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Taking kids out of school - just check the rules first

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
rob@rar wrote:
Shimmy Alcott wrote:
Speaking with the teachers, IME, they want a shorter Summer as the kids really take a backwards step with 6 weeks off.
That's my experience as well. Reducing the summer break by 2 weeks and adding those weeks to other holidays (Feb and Oct half terms would make more sense to me) would be a good plan IMO. However, you are right to point out that for some employers, especially small employers, reducing the summer break will make it more tricky to accommodate leave requests and maintain staff cover when many people want a traditional summer holiday with their family.


I cringe whenever anyone suggests reducing the summer holiday period, all it would mean would be more people competing for those (lets say) 4 weeks, result would be that prices would increase alarmingly (I would suggest somewhere between 1.5 to 2 times the price); end result more kids taking time out of school; where's the win win in that?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
rob@rar wrote:
Shimmy Alcott wrote:
Speaking with the teachers, IME, they want a shorter Summer as the kids really take a backwards step with 6 weeks off.
That's my experience as well. Reducing the summer break by 2 weeks and adding those weeks to other holidays (Feb and Oct half terms would make more sense to me) would be a good plan IMO. However, you are right to point out that for some employers, especially small employers, reducing the summer break will make it more tricky to accommodate leave requests and maintain staff cover when many people want a traditional summer holiday with their family.


The issue of cost or price would still need to be addressed to some degree of course. Spreading the holidays out would help a lot of people but not those who simply can't afford a holiday, be it skiing or otherwise, in the holidays if they are consistently 50-80% more expensive.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Shimmy Alcott, I think a better option would be to require all schools to publish their policy with regard to authorised term-time absence. Schools decide what their attendance policy is rather than having it forced on them by power-crazed Secretary of State, and parents could take that policy in to consideration when applying for school places for their kids. Each school's policy would be enforced, as now, by fines and as a last resort the option to withdraw the a place on the school roll for those families who completely abuse that school's policy.
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stevew wrote:
I cringe whenever anyone suggests reducing the summer holiday period, all it would mean would be more people competing for those (lets say) 4 weeks, result would be that prices would increase alarmingly (I would suggest somewhere between 1.5 to 2 times the price); end result more kids taking time out of school; where's the win win in that?
The win is that there is significantly less drop back in kids' performance over the extended summer break, and the extra week in October would mean kids and teachers aren't exhausted by the time they complete the Christmas term. Surely the school year should be organised to maximise educational outcomes?

I cringe when the debate focuses on how school terms should be arranged purely to knock a couple of hundred quid off family holidays...
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Rob,

Yes it should be arranged to maximise educational value, but to your other point we are not talking about a couple of hundred quid, but a couple of hundred per person if not more.

We have had this discussion before, I understand supply and demand, I understand the economics of running a chalet or other holiday property with specific times to maximise profit or minimise loss and that this is currently geared it seems around UK holiday periods as opposed to the rest of Europe's school holidays. ( happy to be proven wrong on that final point).

Just changing the term times and holiday periods is not going make a difference for a reasonable number of families if there is not a reflection in the overall costs.
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And makes no difference as my wife is a secondary teacher so I will have to do whatever. And as I am self employed it's doubtful that we will have a family holiday this summer as any holiday will have effectively cost twice the holiday itself. Not moaning, just saying.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Shimmy Alcott wrote:
doing kids spellings and homework.

It's their homework, not yours. What is your involvement? (Sorry for thread drift - I might take it to the Après Zone.)
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
ansta1, like you, my partner also works in a school so we have always been restricted in when we can take holidays together to peak periods. It's frustrating, but lots of jobs have restrictions on when leave can be taken so you just have to get on with it.

As for supply and demand, I don't see how you can change that. Do you want Government to rig the market?
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laundryman wrote:
Shimmy Alcott wrote:
doing kids spellings and homework.

It's their homework, not yours. What is your involvement? (Sorry for thread drift - I might take it to the Après Zone.)

