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Taking DD out of school for holidays - been unauthorised.

(195 Posts)
Bunch Tue 07-Oct-08 13:41:50

Me and DH have booked a 2 week holiday for next May. DD is in Year 4 and DS in Year R. DS headteacher has authorised his 10 days but DD's headteacher has not. We realise now that we should have had the school authorise it before we booked it but its too late. Apparently it is the week that they have their QCA tests (whatever they are). I know it is Sats time but not until Year 6 so I didn't think it would be a problem. What would everyone do?

morethanyoubargainfor Tue 07-Oct-08 13:45:43

take them, they are actually your children after all!

islandofsodor Tue 07-Oct-08 13:51:06

Take them anyway.

BloodAndMutts Tue 07-Oct-08 13:53:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Blu Tue 07-Oct-08 13:53:47

I wouldn't take a child out, BUT, since you were happy to take them out of school anyway, proceed.

Unauthorised absence won't harm you (unless you take them out for any more unauthorised absences that year) - it just pegs the school down in ofsted reports etc. so , not unaturally, Heads find it unco-operative.

And, you will miss the opportunity to know how your DD is doing in the run up to SATS, in a SATS-type score (QCA being optional interim 'monitoring' tests) - but that may or may not worry you at all.

katz Tue 07-Oct-08 14:01:16

i totally disagree with taking children out of school during term time. They get enough holidays to do this in.

stroppyknickers Tue 07-Oct-08 14:04:28

you may find the --truant officer-- whatever they call it now comes to visit. this happened to a friend of mine. a) ring the head to discuss b) ring your travel agent to arrange alternative week

juuule Tue 07-Oct-08 14:08:56

Take them out and enjoy your holiday.

MollieO Tue 07-Oct-08 14:39:38

Sounds as if you have booked a holiday completely in term time rather than one week term and one week half term. That means your children will only be in school one week in May!

Personally I wouldn't take a child out of school for a holiday at all if it can be avoided but I assume you have good reasons and that should be communicated to dd's teacher along with an offer to take school work with you.

TheFallenMadonna Tue 07-Oct-08 14:44:07

hmm at taking school work BTW. I object to being asked for that.

Nothing will happen I shouldn't think. It will go down as unauthorised absence. DC's school was criticised by OFSTED for authorised absence. It was pretty much the only serious criticism, and was blamed on parents taking children out for school holidays. The inspector wrote a letter to the children asking them to ask their parents not to take them out of school.

OFSTED of course don't like uauthorised absence either, so schools are damned if they do and damned if they don't.

Bunch Tue 07-Oct-08 15:04:19

We are going to make an appt with the head teacher. This is the first and only time we will take them out for a long holiday. Just wondered what repercussions there might be on us. We've heard rumours of fines.

WeirdCod Tue 07-Oct-08 15:05:04

Message withdrawn

WeirdCod Tue 07-Oct-08 15:06:05

Message withdrawn

forevercleaning Tue 07-Oct-08 15:10:18

right. here i am! the expert on this!!

We have no authorised leave at all as ds2 primary. We went on hols and got fined. Did not pay the fine. It was doubled. Wrote a stinking letter to LEA and got off.

1. £50 fine for each parent with parental responsibility. i.e i got one and dh got a seperate one. You have to pay within so many days (not got paperwork to hand but think its a month)

2. Second fine goes out to each now doubled to £100.

3. The LEA decide whether or not to take you to court which carries a fine of £1,000. The decision to take you to court is fairly rare and they only do it if they are sure they can win.

So, if you can afford the £100 between you and save load on your hols, well worth it.

got to dash on school run now, but will post some more on this shortly.

forevercleaning Tue 07-Oct-08 15:47:31

what i was going to say was that whether or not you will be fined, the decision is up to the headmaster/mistresses discretion.

So, although you may be told you might be fined, they will make the decision later.

Also, usually the fine is after 3 days of absence.

And if you have more than 1 dc at the same school, you can be fined for each child so it could be quite expensive.

The decision is

Bunch Tue 07-Oct-08 15:54:13

Thank you for that forevercleaning. I was wondering what the proceedure for fining was. Can you tell me roughly what you said in your 'stinking letter' just in case I need to do one!?

MrsMattie Tue 07-Oct-08 15:57:30

I'm waiting for this to crop up at school. We are taking our DS to South Africa for a couple of weeks during the World Cup 2010. It's non-negotiable.

Bunch Tue 07-Oct-08 16:02:45

I know lots of people disagree with taking their DC out of school but quite honestly I think the education she'll get from this once in a life time holiday will be so worth it.

forevercleaning Tue 07-Oct-08 16:03:30

Well, I have DD in secondary school and although they are in the same LEA the holidays differ, so the half terms and such follow on from eachother.

I wrote that surely it would be in the best interest of DD that she is at school as studying for GCSE's etc. and that if they cannot coordinate their holidays then DS is the one who is taken out of school.

The one thing they really hate is if you mention that it is cheaper to take them during term time. This does not wash.

Looking at your OP, I see you would have just one fine, which would be £100 at worst. Would it make a huge difference if you had to pay it?

At least you have plenty of time to work out an argument for not paying.

belgo Tue 07-Oct-08 16:03:58

bunch - maybe you could argue your point about the educational value of the holiday to the head.

TheFallenMadonna Tue 07-Oct-08 16:04:19

I'm not saying it isn't OK. Just trying to explain why it matters to schools that parents don't do it.

10krunner Tue 07-Oct-08 16:04:21

whenever I've had to take DS out of school during term time I've rung in sick blush

forevercleaning Tue 07-Oct-08 16:07:20

10krunner grin we have done that, dh was on the mobile to the school explaining about DS with sore throat at the precise moment we were driving past it, ducking down, and on our way to the airport!

That was a different time, and did that because it was SATS week blush

Bunch Tue 07-Oct-08 16:07:29

Got an appt to see the Head. I'm sure her hands are tied tho, but it must still be worth telling her our reasons at least. And yes, Forevercleaning, if the fine is £100 that would be ok. I was worried about a higher fine and prison!!!!

Bunch Tue 07-Oct-08 16:08:55

I would ring in sick but it's 2 weeks and 2 children! I thought that might look a bit obvious. Also DD is very sensible and would like to fib!

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