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Term-time absences banned by Gove? Have you heard anything?

(211 Posts)
FantasticDay Wed 12-Jun-13 13:43:22

Just that really. A colleagues had heard that all schools had received a letter from the Education Minister saying that term-time absences were not to be authorised. I wondered if any of school staff on here could confirm /deny? Cheers.

rabbitstew Mon 17-Jun-13 18:14:08

The current law allows up to 10 days in special circumstances and that's always worked fine where I am. The law change has got lots of HTs' knickers in a twist.

I love the way you hide "pressure from Ofsted" in the middle of what you say. As I said, political pressure... not the same thing as HTs' free will or true beliefs on any subject.

rabbitstew Mon 17-Jun-13 18:16:10

So - why the change in the law, then, prh47bridge? What's your take on why the law was changed when the law is so toothless? Isn't that a waste of taxpayers' money, to spend time changing something that doesn't really change anything?

TheDoctrineOfAllan Mon 17-Jun-13 18:17:08

<applauds prh>

rabbitstew Mon 17-Jun-13 21:06:31

Would love prh47bridge's real views. Does he/she think that it is acceptable for HTs to exercise their discretion in a way that clearly flouts the legislator's intention, because nobody can realistically stop them unless the attendance figures at their school look bad enough to trigger pressure from Ofsted, or they overstep the mark badly with a parent? I shall remember to mention that to our HT if she tries to follow the other local schools' example and ban holidays altogether, or come up with a list of what might count as "exceptional" circumstances - after all, they don't really have to be "exceptional," as nobody can argue with the use of her discretion, however apparently arbitrary. wink

prh47bridge Mon 17-Jun-13 21:17:55

I did not hide "pressure from Ofsted". I added it in the natural place. Ofsted do not generally take a detailed look at the operation of these regulations in a school being inspected. If the school's absenteeism is in the normal range Ofsted are unlikely to take any interest whatsoever in how the school decides whether or not to grant leave of absence. However if a school has a high level of absenteeism they will take an interest.

There appear to be three reasons for changing the regulations:

- Stopping schools from granting leave of absence retrospectively

- Removing the reference to ten days holiday as many parents seemed to think (incorrectly) this was a right

- Clarifying that the school can remove a pupil from the register if they fail to meet the entry requirements for sixth form, thereby bringing the regulations in line with what actually happens

rabbitstew Mon 17-Jun-13 23:33:21

So impossible to provoke you into giving a subjective opinion grin. Anyone would think that would be professionally unwise of you. Have you ever mentioned what your day job is?

rabbitstew Mon 17-Jun-13 23:47:27

Anyway, message received loud and clear: some HTs are unnecessarily paranoid about exercising a discretion that really is theirs to use exactly as they see fit until they balls their attendance figures up; and parents are entirely at the mercy of the HT's discretion, if they care one way or the other what the HT thinks or what they might be fined.

AllyStarxox10 Wed 06-Nov-13 18:08:42

Highest of all I'm a kid and I know you think that I am posting because I'm saying school sucks but no I'm a kid that needs to go to the hospital for treatment because I have an illness and I really agree because on my mum's phone my mum mesagess

)$:==(::=$ 6h is absent for her treatment
Dear Mrs sad_(+#) that will cost 11.50


Ps it goes along(&+$)$ for names you know the whole no showing personal info online!

prh47bridge Wed 06-Nov-13 20:26:54

Assuming this is a state school they cannot charge anything if you are absent for treatment. And if they did try to impose a fine it would have to be £60. They can't make up a random amount and impose that.

cory Fri 08-Nov-13 08:28:19

The recent insistence in some schools on doctors' notes for every absence of a chronically ill, frequently ill or disabled child is a very heavy indirect fine. I wonder if HT's really realise how expensive these letters come and what a burden they can be for families who are already financially burdened by illness.

rabbitstew Fri 08-Nov-13 09:22:55

The whole attendance figures thing is an utter farce. All schools are expected to achieve a minimum attendance percentage. It matters not one jot whether just one or two families are lowering the attendance figures, or whether there is a widespread problem with attendance at the school, it just matters to headteachers who are being judged on those blunt, basic figures that the school does not allow attendance figures to drop below the magic number. If figures do drop below that magic number, then the school has a behaviour problem, apparently, because the statistics say so, and reasonable families with good reasons for absences need to be bullied to solve it, given that the real problem families are not going to change their behaviour, whereas reasonable families can be bullied and harangued; and that's a good thing, because the school can then tick the "we're doing something about this" box. Obviously, they are not, actually, solving the problem with the problem families at all, they are just adding to the problems of people who don't deserve to be dumped on, but that's irrelevant to the box ticking mentality caused by blunt and basic statistical tools.

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