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WWYD - request for authorised absence turned down...

(76 Posts)
edam Fri 23-Nov-12 12:08:32

Hi, I'm having an ethical dilemma and would be interestedin what you think... ds and I have got an invite to a play by a great children's author - a serious dramatist who also writes for children. So it's 'educational' in that sense. Only it's a matinee on a school day. I asked the head whether ds could have authorised absence and she's said no, which is fair enough I suppose (even though I know plenty of parents 'take' an extra few days around Feb half-term to go skiing and so on).

I really do want to take ds, this is a one-off event and there's no way we could go in the evening (finishes far too late) but also we couldn't pay for tickets - dh has been out of work so money v. v. tight.

WWYD? Would you pass up the opportunity, or would your child have a convenient cold, or would you be honest with the school and say, sorry, we are going, stick it down as unauthorised?

blisterpack Fri 23-Nov-12 12:10:17

What I have done in this situation is to go anyway.

blisterpack Fri 23-Nov-12 12:11:00

Not that it was to watch a play though but to visit elderly relatives.

Catsdontcare Fri 23-Nov-12 12:11:45

Go anyway the unauthorised absence will only affect the school's figures it won't stop your kid getting into uni!

BlissfullyIgnorant Fri 23-Nov-12 12:14:54

Write back to Head, state your case and add plenty of weight to the educational value of meeting the author, and compare it to the lessons that will be missed.

And then go.

YDdraigGoch Fri 23-Nov-12 12:17:29

I'd ask to discuss with the Head. What is the reason school has refused?

mollymole Fri 23-Nov-12 12:18:54

Why is it 'far too late' if it is just a 1 off ?

prh47bridge Fri 23-Nov-12 12:30:55

However you do it, convenient cold or honest, you should be aware that the school may impose a fine of £60 for unauthorised absence.

Cartoonjane Fri 23-Nov-12 12:34:11

I'd be honest with the school and go anyway. My daughter is at this minute at home with me because I have pcked her up early so we can get an earlier start for a weekend away. She'll have an unauthorised absence but so what?

Startail Fri 23-Nov-12 12:35:03

Go, school can't set presidents, but I doubt they'll do anything.

Startail Fri 23-Nov-12 12:35:41


LaCiccolina Fri 23-Nov-12 12:39:19


Take photos of trip for 'show n tell' type opportunity if asked. Sometimes parents know best. Odd concept to those preparing figures for statistics these days.

Assuming u are not always removing kid from class of course...

givemeaclue Fri 23-Nov-12 12:40:35

Go, its half a day

Wigeon Fri 23-Nov-12 12:41:59

How old is your DS?

I definitely wouldn't go though. There are about a billion "educational" things you could do instead of school. I could fill up every day with educational trips out with the DC. But we do those at the weekend because in the week DD is at school.

slartybartfast Fri 23-Nov-12 12:42:16

just go, they very rarely authorise that sort of absence. it will be marked down as unauthorised. no big deal at all for one day or one half day.

slartybartfast Fri 23-Nov-12 12:43:57

is the play suitable for children?

although now you ahve asked and been refused your dc might just have to have a cold for a day

Catsmamma Fri 23-Nov-12 12:45:28

You mistake is to ask permission from the school for YOU to do something you view as important with YOUR child

Just tell them

Dear Absence Obsessed HT

Please note that Master Edam will not be attending school on the afternoon of the play.

Hugs and Buns and sorry about your Ofteds

Mrs Edam.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Fri 23-Nov-12 12:49:51

I would go. (I'm a teacher )

But I wouldn't lie about the reason.

You are massively unlikely to be fined for one afternoon if there is no history of absence normally

(Who's the author?)

prh47bridge Fri 23-Nov-12 13:13:48

I agree it is very unlikely if there is no history of absence but I do know of cases where it has happened.

PandaG Fri 23-Nov-12 13:17:05

what time do you need to leave for the play? It may be you can pick him up after the register has been taken so he gets his mark, and then leave for the theatre. I have done this once when needing to get away early to make a family wedding rehearsal before the big event the following day.

teacherwith2kids Fri 23-Nov-12 13:19:12

I'm with Shipwrecked.

Go, and be honest.

Heads work within county policy, and in many counties this policy is now to authorise no absence whatever except on medical grounds. There is no discretion (so, Catsmamma, your wrath is misdirected - the LEA would be a better target).

So inform the head that you know that the absence will be unauthorised, and that you are sorry but you will go anyway.

If this is your child's only half day absence this year, where I work that would not trigger any consequences.

DoubleDoubleTwigletTrouble Fri 23-Nov-12 13:19:34

I would (and have in the past) written a polite letter to the HT along the lines of "thank you for considering our request - we have decided to take DS anyway as we think that the educational value outweighs blah blah blah - understand that this will be recorded as unauthorised and sorry for any inconvenience."

Go to the play and don't give it another minute's thought.

exexpat Fri 23-Nov-12 13:22:39

Just go. Sounds far more educational than just another afternoon of school, and I expect privately the head would agree, but they have very little personal discretion about what they authorise these days. And I don't think you could be fined for one afternoon's absence - that only happens with a big block (week's holiday) or repeated days off, from what I've heard.

edam Fri 23-Nov-12 13:25:05

sorry guys, didn't mean to post and run, MN has not been loading for some reason. I can now read your comments, so am going to ponder..

DoubleDoubleTwigletTrouble Fri 23-Nov-12 13:27:33

The HT actually does have personal discretion, as far as I'm aware. He or she will be under pressure from the LEA though. Last time I checked (few months ago (the fine was £50 per child, per day - for each parent). You certainly can be fined for one day's absence but it's very, very unlikely.

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