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Do you agree the school completely messed up ?

(134 Posts)
Alonggoesthetit Wed 19-Apr-17 15:19:19

On Mother's Day, we were told that my fil was terminally ill and only had weeks to live. One of his last wishes was to see the kids (13 and 10) before he got too ill. We have organised to go on the Tuesday and to come back on the Thursday. Eldest 's school is very strict about absence so I called the attendance officer and explained that my father in law was dying that he wanted to see his grand kids a last time before things got really bad. It's relevant to say that ds had 100 % attendance, he never missed a day at school even when ill.

I was confident that this 2 days and a half absence was going to be accepted. I picked ds up at lunchtime on the Tuesday. I saw him and he still didn't have the authorisation. He got told by the secretary that if he couldn't find his head of year, he had to get his authorisation from the deputy head.

He did that but got told no I won't sign that. Ds was tearful, I was completely stunned. He invited to the conference room to talk. I explained that ds's grand dad was dying and that we all needed to go to spend some time with him. It was one of his last wishes. The deputy head refused to authorise the Wednesday and Thursday off...he only authorised the Tuesday afternoon, suggested we go then come back in the evening (it's in Devon)... He said that if ds didn't come back, he will be given 15 hours after school, we will be fined, he will be considered a truant.

At that point, ds was really upset and I was shocked. We went to meet dh then we left for Devon. All we talked about was the situation at school when we should have been trying to spend quality time with my fil. My father in law was to ds, don't worry go back to school, it's shocking but I don't want you to be in trouble because of me. Ds was also adamant he was going back to school as he didn't want to be in trouble.

So we went, we caught an early train and ds was back at school on time. I left my dh and my other ds there.

Things went from bad to worst for my fil and he passed away in the night Thursday to Friday..2 days after we last saw him.

I complaint to the school and we are going to meet with the school this week. I don't know what I want from this thread just acknowledgment of our treatment. We have been treated dreadfully ? We had the right to make my ds miss school isn't it ?

kingfisherblue33 Wed 19-Apr-17 15:22:11

I'm sorry for your loss.

Your ds's school has behaved disgracefully. I have no idea about the law, but morally they made a right pig's ear of this.

What happened to compassion, caring, empathy - all the things they should be modelling for, and teaching, kids?

Alonggoesthetit Wed 19-Apr-17 15:25:31

It's awful isn't it ? Ds was almost more upset about being in trouble at school than his grand dad being terminally ill.

Traalaa Wed 19-Apr-17 16:31:07

That's just awful. They behaved dreadfully. Kick up a fuss, they deserve it. I hope your DS is alright and the rest of you too. sad

Spadequeen Wed 19-Apr-17 16:34:44

I would go absolutely crazy at the school. How fucking disgusting. That is time your ds will never get back with his gf, I would be taking this to the head and the governors and would be expecting nothing less than an apology from that sorry excuse for a person.

Spadequeen Wed 19-Apr-17 16:35:03

I should also have said I'm so sorry for your loss xx

Ginorchoc Wed 19-Apr-17 16:41:41

I'm very anti taking your child out of school for a holiday unless parents have holiday restrictions but for this reason, that's terrible and very uncaring and lacking in any insight of the school. I'd be furious!

OlennasWimple Wed 19-Apr-17 16:43:11

Yes, that was handled really really badly by the school. Sorry for that, and for your loss flowers

Pinkandwhiteblossoms Wed 19-Apr-17 16:45:02

Handled very badly but I'll be honest here, I wouldn't have entered into a discussion about it. Not their child, not their decision. You really should just have gone.

TeenAndTween Wed 19-Apr-17 17:12:15

I'm really sorry for your loss.

But I don't quite understand the timing? You were told on the Sunday of Mother's Day he had only weeks to live.
Are you saying you hot footed it down 2 days later on the Tue and he passed away on the Thursday night? In which case I agree the school handled it badly.

However what I don't understand is, if you didn't go that week, why you went in the school week rather than at the weekend?

stoopido Wed 19-Apr-17 17:15:41

Disgusting behaviour and I would be kicking up a real fuss. Not what you should be having to deal with at this time.

