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School and holidays during term time

241 replies

Undercarrigetrouble · 22/05/2009 23:38

dd's school have refused us permission.
We are unable to go any other time as it is unaffordable to us also due to work commitments it is difficult to take leave during the school holidays.
dd has a great attendance record so i think they are being slightly unreasonable.
We are taking her regardless
So what will they do?

OP posts:
Undercarrigetrouble · 22/05/2009 23:53


OP posts:
plimple · 22/05/2009 23:54

not a lot I shouldn't think.

Clary · 23/05/2009 00:02

It will be recorded as unauthorised absence.

Some schools never give permission for hols in termtime - is this the policy at yours?

Mumofagun · 23/05/2009 00:03

No, me neither in your case as your children have an excellent attendance record. But, the Local Authority does have the power to impose a £100 fine, a bit like a parking fixed penalty notice. This is always at the discretion of the headteacher and really only a last resort for those parents who regularly show no regard for their childrens attence at school. (Constant days off for shopping, whole days for a dental appointment, parent at home with a hangover, can't be bothered to take the kids to school etc!). The absence will probably just be marked down as unauthorised. It's really unfair to penalise responsible parents over something like this and this is not what the fine was brought in for and is rarely used as schools don't really like it. Enjoy your holiday!

CurlyhairedAssassin · 23/05/2009 00:07

I've got to write our school a letter saying I'm taking DS out for a week to go on holiday. I've been putting off writing it as I feel so guilty. But then I remind myself he is only in Reception FGS and has 2 days off (sick) since he started, and is also doing really well academically so can't see him having difficulty getting back into the swing of things.

The reason we are taking him out is because there's a large family group of us going and it's the only date we could get that suited everyone.

I think our school is quite sensible and understanding though. It is a good school - firm but fair. I think they allow you up to 2 weeks off in term time for family holidays at their discretion. Presumably if you had a history of taking your child out for no good reason then they'd be more likely to say no. I dunno.....

I have said that this is the last year we'll do it as from Year 1 onwards attendance is more important, but to be honest, if it comes down to a financial choice - ie. take him on hol in term=time, or not have a holiday at all (looking increasingly like the scenario for this time next year thanks to worries with DH's job) then I would not hesitate.

I don't know why I've waffled on so much. (wine, no doubt.)

In answer to your question, I think it would just go down as unauthorised absence and you will forever be looked down upon as A Bad Parent by all the school staff. Best try and get yourself elected on the PTA and ingratiate yourself!!

Only joking obviously.....I think they should allow some bloody leeway really rather than just a blanket refusal of all requests (if that is what they are doing at your school).

Undercarrigetrouble · 23/05/2009 00:12

Clary-Tbh i am not totally sure on their policy but i seem to remember the "at head teachers discretion " line.

Even when we had that heavy snow and all other schools except ours shut i dragged dd in.I am quite annoyed about this tbh as we cant all have well paid jobs with school hours .

If fined btw how would they police it?

OP posts:
Mumofagun · 23/05/2009 00:20

Ah, not so sure about the policing bit tbh. I assume that because it is issued by the local authority just like a parking ticket, if you didn't pay etc there would be the same right of appeal like you would get for that. I suppose that could mean that you could get prosecuted for Non payment of Fine?

I think that's why the school heads do it as a last resort for the worst cases and not the ones like yours. I don't particularly think its the best way (she says, sort of sitting on the fence). Does anyone else know?

dancingbear · 23/05/2009 09:16

You could speak directly to your LEA - they will let you know the policy on unauthorised absence - When spoke to pur LEA about taking my kids out, their response was given my kid's excellent attendence and the reason for our trip they just wouldn't be interested in fining us regardless of whether we recieved permission or not from the school.

HappyMummyOfOne · 23/05/2009 10:58

DS's school has a no term time holiday policy too except for exceptional cases - wedding, funeral etc. Wanting to go because its cheaper would not be granted.

It causes extra work for the teacher catching up, disrupts the other children if sections need to be retaught and teachers have enough to do as it is.

Children have 13 weeks off school - plenty of time to go away and booking in advance/changing location etc can bring down costs if needed. Holidays are a luxury and not a right plus how can we teach children to respect the schools authority if parents are willing to disrespect it so easily?

ihatethecold · 23/05/2009 12:04

lighten up HMOO. what is the problem with having 2 weeks to have quality time with your kids somewhere nice? arnt we made to feel guilty about so many things without adding to it. its 10 days FFS.

