the timing rules applied to each school year, ie can't be rolled over into the next school year? I may be wrong tho. Wether yabu or not IMO it depends on the age of the child, if you're coming up to SATS or GCSEs then I don't think you should do it. Years 1-4 and 7-9, it's not so bad.

FishCanFly Thu 18-Jul-19 13:26:44

go for it. Make up a reason that is good enough to be exceptional

Fink Thu 18-Jul-19 13:31:38

I would go for a family member, but not a friend. If it was a very close friend and my child was close to him/her (e.g. a godparent), I would go for a long weekend (assuming the wedding is on a weekend) and miss one-two days of school, no longer. Why do you have to go for a whole week? Unless it's a long haul flight, 4 days should be sufficient to attend the wedding and not miss too much school.

I don't know what the legal case is as regards fines etc. so not commenting on that.

CatteStreet Thu 18-Jul-19 13:32:30

Hm. if it weren't for you struggling to get leave in the summer holidays, I would have said YABVU, tbh, but I think that swings it back to YANBU. Considering many people have a two-week summer holiday, a week (or not quite) in April and a week in September kind of equates to that.

The weather on your April holiday is irrelevant, IMO. I'd also leave it out of any reasoning you present to the school. Oh, and don't lie or ask your dd to.

NeckPainChairSearch Thu 18-Jul-19 13:33:41

Do it but tell the truth.

Lying about it would be stupid, obviously.

FishCanFly Thu 18-Jul-19 13:37:17

Lying about it would be stupid, obviously.
stupid rule in first place. You shouldn't need to go cap in hand and ask permission to go to a family wedding.

MyDcAreMarvel Thu 18-Jul-19 13:37:18

Your April holiday is irrelevant as it an old school year.
If you don’t want to get fined take her in Monday and out again at 9.15 once she has her mark. That will be 9 sessions missed. The majority of LEA’s fine for 10 plus.

BettySwollocksandaCrustyRack Thu 18-Jul-19 13:37:46

She's 7, she isn't going to miss anything major but don't lie, just say it's for a wedding. I don't get why people get so het up about this, I never took my son out of school during secondary but for primary it doesn't hurt once in a while. Family time will be lovely, she has years of schooling ahead of her so go for it and just enjoy.

Booboo66 Thu 18-Jul-19 13:40:15

Yes I'd do it, she's 7 it's not going to impact her long term and it's a once off to do it this frequently I'm sure. Start of term isn't ideal but again at this age I'm sure friendship groups are well established as is her knowledge of school. You may well get a fine but there won't be any more harsh punishment. I think you'll regret it if you don't go too, especially when the pictures start appearing while you are on cold wet and windy school run.

MammaMia19 Thu 18-Jul-19 13:40:25

September is a new school year so attendance will start a fresh and the last absence won’t be taken into account.
Check your councils website but my council fines £60 per parents so just factor £120 fine into your budget.
The only problem you might have is that her attendance will look really low due to the averages. We took dd6 out for 2 weeks holiday and her attendance went down to 64% because it was in October. We got a strongly worded letter and a fine which I expected. She hasn’t had anymore time off so it’s gone back up to normal % now

Pippa12 Thu 18-Jul-19 13:40:30

grin I will definitely leave out my awful April experience in my request (if we go that is, I’m still on the fence!) I appreciate this is miles out of anybody’s control. My managers had said she would write supporting letters with regards to lack of AL in school holidays. FWIW it is my turn to have 2 consecutive weeks next August (2020) so I don’t need to worry next year!

It’s not long haul but if I’m going for 4 days I might aswel go for 7... in for a penny and all that. Not to mention it’s pretty much same price, on some sites more!!!

I definitely wouldn’t lie, i just couldn’t do it and my DD can’t hold her own waters!

NeckPainChairSearch Thu 18-Jul-19 13:43:44

stupid rule in first place. You shouldn't need to go cap in hand and ask permission to go to a family wedding

Agreed. But that doesn't make lying about it any less stupid.

