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to expect some school absences could be authorised?

(42 Posts)
thinkthisisreasonable Sun 11-Oct-09 02:28:34

DD (yr 7) is dancing in a national comp in November, which means she needs to take 2 days out of school to travel there and back. The head has said she will not authorise it. I know they have to draw the line somewhere, but DD has only ever had 3 days out of school in 7+ years she has been at school - once for a funeral and 2 days dancing comp last year (which was authorised). She hasn't even had a day off sick. We are talking about a major competition here, not just a weekend away. I will take her out whether authorised or not, otherwise she will let down her partner and her team. All the other local schools do authorise for this event. As a result of unauthorised absence she will not be allowed to go on any school trips this year. I really do understand that schools need standards, but if there are any heads/senior teachers reading this, please let me know whether you think my request is unreasonable. DD has to miss out on trips along with the kids who miss school on a regular basis, which I feel is a little unfair.

valhala Sun 11-Oct-09 02:50:38

i'm just a parent but a relative had a similar problem with her DD who was to take part in a major sports event (international championships, where she was considered and subsequently proved to be of gold medal standard). My relative discovered that there are Government guidelines on this which allow for a child to be granted authorised absence for such competitions, despite the school's objections. (If I recall rightly its all part of a national sports initiative). Relative kicked up a fuss and eventually DD got her absence authorised.

I can't for the life of me think of where on the net my relative found these guidelines but will have a look for you. I'd also suggest that you ask other parents to see if they know of this ruling and consult your DDs dance club and/or the governing body for the competitions.

From a purely logical point of view, FGS your DD is only 7, its not like she is missing GCSEs or away for a month! The school should encourage and be proud of her and I can see why you're cross.

As I said, I'll look around for more info to help - and good luck to your DD.

valhala Sun 11-Oct-09 02:59:27

For a start, maybe the contacts on this website might be able to advise further:

http://gifted.youthsporttrust.org/page/welcome/index.html

echt Sun 11-Oct-09 04:22:32

I'm pretty sure your daughter cannot be kept from school trips. They are part of the school's offer or they are not. Are they a reward? if so, then the penalties attached to these trips should be made clear in the school's policies. Are naughty kids kept from trips? Thought not.

I take your school is a state school? Take them to the cleaners. Local authority is the next stop.

I am a teacher. And a reasonable human being.

ErikaMaye Sun 11-Oct-09 05:52:57

That seems totally unfair. Your poor DD. I was authorised for two and a half weeks at sixth form to go to Australia to teach physical training, so seems rather unfair your DD isn't being given the opportunity to continue with her brilliant school and extra curricular activities. I really hope you can change the schools mind.

And all the best to your DD, do let us know how she gets on

skihorse Sun 11-Oct-09 07:01:47

YANBU There is an enormous difference between this and a daytrip to Alton Towers. How bloody short-sighted of the head - surely schools strive for excellence in all disciplines!

Obviously I'd whip her out of school anyway and if there is any fall out whatsoever just make sure your DD knows that it is absolutely not her fault.

nostrila Sun 11-Oct-09 08:12:23

YANBU, Oh FFS! How ridiculous, the head at my kids school is a sensible sort of chap who understands that these sort of events are good for the kid and great for the school too.

If I were you I'd have 'political swine flu' during the dates of the comp.

When I read stuff like this I often think that the world has gone mad.

Good luck to the OP's DD.

RupertTheBear Sun 11-Oct-09 08:18:57

I am not sure where you stand on getting the days off authorised but agree there is no way they can exclude your child from trips because of this. I would be onto the chair of governors, and failing that, the LEA. Good luck!

Tombliboobs Sun 11-Oct-09 08:23:00

I am a teacher and although other teachers may disagree, I think they are being OTT, yes they will need to be sure of why she is being taken out and monitor how many days in the future that she has to take off, but imo children have talents an skills outside of school that should be nurtured and encouraged.

Make an appointment to see the Head to discuss how you feel about it, afaik, they have the discretion to authorise up to 10 days absence.

I have been on another thread backing up a school where they have a strong absence system in place and I wholly agree with schools cracking down on unnecessary absences, but there has to be some common sense applied and schools have to understand that not all learning takes place in the classroom.

