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Secondary school and taking leave during term time

(54 Posts)
sleepwouldbenice Wed 07-Nov-12 00:58:12

Hello all

my DD is in year 6. We usually take about 5-6 days (authorised) absence during term time. Something like a couple of weekends with the fri or monday (centre parks or recently a weekend away for my mums 70th) and perhaps a couple of days if going away over half term and flight times dont fit

I notice the wording around the secondary school policies is stricter than for her current primary (where they authorise leave if it doesnt clash with SATs or is excessive) and wondered if there was a "norm" to whats agreed and whats not and if schools usually authorise leave even though they say they dont

Thanks very much

sashh Wed 07-Nov-12 02:16:21

It depends on the attendance of your chald and others' children.

mummytime Wed 07-Nov-12 06:06:09

The norm is NO absence in term-time. If they do, the children should get work set by all their teachers.
My DD missed a week before 1/2 term on a French exchange trip organised by school, even with this she does have a lot of work to make up.

happyoverhere Wed 07-Nov-12 06:55:22

Norm here is NO absence too, fines and harsh letters home and/or phone calls from school follow if you are absent.

GupX Wed 07-Nov-12 07:07:22

students should not be absent for holidays in term time. However, lots are (school can say no but parents often still take the kids - understandable as they have usually paid for the holiday by the time the school is told).

I understand why parents take their children on holiday in term time but I would never do it with my own DC's. Especially in secondary. It really is disruptive to their education - worse the older they get.

meditrina Wed 07-Nov-12 07:11:18

No absence, unless exceptional reasons. None of what you outline count as exceptional.

tiggytape Wed 07-Nov-12 07:38:12

The norm is no term time holidays are granted.

Technically Head Teachers have discretion to determine what is an exceptional circumstance and to authorise leave accordingly.
In reality, most areas have a blanket policy whereby all schools are directed to refuse all term time holidays and mark them as unauthorised if the parents do this. The norm is that more and more schools are enforcing the no term time holiday policy and more and more areas are starting to impose the fines that have been around a while but rarely used until recently.

lljkk Wed 07-Nov-12 09:50:15

Agree you have to ask your school. DS school says they'll allow some hols in term time but not during exam or assessment periods. I badly want to do a big trip at Easter time when DS1 will be in yr9 & DD in yr7, hoping the schools will authorise. Like the school will have a clue when the assessment periods will be until about 3 months before, sigh.

Tigerblue Wed 07-Nov-12 09:56:48

My daughter is in Year 7 and I know they refuse leave, but parents still take it. We won't be taking her out for a whole week, but wondering whether take her out say a couple of Fridays so we can have long weekends away in the warmer weather and so as we can have some time together. My hubby has a fulltime job, parttime job and studies so we see very little of him so for us family time is important. He has to work the summer hols as he deals with apprentices coming in/student intakes/accommodation & problems and again the end October as he does trade fairs. He's guaranteed time off at Christmas, but elderly family come to us so not practical and not warm in this country!

If we do take her out, I will get her to ask the tutors concerned about work to catch up on

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 07-Nov-12 09:59:20

It is normal for secondary schools not to authorise absences like this.

Oh and as a tutor at university, being asked for 'work to catch up on' when students miss seminars for bullshit reasons which aren't absolutely necessary is very annoying. I imagine it is similarly so for teachers.

noblegiraffe Wed 07-Nov-12 10:01:15

Don't ask the tutors concerned to give her work to catch up, it's not fair to put extra work on them sorting this because you want to go on holiday when your DD should be in school. My school policy is to refuse to do this anyway, it would be entirely on your DD to borrow notes from friends and catch up as best she can on her own.

Tigerblue Wed 07-Nov-12 10:18:20

noblegiraffe, appreciate what you're saying, they get a lot of sheets to put in their workbooks so I was more thinking of these. My husband can't take time off the school holidays because of work commitments, so basically we go without a family break together every year or he gives up his job - just be nice to have one long weekend together while it's warmer.

starlady Wed 07-Nov-12 10:23:35

Trouble is Tigerblue, schools and teachers are under so much pressure for results, you can't blame them for taking this stance.

noblegiraffe Wed 07-Nov-12 10:40:21

Your DD going up to all her teachers and saying 'are there any worksheets I can have to catch up on work' might not sound like a hassle, but it is. What if the teacher isn't using a worksheet that lesson? What if the worksheet needs an explanation? What if they haven't yet photocopied the worksheet or even planned the lesson so they don't know what exactly they'll be doing yet? To explain all that takes time. Then multiply it by the number of kids who take term time holidays (it's not just you). To ask after the fact is also annoying because this lesson builds on the missed lesson and now the teacher has to spend time helping your DD because she missed vital work.
Just don't do it.

