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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.

OP posts:
hairymclary · 28/02/2007 21:38

I agree with littlemissbusy.
having a holiday isn't the be all and end all. your kids probably wouldn't care if you jetted off to australia or had a week on brighton beach.

I know it is more expensive to go away in the school holiday. But there are still cheaper options.

Jimjams2 · 28/02/2007 21:42

Does the head know about your son's disability? I do think SN can be a good reason for not being able to go in holiday time.

fortyplus · 28/02/2007 21:42

SueW - it annoys me, too. Back in my day (sorry if I'm making everyone yawn...) we did fun activities in the last week, but it would be things like Bingo in French. Not sitting staring at the tv for hours on end. It wouldn't be so bad if was just at the end of each term, but it's half terms, too - that's ^ weeks out of every year Grrrr!

fortyplus · 28/02/2007 21:42

6 weeks...

twinsetandpearls · 28/02/2007 21:45

Mine have one fun lesson the last lesson before christmas and the last before summer, every other lesson they are expected to work.

curiosity · 28/02/2007 21:45

CLD's main reason for requesting the four days is because of the disability of her DS.

On face value, sounds like a valid reason for requesting the absence.

fortyplus · 28/02/2007 21:48

twinsetandpearls - that was the case at primary school - now they're at secondary every teacher seems to expect to have a 'fun' last lesson.

MamaGee · 28/02/2007 21:49
RustyBear · 28/02/2007 21:50

Sorry fortyplus, but I really can't believe your kids' school spends the entire last week of every half term watching DVDs. If they do, I think you should take them out for more than just a holiday!

SueW · 28/02/2007 21:51

ts&p, you remind me so much of my teachers when I was at school

We're not bound in the same way by absence, since we're not at a state school. The policy is kind of 'We tell you our holiday dates two years in advance; don't take your children out of school'.

But for the videos and board games, etc we pay the handsome sum of around £50/day. Saving £1500 on a holiday would be a no-brainer.

OTOH, when school asks parents to pay £400+ for a three-day sports trip in term-time where two days are spent travelling and one day is spent plaing sport is also, IMO, a no-brainer.

JanH · 28/02/2007 21:53

40+, we're doing the same thing as you in May, only we have already bought the tickets

DS2 is in Y9, will have done SATs and internal exams before half-term, and starts GCSE work in Sept so will be dropping some subjects anyway, and he will miss 2½ days before half-term and 2½ days after.

martianbishop says they often start GCSE work in the core subjects after SATs so I have the wind up a bit now, but one of his friends has already missed a couple of weeks in the last 12 months so there is a precedent (I hope!)

fortyplus · 28/02/2007 21:54

RustyBear - I suppose I'm just hypersensitive about every time I ask them what they did at school and they tell me they watched a great DVD. The school achieves excellent results so they must be doing something right.

magicfarawaytree · 28/02/2007 21:54

dh works for himself and is away all week. we take holdiays when his work allows it which has been not very often of recent. we are highly likely to take a bit of time off during term time with or without the head permission. We support our local school it is not the best school in the area, but it is our catchment school and we felt that, like many other parents, by sending our children there and supporting it whether that be by overall attendence or fundraising etc and supporting their work with our children to help them get better ofsted reviews to have a couple of days is not a big ask.

MrsSpoon · 28/02/2007 21:55

We have recently asked for two days off (the last two days of term) for DS1 so that we can go on holiday and the letter we got back stated that the absences would be granted but would be recorded as Unauthorised Absences. The whole jist of the letter assumed that there would be no problem with this on either side and DS1's teacher would be informed. Seems a bit odd to me that they mention that the absence has been denied but that your DD would be put down as an Unauthorised Absence, are they telling you that you can just take her off anyway?

fortyplus · 28/02/2007 21:56

JanH - I did write a really grovelling letter all about the wonderful opportunity to spend time seeing the historical, cultural and ecological delights of the island!

twelveyeargap · 28/02/2007 21:59

I asked for a week once and was denied by way of a letter sent to the whole school saying that they didn't grant any time off. I didn't even get a personalised response to my very politely worded letter to the head. Was hugely annoyed as another child in the class had been given three weeks (with work set in advance and everything) to visit family in Asia the previous term.

I ended up not taking that holiday and the next time I needed her out of school I just left a message on the answering machine saying she wouldn't be in the following week. Got a really snotty letter in response, but I didn't care. They hadn't had the courtesy to write to me the previous time.

JanH · 28/02/2007 22:01

Good plan, 40+! (We're going to Costa del Sol, I'll have to mention the cultural delights of Torremolinos and - er - that's it)

We are going to visit friends in Spain - SenoraPostrophe's family! - last time we did this we went to her wedding so that was OK, but I don't think she's planning to get married again this year

JanH · 28/02/2007 22:02

I thought Unauthorised Absence percentages were a black mark against the school, not the parents?

fortyplus · 28/02/2007 22:06

They definitely get recorded on the Governors' Report, don't they? I'm presuming that it goes on the child's record in case you become a persistent offender. Neither of mine has ever had a day off for non medical reasons before and they both have 100% attendance over the past 12 months so I'm hoping she'll agree it.

Littlemissbusy · 28/02/2007 22:07

If you get too many unauthorised absenses - then this information goes to an EWO (Education Welfare Officer) who then contacts the family - ultimate sanction is prison for parents I believe!!!

twelveyeargap · 28/02/2007 22:07

I thought so too JanH, which is why I can't understand schools refusing to Authorise. DH's mum is a primary teacher and says her school allows up to two blocks of 5 days per pupil per year. She works in a deprived area and says they do it mainly so parents can get cheaper holidays. Said the LEA is happy with this and the rule is that the school is "allowed" to authorise that much time anyway. That's why it annoys me so much.

fortyplus · 28/02/2007 22:12

Littlemissbusy - you're right, but there have only been 2 cases so far and both involved persistent truancy - not 2 weeks on the Costa Del Sol!

You are a scaremonger

Littlemissbusy · 28/02/2007 22:14

It was intended to be a bit dramatic - not scaremongering! But there's obviously a few misconceptions about unauthorised absences only being an issue for the school, rather than for parents.

fortyplus · 28/02/2007 22:19

I do think a lot of fairly well off people take the mickey, don't they?

I mean... holidays are usually cheap at Easter - we often go away then, it's just a different sort of holiday. We are sharing a cottage in Northumberland with friends this Easter - it has a games room and a swimming pool shared with 3 other properties. It sleeps 10 and is about £700 for the week - so £350 per family.

Saggarmakersbottomknocker · 28/02/2007 22:35

Unauthorised abscences are a concern for the parents. We currently have parents due £400 worth of fines for non attendance. And that's for children in primary.

The 10 days is discretionary. If your child has full attendance but takes 10 days off for holidays they will have around 95% attendance. Anything below this, the school are probably monitoring.

That said I've taken mine out of primary after May half term for holidays. And I think that CLD's head is being a bit mean about 4 days - especially considering the cirsumstances. Unless your child has an attendance languishing below 80% of course!

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