Glad you're doing the right thing OP. Hope you get the leave, but if not, enjoy the wedding grin

Cantmakeupmymind1 Thu 18-Jul-19 13:44:53

I would do it.

I think we've lost all perspective in the UK. A child with an excellent attendance record is not going to suffer academically or fall behind if he/she has a few days off. If you did this every few months or so it would be unreasonable but otherwise I really can't see the problem. And I also don't believe it will cause huge disruption to the rest of the class or teacher.

I';m so cynical of our education system in the UK now. We start children at 4, earlier than so many countries, many children aren't emotionally, socially or academically ready for the classroom environment. We push push push push with test after test. We fine parents for daring to want a family time during term time, how can you blame parents? Look at the price hike during the holidays! Many parents simply have no other option!

Pippa12 Thu 18-Jul-19 13:47:57

Thanks so much for everybody’s balance opinion. Lovely having a calm chat without it turning into a free for all grin my husband is so desperate to get away after a demanding year at work I was worried his eagerness was clouding his judgement! Thanks again to you all xxx

Sunshineface123 Thu 18-Jul-19 13:50:59

I'm a teacher and I'd say do it! You only live once, she can catch up when you get back. You could ask the teacher what she'll be missing and do some bits with her if you wanted. She's at an age where she'll remember a lovely occasion like that, go for it.

WomanLikeMeLM Thu 18-Jul-19 13:51:01

You only live once, take her and just phone her in sick, that awful D&V bug eh?!smile

forkfun Thu 18-Jul-19 13:52:05

I'm I the only one who just lies? My kids' grandparents and aunt live in another EU country. If we stuck to school holidays only, my kids would only get to see them once a year, due to cost and the fact that my mother can't travel anymore. As it is, we go about 2-3 times a year, and afford it by flying out a couple of days before half-term or summer hols start.

My kids miss around 4-6 days in total of school each year, always just before a break where they tend to do very little anyway. I have never once applied for leave (as I know we wouldn't get it - our school is super strict), but not once has anyone queried why both my children are mysteriously ill on the same days before holidays. I suspect the school knows and doesn't particularly care. They don't have to act on anything, and given that the kids' overall attendance is fine and they both do ok at school, I just don't see the issue.

I obviously won't be doing this when exams come up, but for now, it means they have a great relationship with my side of the family and are completely bilingual. Not sure that would be the case if we could only go once a year.

LondonJax Thu 18-Jul-19 13:52:42

Whatever you do make sure you tell the truth. Using one PP's idea of conjunctivitis or some such illness is going to mean you'll have to keep the kids indoors in case they get a sudden deep tan.

RomaineCalm Thu 18-Jul-19 13:54:44

I'll be the one that says that I wouldn't do it. IME September is a busy month at school, I assume your DD is moving into KS2 and it's likely that she will miss key work at the start of a school year that she will need to catch up with. Who are you expecting to spend time with DD when she comes back helping her to go over the work that she's missed?

I appreciate that she's only 7 and I'm certainly not in the camp of 'taking a week off in reception leads to poor GCSE level outcomes' but it seems that taking DC out of school once for a holiday makes it easier to justify for a second time, and then a third...

You also can't predict the rest of the school year. 5 days in September may not make much difference to the attendance % by the end of the Summer term but there's no way of knowing whether she will have time off for illness later in the school year and what the cumulative effect might be.

If this is genuinely about not missing the wedding of a good friend go for 4 days and just miss 2 days of school.

menopause59 Thu 18-Jul-19 13:54:59

It's two different school years so it wont be an issue, mine started 2 days late in Sept as we were on holiday i rung in sick for them.
Saved about £1500 on the price so it was well worth it

ChihuahuaMummy1 Thu 18-Jul-19 13:57:37

I put "wedding" when we went on holiday for a week in may,still got fined and ds is only Reception age

mummymeister Thu 18-Jul-19 14:04:21

When mine were younger we took them out of school every year. it was in discussion with teachers as to when the best time was and we always took work and didnt expect the teachers to make any extra or special effort. half of mine are now at Uni/college and the other half still at senior school. Last year we took a week in mid November because that was when the schools said it was best from their point of view. I pay the fine because I dont have any other choice as to when to take leave. And yes we do it every year and we will keep on doing it every year until either the kids dont want to come or they leave school and go onto uni/college/work. Its the inflexibility that I cant stand with one size fits all rules and it takes away the heads discretion. Our head teachers know us as a family and our children better than anyone else and think they should be the one making the call, not the government.

