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I need to take DS's out of school in term time, advice please?

(59 Posts)
mummyplonk Thu 10-Jan-13 14:46:02

Hiya, I have DS's in years 3 and 2. My brother (their only Uncle) has just proposed to his lovely girlfriend, they are going to get married in Novemebr next year. One problem, he lives in Australia sad we obviously hardly ever see him, we have never been able to afford to go there and he has announced he is going to pay for all of our flights and our parents so there will be 6 of our family and 100 of her smile.

I have never taken them out of school before but we are not going to miss his wedding for the world. It seems like an exceptional circumstance to me, do you think so too? and because of the distance I was thinking about asking for 3 weeks? Is there a maximum amount of time they will authorise does anyone know? This is probably the only time in our life we will all go there, accomodation provided so would you ask 3 as well or try and push it to 4 weeks? Thanks for reading.

tiredteddy Thu 10-Jan-13 14:54:24

Well you dc will be. Year 3 and 4 by next nov. Also no SATS fir school to worry about in those tears. Could you include the October half term as a week the ask 2/3 more so less school missed. Also outline the educational benefits of the trip?

steppemum Thu 10-Jan-13 14:55:00

I think the maximum is 3 weeks, however if he marries in the first half of november it would follow on from half term. They might be more amenable if you show you have tried to minimise school loss by going over half term.

Some schools though just do an automatic no unless it is VERY exceptional and not sure if uncle's wedding would count.
If you take them out anyway you risk a fine which might be worth paying and going anyway

steppemum Thu 10-Jan-13 14:55:22

sorry, I meant the maximum is 2 weeks

Tiggles Thu 10-Jan-13 14:55:43

When we took DS1 to Australia (had to go with work, unavoidable) the school allowed 2weeks authorised and 1 week unauthorised. We put him school in Australia for some of the time he was there, but even still he had unauthorised absence on his school record back here.

tiggytape Thu 10-Jan-13 14:59:45

I very much doubt it will be authorised. Family weddings do not count as exceptional circumstances (even if it is your clsoe family - there's a recent case here).
You may be lucky and have a Head prepared to go against policy and put their neck on the line but most would say no especially as it is for so long.

That doesn't mean you cannot still go just that it may not be authorised. Unauthorised leave can lead to fines for each child.

DewDr0p Thu 10-Jan-13 15:02:01

Max that will be authorised here for a holiday is 2 weeks.

However I am sure there is separate provision for visiting family. I would have a good read of your school/council's policy.

However if there is any way of incorporating half term then I think that would show very willing.

mummyplonk Thu 10-Jan-13 15:18:59

Thanks for all the replies, good idea about half term. At the moment it looks like it will Friday the 29th, heres hoping they get a date a bit earlier in the month. I had better look into the fines as well (per child, gulp) hope we are not talking £1000's for that.

DevaDiva Thu 10-Jan-13 15:37:16

My DCs primary would prob ok 3 weeks, twins in my DSs class have just had an extra 3 weeks over christmas to go to NZ, first visit to their Mums home country and they're 8.

Im hoping this means our new head is as pro experiencing new things as I've not put in our application to take the DCs out for a week for glastonbury yet grin thank goodness it doesn't clash with DDs SATs

Garnier Thu 10-Jan-13 15:45:21

The fine won't be much. £50 per parent per child. So I would just go for it. £200 if you pay as soon as you get the fine. But obviously tell the school your reasons, as they may authorise.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Thu 10-Jan-13 16:25:14

Garnier, my school fines £50 per parent/per child/per half day session. So 2 DC with 2 parents for one week = 50 x 2 x 2 x 10 = £2000!

mummyplonk Thu 10-Jan-13 16:47:42

Wwwhhaaaaat, omg, can't find anything on fines, will keep googling council websites.

tiggytape Thu 10-Jan-13 16:52:43

From September the fines stand at £60. Here

Startail Thu 10-Jan-13 16:56:17

But has anyone ever been fined and if so as anyone bothered paying up.

Garnier Thu 10-Jan-13 16:58:51

Ellen - which authority is that cos I have never heard of a fine for that much? The fine usually is put in place after the 3rd day of unauthorised.
Been fined here¬ A stiff letter and it was quashed.

mummyplonk Thu 10-Jan-13 17:00:20

Gosh just found our locAl newspaper fined a mum £235 for taking her daughter to a terminally ill relatives wedding in Scotland for a week, they turned down her application 2 days before the wedding. It went to court. They authorised 1 day for the wedding, different school but nearby, not looking good so far.

PrimrosePath Thu 10-Jan-13 17:03:10

My dc school wouldn't authorise the leave, but haven't been known to fine either.

It might be worth investigating the fining policy to save yourself a nasty shock when you return. But have a lovely time.

PrimrosePath Thu 10-Jan-13 17:04:54

X post.

Can you speak to other parents to see if anyone has been fined?

tiggytape Thu 10-Jan-13 17:05:55

Startail - fines are now very, very common.
If you don't pay, they take can you to court (less common but does happen - see my link above about the woman who went to court over 11 days missed for her wedding where she wanted her son to give her away).

Some schools and areas are stricter than others (even though they are all supposed to be cracking down on it) In Essex for example the number fined has gone up 400% in the last 5 years

dixiechick1975 Thu 10-Jan-13 17:06:21

I would speak to the head. You are going so what is the best way to work things for you and the school.

If the school is undersubscribed could they leave and re join after Xmas for example.

In our area it's very common to go to see relatives in Pakistan in term time and seems to be managed. Never heard of any fines. My neighbours went for 3 weeks in term time (jr age chidren) at short notice when someone died.

5madthings Thu 10-Jan-13 17:15:11

I dont know where you are but our lea's policy is that they will fine if its more than ten days unauthorised absence AND if the child already had a bad attendence record. They give a % that you cant go below? But i cant rembet. Your lea's policy should be on their website. Ours is part of yhe county council websitr.

I think you should go and try and get one week to be half term. It us an amazing opportunitu.

All you can do is write to the head teachet and stress the one off nature of it and i would even say its not something you can afford but your brother is paying as its his wedding etc.

We are lucky our ht is fairly flexible and if children have an othetwise good attendrnce he will authorise time off.

We have had time off authorised but dp's job means its hard and some times impossible for him to.have time off in school holidays.

Other parents have had time off for various things, i have a friend whose two children are off this week, skiing. It was authorised.

It basically depends on the head teacher.

vjg13 Thu 10-Jan-13 17:16:29

There is a child in my daughter's year 5 class who has had a month in total including the Xmas holidays and weeks either side to visit her Mum's home country. I think the school has agreed it with the parents but have been a bit arsey.

I would approach the HT and see what is said. They should look at school attendance, how they are getting on etc.

Startail Thu 10-Jan-13 19:58:16

I know our primary never cared in the past and DF had no trouble going out to Australia for several weeks.

She does have an Australia DH with elderly relatives, which helped.

I think schools are actually much more reasonable than Ofsted and County would like them to be.

The one day I've wanted DD2 to have they were fine about.

Won't get any more leaway this year for the first time ever she managed to be ill for a whole week. Typical after they were so nice.

DewDr0p Thu 10-Jan-13 21:00:28

Not sure if you saw my comment earlier about visiting family? This is treated differently to holiday - do look into it.

pointythings Thu 10-Jan-13 21:12:19

Well, a friend of DD's in Yr7 went to Australia with her mum for 3 weeks (including half term so 2 weeks really) and the school authorised it quite happily as it was not going to happen again until past A-levels. I suspect it would have been different for a Yr9 though.

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