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Taking kids out of school - just check the rules first

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I know this is a hotly debated topic, so though parents would like to be aware of this new piece of legislation which comes into force on 1st September this year.

We have just been made aware of this when our request to withdraw our children on the last day of term before Christmas holidays was rejected. Looks like the family will be coming down with food poisoning wink

Quote:
Term-time holiday
The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 currently allow headteachers to grant leave of absence for the purpose of a family holiday during term time in “special circumstances” of up to ten school days leave per year. Headteachers can also grant extended leave for more than ten school days in exceptional circumstances.

Amendments to the 2006 regulations remove references to family holiday and extended leave as well as the statutory threshold of ten school days. The amendments make clear that headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances. Headteachers should determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted.


More details here

http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/pupilsupport/behaviour/attendance/a00223868/regulations-amendments

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/756/pdfs/uksi_20130756_en.pdf

FWIW I have written to the school to ask them to clarify how much educational benefit they will get on this day Toofy Grin


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Wed 16-07-14 8:49; edited 3 times in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Hm. Im surprised weve not been informed of this, by our school. Does it apply if the school is an Academy?
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Quote:
Regulation 7 of the 2006 Regulations is amended to
prohibit the proprietor of a maintained school
granting leave of absence to a pupil


Im thinking not.
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Boris, when we had a firm 'no' when we asked for permission for what was effectively a half day at the end of term a few years back, we stopped asking. It's not something we take lightly and rarely do, but I can safely predict that our youngest will have an infectious rash on 14 Feb.
No challenge last February but I was ready for it - they had closed the whole (very large and including 6th form) school at lunchtime a couple of weeks previously so that the staff could 'prepare'for a year 10 options evening!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
My humble opinion only - but this will just result in more unautorised absences and "illness" than the sensible policy of letting Headteachers make a call and allow holidays.
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I think the current system was fine - up to 10 days, with approval. If the attendance % figure for the child was too low then the approval was not granted. With the new regs. loads of parents will still take the child out of school but the school will be fed a pack of lies - and the children will have to play along with these lies...thats not a great example to kids regarding rules and authority etc
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Boris, I'd reckon a week's skiing would be a much greater educational experience than a week in school. Just imagine....... the choice betwen low-season-snow-abundant-empty-slopes-better-prices OR same-old-box-ticking-national-curriculum-cr@p-spouted-by-robo-teach! "Granny's Funeral............... good for at least 4 days off school.
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Quote:

I think the current system was fine - up to 10 days, with approval. If the attendance % figure for the child was too low then the approval was not granted. With the new regs. loads of parents will still take the child out of school but the school will be fed a pack of lies - and the children will have to play along with these lies...thats not a great example to kids regarding rules and authority etc

I agree the current system was much more sensible. I would most definitely NOT teach my children to lie about a rash, or about granny's funeral. I'd just tell the truth. Parents whose children have an otherwise excellent attendance and behaviour record are not likely to get pursued. And if they are there are a range of good arguments to put forward - including a refusal to tell kids to tell lies.

I would write beforehand (but not long beforehand...) to the head teacher saying that the child would be absent on the dates concerned because of a family holiday and undertake to speak to the class teacher about any specially important work to be done.
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We do take our children out for one week in January and have always asked permission, which has never been refused. We offer to take work with us, and any projects due in immediately after the week away, have to be completed before we leave (that's OUR rule, not one imposed by any of the three schools our two children have attended between them). The schools seem to have taken the view that as the overall attendance is excellent, and any doctor/dentist etc., appointments are outside school hours, then that 5 days isn't going to result in them failing to become rocket scientists. However, we haven't /wouldn't do it in an exam year.
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Quote:

We do take our children out for one week in January and have always asked permission, which has never been refused.

yes, but that was then. Now, according to the new rules quoted above, you would be refused. So you would either have to stop asking and go anyway, or holiday at some other time.
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OK it's been a while since I was involved with Children and Schools, but what would happen if a child just didn't turn up on the last day of term without prior notification?
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I have only heard of these new rules via this thread, but plan on doing what we have done before, and write to the Head of Year, advising that the holiday is booked and deposits paid (which is true....booked in early March) - we'll then have to see what happens.

As above - sent the letter in and waited. Yesterday received a reply essentially saying that the leave will be 'Unauthorised' but going on to say "I realise that this may be upsetting but be assured we as a school are not prosecuting parents for this type of leave and there will be no fine". The early part of the letter intimates that the rules are set by higher authorities and the school is duty bound to accept them.

In the same post, was another letter from the school advising the outcome of the recent OFSTED inspection. It makes it clear that whilst the outcome was very good, the school does feel that this is against the odds, as "the OFSTED inspection criteria has changed three times during the past three years". The phrase "a bittersweet experience" was used, as no matter how fully and quickly the school has adapted to each new higher bar, another is put in place.


