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Home ed for one term/SATs

(158 Posts)
karaokesmokey Sun 14-Feb-16 21:20:01

I'm considering home education for the half term between Easter and May half term for DD in year six. Re SATs-Yes, that is deliberate, and the point.

We don't have pressure on school places here, and DD is in the 2nd admission criteria. I do not imagine they will fill her place, and that is a risk I'm willing to take. (Worst case scenario, I can home ed for the second half of the term, too).

The school will not be chuffed, for obvious reasons. My question is, if they have a place available, and we are top of the list, and apply for it just before May half term for her to return after the half term, can they deny her it?

I don't wish to discuss the merits of SATs here, just whether pissing the school off can affect admissions.

Alternatively, is the £60 fine per absence, or per day? If DD misses SATs week, and I've ensured she's had access to the internet, my reading tells me she then can't sit them. Is that true?

christinarossetti Sun 14-Feb-16 21:25:56

As far as I know, the fine is 60 pounds per parent per day, so 120 pounds per day if your dd has another parent.

If you withdrawn your dd from school, then put her on the waiting list a few weeks or months later, the LA will have to offer you a place if there is one available. I agree it's unlikely that there will be a new starter in Y6 in the summer term, but you couldn't bank on it.

I don't blame you for thinking about this. I thought the SATS pressure was bonkers a few years ago, but it looks quite tame compared to what the current cohort is going through.

Saracen Sun 14-Feb-16 22:02:53

If you request a place at a school which has a vacancy then you cannot be denied the place, except IIRC if the child has been permanently excluded from two schools or has quite significant special needs which the school would be entirely unable to cope with. Pissing the school off does not affect admissions.

A small point worth noting is that your daughter's departure does not necessarily create a vacancy. If the school has had to go over its numbers for some reason (e.g. a child was admitted on appeal) then when your daughter leaves they will still be full, and she won't get back in.

But you say there isn't much pressure on schools in the area and that you are willing to HE for the rest of the year anyway, so maybe you don't mind about such technicalities.

Sure, if you think taking your daughter out or a while is the best thing for her, then go for it. There is no minimum period for which you can home educate.

Oh wait, just one more thing to check first: Is the secondary school where you want her to go oversubscribed? Does it operate a feeder system? If yes to both, will your daughter's departure from a feeder primary at this particular time jeopardise her chances of gaining a place at that secondary? You might ask the LA to answer those questions in writing.

When you deregister her from her primary school, you might drop the LA a line to explain that you only plan to HE temporarily and you still want the secondary place she has been allocated.

(I thought a child had to be off school for a full two weeks in order to miss SATs, but I may be mistaken.)

karaokesmokey Sun 14-Feb-16 22:14:36

That's a point. Is "attendance at a feeder school" on the day of application, on the day of allocation, or on the last day of the school year? (It would only drop her from a '2' to a '3', and we should know if she's got her secondary place by then.)

I read on the gov. regulations that if a child is absent, and they've had no contact with tested children or the internet, then they can be tested on another date. So, all I would need to do would be to ensure she has access to the internet?

The fine is looking like the cheaper option, even if it's per day, but possibly the less fun option! I quite fancy a bit of home ed for a bit.

The year is not full even now, two children under PAN, so I do feel confident that unless Catholic, previously looked after triplets move opposite the school, we will get a place to return for the nice farewell bits. But, I can afford to home ed and have fun ourselves if the triplets were to arrive.

tiggytape Sun 14-Feb-16 23:48:45

If she misses SATS week, she will still sit the tests when she returns.

It changed a few years ago because sick children were being ushered into school just to sit it (complete with instructions for what to do if they were vomiting) and because some parents were deliberately missing the key dates.
So being away for one week won't help - you'd have to keep her off for much longer (and I'm pretty sure there's no requirement to swear she's been in isolation for that time or if so it isn't that enforced - they just sit the tests when they return).

If you de-register and then reapply and there is a space which you qualify for more than anyone else who wants it at the same time, then they cannot deny it to you even if they are annoyed at you. The secondary school allocations will have been made by May so you cannot lose your place unless they suspect your decision about school switching is down to cheating for a school place (which it isn't).

How does DD feel about missing school or missing the SATS? Even if you take her out Easter - May, she is still going to be at school for all of the SATS build-up if not the actual tests. It will affect her secondary schooling to some extent if they use it for setting and even if they don't, it will affect progress measuring and GCSE predictions in future years all since SATS are used right through to Year 11 for measuring progress. Again this isn't a crisis but if it would bother you or her, is worth considering.

Finally it may be worth finding out if she will have to retake the SATS in Year 7 if she hasn't formally demonstrated that she's reached the required standard in Year 6. This is a new thing and not expected until 2017 the last time I saw it mentioned so may not affect you but it would be fruitless to avoid them in Year 6 only to face them in Year 7.

tiggytape Sun 14-Feb-16 23:59:54

Looking at the roll out dates for the Year 7 resits, December 2017 is when it becomes compulsory but secondary schools are going to be given the papers to use from December 2016 if they wish to.

