Taking kids out of school early

(127 Posts)
Mybedislisting Mon 16-Nov-20 20:05:55

Are any of you thinking about taking your kids out of school early to allow a quarantine period to see relatives at Christmas?

Usually I wouldn’t ever consider this as acceptable but FIL wants to come to us for Christmas and he has stage 4 bowel cancer.

He is just about to have a scan to see how his first lot of chemo has gone. We believe he has 12-18 months if this chemo has worked. It could legitimately be his last Christmas.

What do you think school would say? Would this absence be unauthorised?

DS is 5 so his first year at school.

OP’s posts: |
Jozilla Mon 16-Nov-20 20:07:38

For the sake of £60 I would just do it.

PotteringAlong Mon 16-Nov-20 20:09:36

We had this conversation in our staff meeting the other day - we are expecting very low attendance for the last 2 weeks of term either so people can self isolate before seeing relatives or because parents don’t want to risk pupils being on school and having to self isolate over Christmas if they get sent home.

helloxhristmas Mon 16-Nov-20 20:11:11

I'd do it.

myhobbyisouting Mon 16-Nov-20 20:11:16

I'm taking mine out from 11th December

MissDollyMix Mon 16-Nov-20 20:11:18

I won’t be but in your circumstances I would.

fadingfast Mon 16-Nov-20 20:12:18

Absolutely without a doubt I would do it flowers


Mybedislisting Mon 16-Nov-20 20:13:11

@PotteringAlong Good to get a teacher perspective, will those absences be unauthorised? I’m worried about repercussions

OP’s posts: |
cameocat Mon 16-Nov-20 20:15:55

I am in the SLT at our school; we'd consider authorising in these circumstances due to the cancer diagnosis. We won't be authorising most absences though and I worry about how much education children have missed.

IceCreamAndCandyfloss Mon 16-Nov-20 20:23:55

I think a lot will pull them early, some to break the rules and see family and some so they aren’t confined to the house self isolating if the bubble bursts close to the end of term.

cameocat Mon 16-Nov-20 20:35:39

@IceCreamAndCandyfloss I find that so sad that people aren't putting education first. As I said I think OP does have a more valid reason but just for feeling like it, they missed so much this year already sad

MuddyRose Mon 16-Nov-20 20:36:56

So what if people say they are self-isolating? That wouldn't go as unauthorised at school would it? I think quite a few people will do this.

flowerycurtain Mon 16-Nov-20 20:48:19

Nope. I wouldn't. Just see him a two weeks after they break up. Does it really matter if it's the 3rd Jan or the 25th Dec. Nope.

I'm sorry for the diagnosis and the position you're in though.

WhoseThatGirl Mon 16-Nov-20 20:52:31

I’d do it in a heart beat. He’s 5 so it’s not like he’ll be missing exam work.

LadyCatStark Mon 16-Nov-20 20:54:47

Whilst I can understand your specific circumstances, I hope most people don’t do this or there’ll be so few children in that teachers might decide it’s not worth carrying on with the curriculum and those children who do attend will suffer!

DesdamonasHandkerchief Mon 16-Nov-20 20:57:20

I don't know why people are getting worked up about the OP 'not putting education first'. Her son is five! The last week of school isn't going to involve much learning is it? He'll miss card making, videos, Christingle and the class party.
I'd pull him out in a heart beat under the circumstances OP and do a bit of home schooling and Christmas crafting that week.
I hope you have a lovely Christmas, and my sympathies on your FIL's diagnosis.

blibblibs Mon 16-Nov-20 20:57:50

I'm more than likely doing it, finish up on 11th Dec and mine are high school.
DM has just been diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer so we'll be with her at Christmas whatever it takes.

Mybedislisting Mon 16-Nov-20 21:01:09

Thank you everyone for your kindness. wine

OP’s posts: |
IceCreamAndCandyfloss Mon 16-Nov-20 21:06:02


*@IceCreamAndCandyfloss* I find that so sad that people aren't putting education first. As I said I think OP does have a more valid reason but just for feeling like it, they missed so much this year already sad

Not everyone will have missed lots though. Some schools were really good at providing work, many parents did what schools set and extra.

Many won’t put education first over health. So if they want to see family members with no risk to their health that will come first.

You only have to look at how many aren’t following the laws/rules to see that education isn’t the most important thing to them.

No one knows what the rules will be, it may be that there is still no mixing of households.

Newstart20 Mon 16-Nov-20 21:09:20

Well education can be caught up on, time with relatives can't always be. In this situation I'd take every chance to spend some time with FIL and don't feel bad about it.

Personally I'll be doing it because life is too short and we already missed a lot of family time this year. My perspective may differ having lost a close relative recently.

icelollycraving Mon 16-Nov-20 21:09:27

Do what you think is right. At the age of 5, he’s not missing anything major such as exams etc. I know ds seems to do sod all in way of lessons in the last week of term.

cameocat Mon 16-Nov-20 21:16:28

@IceCreamAndCandyfloss I know what you are saying and I agree, our school put on an amazing curriculum and teachers worked tirelessly. However, so often it is those that did nothing during lockdown that decide to miss the last few weeks of term, the gap widens and those children suffer. And even though some schools offered great opportunities some parents just weren't able to 'put the work in' as they were busy working. The national trend suggests reading is up but SPAG and writing have particularly suffered.

If you think the last two weeks of term is just making cards etc then you are wrong! Yes, we might celebrate with Christmas lunch (in classrooms this year) and an online film for rewards earned but trust me the rest of the time will be properly planned recovery curriculum, and even if you are 5 this can be key phonic sounds etc. You'll note I wasn't criticising the OP, this is a broader comment to those that will 'just feel like being absent'.

OP if you do do it ask the teacher if they mind sharing their weekly plan and you can cover the phonics and topics in your own way at home.

Mybedislisting Mon 16-Nov-20 21:20:06

@cameocat Good point about asking about set work. Before we make a decision we will speak to his teacher.

Interestingly I’ve just checked the Christmas events on the school newsletter and all of them are complete by Friday 11th Dec.

Does anyone think the government might close schools early?

OP’s posts: |
CKBJ Mon 16-Nov-20 21:20:49

I wouldn’t hesitate, authorised or unauthorised. Apart a possible £60 fine whether its authorised or unauthorised isn’t going to affect your child. Education can be caught up, time with family can’t. Christmas is such a magical time make the most of it making lots of memories as you say it may be the last...and if not well next years a bonus!

Flopsybunnykins Mon 16-Nov-20 21:22:58

OP, assuming you are in England compulsory schooling doesn’t start until the term after they turn 5 years old so not until January for your son. Which means they can’t fine you.

I’d do it.

Although... lockdown may not be lifted to allow visiting relatives anyway (not a popular thought but highly likely given the statistics - sorry!).

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