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Unauthorised absence

(32 Posts)
user1467639835 Thu 18-Aug-16 01:17:01

So, i have just been informed that 3 very close weddings are happening in the next year. All of which are far away and on a weekday during term time. My eldest is in year 1 in a strict Catholic school. They sent a letter around recently that said they will not allow unauthorised absences. What should i do?

frazzled74 Thu 18-Aug-16 01:25:46

Unless it's a very close family wedding, they are unlikely to authorise. Do you have to go to all 3? Can you prioritise 1 over the others? Can you go and leave dc with friends/family? You could ring in sick but for all 3 would be a bit suspicious. Are they spaced apart and how many days will you need to miss? if its 3 weeks worth of weddings then it's probably a bit too much school to miss.

mummymeister Sun 21-Aug-16 16:29:04

Is it a private school or within the state system? if its a private school then to all intents and purposes they are setting their own attendance agenda. you need to work out exactly how much time each of these weddings means in terms of school work lost. in year 1 means you are talking about a 5/6 year old not someone doing their gcses! go in and speak to them but go in knowing exactly how much time you are talking about in each case. have your children been asked to be bridesmaid/page boy or do they have some other special role to play?

I am in favour of taking kids out of school to attend family events and go on holidays. however, I do think that 3 family weddings all in the same year is pushing it a bit and perhaps you will either have to go to 2 without the children or politely decline.

user1467639835 Mon 22-Aug-16 15:49:58

Thanks for your replies. Its not a private school. The weddings are all my husbands siblings, i am bridesmaid for all 3. They are nov, march and sep. Need 2 days off for each. The family would be devastated if i left him at home.
I am not going to lie, it teaches my son lieing is ok. Which its not. He is only 5, what is he going to miss?

mummymeister Tue 23-Aug-16 14:20:31

Sorry user but if the family are going to be devastated that your son isn't there then why didn't someone think to speak to you first regarding taking him out of school. we have friends who have a midweek wedding but they knew that in doing this they would not have any children at it.

the penalty for unauthorised absence is £60 per parent per child. so £120 for each wedding. you can ask the school for special consideration and hopefully they will give either an authorised absence or not pass your details on to the LEA attendance officer for a fine.

its not a matter of what is he going to miss but what the rules are around absences which are well known and well publicised.

speak to the school and see what they have to say but be prepared for a No and a fine. its just the way it is now sadly.

rollonthesummer Tue 23-Aug-16 14:26:32

Our LEA doesn't fine unless you are absent for more than 5 days. I doubt they'll authorise any of them-you'll just have to go unauthorised.

Gmbk Tue 23-Aug-16 14:36:17

As long as they aren't on 3 consecutive days it is extremely unlikely you will be fined. Just tell the teacher the day before and go! I really wouldn't get worked up about this tbh. Other option is a 2 day sickie!

You could always do a sneaky fact finding mission from other parents about how likely they are to fine.

user1467639835 Tue 23-Aug-16 19:37:00

It is a stupid rule. There should be exceptions for things like this. Its not like i am taking him for fortnight in spain. Hes never missed a day off school.

I already had one bride move her wedding to a different day (thursday to friday). Its just cheaper to have it on a weekday.

I will tell the school the truth and take him out. But i am not paying the fine.

NotCitrus Tue 23-Aug-16 19:42:51

Can you assure the school that you won't have any more close family to have weddings after these three? I've taken Y1 child out for a wedding and no problem, but by wedding 3 they would guess you were lying unless you give them a heads-up first that all 3 of DH's siblings really are getting hitched in one year. Might be worth asking the couple's if they would chip in should you get a fine.

mummymeister Fri 26-Aug-16 23:58:28

how are you "not paying the fine" OP? I am not disagreeing that it is a stupid rule but if you are fined then you either pay it or go to court where it will be doubled - £240 from £120. and if you still wont pay you are then in contempt. would you say this about a parking fine?

The problem with the new rules is that every LEA and within that area, different schools, will take a different approach. in our area schools fine - straight off - no 3 days or 5 days or whatever. they report and fine.

when you chose this school for your DC were you aware of their approach to absences?

Balletgirlmum Sat 27-Aug-16 00:00:53

If any of my immediate family were silly enough to have a wedding on a school day turn they would have to accept the children & us would not be able to attend (dh is a teacher too)

NoMudNoLotus Sat 27-Aug-16 00:19:21

Just go unauthorised OP- we gave the headteacher the "heads up".

