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Time off school for sports training - allowed or not?

(80 Posts)
whojamaflip Mon 07-Jul-14 14:38:20

Hi trying to gauge if school is being unreasonable or not tbh.

Dd is working at a high level in her chosen sport and is aiming for nationals next year. She has been invited to a training camp by the county which is over 4 days meaning she would miss a Friday and Monday in school.

I spoke to the school office to ask for a holiday authorisation form to ask for the time off and was told that more than likely permission would be denied!

Surely sports training at this level should count as enrichment? Her attendance is good and she is making her targets in class.

Also if they do say no and I take her anyway what is likely to happen?

It's too good an opportunity for her to miss btw

titchy Mon 07-Jul-14 14:41:05

It shouldn't be regarded as holiday - it should be authorised as education off-site and that's what you shoudl be telling school.

Nothing will happen as it's only two days anyway.

AuntieStella Mon 07-Jul-14 14:41:29

High level coaching would be authorised.

I wouldn't ask on a "holiday" form, because this is not a holiday. I would email separately to ask for authorisation for sports/performance and/or educated elsewhere.

Retropear Mon 07-Jul-14 14:42:48

So can we all take our kids out for "enrichment"?

500smiles Mon 07-Jul-14 14:49:01

YY don't ask for holiday, that would be denied.

I've got DDs report here and she has had a couple of days with the coding "Approved Educational Activity" for when she needed a Friday / Monday off to attend a major competition.

FWIW she is a sickly wee thing with rubbish (below the 95% threshold) attendance and still gets it authorised.

AuntieStella Mon 07-Jul-14 14:49:30

To be eligible for the "educated off site" code, the school has to satisfy itself about the educational nature if the activity, that the provider is an appropriate body (safeguarding and standards, mainly), and that an attendance register is taken and the schoo, will be notified if the child does not attend the event.

In practice it means it covers things like things like masterclasses at other schools, or sports/music/drama/etc courses by recognised providers or governing bodies and music/etc exams.

titchy Mon 07-Jul-14 14:49:49

Retrobar - it's not enrichment. It's sports training run by an external organisation and as such falls under 'education off-site'.

Bramshott Mon 07-Jul-14 14:51:08

I would have thought that the training camp people need to request the absence? Certainly when DD1 has time off for performing activities with a county-wide music group it's the group who request the time off not us, and it's always authorised.

MostWicked Mon 07-Jul-14 14:52:01

So can we all take our kids out for "enrichment"?

I think it is very obvious that she's not off on a jolly, she is doing specialised training at a high level.
So yes, we can all take our kids out for this type of thing.

whojamaflip Mon 07-Jul-14 14:53:22

So would it be better if I got a letter from the organisers of the training to give to school so they have "proof" so to speak that I am not taking her out for a jolly?

Sorry about the use of the word "enrichment" - maybe wasn't the best way to describe it blush

whojamaflip Mon 07-Jul-14 14:53:54

Oh HUGE x post!

UniS Mon 07-Jul-14 15:01:25

I recon letter from training camp organization would be a good thing.
I asked for a day off for a sports qualifation ( like a ballet grade test) and didn't get it. Didn't have a supporting letter from a national federation tho. Will have to try that one out if he gets as far as nationals.

He is still only at regional level as a u8.

Retropear Mon 07-Jul-14 15:16:42

So only those at a high level.

What about those that would benefit from enrichment but not at a high level.Do the lower achievers not count?

500smiles Mon 07-Jul-14 15:20:08

Retro I guess that is a decision for your school to make - they would balance the benefit of the child attending against missing school.

AuntieStella Mon 07-Jul-14 15:27:58

Retro: not just high level. But the school has to be satisfied about the provision before the educated off-site code can be used (and hasn't it been like that for yonks?)

BackforGood Mon 07-Jul-14 16:07:21

I think, Retro, there needs to be a way of differentiating something that is 'educating' - so a regional coaching course put on by the sport's professional body to improve the skills of people dedicated to a sport, as opposed to a 'playscheme' type of thing or a football club tour to the seaside, type thing.

iseenodust Mon 07-Jul-14 16:55:58

I know a number of children at different schools who take one afternoon a week off throughout the year for higher level tennis coaching from the LTA. Schools grumble as other sports seem to manage with evenings and weekends but don't stop them going. (Our HT's DS is among that number. wink)

500smiles Mon 07-Jul-14 17:28:56

Not Primary but DS's school re-jigged their timetable for Y10 and Y11 so that one lad who was signed to a Premier League Football team, could have one day a week off to train with them, so I guess it depends on how supportive the school are, and whether they can see the value of the child participating.

Hulababy Mon 07-Jul-14 17:45:12

Officially organised Sports Training at a high level normally counts as authorised - there is a special code for the register for it.

Similarly children who need to miss school for other official activities such as acting jobs, music exams, dance exams, etc should all be authorised.

DeWee Mon 07-Jul-14 17:53:39

DD2 got given time off to attend a para-event. The head said "of course" he could authorise it. Actually I was quite surprised. grin

CointreauVersial Mon 07-Jul-14 17:57:34

A couple of boys in DS's year (Y9) have one afternoon a week at a football academy, because they have been signed up by professional teams. They have special arrangements to catch up on missed study.

Chopstheduck Mon 07-Jul-14 18:01:21

We've done similar, it definitely was not a holiday form, it was an absence request for and for a 'special educational opportunity'

It's no different really to children having to have time off for music exams, etc really is it! Actually now I think about it, my son has been absent from school for day courses related to his violin playing when he did it. My eldest was granted a day off for sports - a special event for cycle and tennis coaching.

Bowlersarm Mon 07-Jul-14 18:06:37

Retro, any child who is elite at a sport, music, dancing, academia, etc will have to take time out of school to advance their skills. It's just the way it is. There isn't time just to do it in school holiday/weekend time. However unfair that may seem to you.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 07-Jul-14 18:08:15

Hello OP, I'm not familiar with sport but have found this within music recently.
The county organise these things and the HT's aren't allowing time off to participate.
It is so soul destroying to the children who work hard and have an obvious talent, so so wrong.
The difference is in our case (not personally) is that in the past the county LA would take a list of dc attending and inform the schools that x, y, z would be absent from school and educated off site.
Our LA have informed parents this isn't the case now and the decision lies with the HT.
If you have one only interested in academics, not supporting sport, music, theatre etc, you stand no chance.

ReallyTired Mon 07-Jul-14 18:15:20

My son had the morning of school to take his grade 2 guitar exam and it was authorised as education off site. (Hardly in the realms of g and t)

A child who is national standard in sport should be on the gifted and talented register. The school needs to be providing opportunities just like there are workshops for gifted mathematicans or scientists.

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