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Sun 3-11-13 8:30; edited 1 time in total
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Anniepen, that's what I'd do, too.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
marcellus wrote:
OK it's been a while since I was involved with Children and Schools, but what would happen if a child just didn't turn up on the last day of term without prior notification?


I'm not sure, but if Boris was refused permission to take his children out on the last day, when IME very little, if any, academic work is done it does seem draconian. My children have reported that for the last week or more of each summer term, they've done nothing more educational than watch DVD's featuring comedians or Pixar characters, or played board games.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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My kid's in Year7 and she wouldn't miss much in a week's teaching
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I was formally turned down for 1 day for my daughter at secondary school to permit travel to Austria on the Feb. half term Friday. In the finish I 'phoned the attendance officer and pointed out her 100% attendance rate bar that day, her level of achievement, the fact that the school themselves take kids to ski so it must be deemed educational, the times I have taken her to school through the snow from 4 miles away when the school bus has failed only to have school then cancelled once I had got her there on time, etc. In the finish I was told that she still couldn't give me official permission to take her out of school, but they would not take action if I did take her out for just the one day. I now tell the school that she won't be there, and I still get the message telling me to phone the school and explain where she is, which I do. She gets an unauthorised day logged, but I just think sod it. If the above legislation starts to apply it will happen at the primary school my son goes to as well.

IMO more fool the schools for not doing their 'bakers days' at the front of the half term holidays. I'm sure they would avoid no end of unauthorised days off. Instead of which this year the secondary school has tagged TWO of theirs onto the front of the summer holidays, which, lets face it, are already long enough. Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad
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My daughter had loads of dental appointments on the last afternoon of various terms wink

Turning full circle now. She's telling me that she'll be far too busy (2nd year of A levels) to go skiing at all next winter Shocked
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Yup,
We got that letter in the schoolbags this week.

Then two days later another letter saying that the teachers were on strike next Thursday and that we shouldn't bring the kids into school.

Makes my wee wee boil
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I can't see it doing the school stats on unauthorised leave much good. I can't see why we can't force the schools to teach them on the Baker's days if we don't want to take them out of school!! Twisted Evil

A far better scheme would be to allow every child two or three days off when they wanted it each year on some sort of official leave card to be used for whatever it was needed for.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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I've learned too late.

After god knows how many half term wallet rapes, I'd always take 'em out of school if I had to do it all again.
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At the end of the day, what can they do, I'll take the fine if there is one!
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It's funny reading this thread. A couple of years ago, when I was still teaching, I'd have been all cross about kids being yanked out of school to go skiing.

But now that I'm no longer a teacher, and now a snow addict myself, my attitude is more along the lines of 'yank away!'

Any LEA bod with an ounce of common sense won't be pursuing families who take their kids out of school for a couple of days a year, when there are SO many kids who are out of school on a regular basis! Confused
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Our school was always clear that holidays shouldn't be booked until absence has been approved - to be fair a) this seems fair and b) we haven't booked either!

If we took kids out and didn't mention anything, it would be unauthorised absence which would look bad on the school, so is tempting. However would reflect badly on us as well!

At the moment we have written a response saying surely it is exceptional circumstances due to us both having to book leave well in advance due to our respective on-call commitments and requirements of NHS (Mrs B) and gas supply (me). If they say no then we will call them in sick - in fact my plan is to say "there is nothing wrong with them, but they ate too many sweets last night and you policy is 24-hours absence after ANY sickness"
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I now play it that I am totally above board about where they are, why they are there and I point out all the times the school have messed up my child's education by them cancelling lessons, or doing daft extra curricular visits and point out that one day a year won't hurt my kids. As the attendance officer told me 'off the record' the kids they really want to chase the parents on are those that miss school regularly, as mentioned above.
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Quote:

If they say no then we will call them in sick - in fact my plan is to say "there is nothing wrong with them, but they ate too many sweets last night and you policy is 24-hours absence after ANY sickness"

Boris, why not just tell the truth? It really bothers me that so many people seem perfectly happy to require their kids to lie to their teachers. Sad

Truth is important. Children of school age are old enough to understand that "rule systems" can be in conflict with each other, and that sometimes home rules are different from school rules. They are also able to understand about white lies "Yes, Granny is a bit fat but to tell her so would be rude and make her sad". But to ask a child just returned from an exciting ski holiday to tell stories about their terrible night of vomiting? Shocked What's that teaching them?