Primary school children have spellings and homework from a very young age these days. From age 4 we are expected to do nightly reading practice and this progresses to other mathematical and literacy work. The work I'd designed to challenge the child and the practices indicate parental involvement. I have absolutely no idea what my older daughter is doing (13) as she gets on with it herself.
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ansta1,
Why would you want a summer holiday Puzzled
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musher wrote:
ansta1,
Why would you want a summer holiday Puzzled

So you can go skiing in the southern hemisphere. snowHead
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As I said remove 3 weeks from the summer BUT ! allow at least 1 WEEK off during term time as authorised and upto 2 weeks maximum. IF ! and that is the big problem as it would be the gov organising it, it was done properly then even teachers could have at least 1 WEEK off during term time ( there are supply teachers after all who cover for illness, maternity leave etc ). This would give everyone the chance to go at cheaper times ( unless travel company's just hike all the prices ).

So no increased competition during the shorter summer holiday as many would go before or after what is the normal 6 week holiday period. Or better still in the winter skiing. No hanging around with hundreds more people waiting for a lift during the Feb half term the season and how busy a resort is would balance out through the season snow conditions permitting.
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Quote:

As for supply and demand, I don't see how you can change that. Do you want Government to rig the market?


god forbid that would never happen would it? Toofy Grin

Quote:

ansta1,
Why would you want a summer holiday


I don't, I'd much prefer the Summer holidays be moved to Winter Holidays, 6 weeks off from End of Jan to Mid March would be much better.

speed098, That would seem a sensible compromise.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
We all want good education for our own children and our nations kids but in reality it is about more than education. There's a business argument about how sustainable businesses are if everyone wants the same few summer months off and for parents there is very real cost argument short summer holidays would mean costs going up significantly more than most families could (or would want to) afford. Personally I value both my summer and winter holidays.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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laugh, i almost killed someone....

My eldest daughter's Eoy attendance record had a couple of "exceptional leave" boxes ticked which rang her teacher to clarify.

"oh these are the official strike days Mr ansta1"

i asked them to be reclassified as 'school closed' which was refused, so i asked them to be removed from her record so her attendance is 100% this has been referred to head.

Anyway then we got on to a what i expected to be brief discussion about a day i intended to take her out to allow us to go away in September half term, expecting a sensible and light hearted discussion about mr gove and all things like that. what i wasnt expecting was a complete rant about parents taking children out of school and how much it impacts their learning. It didnt take long for this to get down to verbal fisticuffs with the leftie git with him trying to

a. justify him impacting my childs learning through strike action
b. his lack of effort to actually set homework.
c. the schools admin which meant my daughter was given a detention for homework (the rare occassion it was properely set) which was recorded as not submitted because the supply teacher lost hers and several others and tried to hide the fact.
d. how only 1 or 2 days out of school affects a childs education.


He lost it very quickly when i asked him....

Can you please explain then why in the last 2 school days my child has only had 1, yes 1 (and in case you misread. 1) actual formal lesson and not a film, quiz, play session.

I have a meeting with the head being arranged, which will be interesting i think.

The school was, and in general is good but Is just going through a transition period to a new head so i can understand some issues (teachers being asked to apply for their own jobs etc etc) its not the school per se, just the attitude of the individual i spoke to, and given hes done bug all other than tick the register and move his classroom around in the last 2 days (well that and get paid doing exam marking on school paid time) i am inclined to go and make sure he spends some of the next 6 weeks recovering.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
ansta1,

Your comments are what for me is the big issue here. You have clearly shown from personal experience how it is dual standards. You should not have had the issues you have had.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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Quote:

My eldest daughter's Eoy attendance record had a couple of "exceptional leave" boxes ticked which rang her teacher to clarify.

"oh these are the official strike days Mr ansta1"


Shocked

how utterly ridiculous
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
indeed the response from the head was...

