Talk

Advanced search

Your schools term time holiday policy?

(22 Posts)
harryhausen Wed 08-May-13 13:00:53

This thread is just as I'm interested. I'd like to gauge what different schools term time holiday policies are.

Our school has been pretty flexible in the past. For example I've known parents take their children for 3 weeks to Disneyland in October. The schools policy has always been if 'normal' attendance is above 95% then they allow it. They don't like it, but they allow it.

However recently (since we got a grade higher with Ofsted recently) I've noticed they're getting stricter on this. They've declined holiday forms in May because of Sats. They declined others too for various reasons.

My thinking is this - I think we're lucky at our school. I know other schools where no holiday is allowed in term time at all or are fined heavily. Many of the parents at our school are slagging off the head in outrage, but they'll be the first to complain if the Sats are down or the League tables slip.

We don't take holidays in term time as my husband works in film and can't take holiday as and when he wants. Filming always seems to end during summer holidays or Easter. We don't take many holidays as we can't afford itgrin

What are your thoughts and what does your school do?

redskyatnight Wed 08-May-13 13:37:04

Both DC (1 at infants, 1 unrelated juniors) are at schools that have a policy that they will (pretty freely) authorise up to 5 days.
That's for family oliday. Term time leave for other reasons is at the headteacher's discretion.

We routinely see parents that take 10 days (with 5 authorised) get fined.

My personal feeling is that parents shouldn't take leave during term time for holidays unless very good reason (not to save money). And I'll freely admit that it's for a selfish reason - that children coming back to school having missed a week (or more) of school tend to monopolise the teacher's time at the detriment of my own DC.

My school will authorise hols for exceptional circumstances. Eg if genuinely skint family had option of a free week at butlins, it would probably be authorised. If comfy family want florida in term time because its cheaper, no chance. I haven't requested any hols and don't plan to, but instead of 2 week hols off peak, we now have one week (SC in UK) during school holidays.

harryhausen Wed 08-May-13 13:52:56

Interesting. Thanks for replies.

It is beginning to appear that our school is very generous with term holidays.
I'm not comfortable with taking term holidays either, so I'm glad in a way I've never really had the option. DH feels the same way. I'm not sure how I'd feel though if the only time off myself of DH could take was in March or October etc. It can be a difficult topic.

5madthings Wed 08-May-13 13:53:01

Our school seems fairly relaxed, they will refuse to authorize if the child has a low attendance or the parents are clearly taking the piss.

But we often can't go on holiday during school holidays as dp's leave is restricted by work so we have taken then boys out in term time and will be doing so in sept. We simply explain the restrictions re dp's work and the school have been fine about it.

I understand legally they can ask for a letter from dp's employer to say he can't get leave in school holidays, our ht has never asked for that but dp's employer would provide it if necessary smile

harryhausen Wed 08-May-13 13:55:13

Moaning, can I ask how your school determines the 'affluent' holiday request as opposed to the less well off family?

Genuine question. Does the school just go on where abouts the holiday is? Or does the school just 'know' the situation of most families?

wheresthebeach Wed 08-May-13 14:05:09

New head at our school has a blanket 'no' policy which means people ask, get told no, go anyway. Old head was flexible so people listened when told no.

lljkk Wed 08-May-13 14:13:01

Officially only up to 2 weeks at HT discretion and never in assessment periods.

Unofficially they are more flexible. I have managed to take DC out for 3 weeks but only once every 4 yrs (only take them out to see family 8 time zones away). Never heard of anyone being turned down or fined.

tiggytape Wed 08-May-13 14:50:40

We have a blanket ban in our school and it forms part of the Home School Agreement. We are asked not to even ask!

Children who are relocating abroad (we live in an area where quite a few people do) aren't allowed time off to go and visit their new home country. Ditto weddings abroad and all holidays.
Time off to attend funerals is authorised. I guess they'd argue that the timing for those can't be altered but if it is just for enjoyment or could be rearranged in the school holidays (even at an increased cost) it won't be authorised.

Some people go anyway of course.
And as far as I know all schools refuse time off during May SATS.

creamteas Wed 08-May-13 15:23:03

No holiday in term time policy and also in the home/school agreement.

I heard that some parents have been fined when they got caught out phoning in sick but were actually on holiday, but I'm sure some get away with it.

secretscwirrels Wed 08-May-13 15:56:41

About 5 years ago the LEA introduced a policy of strict enforcement on this. Head teachers were all told to say no except in truly exceptional circumstances. Prior to that some were more generous than others. The only DC I know in DS2's year who now gets permission has parents in farming who cannot holiday in the summer.

Since this policy was introduced (and parents fined by the education authority right left and centre) , most schools have become academies. As far as I know they are sticking to the rules.

givemeaclue Wed 08-May-13 17:28:28

We have been authorized a week off

givemeaclue Wed 08-May-13 17:28:59

We have been authorized a week off for a holiday, joined on to half term week.

As far as skint goes, I would say school are generally aware of people's situations. Plus the children would dob you in of course!

DoingItForMyself Wed 08-May-13 18:01:18

DS's (secondary) school has a no authorised absence policy, but when I politely informed them that I was taking him away for a week on a holiday paid for by a family friend (the only alternatives being that we all miss out on a rare family holiday or we go without him) they authorised it.

Phoebe47 Wed 08-May-13 18:42:09

Is it legal for schools/LEA's to fine parents if they take children out of school for a holiday? If it is legal when did it become so? Also, I think it is disgraceful the way in which holiday companies put prices up in the summer holidays. Why should we have to pay more for a holiday in August than for one in September? It's the same holiday. I feel sorry for the families that just don't have a holiday because they cannot afford the extra cost during the school summer holidays. Oh and I am a teacher.

5madthings Wed 08-May-13 18:47:33

It is legal but in my lea they will only fine if you have ten days consecutively or more unauthorised AND if the child already has a poor attendance record.

All these schools that have a blanket refusal policy, what do they do in cases like mine where a parent CANNOT get time off in the school holidays?!

XBenedict Wed 08-May-13 18:50:36

No holidays in term time except in very exceptional circumstances, unauthorised absences are referred straight to cc and they will/have fined for first timers not necessarily repeat offenders.

Hulababy Wed 08-May-13 18:53:05

I work at an infant school.

Y2 are not authorised holidays throughout May due to SATs.
Maximum of 2 weeks ever authorised.
It attendance is below a set % they are not authorised.
All are highly discouraged.

However, we do have many children taking term time holidays. Some are authorised, others are not. None have been fined for these though.

We have some children in each year who take a number of extended holidays to visit family in other countries.

tiggytape Wed 08-May-13 18:56:17

It has been legal to issue fines for a long time but it is only in the last year or so that some areas have started to crack down on the issue and fine more people.

There was a case last year that hit the headlines because the mother refused to pay the fine and ended up in court.

tallulah Thu 09-May-13 16:31:01

Our primary doesn't allow time off in September, or in certain terms for certain year groups.

It was 10 days otherwise, if the child had over 90% attendance but the governors have just reduced this to 5, with over 95% attendance, in line with other local schools. The HT can and does issue fines for unauthorised absence.

What gets me about holiday costs is not so much the increase in the summer, but the difference between the costs either side of the half term weeks. One place we were looking at was something like £250 the week before, £280 the week after, and £580 half term week. I know it's supply and demand but that really is taking advantage.

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 12-May-13 17:40:18

Ours doesnt authorise unless for exceptional circumstances like a close family members wedding or funeral. Those that want time off for cost reasons go authorised and risk the LA issuing a fine.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now