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In being annoyed with the schools holiday poicy?

74 replies

crazylazydaisy · 28/02/2007 14:49

Must admit i dont know the law re this and only have word of mouth BUT I thought by law we could take children out for hols for up to 10 days a year. My request to school for 4 days has been denied, and DD will be put down as unauthorised absence. Have ds with disability which means its better to go away in school time as its quieter for him. Have explained this in 2nd letter to head, but no response to this.

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pepsi · 28/02/2007 14:52

I think the schools are having a bit of a crackdown on taking children out of school at the moment. I know our school wrote in its newsletter that they were "dissappointed" at the amount of requests for absence. Im on the fence on this really, I think it depends on what year at school your child is in, etc. I saw a case on the TV recently where a lady was refused 5 days absence but went anyway and ended up in court.

sassy · 28/02/2007 14:54

The law is that up to 10 days p/year may be taken at the school's discretion. It is not a parental right. I get that it is easier to take a child with SN away in term time, but the vast majority of parents do this cos it is cheaper!

lulumama · 28/02/2007 15:00

it is 10 discretionary days....

we have applied for 10 and had them granted....BUT , DH had spoken to the head master at the start of the academic year and assured him it was unavoidable , due to his work commitments...and the head was fine as long as it did not clash with the SATS....

does the 4 days you have requested impinge on anything like that?

i would push for a response from the head as it sounds like you are not being unreasonable, but then again, if the school have problems with a lot of absence, they may need to clamp down.

it is frustrating

crazylazydaisy · 28/02/2007 15:09

Its no clash with SATS or anything like that. I suppose the term discretionary is so open to interpretation isnt it. Wonder when it would be acceptable to take the 10 days? If he says "never" then its not really discretionary is it! Oh dear, i hope i dont have a fight on my hands with him

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lulumama · 28/02/2007 15:12

i think it might be worth seeing the head and speaking face to face...

some schools are obviously more amenable than others

Pimmpom · 28/02/2007 15:15

What actually happens though if you take it as unauthorised?

crazylazydaisy · 28/02/2007 15:16

Thats a good idea lulumama- think i'll send DH in as he seems to have a way of getting round people that I dont!

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crazylazydaisy · 28/02/2007 15:17

Pimmpom, the school said it is marked on her record as unauthorised absence. They didnt say anything else would be done.

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Blu · 28/02/2007 15:26

gives examples of reasons schools might authroise holidays in term time

DfES doc that defines 10 days not being the norm

From the first one, I think you should be able to make a clear case for family cohesion if your other child's special needs can be shown not to be met by taking a holiday in term time...

BibiThree · 28/02/2007 15:33

I don't think you're being unreasonable. DH is a teacher and fully understands parents taking their children out of school for holidays as long as their attendance is good otherwise.

We're not going to be able to afford a foreign holiday in the next 3/4 years as we've got to go during holiday time - and with dd and twins on the way, it's just not possible.

I think if you explain to the head you're not proposing taking dd out at exam/test time and you will ensure she catches up on any work missed, he would have to be a right meanie to say no. Worth ringing for a response.

crazylazydaisy · 28/02/2007 18:45

Thanks for those responses. I think if we present the case with our reasons - ds disability being main one- face to face that may swing it. DD attendance good anyway and i agree about the making up the work lost bit, shows goodwill on our part.

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Tortington · 28/02/2007 18:54

phone in sick.

from hawaii - or wheerever it is your going. although teacher vehemently disagree with me usually. i personally think as long as its not an exam year. sometimes kids dont get holidays. some kids never get a holiday ever. so to deny them what i consider an opportunity to experience new things is a bit rubbish - 4 days isn't a lot IMO. some parents take the piss. but equally most dont.

FluffyMummy123 · 28/02/2007 19:00

Message withdrawn

magicfarawaytree · 28/02/2007 19:47

think it is poor that the school have not allowed you 4 days. we will be taking our children out of school when we can eventually afford holidays again. It is cheaper and we have more chance of having a decent quality holiday. If you dont have a problem with attendence I think it is silly that the school refused you. But then it seems to me it is always easy to be firm with people who dont cause trouble.

crazylazydaisy · 28/02/2007 20:38

Thats the trouble custardo- i dont want to lie!!! Be so much easier if i did, but i am ALWAYS found out.
I know people whose holiday requests were turned down and then -surprise- the children had a "stomach bug" the week of the holiday. I find it hard to condemn them as it's so tempting.
Icod- no she hasnt had the 10 days, we can only afford little breaks, 2 weeks away would be sooooooo good though!!

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Littlemissbusy · 28/02/2007 21:09

As a school governor (and parent), I know that the school's funding is directly related to attendance figures - so of course, any head worth their salt will be trying to keep absences down!
My view is simple - the school holidays are for family holidays. Taking children out in term time is not acceptable. Yes, the prices are stupid - but taking children out of school doesn't solve the problem!
I'm sure it doesn't harm the children's education - BUT, it sends them a clear message - school and education are not as important as us getting a cheaper / less crowded holiday. Fine - but, when they stop valuing school and their education later on, you've only got yourself to blame.
Sorry to totally go against the flow on this thread, but I do feel very strongly on this issue.

magicfarawaytree · 28/02/2007 21:20

bit of a tenuous link school to say leave within discretionary limits conveys to children that education is not important.

magicfarawaytree · 28/02/2007 21:21

the word school should not be in that post.

magicfarawaytree · 28/02/2007 21:22

what undermines education more is heads with a limited perspective and teachers with limited skills.

magicfarawaytree · 28/02/2007 21:22

'are' rather than 'is'

crazylazydaisy · 28/02/2007 21:23

Littlemissbusy, what is the 10 discretionary days for?

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NotanOtter · 28/02/2007 21:25

i asked for one half day as my sister was giving birth and it was denied

fortyplus · 28/02/2007 21:27

10 days has always been the assumption - there is no 'law' at present - it's up to the school Governors to decide. My sons' school has a policy of no absence in termtime except for 'exceptional circumstances'.
I have just written to ask if I can take them out for 3 days before May half term as we intend to visit friends in Cyprus and the flights on the Wed before are £1500 cheaper than on the Sat.
I don't know if saving me £1500 for the sake of missing 3 days which will probably be spent watching DVDs in class counts as 'exceptional'.
I'll let you know...

SueW · 28/02/2007 21:32

That's what irritates me tbh. I haven't ever taken DD out but sometimes I think I might as well have, since the last few days are spent winding down, watching videos, parties, taking in board games, etc

Littlemissbusy · 28/02/2007 21:36

The guidelines that blu gave the link for a what the school's have to go on. The discretion is stated "when the holiday is judged to be important to the well-being and cohesion of the family, following serious or terminal illness, bereavement or other traumatic events". The same guidelines say that a holiday in term time for reasons of the prices being cheaper, has to be marked down as unauthorised absence.
I totally sympathise with the price thing - with three children, it's hideously expensive to go away anywhere.
I didn't want to ruffle feathers - I thought it was important to give another perspective.

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