Tigerblue Wed 07-Nov-12 10:41:25

I totally appreciate some teachers might want to make a stance, but if the worksheets are available the day before or can be given to another pupil (my daughter has all her lessons with two others girls) then it would just be appreciated. It has been made clear to the children if a tutor is in their tutor class anytime before lessons or at breaktimes they are able to go in to check things out, collect missed worksheets, ask for help, so don't think it would be too much of a problem especially when some parents just wouldn't care. Most homework is on website and they don't get given any on a Friday which is the one day we would be taking.

tiggytape Wed 07-Nov-12 10:48:18

The emphasis, especially at secondary school, is for the pupil to go out of their way to borrow books from friends, photocopy or scan the worksheets and write down the homework that their class was set when they were away.
Depending on the subject and school size, each teacher may see 300+ students every week and will not have time to do this just for a family holiday. In cases of illness or bereavement of course staff pull together to help a family as much as they can but if you take term time holidays, you will have to do the catching up afterwards not add to other's workload.

I do appreciate it is nice to have family time but a lot of families have parents working away all week or working long hours in the school holidays so have very little time together. Wanting it to be warmer weather (rather than Christmas) when you have that time together isn't an exceptional reason in the school's eyes for missing lessons.

marquesas Wed 07-Nov-12 10:53:35

I don't think it's fair to expect the teacher to be involved at all in a child catching up work missed because of a holiday. I'd prefer the teacher's time to be spent with the children who are at school or who are absent due to illness or other unavoidable reason.

I'd hope that, as others have said, that the norm is that children attend school during term time and have their holidays in the holiday time.

Tigerblue Wed 07-Nov-12 11:00:33

I was only trying to answer the author's post and be supportive. Comprehensive education is new to me, so I suppose I will learn!

noblegiraffe Wed 07-Nov-12 11:57:36

Tiger, saying 'I appreciate some teachers might want to make a stand' is putting the onus on the teacher to either make a stand (pain in the arse, the kid whines that their mum told them they needed to get work, cue row) or to faff about sorting out stuff for a kid who should have been in school and in the lesson. By calling it 'making a stand' you seem to be suggesting that the teacher really should be happy with extra work generated by term time holidays and would be a bit arsey to refuse.

Take your kid on holiday if you must (and really it's a want rather than a need), but don't expect any favours and don't ask for them either.

marquesas Wed 07-Nov-12 12:06:40

Tiger - are your children in private education then? If so my experience from talking to friends is that more and more private schools don't allow any absences during term time for holidays so having to catch up pupils possibly isn't too much of an issue.

Amongst my DCs friends there always seems to be someone on holiday so I imagine across the school it's quite a big problem.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 07-Nov-12 13:23:52

...applaudes noblegiraffe

Mrsrobertduvallsaysboo Wed 07-Nov-12 13:35:37

Ds is going to Australia at Christmas and will miss 5 days of school in January.
He is year 9.
School have authorised.
It's the last time he will go until after gcses and has been a life changing experience. He has had 2 days off through illness since year 5 .

marquesas Wed 07-Nov-12 14:16:52

Does the amount of time off for illness have any impact on the liklihood of absence being approved?

Are only healthy children allowed to have term time holidays or do people mean that the overall absence rate for the school is taken into account? I don't really understand the link between the two. I've never asked for a holiday absence so don't know what the process is.

noblegiraffe Wed 07-Nov-12 14:22:40

I'm a teacher and I've not had a day off sick in ages. Perhaps I could save up for a term time holiday? The parents wouldn't mind, I'm sure.

5madthings Wed 07-Nov-12 14:28:14

Ds1 had a week off in yr 7 and a week iff in yr 9 as dp couldnt get time off in holidays. It was authorised but they told me he would not be allowed any time off in the future. We have just moved him to a new school (various reasons not holiday related!) and we did ask the new ht about this. She will authorise holidays for good reasons ie parents working patterns, special family events etc. She seemed to have quite a relaxed attitude that she would authorise it providing parents dont take the piss smile it deoends on the individual school basically.

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