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Holidays

Holiday during term time

27 replies

21jlb · 05/01/2020 21:47

I have booked a 4 day trip the week before the Easter holidays. I don’t like taking the children out of school, but it is an extra £1000 to go the following week.
I have 2 in primary (yr 1 & 3) and one in secondary (yr 8).
I know I’m going to get comments saying that it is wrong to do so, but would like advice from those who have had done the same.
Have you been honest and what reasons did you give?
I was thinking of a sickness and vomiting bug as it covers at least two of the day’s and can extend it - but seems a little too much of a coincidence.

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QuitMoaning · 05/01/2020 21:51

If you lie about it then you need to make sure the children fully understand they need to lie and lie well as teachers will probably ask when they go back to school.
I would not want to teach my children to be accomplished liars.
Why not just tell the truth and face the consequences? Much less stress than waiting for a lie to be caught out. Many people do take their children out and the consequences are not as bad as they thought.

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lljkk · 05/01/2020 21:53

Most times I was honest. A simple "They will be on holiday on this date so I'm letting you know now why they will be absent those dates." I did fib once about a 2 day absence. d&v bug was the lie.

I haven't been fined, often we did get authorised absence even if I didn't ask for it. I get impression that fines are very rare around here.

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Muchtoomuchtodo · 05/01/2020 21:53

We took ours out for a week every year in Primary. We haven’t since they’ve moved to secondary school.

We always told the truth.

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EggysMom · 05/01/2020 21:57

I think if you're going to do it, you have to own it. Don't make up fibs.

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RedskyAtnight · 05/01/2020 21:57

Don't lie.
Your children will not keep up the pretense and school will know anyway.
I didn't think 4 day absences normally triggered fines anyway?

One thing to check with your Year 8 - are they in a school with a 3 year KS4, and is "just before Easter" the crucial time for picking GCSE options?

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sandyfoot · 05/01/2020 22:00

Don't lie. It teaches your children to lie and the school will know you are lying anyway so your card will be marked. If you're going to go on holiday, own it.

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Peterspotter · 05/01/2020 22:02

I did when dd1 was little. Just said she wasn’t well

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Hoppinggreen · 05/01/2020 22:04

I’ve done it a few times
Tell the truth, avoid exam times and cough up without complaining if you get a fine

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CalleighDoodle · 05/01/2020 22:07

I had so many Students off before christmas and in every class when i was doing the register and someone was absent, a child would say ‘theryre in Tenerife’ or similar. School will know you lied and told your child to lie. Dont be that parent. Just fill out a holiday form and take the fine if they give one.

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pinksquash13 · 05/01/2020 22:07

I would tell the truth. In my school, two children being off before a holiday would likely be put down as unauthorised (without medical evidence) as the chances are it's a holiday. Some people question the kids too and that's not nice for them. Very much area / school dependent if you get a fine. Is there attendance currently over 96% / 97%? Personally, I'd write a letter to say they will be on holiday on these dates and you apologise for the disruption. Budget to pay the fine and if you don't get fined then great. You'll still be better off with the reduction in holiday price.

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pinksquash13 · 05/01/2020 22:08

*their

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LolaSmiles · 05/01/2020 22:09

I'd say do it and don't lie. Inform the school and get on with it.
Generally a couple of days on otherwise good (96%+) attendance wouldn't trigger a fine.

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Cohle · 05/01/2020 22:11

Don't teach your children it's ok to lie for financial gain. If you do it, at least be honest.

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Normandy144 · 05/01/2020 22:14

I've taken my child out of school for a holiday last July. We told the truth as it was 6 days. Not worth lying. I would however check what the status is with fines in your council area. Our council only issues fines for absences of 4.5 days or over, so if they're just missing 4 days then they will still not authorise it but you will escape a fine.

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WorldsOnFire · 05/01/2020 22:22

I don’t think you’re wrong to do it OP
DH and I will certainly do it when DC are school age.

What’s ‘wrong’ is the extra £1000+ holidays are hiked up by simply for school holidays. The holiday companies raise prices in line with demand; the schools clamp down and kick off with fines and the only people who really lose out are the kids who otherwise would have had lovely valuable family time!

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21jlb · 05/01/2020 22:29

It’s not even the fine - it’s more feeling the embarrassment for taking them out as will be questioned as to why I am doing it.
I chose to do it before the school holidays so they wouldn’t have to lie, that if they did say anything about going it could have been in the school holidays.
When giving your reasons for being out what reasons did you put for booking a holiday during school time?
The last time we did it was 4 years ago and the headteacher was fine, just said to make a holiday journal so it’s educational, but embarrassed to ask again, but will do.

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WorldsOnFire · 05/01/2020 22:30

Wouldn’t it make so much more sense for schools to just enforce a £100 penalty per child per week without threatening court/legal action? Child gets a nice holiday, parents avoid high costs...and panic attacks about possible repercussions and the desperately underfunded schools make a bit extra cash!
25 kids in a class, at least 6 classes. If they all had a 1 week holiday that’s £15k a year!

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21jlb · 05/01/2020 22:38

I thought it was in year 9 that they did that.
But have just asked my son and he said it’s year 8 but isn’t sure when.
Worried about that now - see that’s a reason why you shouldn’t holiday during term time Blush

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Normandy144 · 05/01/2020 22:47

Don't be embarrassed. We just have to fill out a form, and state a reason. I knew it would not be authorised and so couldn't be bothered to wax lyrical about how it was going to be educational. I literally put 2 words: family holiday. And that's it. Handed the form in and heard nothing back other than the formal letter back from school. Our head teacher is known to quietly not have a problem with it but officially has to pass it on to the council who pass fines.
I'm not sure the school are going to make you squirm by calling you in for an interview about it. What is the experience of others at your children's school?

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anon2000000000 · 05/01/2020 22:55

We did this. No fine but unauthorised absence.

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LolaSmiles · 05/01/2020 23:11

When I've had letters given for me to pass to our pastoral/attendance managers most people just put the actual reason (e.g family holiday / sporting competition / music tour). Nothing tends to come of it for students with otherwise good attendance.

The only time I've seen parents called in for meetings is when there's concerns about attendance (so attendance below 90% = one day off a fortnight).

All I would say is enjoy the holiday and please don't ask staff to provide additional intervention/tutoring for missed work. Your DC should arrange to catch up key notes from a friend to ensure they aren't missing anything for end of year exams / assessments.

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21jlb · 06/01/2020 07:57

Last time I filled in a holiday request form then got invited in for a meeting to discuss. That was the primary school. The secondary school, I don’t know what they do.
Just wondering how long before putting the request in, wanting to leave it until last minute.

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CalleighDoodle · 06/01/2020 09:19

Youll most likely only get invited in for an interview if their attendance is already low.

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LolaSmiles · 06/01/2020 09:22

Secondary schools tend to not to have meetings because of logistics.
Firstly they are so much bigger. Think how much time it would take if just 10% of a school (1000-2000 typically) put holiday forms in and had to have a meeting.
Secondly, intiial holiday forms and admin are usually processed by admin or pastoral staff with a member of senior leadership signing them off, and it's not always the head, so meetings would also be a bit muddled.

Generally meetings only happen if attendance is problematically low (90% and lower).

Enjoy your holiday. Smile

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21jlb · 06/01/2020 14:10

Their attendance isn’t bad, only off if really unwell, there have been many times they should be off but they’ve gone in due to work.
All doing well, all top sets in their subjects. The decision really wasn’t taken lightly.

Thanks guys!

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