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Taking children out the last two days of summer term

(26 Posts)
pilates Mon 20-Jan-14 15:02:27

I have two children, one in secondary and one in primary. I want to take them out of school for the last two days prior to breaking up for the summer holidays. Will I be fined or will it just go down as unauthorised absence?

Poledra Mon 20-Jan-14 15:08:05

No-one can tell you if you will be fined as that is in the hands of your LA - some fine, some don't. Please note, it's not the head who fines you - they request that the LA fine you but in the end, if the LA says no, then the HT can do nothing other than put your absence down as unauthorised.

And these days. even if the HT sympathises with you, it'll still be unauthorised absence.

SoonToBeSix Mon 20-Jan-14 15:09:31

Check your local authority rules, our only fines for a week( five days) or more in any one term.

pilates Mon 20-Jan-14 15:41:21

Thanks - just checked and it's five days or more so does that mean they can't fine?

SoonToBeSix Mon 20-Jan-14 22:52:31

Yes they shouldn't fine you then, but it will still go down as unauthorised.

meditrina Mon 20-Jan-14 22:56:37

It depends why you take them out.

A HT has discretion to mark it as authorised absence if they deem the circumstances exceptional, then it won't need to go anywhere near the LA as you aren't fined if absence authorised.

But as you are planning this far ahead, it might be hard to make a case for exceptional, in which case it will be marked as unauthorised. Whether you are fined depends on LA policy.

mummymeister Wed 22-Jan-14 11:52:04

pilates there is a massive thread on this about 3 pages into aibu threads and might be a good place to look. our rules are that no hols are given as authorised. the h/t will mark all of them as unauthorised even a day and this will go to the LA and they will fine me. no it isn't the h/t that fines but it is their sole decision whether your absence is marked as unauthorised or not. if they mark it as unauthorised in our area they are effectively ensuring you get a fine because they know that the LA are fining all unauthorised absences. it isn't just the issue of the fine - it is an offence. so people just thinking I will pay up the £60 per child per parent need to take account of this. with 2 kids your fine would be £240.

pilates Thu 23-Jan-14 16:32:22

Thanks mummy will check.

mercibucket Thu 23-Jan-14 16:34:50

phone in sick?

mummymeister Thu 23-Jan-14 18:06:46

they check merci its all changed. if its 2 days before school hols they will be suspicious especially if it is both children. you can be asked to prove they were sick.

pilates Thu 23-Jan-14 18:52:10

Merci It did cross my mind ��

Really mummy?

Would they really have the time and inclination to check so close to end of term?

How can you prove S & D?

mercibucket Thu 23-Jan-14 19:28:16

they are at 2 different schools and it is not a police state, there is very little chance of them checking up, and if they do, what does it matter? you have to pay the fine you had to pay anyway.

mrsjavierbardem Wed 29-Jan-14 14:12:42

i have to do the same with two children on the Friday before the May bank hols.
The reason is for my ds to have a once in a lifetime trip to do something really fabulous and life enhancing etc etc. Dd is going to stay with rels an equally exciting trip.
If I just phone them both in sick on the morning, they would hardly chase that up would they?
In my defence and as a former parent gov, I would much rather not do this but we need to travel on that day and I don't want to risk declaring and having to pay a fine. I just feel that taking them out of school once in a blue moon should be allowed, and I mean once in a blue moon. But I guess that liberal system hasn't worked with our vile travel industry's tactics so I guess we all have to put up with it!

Sparklysilversequins Wed 29-Jan-14 14:20:56

I would phone in sick. They're not going to check for two days and as for questioning my dd as to whether she was unwell or not three weeks ago, well she can barely remember what she had for lunch that day.

Xalla Thu 06-Feb-14 13:20:55

We need to take DSD out next Fri as we booked flights for the Feb half term before the new rules came in. They were £70 each cheaper on the Friday and there's loads of us. No brainer really.
Her school states on their website that there's no point filling out a holiday request form unless you're in the army, work in the holiday industry or have an overseas funeral / wedding so my DH sent an email to the head this morning stating that she would't be in school, sent a copy of the flight booking proving it was booked prior to the new rules being introduced and basically said send whatever fine is incurred and I'll pay it. I'll let you know how he gets on!

Methe Thu 06-Feb-14 13:23:37

Call in sick, say they both have vomiting and diarrhoea.

Xalla Thu 06-Feb-14 13:49:23

OK we just got a response. Apparently in our LA, fines are only levied at parents of children who already have attendance levels of less than 90% at which point the attendance officer also becomes involved.

All holidays are put down as unauthorised absences, the head says she has no choice in this.

So DH won't get fined and the day off won't be authorised.

The head finished off with a line about giving the impression to children that it's OK to miss school for holidays.

Phone in sick!

Poledra Thu 06-Feb-14 14:04:33

Xalla, I'm interested in the exceptions in the email you received
'you're in the army <yes, OK with this>, work in the holiday industry <nope, not getting this at all>

Why does working in the holiday industry mean you are allowed exception for term-time holiday? Is that on the assumption that you cannot holiday when everyone else does? What about someone who runs a cafe in a holiday town? Would they be covered under this? I don't understand! (and I realise that you might not know either, so please don't think I'm getting at you!).

Xalla Thu 06-Feb-14 14:24:06

The wording is "Holiday industry employees with proof of this being the ONLY time period allowed by employer".

I assume they mean hotel employees and such. I doubt a cafe in a tourist town would cut it but I guess that would be at the discretion of the head??

To be honest I think the old rule of the head being able to authorise 10 days a term off before they called the attendance officer was much more workable.

There are far too many grey areas with the new rules.

mummymeister Fri 07-Feb-14 08:27:59

Xalla really interesting post. some areas apparently say no more than 5 days off a term ( which is actually more than the 10 days under the old rules) on AIBU thread someone there has been told one day and she will be fined regardless of attendance up to that date (and this is for a hospital appointment not a holiday) This 90% attendance rule is new too. have heard of 95% in other areas (which equates to 10 days off a year) great that you aren't being fined. hope you have a good holiday.

meditrina Fri 07-Feb-14 08:38:41

"All holidays are put down as unauthorised absences, the head says she has no choice in this."

Then the head has misunderstood or misrepresented the powers she has by law. Is she incompetent in other matters too?

mummymeister Fri 07-Feb-14 10:52:36

Meditrina - she is probably just doing what her LEA has told her to do. there is so much confusion over this including by heads and so many different decisions being made. some heads are saying this so that they don't ever have to make a decision for fear of the backlash from parents and who can blame them really.

Chasingsquirrels Fri 07-Feb-14 10:55:40

I just checked our LEA (Cambridgeshire) policy, and it says penalty notices won't be issued where attendance is >85% in the preceding 4-week period, which is 3 days.

mummymeister Fri 07-Feb-14 11:36:09

chasingsquirrels - I have yet to hear of two LEA's that have the same policy on this. it is just bonkers really. how are parents supposed to know and what if they change them?

Chasingsquirrels Fri 07-Feb-14 11:39:41

indeed - I just assumed that if you took the children out you got a fine, haven't really looked into it - but saw this thread yesterday and had a look at our LEA's policy online.

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