"the school wasnt closed, it was just certain classes affected"

The head didnt seem to understand my frustration that they could record her attendance thus despite no teaching being available, that and the end of term film fest one of which was a 15a film which we werent asked permission for her to watch even though she is 13. not that i have an issue with her watching it per se, but its fine for them to make decisions but not us. Tempted to send her in with a can of tennants super with a letter saying we are happy for her to drink it. Twisted Evil
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Does it really matter what it is recorded as? Her attendance record at 13 won't ever be looked at by University or employer.
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emwmarine, if a child is being conscientious enough to get 100% attendance and is then marked as absent due to the teachers going on strike then I think its a kick in the teeth and counter productive to promoting good attendance
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emwmarine wrote:
Does it really matter what it is recorded as? Her attendance record at 13 won't ever be looked at by University or employer.


personally to me in terms of her progression, attendance and education no it doesn't, but this whole discussions isnt that simple. If I chose to take my child out of school on a friday near the end of term we would be officially recorded as "impacting out childs education" as it would have been unauthorised leave. Despite the fact that in reality i could have taken her out of school 4 or 5 days early without actually impacting her academic learning experience in any way.

For a number of reasons schools, teachers and the wider educational establishment seem to take the view in my opinion that if we as parents make a decision it is wrong. Of course there are a number of parents who cannot make this decision correctly but the wider parent populous are being slated. Teachers, Headteachers are quite happy to stick their books in their bag and strike on the basis of a number of reasons, pay, pensions etc. i havent actually seen any of them strike because "they should be in control of a childs education at a local level" and why should my child have a less than 100% record as that is what is officially recorded on the system when she was available and ready to attend.

The bottom line is in our case is it wasnt leave, the school wasnt open for her to attend, and they have refused to acknowledge this point effectively at this time.

In grown up terms, the security guards, tube, trains or whatever are on strike and you cant get to work, would you be happy if your employer wouldnt pay you because you couldnt get into work for reasons outside your control?
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http://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/let-children-travel-the-world
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Shimmy Alcott, head of airline and travel agency in encourage children to have holidays shocker Laughing
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ansta1,

In grown up terms, the security guards, tube, trains or whatever are on strike and you cant get to work, would you be happy if your employer wouldnt pay you because you couldnt get into work for reasons outside your control?

I was with you all the way until that last paragraph. It's not the employers job to get you to work on time. If, for whatever reason (strike, train crash, bubonic plague, war etc.) an employee doesn't get to work then I wouldn't expect the employer to pay them. Illness is covered by statute, but otherwise, if you don't do the work you shouldn't get paid. Would you expect your dentist to charge you even though they couldn't get to the surgery on time for your appointment?
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Quote:

In grown up terms, the security guards, tube, trains or whatever are on strike and you cant get to work, would you be happy if your employer wouldnt pay you because you couldnt get into work for reasons outside your control?


sorry a badly used and phrased example and I agree with Your response probably reads better like this...

In grown up terms, the security guards, tube, trains or whatever are on strike and you cant get to work, would you be happy if your employer gave you a bad reference because you couldnt get into work for reasons outside your control? (and yes I know they are not allowed to do this...)
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It's not the employers job to get you to work on time. If, for whatever reason (strike, train crash, bubonic plague, war etc.) an employee doesn't get to work then I wouldn't expect the employer to pay them. Illness is covered by statute, but otherwise, if you don't do the work you shouldn't get paid. Would you expect your dentist to charge you even though they couldn't get to the surgery on time for your appointment?

100% agree on this. Which is why it's so annoying when they close a school because the teachers 'can't get in', I bet they still get paid whilst the parent is left taking an unpaid or leave day to do emergency childcare.
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Quote:

(strike, train crash, bubonic plague, war etc.)

I suppose if it was the actual employee who had the bubonic plague then that would count as sickness and so they would be entitled to stat sick pay Very Happy
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ansta1, sorry, didn't see your retraction before I posted.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
ansta1, Yes, your rephrased version makes much more sense.
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if I had a salaried employee who couldnt get to work due to a tube strike I wouldnt dock their pay - Id get them to make the time up elsewhere, or work from home if possible etc. its called flexibility and its what the new regs. lack.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Boris wrote:
Shimmy Alcott, head of airline and travel agency in encourage children to have holidays shocker Laughing


so hes not allowed to have an opinion?

