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taking kids out of school for holidays.

(47 Posts)
triplets Thu 28-Oct-10 23:17:26

Hi, this is on behalf of my bother, he lives nr Durham and his daughter is in yr 2 at the local catholic primary school.They applied to take her out for 2 diff holidays, booked them, but school now say they are withdrawing the request and that no-one will be granted time off again. Can they really do that?

swill72 Thu 28-Oct-10 23:28:58

Look at this page

MM5 Fri 29-Oct-10 05:30:15

It looks as if the school has adopted a new attendance policy. A Headteacher can authorise up to 10 days but there is no right to giving 10 days holiday. If a Headteacher does not authorise the days, they will be unauthorised and your brother could be fined.

My suggestion is that he ask for a copy of the attendance policy. I am sure it will be clear in the policy.

I have a feeling that attendance is an issue for the school and the government/local authority/dioceses is on their backs and have to become very proactive in cutting absences.

piscesmoon Fri 29-Oct-10 08:14:53

I expect they got instructions from the LEA. Our local one sent a letter to all schools, who passed it on to parents, that holidays in term time would be unauthorised absences.
You can still go and but they can fine you.

overmydeadbody Fri 29-Oct-10 08:34:12

Your brother can still take them out though.

Teacher401 Fri 29-Oct-10 10:47:01

It's not the Head teacher, who authorises holiday, it is the Governing Body. They are considered at Governing Body meetings and then a decision is made, generally in most authorities it is 'no' unless there is a particular reason e.g. medical.

ShoshanaBlue Fri 29-Oct-10 11:07:45

Ours have recently changed - from 10 days per year, to 10 days per primary school career (from 3 - 11)

I think they make up the rules as they go along and can't really enforce them anyway. I have one friend who took her child out for a week's holiday who was reported to the authorities (who did nothing) and another friend (same LEA different school) who took her child out for a whole month! School said it was fine and did nothing!

I suspect if there is a fine, and it's probably not going to be easy to enforce, especially if there's been a change of rules during the process, then it's likely to be less than cancelling or changing the date of holiday.

StarkAndWitchesWillFindYou Fri 29-Oct-10 11:12:25

Even if there is a fine, it is hardly going to be any where near the money you save by not going on holiday out of term-time.

StarkAndWitchesWillFindYou Fri 29-Oct-10 11:13:37

I take my child out of school for at leat one holiday a year, and on top of that we take him out for a couple of museum days as it is impossible to seem most exhibits in term time.

I think all kids should be allowed 2 museum days a year personally.

kreecherlivesupstairs Fri 29-Oct-10 11:14:04

I find it totally ridiculous TBH. I am taking DD out of school for one day and will be reported to whoever deals with it in Belgium.
As far as going on holiday out of term time, we're buggered. DH is a teacher.

MM5 Fri 29-Oct-10 11:52:29

It's not the Head teacher, who authorises holiday, it is the Governing Body. They are considered at Governing Body meetings and then a decision is made, generally in most authorities it is 'no' unless there is a particular reason e.g. medical.

Not exactly true. This may be true in YOUR LEA. But, most LEAs and GB's leave it to the HT. My GB would never waste the time going through authorising holidays for children. That is a day to day responsibility of the HT for most authorities. Honestly, I have never heard of a GB doing this.

piscesmoon Fri 29-Oct-10 12:22:01

I don't think that governors ever see the forms-they go to the Head teacher and they follow the rules given out by the LEA-in our case all holiday in term time is unauthorised absence-you can still go.

mrz Fri 29-Oct-10 12:36:20

The governors certainly never see requests from our parents either. Letters go directly to the office and provided the child doesn't exceed 10 days a school year then it is a really just a formality

DreamTeamGirl Fri 29-Oct-10 12:47:31

But seriously taking her out for TWO holidays... seems a bit unnecessary and OTT to me. 1 holiday I can see -we did it- but two is a a bit out of line- does he not give a damn about her school and her learning?

mrz Fri 29-Oct-10 12:50:19

It really depends how long the TWO holidays are. We have children from split families who may have two holidays involving a week with each parent or some families that want a couple of long weekends because of family occasions.

rainbowstardrops Fri 29-Oct-10 12:56:41

I wouldn't disagree to taking a child out for an odd day for educational/family reasons but I just don't agree with taking children out of school purely to go on holiday!
Yes, it's much more expensive but hey, that's life, we all know that! I'm a TA in a primary school and I know first hand how much disruption it causes to the child, teacher, ta etc. You are forever trying to play catch-up when you should be onto other things with the children that have already done what the absent child has missed out on and invariably, in our school anyway, that child catches up during more "fun" times. It's more often than not, completely unacceptable.

mrz Fri 29-Oct-10 13:03:19

Sometimes you need to weight up the advantages emotionally in spending quality time with a parent

rainbowstardrops Fri 29-Oct-10 13:08:10

Yep, that's an advantage for the parent and of course the child at that time but it's a selfish attitude towards the school and the position it puts them and the child in when they return and the child has to catch up during golden time or something similar. There are plenty of school holidays and no need to take them on holiday outside of this time imo.
Imagine if the teacher and ta took the same stance? Wonder if we'd get the same understanding?

mrz Fri 29-Oct-10 14:47:44

I really don't think it is so black and white. We have children who's fathers are stationed abroad so sometime there has to be flexibility of needs and not having a holiday can be more detrimental to the child's education.

PortoFangO Fri 29-Oct-10 14:50:44

Kreecher - I thought you were allowed one day without a dr's note? It is frowned upon strongly I know. I already had to miss a friend's wedding. My cousin is due to get married in June in Cyprus next year. We would have gone, finances permitting - but we too are buggered. My Aunt is NOT impressed.

Blu Fri 29-Oct-10 14:54:36

In our LEA if you take more than 10 days unauthorised holiday and the school is over-subscribed, you would return to find the place filled by a child on the waiting list.

StarkAndWitchesWillFindYou Fri 29-Oct-10 14:57:33

I'm planning to take ds out of school for a whole week to attend a special social skills booster course to help with his social communication difficulties.

I'm hoping that the school will mark it down as present though as it is education after all, just like being taken out for some speech therapy wouldn't be an absence.

kreecherlivesupstairs Fri 29-Oct-10 15:34:51

Porto, it seems not. Perhaps because DD is at international school rather than a local one?

spiderpig8 Fri 29-Oct-10 17:11:16

'In our LEA if you take more than 10 days unauthorised holiday and the school is over-subscribed, you would return to find the place filled by a child on the waiting list.'

The LEA is acting illegally then.They are only allowed to do that if a child is absent for more than 28 days without explanation.

IndigoBell Fri 29-Oct-10 17:34:12

StarkAndWitchesWillFindYou - Our school does a very clever thing to keep their absence rate low.

They told us if your child had to be at home but wasn't too ill to work (eg recovering from sickness) - they could mark them down as being home educated and they would send home work and it wouldn't count as an absence.

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