Macaroni46 Thu 18-Jul-19 14:07:15

Why do people think it's ok for kids to miss primary education and not secondary? All stages of education are important.
And for what it's worth, no I don't think it's ok to take her out for a second holiday

WildAngel Thu 18-Jul-19 14:08:36

School attendance goes from Sept so the last episode won't count anyway. take her - whats she missing at 7?? My DS is going into Y11 and missing his first week of Sept, (bring on the hate!!) with a very stressful work situation through the summer holiday as a family we are going to need the break!

Booboo66 Thu 18-Jul-19 14:14:58

@Macaroni46 because the long term impact of missing something crucial for a GCSE exam is worse than the long term impact of missing a bit of a topic about Australia and some reading practice and gym. Yes it's important at all stages but the first week is more settling in. LOL at the teacher upthread who bottled it and rang in sick for dc 😆

jennymac Thu 18-Jul-19 14:15:27

I would go. You only live once and really what harm will it do?

Isatis Thu 18-Jul-19 14:16:13

Weddings usually count as "exceptional circumstances"

Only for parents or very close relatives, and for the minimum time possible.

JacquesHammer Thu 18-Jul-19 14:18:10

Why do people think it's ok for kids to miss primary education and not secondary?

Oh I don’t discriminate. I think it’s perfectly fine for DD to miss a day or so now she’s in secondary.
But then she went away for 6 days in year 5 fully authorised by her prep and with their blessing and it had zero impact on her education.

Macaroni46 Thu 18-Jul-19 14:19:13

Actually Booboo66 I'm a primary head and I find your attitude towards primary education insulting.

Pippa12 Thu 18-Jul-19 14:23:02

Unfortunately due to my work situation I imagine it won’t be the last time I take them out especially at primary school age. It’s a tough one I agree but no way I could go year on year without a holiday away- I couldn’t cope! Definitely wouldn’t go for 4 days tho- if I’m going it’ll be for the whole shebang and id better not need my brolly or I’ll go mad!

I definitely wouldn’t lie, 100% expect to be fined and will help DD catch up with all works missed. She’s is a good student and enjoys school work, that won’t be a task thankfully!

iMatter Thu 18-Jul-19 14:23:23

If you do it then own it.

Don't lie.

If you think it's ok to take your child out of school (and only you can decide that) then own the decision rather than coming up with some stupid excuse.

Pinktinker Thu 18-Jul-19 14:27:21

One boy in my DS’s class isn’t originally from the UK and he visited his home country for a month earlier this year. No idea whether the parents were fined but a month is so extreme...

If this can happen, I don’t see why you can’t take your DD out of school for a wedding personally. She’s seven so won’t be missing out on any exams or revision.

Pippa12 Thu 18-Jul-19 14:27:58

I must of said each time I’ve posted I fully 100% intend on being completely truthful... I’ll own it etc! Whatever decision I come to after thought I’ll be satisfied it’s right for my family and will not be hiding my actions or reasonings!

Pippa12 Thu 18-Jul-19 14:30:31

Ha! I feel like going for a month... maybe 2! They’d throw away the key I’m sure!

idril Thu 18-Jul-19 14:32:09

At that age, it's not big deal in the grand scheme of things. It's a new school year so I don't think there would be any severe punishments.

Lovemusic33 Thu 18-Jul-19 14:34:33

Always took my dc’s out of school at primary age (at least once a year) but now at high school it’s tricky and school won’t let me.

