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Ex taking teenage son out of school for holiday

(17 Posts)
stellarossa Sun 16-Nov-14 20:09:31

My ex husband has just sent my younger son home after a weekend with him with details of an air ticket to take him away in January including 3 days at the start of the school term. I have repeatedly asked him to consult with me on dates before booking tickets and asked him not to take the children away during term time.

This happened twice before. A year ago the school granted permission for my older son to miss a day of school at the end of half term - unfortunately it was the day before a GCSE exam and he got into Heathrow at midnight (home about 3am). When I complained to the school about them granting permission when it was not in my son's best interest to miss school the day before an exam, they told me that even though my son lives with me their father has the right to make this request and doesn't have to tell me if it is granted or not, nor does the school.

Earlier this year my ex took my older son out of school, did not ask permission and when my son messed up his exams and asked to retake the year the school told me that he could not stay on and repeat the year one factor being his poor attendance (in fact when with me he did not ever miss school except once when ill). I have no idea as to whether the school authorised that absence or not but I do know the request was only made 2 days beforehand so I suspect not.

I feel it disrespectful that my ex books holidays without asking me about dates first, but in general our relationship isn't too bad and I have to just let that go (pick my battles!). What I do object to is the school cutting me out even though the boys live with me, and also making decisions which I do not feel are in my children's best interests.

I read all the news coverage about parents taking children out of school with a sense of disbelief that I am battling to stop my children's school allowing them to have term time holidays - and failing.

Has anyone else had experience of this?

Blu Sun 16-Nov-14 20:22:09

No experience at all - but if you can't get him to understand, and he doesn't care that his DS is out til 3am before an exam, or that his DS is not allowed to re-take luffed exams because of his actions, then I would guess it is a matter of getting access and holidays agreed in court.

I don't know what the school can do: a nob like your ex will just take them anyway, whether it is authorised or not.

notanevilstepmother Sun 16-Nov-14 21:42:12

We have had this but not near exams. We decided to leave it be as it wasn't worth the battle. Presumably the school can fine his father not you?

stellarossa Mon 17-Nov-14 20:27:10

The problem from my side is that the school keeps giving him permission - even the time it was the day before an exam. It's the school I have a bigger problem with…

Travelledtheworld Mon 17-Nov-14 20:42:14

I think you should take this up with the Head, and ask how it relates to the Local Education Suthorities policies on school attendance?

Is it a private school or a State school ?

ChillySundays Tue 18-Nov-14 13:45:34

I though both parents are fined regardless of whether they are together or not?

stellarossa Thu 04-Dec-14 13:06:27

Now it turns out my ex hasn't even asked permission and my son will miss the Sixth Form Open Day and also get back the day before an exam, so miss the prep sessions by being out of school. I am strongly encouraging him to request permission.

It's a state school. I've no idea what the situation is if parents are divorced and one doesn't want the child taken out whilst the other insists on doing so.

I really don't need to get into a battle about this - have enough on my plate.

justcallmethefixer Thu 04-Dec-14 13:11:40

Contact the LA and ask to speak with the educational welfare officer for the school. They may be able to advise you if nothing else.

MissMarplesBloomers Thu 04-Dec-14 13:15:40

I'd have a word with the school & ask them to refuse permission s it is not in your sons best interests.

What does your son want to do? He doesn't HAVE to do what Dad says if he's in Sixth form & therefore I guess over 16?

stellarossa Thu 04-Dec-14 13:20:36

He's just 16 but in Year 11 - so in the middle of GCSEs. His father very much likes to get his own way and I tend to pick my battles as usually there is price to pay for confronting him (withholding maintenance, refusing to cooperate when I need his help around work travel) so I am very wary of coming up against him.

I've just emailed his form teacher to ask her to let me know if a request goes in and whether it is approved or not. If the school refuses but he insists on taking him I'm not sure what I'll do as I am supposed to take him to the airport for the outbound flight… maybe I'll cross that bridge when I come to it…

ChillySundays Thu 04-Dec-14 13:33:56

Stella - why are you taking him to the airport?

DS shouldn't be having any time off during Y11. Your ex is being an idiot

pandora987 Fri 12-Dec-14 20:32:02

My ex took DD out of school for 2 weeks just after the start of her first term in the school - he asked permission of the school, and got it - I was amazed the school said yes! Even now at Xmas she's missed 20% of her whole secondary school because of these 2 weeks. I won't be letting him do it again - I have her passport. Tell your ex that your DS education is more important than saving money on holidays in term time. Especially as they get older.

pandora987 Fri 12-Dec-14 20:33:35

The deal with state schools is that if no permission is granted then both parties with parental responsibility may be fined , but no more than £50. Makes no difference which parent took them out

NoelleHawthorne Fri 12-Dec-14 20:33:46

you are liable for a fine....

funchum8am Fri 12-Dec-14 20:42:53

I would get written evidence in the form of letters/emails to the school and local authority EWO stating that you do not want DS taken out. Keep evidence of their responses. Then if you get fined, you may have a case for refusing to pay which would stand up to legal challenge. NB this is obviously a strategy that carries some risk so legal advice would be ideal if you can get it!

rollonthesummer Fri 12-Dec-14 20:46:22

Why are you taking him to the airport?!

You will get a fine as well, won't you?

LineRunner Sat 13-Dec-14 09:48:42

I have a 16 year old son. If his father tried to this, (a) DS would simply tell him he wasn't going; and (b) I wouldn't collude by taking DS to the airport.

I was never able to rely on ExH for any help of any kind so we/I have had nothing to lose by actually doing the right things in respect of school and potentially pissing off the Ex. Maybe that's where you need to be, OP.

Maybe you should try and talk to the Head before the end of term, to see what the school's policy is and whether you need to raise it with the Chair of Governors and LA.

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