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holidays in term time.

(29 Posts)
tibywibs Mon 17-Oct-11 15:41:33

Hi All,
Just wondering what the current ruling is on taking children out of school for holidays?
My whole family are going to Florida in May and that would mean my son (year 1) taking 1 or 2 weeks out of school. My mum is under the impression you can hand the school £50 a week and thats's the end of it but i'm sure it's not that easy!
We live in Hull if it varies region to region.
Thanks for any help!

IndigoBell Mon 17-Oct-11 15:48:11

Your Mum is kind of right, in that the school can choose to fine you.

What you should do is apply for authorised leave. Unless you have a very good reason school should refuse it. Then if it's unauthorised school can choose to fine you.

But nothing else happens - if it's only once. If it's every year, or if there attendance drops below some magic number you can start talking to the education welfare officer.

So if your child gets sick you could be in real trouble.....

BleachedWhale Mon 17-Oct-11 15:52:30

If it is a very over-subscribed school some local authorities give the place to a child on the waiting list if there is a 2 week unauthorised absence! Or they do if you don't return on the day you said you would.

tibywibs Mon 17-Oct-11 15:54:27

oh dear,he's already had 2 days off poorly! I'm sure it wont be authorised as trip of a lifetime (i'll never afford to take them without family help) isn't really a valid excuse is it? I spoke to a mum in the playground who said she was b*******ed for taking her son out for two days and that the headmistress is considering fining people £50 per session!!! don't know if that's just talk though!

SheCutOffTheirTails Mon 17-Oct-11 15:55:05

Do they? That's class grin

tibywibs Mon 17-Oct-11 15:56:15

it's a popular but not over subscribed school.
We may be moving back to my home town before the holiday so i may have to go through this twice!!

JeanBodel Mon 17-Oct-11 16:05:29

Personally, at that age and for the trip of a lifetime, I'd do it without a thought.

SheCutOffTheirTails Mon 17-Oct-11 16:16:59

The "trip of a lifetime" when your lifetime is 5 years, doesn't seem all that high a bar.

tibywibs Mon 17-Oct-11 16:21:14

sorry mrs tails if the highlight of my childs life is at age 5, but i just know they probably wont get to go again, especially not with the whole family.

SheCutOffTheirTails Mon 17-Oct-11 16:32:42

No, I was just pointing out that for a five year old the trip of a lifetime could be a week in Butlins grin

So if that was the standard, the schools would have to approve all holidays.

mummytime Mon 17-Oct-11 16:39:01

I have been given leave to take my kids out of primary school as an authorised absense, but it is at the head's discretion. From what I have read Hull seems to be cracking down on this, but the fine is £50 fixed penalty.
I also think a child has to be absent from school for at least a month before the school can deregister them (there was talk of this where lots of families go to India etc. for long holidays).

tibywibs Mon 17-Oct-11 17:30:21

Thanks for all answers. Hope I'm as lucky as you mummytime! See what the head says tomorrow

sunnyday123 Mon 17-Oct-11 17:34:14

wow- near me all schools automatically authorise 2 weeks unless the child has had a long period of sickness- they even go as far as pre-warning you about weeks not to take!

tibywibs Mon 17-Oct-11 17:38:44

i think that as Hull is quite low in the league tables, they need the children in school!

tibywibs Mon 17-Oct-11 17:39:31

where are you sunnyday?

Hulababy Mon 17-Oct-11 17:43:49

The school I work at are clamping down on holidays in term time and most are going down as unauthorised, but not heard of anyone being fined as yet. There is certainly no chance of anyone here having their place at the school taken from them for an already known about two week holiday - would need to be far longer here.