We went on holiday in April last year and it was awful, it rained all week and snowed on the way there so I feel your pain. I would take her out September, it’s only a few days and at the age of 7 I think life experiences are just as important as education. I hate the “no taking kids out of school for holiday” rule, especially with primary age kids.

EveryFlightBeginsWithAFall Thu 18-Jul-19 14:34:40

I took my eldest out for a month at that age to visit family. Was before the days of fines though

Booboo66 Thu 18-Jul-19 14:59:24

@Macaroni46 thankfully my primary school head is not you. We miss some school every year as my kids were born, and have immediate family in a foreign country. She's very supportive and once even stated that it's not like they are studying for any exams.

whothedaddy Thu 18-Jul-19 15:03:47

I've taken my DD out twice this school year (only for a day at a time) for weekends away.
Next year we plan on taking a trip away tied in with DP work trip. it would mean being away an extra week after Feb half term(2 week trip). We are going to be honest, request the leave and probably pay the fine.
She will be going into year 5. I don't think I'd do it after year 5 though dues to exams etc.

My DP job has moved abroad so we only see him at weekends, family time is far more important than a week at school IMO.
Plus where we are going she will really learn as we will experience rain forests and volcanoes, different language and culture etc.

I don't care if people think I'm being irresponsible. She is never off for being ill. She has always had fantastic school reports and you can't learn everything in a classroom.

Rachelover40 Thu 18-Jul-19 15:23:36

Take her out, when you consider how much time children have off school for illness, four days is nothing at her age. Just tell the school you have an important commitment, put it in a note to be handed in before you go.

I hope you have a good time.

TwistyTop Thu 18-Jul-19 15:58:22

You are taking the piss a bit and the school will probably see it that way. Can you just say she's ill? In practical terms though, I wouldn't worry. She's only 7 so I can't imagine her academic career will suffer much from it. That's more something that I'd worry about in secondary school.

RedSkyLastNight Thu 18-Jul-19 16:28:35

Take her out, when you consider how much time children have off school for illness

That's not an argument for taking her out! If she's likely to miss lots of school because of illness, then taking off more days is a bad idea ...

JoanMavisIcecreamGirl Thu 18-Jul-19 16:38:33

i'd do it.

what do the people who say don't do it actually think she's going to miss? I mean what real effect is it going to have on her education / future career / life?

RedSkyLastNight Thu 18-Jul-19 16:43:34

Longer term it will probably make no difference at all.

However, short term, she will be out of friendship loops, have missed whatever topic was covered that week (that might not be recapped for months) and (as the proposed holiday is September) not have chance to settle in before she goes off and will come back to find that everyone else has ...

Plus (especially as this is the 2nd term time holiday in a short space of time) it's giving the message that school is optional if you want it to be.

TheDarkPassenger Thu 18-Jul-19 16:46:17

I would go!

Pippa12 Thu 18-Jul-19 17:43:27

Booked wink

Macaroni46 Thu 18-Jul-19 17:55:28

@Booboo66 your reply is bit unnecessarily unpleasant

noeyedeer Thu 18-Jul-19 21:12:08

@Pippa12 good for you! I took my DS out of school to attend my best friend's wedding. I got a day and a half off for travelling time, authorised (it was a weekend in the UK).

As for, they'd argue that if it was important they'd arrange their wedding another day to suit, absolutely not an argument that I've ever heard a school come back with. I'd be astounded if they did! (Ex-teacher).

You may get a fine for the extra days, but I'd do the same. Enjoy your holiday.

SparklesandFlowers Thu 18-Jul-19 21:28:02

I always hate it when children in my class go on holiday in term time, but that's only because I'm jealous they can! Teachers with children can't do it.

But I firmly believe that children can learn a lot from experiences outside the classroom and that teaching in English schools can be full-on for the pupils (it is for the teachers!). I do like it when children come back and have lots to tell about their holiday and I enjoy letting them show the class their photos and souvenirs.

Have a good time, OP!

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