Jamieandhismagictorch Sun 11-Oct-09 08:25:34

In my DCs (primary) school, as long as you have had a 95 % (or is it 90% ?) attendance record over the previous year, you can request leave of absence for holidays or events of this sort

dilemma456 Sun 11-Oct-09 09:21:22

Message withdrawn

dilemma456 Sun 11-Oct-09 09:21:53

Message withdrawn

primarymum Sun 11-Oct-09 09:26:13

Well, as another teacher I agree with Tomliboobs, this is ridiculous, the school should be proud of her achievements and support her in this and as to banning her from school trips, words fail me! ( and if the trips are for curriculum reasons, the school cannot do so!)

madusa Sun 11-Oct-09 09:29:09

my ds gets let out of school for authorised absence due to tennis.

It is written as "authorised sporting activity". Our school allow 5% absence.

Take it to the governors

Goblinchild Sun 11-Oct-09 09:32:43

We have children who do this, and it's an authorised absence. Several times, it's been over a couple of days as competitions were in Ireland.
Counts as education/sports/enrichment off site, can't remember he register code but there is one.

saggarmakersbottomknocker Sun 11-Oct-09 09:38:06

I don't think YABU - I deal with attendance in Primary. I find this sort of thing particularly frustrating when all schools in an area aren't 'singing from the same hymn sheet' so to speak. The LA should have a policy on approved educational activities.

Wrt school trips - if they are an extension of the curriculum then school are are dodgy ground for refusing to include her.

chimchar Sun 11-Oct-09 09:38:41

there are a whole load of official register codes to explain absense..they cover everything from medical appts to work experience off site to "being educated elsewhere"....there is one i'm sure for sporting activities.

in the school i work in, absenses are only marked as unauthorised when no explanation at all is given for the absense.

i think its really harsh not to allow your dd time away for her sporting competition. i think i would be taking it very much further.

edam Sun 11-Oct-09 09:41:48

Contact the Dept for Children, Schools & Families and ask for the official guidance.

Then take it to the governors.

cascade Sun 11-Oct-09 09:50:43

The school should be authorising her absence. The programme from Youth Sports Trust is called (JAE) junior athelete education. Its a mentoring and support scheme to pull all of the relevent bodies together to provide the best education for top performing athletes.

Ivykaty44 Sun 11-Oct-09 10:03:46

Why are they doing school trips in school time?

I am confused on that one - surely the school trips should be educational and then if they ban a child from going on a school trip - well then it is not going to enhance her education as it will the other children.

cory Sun 11-Oct-09 11:06:56

Some schools do do trips as a reward for children with 100% attendance. This is often on a scale of rewards for the same. Of course it does mean that children with chronic health problems are never going to get to go on those trips. So that sort of setup is probably what the OP is talking about, not the standard educational trip that the whole school goes on.

edam Sun 11-Oct-09 11:07:06

Ooh, v. good point from Ivykaty, I think if they are trips that happen during school hours they can't ban children. (Well, maybe there are get out clauses but I think that's roughly the case...)

MillyR Sun 11-Oct-09 11:13:39

I do think they should authorise the absence. I would take it as far as you can, LEA and so on, to get it authorised.

But children at the school my DS goes to are only allowed on the fun trips (theme parks etc) if they have got a certain number of credits during the school year.

slowreadingprogress Sun 11-Oct-09 11:24:59

I agree with taking this to the governors and then the LEA if no joy. It seems really sad that they would not support a child who is at National level in anything, really short sighted and more about their OFSTED figures than that child's holistic education and development.

Clearly some would abuse this but from the days off your DD has NOT had it is clear this is not your family. They are being ridiculous. Take it further, and let us know how it goes, I'd love to know if they decide to be reasonable. Good luck to your DD, as well!

thinkthisisreasonable Sun 11-Oct-09 23:06:29

thanks all. I think I might print out this thread and send it to the Head so please feel free to post if you haven't already. Should DD do ok in the comp, I know the school will be claiming it as a success (have seen publicised reports relating to the success of a couple of older pupils), they can't have it both ways........

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