We acknowledged she wasn't allowed to authorise it ( ofsted) & she acknowledged off the record that children's lives need enriching with family experiences that aren't always doable outside of the school day.

Go & enjoy yourselves & just be honest with the headteacher.

user1467639835 Sat 27-Aug-16 09:09:12

Mummy meister, they changed the rules half way though his reception year. The ht went case by case basis. Then she decided it would be a blanket no for everyone.

mummymeister Sun 28-Aug-16 18:33:23

the rule has been in for nearly 2 years now. I agree that what changed is your heads interpretation but she isn't wrong I am afraid.

doing it case by case basis is exactly what the rule was brought in to stop so that there was a level playing field and no one went.

rules change all the time. and they will do throughout your childs education so I would get used to it now if I were you! mine are all older teens and have coped with the changes to SATs, the loss of the speaking element in English gcse, the requirement to get a c in maths and English, the change next year to no AS levels in most subjects and also the change to grades 1 - 9 from A - E.

the education system is constantly meddled with and as parents we either have to suck it up or home ed. there isn't much choice.

Ragwort Sun 28-Aug-16 18:36:50

The family would be devastated if i left him at home - Really? hmm And would a five year old be that bothered about attending a wedding?

Have you got family on your side who could look after your DS so he doesn't need to miss school?

Sirzy Sun 28-Aug-16 18:41:14

6 days of school for weddings is madness ignoring the fact that it will be unauthorised.

If the family cared so much about having him there surely they would have thought about the fact it is in term time before planning?

superram Sun 28-Aug-16 18:50:10

It will be unauthorised-they won't necessarily fine. If they do it is £60, per parent, per day. I wouldn't do all 3, and would drop the sep one definitely as it is important settling time for your child.

DoreenLethal Sun 28-Aug-16 18:51:49

The family would be devastated if i left him at home.

I don't think a 5 year old is going to be ok being left to fend for himself for 2 days so if you go, so does he surely?

NerrSnerr Sun 28-Aug-16 18:59:44

If it's really important to the bride and grooms that their nephew and both parents attend then they shouldn't be getting married on a weekday in term time.

PotteringAlong Sun 28-Aug-16 19:02:14

but I'm not paying the fine

They're unlikely to fine you, but if they do you pay or you go to prison.

Balletgirlmum Sun 28-Aug-16 19:12:50

What nerr said.

NickiFury Sun 28-Aug-16 19:21:54

It is not £60 per parent per day. It is £60 per parent, per period of absence so if they did decide to fine you it would be £60 per two day absence. In my borough and every other borough I have looked at it is £60 per every 5 day period, though I know some boroughs do it differently. I've taken my dd out for a fortnight every year she's been in primary and never been fined or even warned. This is the last year we will do it - year 5. If your child's attendance and punctuality is generally spot on it is highly unlikely you will be fined. I would take him out and I wouldn't think twice about it.

If anyone could link me to information regarding parents who have received £600 fines - i.e £120 a day for five days or even £1200 fines for a fortnight I would love to see it.

clam Sun 28-Aug-16 19:22:12

Hardly any HT will authorise an absence, but that doesn't mean you'll be fined. No one in my school has ever been fined, and pupils are off on holiday all the time. A couple of kids in my most recent class had three separate weeks out for holidays this year alone. The week before half term, I had 4 kids out. It's rife.

I wouldn't worry about it.

user1467639835 Sun 28-Aug-16 19:51:36

Basically whatever we do someones gonna be pissed off. If I don't get authorisation (which is unlikely) I will be asked to pay a fine, 120 quid per wedding, is that right?. Hopefully they won't charge us, but if they do thats going to add to the cost of going to the weddings, on top of hotel, transport, presents etc.

If I chose to leave the eldest son, then no one gets to see him (they all live far away and don't get to see him very often) and he will also be annoyed at missing out and it doesn't seem fair that his little brother should go and not him. But its not my fault that they are all getting married on a week day.

I have family that will have him while we are away.

Thanks for all your advise, I am no clearer, tempted to leave both kids and just dance the night away with hubby, lol.

user1467639835 Sun 28-Aug-16 19:53:19

Haha just while i writing this i have been told that we are invited to another close family members wedding, in september, in poland.

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