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'Exceptional Circumstances' for Authorised Absence - help please?

(19 Posts)
SatsukiKusakabe Thu 01-Sep-16 18:07:28

We have family visiting from abroad during term time. They will be several hours away from us still, and it has been mentioned that we ask permission to take our dc out of school to make a longer visit.

Having read up about this, it seems to me that exceptional means just that eg funeral, close family wedding, and with the need to provide supporting evidence, it doesn't really cover a 'wouldn't it be nice if...' Situation which I suppose I really feel this is.(I am reluctant due to dc missing a lot of school last year because of unavoidable health stuff, and the impact that had)

Am I right, or is there more latitude than that?

mouldycheesefan Thu 01-Sep-16 18:13:41

Your circumstances aren't exceptional. You can visit the family on a weekend or they can visit you.
However if you take unauthorised absence for a few days you are unlikely to be fined. I take 4 days every year and have never been fined. I will not do it when mine start secondary.

mouldycheesefan Thu 01-Sep-16 18:14:58

Just read about the time off for health reasons, I wouldn't take them out if they already have missed school. My dd has had no sick time for three years.
Close family weddings are not even always authorised!

SatsukiKusakabe Thu 01-Sep-16 18:38:29

Thank you, that's really helpful. Feeling a bit of pressure, so good to have some outside opinions.

prh47bridge Thu 01-Sep-16 18:39:18

What counts as exceptional is entirely a matter for the head teacher. Many will say they don't have a choice but that is because they don't want to admit that they are the ones saying no. You won't lose anything by asking. But it sounds like you don't really want to do this. You could simply tell your family that the school has a strict policy and won't authorise it.

yeOldeTrout Thu 01-Sep-16 18:52:51

Just go. Family bonds matter a lot.

Shakey15000 Thu 01-Sep-16 18:57:07

I needed surgery that had a 3month recovery period (over the summer holidays). We could squeeze in a week away but would mean DS missing the last two days of term. It was refused. hmm We went anyway.

irvineoneohone Thu 01-Sep-16 18:59:36

If it was me, I would ask school first. Then if they say no, I would take them out anyway, and pay the fine if I have to.
I am sure teachers/school understands, it's just that they can't say it's ok in that case.

SatsukiKusakabe Thu 01-Sep-16 19:00:24

The thing is we will be seeing them a few times over the period on weekends so I'm not sure how I'd word the request, or provide evidence. I don't mind being honest with the school, or my family.

The main thing is attendance was below 90 for the year (despite 100% in the summer term) and I'm worried about taking any extra, or what happens if he gets run down again.

mouldycheesefan Thu 01-Sep-16 19:03:43

Well,don't do it then. See family on weekends. Explain dcs have missed 10% of school due to illness so can't miss more.

irvineoneohone Thu 01-Sep-16 19:11:34

I think it's up to how you feel. If you think your dcs shouldn't miss the school, tell them so. If you want to go, go.

As for attendance, my ds had below 90% attendance in reception to yr2, but there was no problem, since we always provided evidence(Dr's letter, appointment card, anything relevant), and school was totally supportive.

SatsukiKusakabe Thu 01-Sep-16 19:14:43

That's rough shakey I think in your case it was worth taking the hit. Things like that do make me think as well of all the many situations that could arise throughout the year where we might have a more pressing need for requesting time out of school.

Thanks all for opinions.

SatsukiKusakabe Thu 01-Sep-16 19:19:28

Thanks irvine that's reassuring. I suppose I'm prepared that we might struggle attendance wise again and feel a bit like if he is well enough for school he should be there. It had a big impact on his progress and was quite stressful all round, different if he was the sort of kid who could miss loads and pick up where he left off, but he's emphatically not grin

t4nut Thu 01-Sep-16 20:02:51

Its not an exceptional circumstance.

SatsukiKusakabe Thu 01-Sep-16 20:30:01

I agree, going to go with my initial feeling I think.

littlepinkmouseofsugar Thu 01-Sep-16 21:00:01

FWIW some counties aren't doing fines what with the recent court case that was won over this issue. I know our local one has the fines policy on hold by all accounts but they are of course not publicising this! Found that out on this website so maybe other areas have info on here as well in their local areas?

www.familiesonline.co.uk

But I'd always take a child out if overseas visitors (and have done so when relatives, close friends or Godparents) were in town for just a few days or a week - different if they are staying for a month or something though.

Also, surely last year was last year - doesn't the school attendance clock sets back to zero as such every September re fines etc.

SatsukiKusakabe Thu 01-Sep-16 21:25:05

Oh I'm not worried about the fines etc from last year, more that he missed so much (and struggled with missing so much) I'm reluctant to have unnecessary absences on top, in case he has another bad winter. I'd never really thought of taking him out of school so haven't paid much attention to what to do, it's only that it was suggested to me.

Yes littlepinkmouse, I think if it was that or not see them then it would be a different matter, but they are here for a while and we will hopefully see them more than once regardiess, so I feel a bit uncomfortable about it. Thanks for the links.

Rowgtfc72 Mon 05-Sep-16 16:38:57

We had relatives visit from Australia and the absence was authorized without any problems.

Buttercupsandaisies Mon 05-Sep-16 17:58:13

Our school still authorises holidays if you word the letter appropriately! It's upto the head but most areas can't find unless 10 sessions so you can just go anyway

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