Alonggoesthetit Wed 19-Apr-17 17:20:23

Teen - we were told on the Sunday evening. We organised ourselves with work/school on the Monday. We went on Tuesday afternoon. Ds and I caught a train at 5.30 on Wednesday morning for him to be at school. My FIL passed on Friday morning at 2 am. He thought he had at least 3 weeks but he went much faster. I know I should have kept ds anyway but he was becoming hysterical about missing school but fil said to go back to school. Ds is brainwashed by this school. He doing great there but this is awful.

youarenotkiddingme Wed 19-Apr-17 17:22:00

One of the things to ask the school is for their or if its county wide that policy on compassionate leave for staff.

Ask that if staff needed time off would they be made to make it up after school?

For me this was an actual exceptional circumstance for leave - nor for holiday leave but certainly a reason to authorise an absence.

By I agree with above - you should have kept ds off if you believed it right.

Sorry to your family and I hope your DH is ok flowers

youarenotkiddingme Wed 19-Apr-17 17:23:06

Sorry x posted.

LornaD40 Wed 19-Apr-17 17:23:43

I agree badly handled by school. I can't work out what time frame you had given them (could be a bit of miscommunication? Ours are paper leave of absence request forms and would take a few days minimum to be processed). Maybe they suspected a holiday (i kid you not people will use all sorts of reasons). Don't know how far you are from Devon but perhaps 2.5 days seemed excessive.

I would have just taken them out. If good attendance unlikely to be fined (depending on your LA)

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 19-Apr-17 17:26:02

Oh you poor things sad

Absolutely shocking treatment of you all.

So sorry for your loss flowers

ohforfoxsake Wed 19-Apr-17 17:27:03

Appalling way for the school to behave.

It is exceptional circumstances. I'd be taking this further. Write to the head of Governors too.

So sorry for your loss.

Alonggoesthetit Wed 19-Apr-17 17:28:07

We didn't have much time unfortunately and yes it happened just before they broke off for school. I went there in person to explain our situation but he didn't want to hear anything...when ds heard the word truant and he became upset, he didn't want a black mark against his name. I can't forgive myself for not deciding to keep ds. We were just so shocked, we had just been told about the prognosis.

Allthebestnamesareused Wed 19-Apr-17 17:29:26

First, I am sorry for your loss and the obvious stress this placed you all under.

Personally I would have just taken the kids out for as long as you needed. With 100% attendance already it would not have taken them down below the level that would have meant they were reported and I would have appealed any fine.

I know with hindsight it is easy to say all this. Going forward I would pursue a complaint and perhaps even write to the Governors.

MrsSthe3rd Wed 19-Apr-17 17:31:05

So sorry for your loss. flowers

This Head teacher is clearly crazy. And I'm not sure where their empathy is, if they even have any!

Your poor DS must have been very torn and this could rest on his shoulders for a while.

I would absolutely take it as far as you can. And get an apology of them.

youarenotkiddingme Wed 19-Apr-17 17:31:35

School sounds unreasonable. It's not easy to stand up for what's right when faced with a school that talk like politicians and make threats that "put you in your place".

Believe me - I know. My ds attended such a school for a while until they made him ill.

I'd seriously put your foot down now - tell them you want a written apology and ds to receive an apology and want to see a policy drawn up with regards compassionate leave for students in line with the exceptional leave policy that also reflects the policy for LA staff.

Alonggoesthetit Wed 19-Apr-17 17:32:28

We wanted to play by the rules.

youarenotkiddingme Wed 19-Apr-17 17:32:40

Oh and tell school they need to arrange counselling for ds to deal with his guilt alongside his grief as it's guilt their actions caused

parklives Wed 19-Apr-17 17:40:11

I think you and your family have been treated terribly. Why do the 'rules' matter more than compassion, love and family?
I might be wrong, but even if you are in prison you are allowed day release to visit a dying relative?
I think it sets a horrible example to children and young people that rules are bullshit (which obs isnt true most of the time).

Muddlewitch Wed 19-Apr-17 17:46:31

That is dreadful and put you and DS in a horrible position when you had enough going on anyway. You are absolutely right to complain.

I would also take the opportunity at the meeting to ask for concrete reassurances about how the school will now support your DS while he is grieving, as it doesn't sound like you can assume they will show understanding and compassion given their previous actions.

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