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Taking yr5 child out of achool to travel -- Advice??

(44 Posts)
Poppiesway Sat 13-Jun-15 19:49:53

I'm planning late this year to take a sabbatical from work and visit America for 6 weeks. I have family there and we will be staying with them. Ds2 will get to meet his cousins who he's not been able to meet as yet. And we can do the touristy things while we're there.

Due to the nature of my work I'm unable to take the 6 weeks during the summer and will therefore have to take ds2 out of school for 5 weeks (1 of the weeks will be half term) I have to approach the school about this. Due to my job I am excluded from the fines for taking ds2 out of school during term time for holidays.

Has anybody managed to take their children out of school to travel? I had originally planned to do a year & work there, but have worked it down to 6 weeks as I've never left ds1 for more than 1 night yet!! (He will be 17 when we go and wants to stay with his dad, as he will be starting his alevels in sept) Ds2 will be 9 when we go and I think this will be a great experience for just him and me to be together and be with family that he's not met yet.

I just wondered if anyone had managed to do this and if their children suffered from lack of schooling while it was done? It will only be 5 weeks but I need to think about what I will say to the school..

Poppiesway Sat 13-Jun-15 19:50:30

SCHOOL!!! It should be school in title... Autocorrect!!!

Wolfiefan Sat 13-Jun-15 19:53:16

I've never heard of any profession being exempt from the fines.
Could you lose your school place?

TeaandCake91 Sat 13-Jun-15 19:55:18

I know that if children won't be attending school for a certain number of weeks they can be taken off roll and ultimately lose their place. Its probably more than 5 weeks but worth checking.

WindMeUpAndLetMeGo Sat 13-Jun-15 20:01:28

Depending on the school you may be able to work out a schooling plan that will need to be done while you are away, you may need to transfer him to home schooling for this time. My DSis looked into it and it can be done, but it depends on your LA.

hopelessadventure Sat 13-Jun-15 20:05:23

I would think it would depend on the school. It's true that certain professions are exempt from the fines. Our school has a large number of children from these backgrounds and wouldn't bat an eyelid at them being taken out of school for a few weeks, 6 weeks might be more of a challenge. Having said that we also have a high number of traveller children and they would be permitted time off to travel (often beyond 2 weeks) and the place would be held open for them. See what I mean? It depends on the school and their outlook. Certainly give it a go and see what you can negotiate with them.

Millymollymama Sat 13-Jun-15 21:12:03

So, are you removing your 17 year old from A level classes for 5 weeks? I think that will give him huge problems. Are you talking about the October half term? Any 5 weeks away from study won't be easy for him to catch up. Have you really thought this through? I would think a week either side of Christmas would be easier to negotiate.

Poppiesway Sat 13-Jun-15 21:27:36

No, my 17 year old is staying home, he's not coming with us, his choice. Which is fine. He has done stayed with them before we had ds2 and when bil lived in UK.
The emergency services, NHS and armed forces are exempt from the fines. I didn't know this till I applied to take ds2 out for two days to come to my graduation ceremony in London. The school then told me about me being exempt!!

Poppiesway Sat 13-Jun-15 21:33:32

I'm unable to take leave at xmas but I already have the October half term booked off.
my Bil wife home schools their eldest (6) maybe I can look in to that.

MrsWeasley Sat 13-Jun-15 21:39:01

I know of a few families who have done a similar thing and it seemed to have been ok.
One family was given work to do which consisted mostly of a diary and fact file of the places they visited and some books to read TBH it was probably the only time any homework was attempted.

Millymollymama Sat 13-Jun-15 21:43:27

Sorry, I thought from your original post your 17 year old was wanting to stay with his Dad in the USA for the 6 weeks. I think that it depends on whether your school will keep his place open. They won't thank you for taking him as it will seriously dent their absence rates. This is why schools can take the long absence children off roll. I think it depends whether you value education or travel. Personally I would not dump my child on someone else for 6 weeks while I skipped off to the USA, but we are not all cut from the same cloth.......

