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A fine for staying off school

(45 Posts)
CherryCupCake Sat 19-Apr-08 20:45:10

If a person wanted to take their 15 year old out of school for a two week holiday and were threatened with a fine from the school (due to already low attendance) how much are we talking? fine wise I mean...?

Blandmum Sat 19-Apr-08 20:47:48

Crap idea to take a 15 year old out of school. GCSE year. many GCSEs are modular and they have the exams though the year.

there is also the huge pressure of coursework.

Really, really very bad idea

MaureenMLove Sat 19-Apr-08 20:48:26

Are you sure they are actually gonna fine you? I thought, it was still just a threat and no law has actually been passed. I could be very wrong of course, which is a bugger, because I'm taking dd out for a week in 2 weeks time!

SmugColditz Sat 19-Apr-08 20:48:29

* An education welfare officer may visit you to discuss the situation
* Your child's school or the LA may offer to enter a parenting contract with you - this is a voluntary arrangement under which you agree to meet certain requirements and the school or LA commits to helping you in specific ways
* The LA may ask a court to appoint an education supervisor to help you and your child
* You may be given a penalty notice or 'on-the-spot' fine of between £50 and £100, which can be issued by an education welfare officer, a police officer or a head teacher
* You may be taken to court, and if you're found guilty you face a fine of up to £2,500, a maximum of three months in jail or a community sentence

MaureenMLove Sat 19-Apr-08 20:54:15

Can I just say, mine is in year 7 and its actually only four days and its a prize from MN! grin

TheFallenMadonna Sat 19-Apr-08 20:56:44

How low is low attendance?

Saggarmakersbottomknocker Sat 19-Apr-08 21:03:18

If the attendance is generally low they won't authorise the holiday and if you take them out they can fine you. Initially it's quite a small fine I think, around £100 taken by the local authority. If you don't pay and attendance doesn't improve you can go to court and be fined a lot more.

clam Sat 19-Apr-08 21:54:16

On what grounds can they fine you? Is this commonplace or likely? I agree term-time absence is to be avoided, but am I alone in feeling uncomfortable about this scheme?

Saggarmakersbottomknocker Sat 19-Apr-08 22:02:13

The grounds would probably be 'failing to ensure regular attendance at school'. But they would only usually do that if there was low attendance overall prior to time off for holidays.

clam Sun 20-Apr-08 11:46:13

Oh dear. Shall have to carefully word my impending letter to the head re: one day off before May half term. No absence this year at all, although the school recently logged three days on his last report, as he missed lessons due to school play/concert rehearsals! I attempted to correct them, in my acknowledgement slip, but heard nothing more. Not sure whether I should mention this in my letter or not? Probably unwise to antagonise the Head.....

littlemissbossy Sun 20-Apr-08 11:53:16

We had a letter about this - not me personally, the whole school - think it was £100.

Don't want to judge, but must agree with MB, if your DD/DS already has low attendance, taking them out for 2 weeks in their GCSE year is a really bad idea.... might have a nice holiday but you're not helping them in the long run.

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 20-Apr-08 11:59:54

Message withdrawn

Blandmum Sun 20-Apr-08 12:10:34

But you would only be supporting his History module if it was relevant

Kids miss a massive amount if they are taken iyt for 2 weeks during the GCSE years. I once had a class, and it was the two weeks before their GCSE modular exam in Biology. All the class were present bar two, who were taklen on a holiday. All bar two passed with a C grade or higher. Want to guess which two?

And yes, he/she can resit, but think of all that work that he /she would have to do again!

juuule Sun 20-Apr-08 12:13:15

Starlight, the voice of reason. My sister was threatened with being taken to court over her ds when she asked for a fortnight to take him to India (chance of a lifetime). Couldn't arrange for another time. She sent a letter to the head explaining the educational benefits of the trip. He refused to allow. So she went anyway and it was marked down as unauthorised absence and nothing more came of it.
He was and is up to date with all his work but his attendance was low due to illness.

juuule Sun 20-Apr-08 12:15:37

I would make sure that the holiday didn't clash with the date of an exam, though.

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 20-Apr-08 12:17:58

Message withdrawn

Blandmum Sun 20-Apr-08 12:19:24

Bad in the immediate run up to the exam as well, because staff will normally be running revision. To come back from a holiday (and in reality what child would be revising on holiday?) straight into the exam is going to cause probelms for the vast majority of kids. The grade boundaries on these exams are so tight, that dropping a few marks is all that it tales to go from a B to a D.

Naturally if you decide that paper qualifations are not important, that is your right, for your child. But you can't simply say 'It isn't going to make a difference to their performance,' because in most cases it will.

Blandmum Sun 20-Apr-08 12:21:14

Starlight. who takes text books on holiday? Really? Even I don't and I'm an uber geek on holiady! smile

unknownrebelbang Sun 20-Apr-08 12:23:48

I wouldn't consider taking a child out of school during GCSEs, much less a child with already low attendance.

(DS1 + DS2 did both do revision on holiday this Easter though - both for forthcoming SATs).

unknownrebelbang Sun 20-Apr-08 12:24:37

lol, crossposts.

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 20-Apr-08 12:24:44

Message withdrawn

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 20-Apr-08 12:27:14

Message withdrawn

clam Sun 20-Apr-08 12:33:30

Hmm... DS tells me (no "official" word from the school) that his Y7 exams are the 1st week back after half term. So, clearly the school aren't unduly worried about being off school for a week immediately beforehand. DS, on the other hand is very concerned, because we're spending half term abroad, booked as I had no idea exams would be then. He is insisting he takes his revision with him to do on the 13 hour flight and in the 'down-time' we generally have late afternoon, because he doesn't want to end up in the lower sets for anything next year. Good on him - although time will tell if he actually does what he's promising.

Blandmum Sun 20-Apr-08 12:37:38

Obviously you can always get back into education. My PGCE was with the OU, after a gap of 15 years from 'formal education' and my brother has his first degree with the,

The best students that I ever worked with at university were mature students. But it is so very much harder to do it that way.

Many people will 'only' need the paper qualification to get onto a course that they want, or to get a job that they are interested in. the reality is that many employers do want to see the paper qualification.

You can say that a holiday will be educational, but for most of my students it simply involved lying on the beach. and you are about to type that family life is a vital part of a child's education (smile (I've done this discussion a few times before wink) and I would agree with you. But for the vast majority of the kids I teach they are not going on a trip to the ;local caravan site, as this is the only time the family can afford, it is going to Goa rather than Spain. the educational input of most of these holidays is near zero, and will have negligible benefit to their GCSE results.

If their parents don't think the GCSEs are worth it, that is their right, it is their child, but they cannot pretend that there will be no impact, because there is.

Apart from a few cases, most children will not be adversly affected by missing out an a specific holiday. they are likely to be adversly affected by missing this particular time in the schooling.

I was once asked to give up my lunch to tutor an A level student who was going to miss my lesson. When I asked him the reason, he told me that he was going to see a gig. I told him the page numbers that he would be missing!

clam Sun 20-Apr-08 12:44:39

shock at that student's cheek, MB!
I have to say, as a primary teacher, that it hacks me off when parents write in to say that their DC will be off due to a holiday (that I wouldn't be able to afford to do, going, as we have to, in expensive peak season! No sour grapes, honest) and could I set work for them to catch up on what they'll be missing. Oh, and presumably mark it all too. B*** s to that. Have they ANY IDEA how long that would take?

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