We already have too many people willing to "pull a sickie" when it suits them; let's not breed more.
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Quote:

I now play it that I am totally above board about where they are, why they are there

much preferable. Little Angel
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pam w, cos they will say that is an unauthorised absence and I could get fined and/or taken to court

Ok unlikely but not sure I'm happy to risk it

This is a stupid change to a system which generally worked well

Personally I see this along the same lines as a little white lie and I will make sure I explain to kids my logic and that this isn't something we would normally do
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Megamum wrote:

IMO more fool the schools for not doing their 'bakers days' at the front of the half term holidays. I'm sure they would avoid no end of unauthorised days off. Instead of which this year the secondary school has tagged TWO of theirs onto the front of the summer holidays, which, lets face it, are already long enough. Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad


Do you not think that there might be a more strategic reason behind the timings of inset days than to suit your holiday plans?
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 You know it makes sense.
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Boris, a white lie is a harmless or trivial one to save somebody else's feelings. If you explain your logic to your kids, you will have to tell them you are lying and requiring them to lie to keep yourself out of trouble. Which is the reason for a huge percentage of the world's lies. Call me an idealist, but I prefer Megamum's approach. Evil or Very Mad
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pam w, I'm not asking them to lie - they simply won't go to school that day. And 2 weeks later no-one will remember what or why they weren't there

We have an obvious difference of opinion, but I am comfortable with my moral position on this and TBH I actually think I am a good person when all is said and done. Others have said the same thing.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Boris, yes, fair enough - I expect the majority of parents would do the same.
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Boris, it is insane that they have refused. Especially as (certainly in my school) they finish at lunchtime on that day which really annoys me (and the last day of summer term).

What is the reason behind the change? I took my eldest out of school for a whole week this year (from year 2), I have actually been able to book next years holiday during school holiday, as I found a descent price when I booked in January which went up significantly a couple of months later (I wonder if they didnt realise the week was a school holiday week next year), I doubt I will be as lucky for the following season.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I shall report back on the outcome come December - would be interested to hear of other parents experiences
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Elizabeth B, I'm a school governor so I know a little about things like this. I have never seen much of a strategic reason behind inset days. Schools are also scored on their numbers of absences. If I were a head teacher I'd take a look at my school records of unauthorised/authorised (which there won't be now) absences and, as I would have the flexibility to do so, I would schedule the inset days to coincide with obvious favourite days for parents to pull their kids from schools. I wouldn't mind betting that there is some tie in with things like bank holidays and half-term holidays. If I was a head teacher I'd be making those legitimate days off by causing them to coincide with my schools inset days and thus improve my absence stats.
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pam w wrote:
But to ask a child just returned from an exciting ski holiday to tell stories about their terrible night of vomiting? Shocked What's that teaching them?

How to fit in on a varsity ski trip.
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Megamum wrote:
IMO more fool the schools for not doing their 'bakers days' at the front of the half term holidays.


Teachers can't afford to ski at Half-Term, unless they are on a freebie school ski trip, ( Ratio of free Staff to Pupils 1:8.........you do the math to work out who pays whatever over the odds so the PE teacher and his family get the free-family-ski-fest!!)

Just how many Heads/Deputies do you think care a toss for the parents who ski? And the reason the Training days are added to the summer holidays then "disagreagated" into twilight hours is that MOST Heads/Deputies are CARAVANERS!!!!!!!! who try to get ahead of the summer cross channel ferry rush by a couple of days.
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My niece, who is a teaching assistant, goes with her husband and son to my apartment in February half term. She and son invariably have the day before half term off, as it is an INSET day. Seems a good idea to me - and for them it's ideal as they can drive down and get into the apartment on Friday, before the rush.
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Quote:

How to fit in on a varsity ski trip.


laundryman, Laughing
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pam w wrote:
My niece, who is a teaching assistant, goes with her husband and son to my apartment in February half term. She and son invariably have the day before half term off, as it is an INSET day. Seems a good idea to me - and for them it's ideal as they can drive down and get into the apartment on Friday, before the rush.


Ironically our school usually does have the Friday before half term. I've always thought that that was handy for the skiers. This year was our first skiing half term and I contacted the school way in advance to see if they could confirm it. Deputy Head said sorry he couldn't confirm it but was likely. He indicated in an email that we should "go for it". Once the INSET dates were out, it was clear that it was not going to be one but surprise surprise I had already booked Friday travel Toofy Grin His boss has always declined any holiday permission so could have been interesting Laughing
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We take them out for a full week most years. All project work is completed and handed in before we go. Homeworks/what they missed is up to speed within a week of coming back. Spoke to head of junior school in January about this year. She said they couldn't approve it, but she would be very disappointed to see the kids on the week in question. I didn't want to have the truancy officer waiting at the door, so I asked her about likely ramifications. She laughed and said "Even if it did get flagged to the truancy officer, they would look at your kids overall attendance, exams results and your historical abuse of the low season prices, then conclude that they would look fairly daft if you refused to pay a fine and it went to court. Just go, but don't officially notify us until you come back."

Home run for common sense. Might be different if one of the kids were struggling to keep up though. In that case I probably wouldn't consider taking them out anyway.
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