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Holiday in first few weeks of term, is that OK at this age?

(12 Posts)
GeneralTFuckup Sun 05-Mar-17 18:19:06

Hi, my daughter starts primary school in September this year, she'll be 4. I want to book a family holiday in October for a week but am worried about what the school will say? Am I likely to be fined? And is it too soon to take her out for a week when she'll have only been at school for six weeks by then? No idea what to expect. Thanks

Ylvamoon Sun 05-Mar-17 18:23:06

Compulsory school age for children in England is 5. So if your DD is still 4 at the time of travel, you should be fine! (The school might give you a little slap on the wrist, but should not be able to fine you.)

Lowdoorinthewal1 Sun 05-Mar-17 18:24:36

I wouldn't do it then. The teacher will still be establishing routines at that point and getting the class dynamic established on a positive footing. That first term of Reception is really important for that.

If the school does phased entry she may have only been full time for a couple of weeks.

I'm not against term time holidays at all (am a Teacher), but not then. I think it would be unsettling.

Sirzy Sun 05-Mar-17 18:25:10

Go at half term?

I wouldn't deliberately keep a child off especially so early into going to school. Learning the routine is important

AlexanderHamilton Sun 05-Mar-17 18:28:50

My son was off school during October due to an accident that resulted in a wound infection.

It was very unsettling for him & he struggled getting back into the routine of school.

CarrotCakeMuffins Sun 05-Mar-17 18:29:50

The school probably won't like it, but she won't be compulsory school age so you can't be fined. I would just politely inform them that she won't be there that week if you decide to go away.
The term after she is 5 (which would be January if her birthday is in the autumn for example) that all changes as she would then be compulsory school age and you could potentially be fined etc.

In terms of whether it is too soon - some things to think about:
Children will still be finding their feet and making friends - will she be with a lot of children she already knows? If not it might not be good timing for her to miss a week.
Is she sociable / makes friends easily? Again if a bit shy might not be a good idea.
Also bear in mind some schools have a very staggered settling in period so she might have only just gone full time (and you may need to think about saving holiday to use during a settling in period when she is not at school full time.)
Until you know which school she will be going to you won't know all these answers.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

meditrina Sun 05-Mar-17 18:30:57

No, you cannot be fined for a child below compulsory school age.

If you have however chosen to start them before the compulsory age, they are expected to attend and attendance management measures (other than fines).

But I'd say that the first few weeks of reception are a pretty bad time to take a DC out

PotteringAlong Sun 05-Mar-17 18:32:15

I agree with everyone else - they won't fine you, she doesn't need to be there but it's a rubbish time to pull someone out of reception.

BackforGood Sun 05-Mar-17 18:33:17

I wouldn't. If you must take them out, do it in the Summer Term. During the Autumn Term of Reception, there's lots and lots of settling in / making allowances / teaching them how to "be at school" as much as anything academic. She would miss a lot of the social stuff that can't really be caught up.
I mean, it will happen in the end - obviously if a child has to start a new school or if they are ill, but it's the worst possible half term to take children out from, if they don't have to miss it.

Ididtry Sun 05-Mar-17 18:38:44

Nothing will "happen" but it can be very hard on a child to be taken out for a week so soon after starting, just as friendships and routines are becoming established. If there's a gradual start, they'll have only just gone full time.

I wouldn't do it out of concern for my child, not because I was worried about getting into trouble - which you won't, staff will judge though!

GeneralTFuckup Sun 05-Mar-17 18:42:33

Thanks everyone. Think I'll put the holiday on hold until next year.

Mumtobe12 Sun 05-Mar-17 18:47:05

As a teacher I would advise not as that's the time when children establish routines, form friendships and generally get used to being at school. It can be very hard for them to settle back and find their feet again after time off at this crucial stage. I'm not anti term holidays ( depending where they are in a child's school life) but would suggest at the end of term and not so early in school calendar. However as others say your child won't be compulsory school age so you won't get fined but for their benefit of settling into school think about having it later in academic year. smile

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