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Absence for siblings of children with SN

(23 Posts)
StarlightMcKenzie Fri 26-Oct-12 18:18:15

DS and DD have different half terms. DS goes to a special school.

In DS' half term we often use the week to work intensively and support his development and or travel to intensive therapy, perhaps with overnight stays.

Also, when state schools are not on half term, there are opportunities for visiting zoos, theme parks and museums without the overwhelming crowds.

I cannot do any of this if dd does not accompany, and I can't take her to any of the above in HER half term because DS won't be able to accompany me.

I have seen the stats of relationship between absences and achievement but tbh dd is unlikely to fall behind given the amount of hot-housing she has had just by being around for most of ds' therapy and tutoring. However I also know that the reasons for schools wanting no absences has not a lot to do with the individual child and everything to do with their ofsted records etc.

So, how do I make this work?

talkingnonsense Fri 26-Oct-12 18:26:04

Do you have a good relationship with the head? It may be possible to have it as "educated off site". If the school are difficult, it is probably their stats for ofsted- take her out anyway, some things are more important. Unless she will be bored at his therapy, in which case could she sleep over at a friends while you are away?

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 26-Oct-12 18:32:18

It's more thinking about the future. She's only at nursery this year.

We took her and him to Chessington World of Adventures (as reccomended by DS' OT to do at the end of every half term) yesterday and today she told the whole class at carpet time hmm, but she's not 5 so I can't think it will be made an issue of yet. The HT doesn't start until Jan there anyway

Her primary school is likely to be a very competetive one. Either the current school that her nursery is attached to or one close by which is similar.

silverfrog Fri 26-Oct-12 18:41:26

it is a tricky one.

for things like chessington (we go frequently), we use exit pass schemes, so it doesn't really matter how crowded it is - our queue time remains relatively short.

we mostly do it the other way around, as dd2 is at private school so has longer holidays, and we take dd1 out of school to do whatever, as we know her school won't object (dd1 also misses some school time when dd2 has a concert or assembley - dd1 enjoys watching, and I wouldn't be able to see them any other way).

dd1's private sn school has the same holidays as state schools (which is why they don't coincide with dd2's!)

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 26-Oct-12 18:44:46

oooh, perhaps we should meet up there one day!? smile

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 26-Oct-12 18:45:05

Does she get 'young carer' status?

silverfrog Fri 26-Oct-12 18:49:14

yes, we could smile

I was going to suggest a (relatively) quiet meet post half term, with just the babies grin - I can come up to you easily enough.

we used to live around the corner fro m chessington, so could just pop in for an hour or so - that was great as didn't have to put up with the crowds for long...

does dd2 get young carer status? no, and no idea how to go about getting it. we're hopeless with that kind of thing, no idea what we should be doing!

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 26-Oct-12 18:55:58

Ah, that would be great Silver!

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 26-Oct-12 18:57:05

Twould have to be morning though for peace without dd (except for the day she goes on a school trip where she is gone for longer - that might be possible).

silverfrog Fri 26-Oct-12 19:00:24

I've got both girls off next week, but free most days after that. I could get to you for 10.30ish, I reckon, if that's any use? I need to visit your town before Christmas anyway, as there are a few shops I need to get stocking filler stuff from...

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 26-Oct-12 19:01:51

I have to leave the house at 11:30 to pick up dd, but if it is worth it for an hour and a piece of random ingredient cake wink then it would be lovely to see you.

silverfrog Fri 26-Oct-12 19:04:26

grin @ random ingredient cake.

I can come a bit later, and do lunch after you've picked up dd if you want?

I'd have to leave yours round 2,30 I reckon, to be in time for dd1's school end.

cansu Fri 26-Oct-12 20:07:43

I don't think you have any chance of getting authorised leave. They may let you do this for the odd day but I expect as her attendance figures dip below the required percentage you will start to receive letters.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 26-Oct-12 20:09:00

What happens after letters if they are ignored?

insanityscratching Fri 26-Oct-12 20:20:14

We have had authorised absences for holidays and trips for my NT 3 and the 2 with ASD for the last 15 years tbh covering seven different primary and secondary schools. It's never been a problem, we average 10 days per year don't go during SATs or exam times. Lay it on thick about the ASD if it looks like they will be awkward wink would be my advice.

cansu Fri 26-Oct-12 20:35:53

After letters the EWO would get involved and they can take legal action against you eventually. I think tbh it would be worth asking yourself whether you want the hassle. I think asking for the odd special day off and explaining it is because the children have different half terms because of ds is probably the best way to go. They are unlikely to give you the whole week off.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 26-Oct-12 21:00:48

Thanks cansu,

I'm just trying to balance the needs of all of my children. And it probably doesn't help that I've lost my faith in teachers due to my journey with ds (despite almost my entire family BEING primary teachers).

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Fri 26-Oct-12 22:49:27

85% seems to be the cut off for attendance becoming an issue, which is actually quite a lot of time missed. I'd ask for the odd couple of days during the half terms. You do have a genuine problem when holidays don't coincide. It's not like you are taking them out willy nilly.

Also, this year has been exceptional with different half terms and Easter breaks. Normally most places do coincide. Hopefully it won't be such a problem in future.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 26-Oct-12 23:11:02

But that's over 4 weeks shock

No way would I even get close to that.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Fri 26-Oct-12 23:12:06

Exactly! smile

Ughfootballseason Sat 27-Oct-12 07:15:37

I would visit the schools before you apply, put the issue to the ht and see what their response is. Then use a school on that basis.

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 27-Oct-12 11:14:11

I have NO choice of schools here. It has to be one two, and the order I list them won't make any difference to the one she'll end up going to. Her place will only be allocated on the criteria they use.

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 27-Oct-12 11:17:03

But it looks like it probably won't be a problem, least not one anyone can do anything about.

Despite what it looks like, I'm not lax with attendance. It's only if the benefit to my family of taking dd out is MORE than keeping her in that I would consider taking her out, and I include HER in the family iyswim.

I can't imagine that what I want to acheive will bring us anywhere near 4 weeks of absences though.

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