Poppiesway Sat 13-Jun-15 23:29:09

I'm not dumping my child on someone else! It's his dad!! His dad has lived 40 miles from us for the past six years and has now brought a new house in the same town as us. It's also walking distance to the sixth form college which is better for ds1 as he will have to catch a few buses to get to it from our house.
Of course I value education, I have an MSc myself, but I don't think 5 weeks from school for a 9yr old will damage his education. I will have more time with him to read and learning new things while we go away. I'm educated enough to homeschool him myself while we're away. currently I'm working 50 hours a week and when we're away I will have more time with him than I do ordinarily.

Primafacie Sun 14-Jun-15 00:12:12

Fuckin' hell Millymolly, you sound like you have a massive axe to grind. Why so judgemental when you know virtually nothing about the OP, her DS1, and arrangements with his dad?

Poppiesway Sun 14-Jun-15 08:14:35

Thank you primafacie I thought I may have just been being over sensitive!
I'll take in to account the home schooling and propose action of what we will do when we're there.
It may be that I reduce the time to 4 weeks off school so we have 5 weeks including October.

Sirzy Sun 14-Jun-15 08:18:32

I would check on the fine thing, I would imagine that would be for a 2 week holiday not 5!

momtothree Sun 14-Jun-15 08:32:22

i think its a great idea
Kids catch up ... it wont have a huge impact at school, but will be great for him and you. Go for it.

NynaevesSister Sun 14-Jun-15 08:41:03

Wow MillyMolly if you are going to be so judgemental towards people at least read the original post properly. That way you won't look like so much of a twat.

OP start with having a chat with the HT. Schools differ but also so do local authorities. I am on the GB for two schools in two different boroughs. They both approach absences differently. Legally the school can off roll you after missing more than ten school days without authorisation. If they have an LA that strictly audits absences (as one of ours does) but the school is behind you, then they may still be able to get you two weeks authorised (medical reasons, a special occasion are a couple of reasons how the school can do this), plus the one week at half term then the two weeks unauthorised gives you five weeks. The school admin could easily stall for a week so the school could hold the place open for you.

Baddz Sun 14-Jun-15 08:46:40

Great idea.
Do it.

DakotaFanny Sun 14-Jun-15 08:50:55

What an incredible time you will have and what a life experience for him. I am a teacher, I know my school would not like it, attendance wise. I still think you should go for it.

My only hesitation would be if he was going into a new class - in which case I would have slight concerns about socialisation with new peer group at home. I presume you are going September, so he may not have found his place in the new group yet.

If it's the same group of kids going forward then go. Go. Go. I am so jealous!

hibbledibble Sun 14-Jun-15 08:54:21

Is this really true that the emergency services, NHS and armed forces are exempt from fines?

I never knew this, and am surprised as surely together they would may up a large proportion of parents.

ragged Sun 14-Jun-15 09:09:37

I did it for 3 weeks, OP, in 2014. The HT thanked me for not taking DS out during a SATs yr & gave us unauthorised absence. Good luck.

Connorthemonkey Sun 14-Jun-15 09:14:13

I think that might be an individual policy of the school / LEA not to fine those professions OP. I have done some googling and I certainly don't think it's part of the law. I would check very careful that you are not going to get fined, as they may choose not to fine a police officer parent who can't take a week's holiday in the summer, but taking six weeks is a very different proposition and you may find that the policy no longer applies.

Hulababy Sun 14-Jun-15 09:14:34

I don't think there is any official exemption tbh. Maybe some schools are more lenient than others for some professions. But they'd have to be careful how they do it.

Long term absence is definitely discouraged and children can lose their place at a school over it. But again how long is needed and if permission can be sort is very much down to the lea and the school.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sun 14-Jun-15 09:53:45

Is this really true that the emergency services, NHS and armed forces are exempt from fines?

No. There are no exemptions as far as I know. Holidays can be granted in exceptional circumstances but what constitutes exceptional circumstances is down to individual Head teachers or LAs. It might be that where the OP is the school have decided that all holiday for nhs workers and armed forces is granted. It certainly isn't a national policy.

I think the biggest problem is likely to be losing your school place and having to reapply for a new one when you get back. I do know of some that remove a place after 4 weeks so you do need to check what your school's policy is.

UniS Sun 14-Jun-15 09:56:19

Will you loose the school place? Is there a waiting list for his year group.
If not, go for it.

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