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penalty notice unauthorised absence

(11 Posts)
peetwills Tue 04-Mar-14 22:20:35

Hi. New to this site. My wife and I recently received a penalty notice for unauthorised absence. We took our 5 year old son out of school for our wedding day followed by a couple of days for a honeymoon break. 3 days in total. We asked the school in advance what to do. They advised putting in writing to the head and should be fine. We did this 6 months plus in advance. We also spoke with his classroom teacher, she said she would let us know if there was a problem. Nothing heard so we took him out. We have since been issued with fines. The school say they sent a letter to us but nothing was received. We would have changed our dates if we were told the days were unauthorised! Advice?

Hoppinggreen Tue 04-Mar-14 23:00:27

To be fair you weren't told that the holiday was authorised either and given all the recent publicity about this subject I think you should have realised that this was the case.
I'm not going to get into the whole debate about whether holidays should be allowed in term time but the fact is yours wasn't so unless you want the fine to go up I would just pay it if I were you.

prh47bridge Tue 04-Mar-14 23:36:59

Which LA is this? PM me if you don't want to post the information publicly. If this fine is contrary to the LA's code of practice the LA should withdraw it.

peetwills Wed 05-Mar-14 03:50:03

Redbridge borough, London.

prh47bridge Wed 05-Mar-14 10:02:55

The penalty notice should have been issued by the Education Welfare Service. Redbridge don't allow head teachers to issue penalty notices. If it was not issued by the Education Welfare Service you should be able to get it withdrawn.

Redbridge's policy is that a penalty notice can be issued for 12 half days absence in a single term or any unauthorised absence after the third day of absence. Assuming you took all three days together your absence was enough to trigger the fine. If there was a gap between the wedding and the honeymoon you may be able to argue that the penalty notice has been wrongly issued and therefore should be withdrawn.

There is no appeal against penalty notices as such but the LA can withdraw a notice. It may be worth contacting the Education Welfare Service and telling them what happened. It is a long shot but it is worth a try.

slowcomputer Wed 05-Mar-14 11:10:09

Why did you book your wedding in term time during the week when you have 52 weekends and 3 months of holiday to do it in?

mummy1973 Wed 05-Mar-14 17:33:39

Just curious, if you could have moved it why didn't you book in holidays?

peetwills Thu 06-Mar-14 09:32:34

This is our first child going through school. We really didn't know it would be an issue, that's why we went to the school for guidance. We got married on a Wednesday in November, it was just a convenient day for family and friends. There were other children there that had no problems being released from their school for the day

peetwills Thu 06-Mar-14 09:58:01

We thought we'd taken reasonable steps and truly thought the days had been authorised. If we had known they were unauthorised and then continued to take them out, we would have expected the fines.

peetwills Thu 06-Mar-14 10:01:20

Thank you. They have been issued by the Education welfare service. We are in contact with them.

Johnogroats Thu 06-Mar-14 10:14:04

We are in another London borough and took the boys out of school last July to see 3 stages of the Tour de France, over 4 days. I wrote a letter to the school and explained why I wanted to do this (boys aged 6 and 8 both have excellent attendence and are doing v well). I was verbally told that it was likely to be unauthorised, but didn't hear anything else. We went, had a good time, and never heard another thing from anyone.

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