ICANDOTHAT · 23/05/2009 13:18

Agree ihatethecold families get little quality time together these days and prices are a nightmare in holiday times - we are ripped off. Yes, they are a luxury, but that doesn't mean we should feel bad about wanting to take them. I once took my son out of school for 2 weeks to visit South Africa and it was amazing. It was a fantastic experience for him and he learnt so much about how other cultures lived and got to see the horror of real roverty - he talks about it to this day. Oh, and we saved about £2K doing so out of holiday time - it was same price as going to Spain for a fortnight. He's education did not suffer in any way and his teacher didn't do any 'catch up' work on his return.

katiestar · 23/05/2009 15:36

They will do nothing .

Saggarmakersbottomknocker · 23/05/2009 15:53

They can fine you - if they did and you don't pay you would be prosecuted for non-payment and you can be imprisioned for not ensuring you children go to school. But they won't do it for 10 days holiday absence alone - they can, but won't.

Personally though - if you're a parent who is proud of your school's good or outstanding Ofsted, if that's something that swayed you towards choosing that school then you should ask yourself if taking your children out is really supportive of it. 10 days off without any other illness pretty much puts your child at 95% attendance.

ihatethecold · 23/05/2009 16:13

these are primary school kids fgs. i cant see what the issue is about. its still cheaper to be fined than go in the hols.. too much guilt , ridiculous..

karise · 23/05/2009 16:34

How long do you want to go for? I don't know about yours but ours say no more than 10 days in one go in one school year, so you maybe going over 'the limit'.
Also, it's good if you can put an educational slant on the request like to support the study of an area of the world they haven't seen, or our usual one for center parcs is for the opportunity to try lots of activities DD would otherwise not get the chance to experience. However, seeing Grandparents should also be seen as an important reason to go! This was the other thing we added to ours as DD only see's them 3 or 4 times per year- if it's only one week per year & your childs doing well what's the problem?
I'd try writing again explaining more fully the family you are to see & what educational benefit there might be!

Quattrocento · 23/05/2009 16:37

Dh prosecutes for this type of thing. In fairness, not for a single holiday. Usually parents who just don't bother and there is a history of non-attendance.

But why do you think it is okay to take them out of school? Bit off.

ihatethecold · 23/05/2009 16:44

why not, it used to be the norm. im not talking about the odd day off all the time throughout the year but a week or two, once in the year..

Quattrocento · 23/05/2009 16:54

Why not? Well because:

  1. It's teaching your DCs that your own convenience comes ahead of school rules - ie that rules don't apply

2. It's teaching a lack of respect for education
3. Your dd will miss some school - and a couple of weeks would mean covering quite a lot of ground at my DC's schools - although this might not apply to your DD's school

There is a reason why holidays are more expensive in school holiday times. The rest of us have to live with it ...

ihatethecold · 23/05/2009 17:03

bit over the top..
having one holiday a year does not teach kids a lack of respect. i know many kids who have the odd day here and there for extended weekends or mild illness. i can understand the issue there, but not for a holiday, when they have good attendance already.
many children benefit so much from their hols. cant see what the problem is.
teachers were never bothered before it became such a hot topic.

karise · 23/05/2009 17:15

I'm not talking about taking lots of different holidays or anything! Just that if they miss that last week of term when nothing much happens what's the problem?

lljkk · 23/05/2009 17:19

Quattro: How much is the fine? Is it per child or per family? Do you get a notice to pay via post or how are offenders notified?

juuule · 23/05/2009 17:20

You have said that it is impossible for you to go as a family any other time due to costs and work commitments. I would say go on your holiday and enjoy yourself.

What is your dd learning?

  1. It's teaching your DCs that family come ahead of school rules - ie that in some circumstances rules can be waived.

Op is not teaching her dc lack of respect for education as she has already said her dd has an excellent attendance record and has gone in school rain or shine.
HappyMummyOfOne · 23/05/2009 17:25

Its unauthorised absence, if your employer turned down your holiday request would you still go away?

Like Quatrro says it teaches children to break rules and have a lack of respect. Also installs a poor work ethic as they believe its ok to not go in if they fancy a break.

Education is important, there are 13 weeks in the year to go and spend on the beach.

Saggarmakersbottomknocker · 23/05/2009 17:34

lljkk - you get penalty notice for a fine of £50 increasing to £100 if not paid within 28 days.

If you don't pay you can be liable to a fine up to £2,500, a term of imprisonment not exceeding three months, or both.

mrz · 23/05/2009 17:42

ihatethecold believe me teachers were bothered before but couldn't do anything about it now they are obliged by law to report unauthorised absences. As a reception teacher parents don't seem to think it matters as much if their child misses school compared to older children but IME it can cause children real problems.
Having said that we usually give permission for two weeks in a school year.

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