Therefore it is possible that secondary schools will use SATS papers on an optional basis at the start of Year 7 from 2016 and you might want to check this with them to make a choice between SATS in May or the resit SATS in December if that's on the cards at your school.

AndNowItsSeven Mon 15-Feb-16 00:15:29

The £60 is not per day , it is absence per parent. Your dd will still recive a standardised sats score.

ChalkHearts Mon 15-Feb-16 07:17:47

I think primary would still pass on a predicted SATs grade to secondary.

Which may not be to your advantage.

If school are annoyed with you they could make her last 6 weeks not fun. Ie not allow her to go on camp. Give her a bad part in school play etc.

mrz Mon 15-Feb-16 07:23:11

www.gov.uk/school-attendance-absence/legal-action-to-enforce-school-attendance

christinarossetti Mon 15-Feb-16 07:25:30

On what basis could the school not allow a child to go on camp? I agree that you may miss vital info about trips/activities if your DD isn't at school for a month or so though.

ChalkHearts Mon 15-Feb-16 07:28:41

Camp is booked and paid for. Then you deregister. So you'd lose your place on camp and your money.

When you re-register they'd be under no obligation to find you a place at camp. Because it was booked and paid for earlier.

Don't underestimate how cross school might be.

If I was going to do this, I wouldn't return for the last half term.

ChalkHearts Mon 15-Feb-16 07:31:02

In fact at my school auditions for the school play are in SATs week. So you'd definitely get a bad part.

MrsJamin Mon 15-Feb-16 07:31:21

Can I ask why you want to prevent your child from sitting them?

noblegiraffe Mon 15-Feb-16 07:55:25

If she started at my secondary school with no SATs data (some kids miss them, and some primary schools are crap at passing on info) then she would be hoiked out of lessons in the first couple of weeks at secondary to sit them and these scores would be used - with the disadvantage that she wouldn't be properly prepared for them. It would also be a crap start to secondary.

christinarossetti Mon 15-Feb-16 07:58:59

That's a good point noble.

That's what happened to my friend's son when she phoned him in sick for his SATS a few years ago.

Lucsy Mon 15-Feb-16 08:00:33

I'm still waiting for clarification from school HT about exactly this
I think they need to be absent from school for 2 weeks to miss the sats completely
I've asked for confirmation as to whether she will mark those absences as unauthorised and report me for it.

ChalkHearts Mon 15-Feb-16 08:02:39

Dumb point - but you do realise just because your child sits the test, doesn't mean you need to show them the results.

Lucsy Mon 15-Feb-16 08:06:39

Chalk. I did exactly that last year with ds. He still does not know his sats results

My daughter is doing many practice tests at school and I have told school that she must not be told the marks on each test.
This years children are much more anxious than last years. They are feeling it from the teachers, one of which admitted she was having sleepless nights over the spag in particular. I don't know any parent putting pressure on their kids, but schools are and its showing

mummytime Mon 15-Feb-16 08:08:07

Personally I think you have missed the point. Usually it's not the actual sitting of SATs that is stressful, in my experience actually sitting SATs isn't that stressful. Schools often try to make it a fun week with lots of extra playtime, eating bananas and fun activities outside of the SATs. What is stressful is the preparation for them, the playground gossip and gossip over results. All of which take place outside that half term.
Also does the Secondary your DC is going to, use SATs in setting?

mummytime Mon 15-Feb-16 08:12:56

Personally I think you have missed the point. Usually it's not the actual sitting of SATs that is stressful, in my experience actually sitting SATs isn't that stressful. Schools often try to make it a fun week with lots of extra playtime, eating bananas and fun activities outside of the SATs. What is stressful is the preparation for them, the playground gossip and gossip over results. All of which take place outside that half term.
Also does the Secondary your DC is going to, use SATs in setting?

ReallyTired Mon 15-Feb-16 08:13:52

Is your daughter actually been made ill from SATs or are you just objecting to the insane waste of time? I am contemplating sending dd to private school for year 6 to avoid a wasted year. In our area secondaries retest as they see key stage 2 sats as a joke.

LittleFishBigOcean Mon 15-Feb-16 08:17:26

Parents at my school are racking their brains to come up with some kind of boycott, just to make a point to the government of nothing else.

In all honesty, this year I don't think schools will be angry. For once I think everyone is as sympathetic as everyone else and will support one another in whatever they decide to do. Well, that's the case at my school anyway.

TeaT1me Mon 15-Feb-16 08:18:47

I wondered about missing year 6 and using it as a homeschooling year, doing all the exciting activities homeschooled can do, travel etc.

I assume wed still apply to secondary as a homeschoolers, so sit the grammar tests etc. Leaving a primary place shouldn't cost your secondary place should it?

I don't mind her sitting them as she arrives at secondary as the point is to miss the year of stress and drilling for some more fun activities.

Part of me really doesn't care whether she knows what all the in depth technical (ahem made up) names are for aspects of grammar, as it appears on similar threads that many private schools aren't teaching this or getting obsessed with sats.

Washediris Mon 15-Feb-16 08:18:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrz Mon 15-Feb-16 08:20:38

The NAHT (head teachers union) gave the DfE a week to respond to concern and are considering action.

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