Exactly as Hulababy says at the DCs school too.

sunnyday123 Mon 17-Oct-11 17:51:18

west lancashire- its not written in stone as such but its i have NEVER known anyone to not get 2 weeks and similarly i've never heard of anyone being fined!

sunnyday123 Mon 17-Oct-11 17:53:27

i thought they were all legally entitled to 2 weeks as heads descretion? So presume some heads are more strict than others - most near me follow the 10 day guideline. DD friend had 2 weeks off sick and head still authorised a 2 week holiday although did ask to meet the parent!

naffedoff Mon 17-Oct-11 17:58:01

Here in NW Leeds, the schools have joined forces to agree not to authorise any term-time leave, unless under exceptional circumstamces - I think that's just death then. I'm taking the kids out for one day for an unavoidable reason and that's not been authorised. Our head doesn't necessarily agree with this new rule though - he used to authorise family holidays quite happily as he knew that was the only quality time that some families spend together, but now he's not allowed to.

Liliana1 Mon 17-Oct-11 18:00:23

In our school (I'm a teacher, not a mum) holidays in term time are authorised as long as their attendence is over a certain %, think it is about 94%. We will authorise up to 10 days over the whole year so whether its taken all in one go or in bits here and there is up to parents.

I have had reasons such as they can't afford it during holidays, its the only time parents can get time off work and the fact it is an 'extended' family holiday.

Hope you get it sorted but do ask for authorisation first as it is worse to have a high unauthorised absence than authorised absence if the EWO ever does get involved.

Have a lovely holiday

PassTheTwiglets Mon 17-Oct-11 18:02:01

It's not true about you being in trouble if they are sick. What gets you into trouble is unauthorised abscence and sick leave is authorised abscence. So if they let you have the 10 days and then your son gets sick afterwards you absolutely won't get into trouble so don't worry about that. Also worth nothing that the £50 fine is per parent per child.

As for the head fining per session, I don't think she can do that but I'm not sure. I think the fine is from the LEA and is a set figure throughout the country. I'm prepared to be corrected on that though!

Personally I would go for it and if they fine you, they fine you. I am actually taking 11 days in February for the same reason and will just accept whatever they decide to fine (though it rarely gets that far). Term-time holidays seem to be very unpopular on MN but I am all for it (SAT years etc. notwithstanding). Besides, a Florida holiday in school holidays is miles worse than going in school time and will be a different experience altogether - it means the difference between getting on rides quickly and getting everything done and waiting an hour for a ride and missing lots.

PassTheTwiglets Mon 17-Oct-11 18:03:08

sunnyday, you're sort of right - it is 10 days at the Head's discretion but it's not a legal entitlement.

Mum2be79 Mon 17-Oct-11 18:54:40

same here in the East Riding. Taking holiday during term time is at the HT's discretion. The LEA gave guidelines which included no holidays authorised during the following periods:
the first half term of an academic year
exam weeks
Y10 or Y11
I think there were other stipulations but I can't remember. The schools in the town where I work decided NOT to adopt the policy as it is a seaside resort (probably gave the game away as to where I am) and many parents work in seasonal employment and can only take their holidays during the first few weeks of an academic year. However, our HT will not authorise absences if a child's attendance is below a certain percentage (I think it's 90 or 85%). There was a child in my class who wanted a week - despite having poor attendance. Because his mother suffered with depression, she got the doctor to write a letter saying it was necessary. The school agreed a few days AFTER the mum said she would change them but would need only two days. That week, the child was off school the entire week - the same week she had originally wanted. She 'claimed' he was poorly and then went on holiday. However, although a child can lie, a child will ALWAYS out the truth as this one did. The mum looked incredibly embarrassed when asked about it and now the HT won't authorise ANY holidays again for her.

It's always best to be honest.

tibywibs Mon 17-Oct-11 19:36:22

i definately can't lie!
my son is 5 and there is no way i can take him to florida for 2 weeks and then expect him to keep quiet about it.
He had great attendance in his reception year (98%) he was only off because of chickenpox! So hopefully his attendance will help her make a decision. The head took the post last year and the previous head had been there for 35 years so i think she's definately trying to make her own mark on the school.
The school prides itself on being a family where everyone looks out for eachother and it truly is a great school. i can see why she may say no and i'm definately not a parent who allows days off willy nilly but this is honestly the only time this will ever happen!
if she doesn't fine me, i'm willing to donate to the school fund!

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