Think about it. If his interest is purely personal, which I actually am not convinced of (hes an adventurer by nature, he believes theres more to life outside of the classroom) then hes only saying this because of the impact on the his travel companies due to a decrease in demand. A decrease in demand means children and families are missing out on holidays together, well deserved holidays. That is really sad and in my opinion will have knock on impacts on the mental well being of people. This isnt just a situation that affects holidays abroad, each of us has a price and it will have a knock on effect at every level. Knowing you on here for quite a long time I know how much you appreciate getting away from your working and normal life - its a shame that such rigid regulations are depriving families of this valuable down time together.
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Shimmy Alcott, of course he's allowed to have an opinion, the comment was more in jest than anything, but I'd be surprised if he'd said anything else.

I've now broken my promise to stop posting here twice, so this time am going to stop!
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http://parentswantasay.co.uk/prosecution-dropped-in-school-absence-case/

Quote:
Today Liberty announced that Essex County Council has dropped its prosecution of James and Dana Haymore for failing to ensure their son “regularly attended school” on the basis of six days’ absence.

The couple, originally from the US, were refused permission to take their son out of primary school for a family reunion in America to commemorate Mrs Haymore’s grandfather. They were issued with penalty notices by the Council, but refused to pay on principle. They were then prosecuted for an offence which could result in a £1,000 fine and a criminal record.

Liberty, representing the Haymores, argued that – among other things – the decision to prosecute them breached the Human Rights Act, because it affected their and their children’s right to a family life under Article 8. The trial was due to begin on 10 October. Despite moving back to the US, the couple were prepared to travel to the UK to clear their name. But today the Council revealed the prosecution has been dropped.

James Welch, Liberty’s Legal Director, said: “With a little helping hand from the Human Rights Act, common sense has prevailed. Criminalising parents for taking children out of school for important family events was hardly the best use of Council resources, court time or public money. Heavy-handed rules like this go no way towards tackling the deeper, more complex problems that lie behind regular absence from school.”

Dana Haymore said: “We are so happy with the decision the County Council has made to drop the case. We feel it is the right decision. No parent should have criminal charges brought against them for doing what is in the best interest of their children. Parents’ roles are to know and love their families individually, better than any government does collectively, and make the best choices for them. We hope this is a step towards helping establish family rights.”
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The problem here is the minority spoiling it for the masses, those who can't be bothered to ensure their children are at school on time or in fact there at all.

[is not racist] There is a school near our works where I drive past at 9.05 after getting my son to school for 8.45, it is predominantly muslim. The head teacher can be seen cajoling mums and dads and their offspring down the street to get them into school in order to minimise the number of late registers.

They seem to have no respect that 9am means 9am, just meander down the street in the own little world and making me suffer the consequences by having to pay £300pp extra for my god damn skiing holiday! [/is not racist]
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just reading the Councils Code of Conduct on this issue and saw this

Quote:
Penalty Notices will not be issued in respect of Children in our Care, for whom other
interventions will be used
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I haven't read the whole thread Embarassed

My situation :

2 boys in school, 1 in Yr 3, 1 in Yr 7. Both have excellent attendance records, and both are above average in terms of ability.

I have booked a family holiday departing early on Thu 12 Feb - so the boys will miss 2 days of school. What should I do ? Just lie, and call in sick ? or confess to the school ? My problems are:

1) I don't want to ask the boys no keep schtum about their holiday, therefore everyone at school will know that they're going away, kind of making the 'call in sick' option a bit of a non-starter.

2) I'm a Governor at the Yr 3 child's school, and so need to do the 'right' thing.

3) I don't want to put either of the Heads in a difficult position by informing them that the boys won't be there and expecting them not to 'report' me.

Perhaps the simple answer is that I shouldn't have booked a holiday which means that the boys will miss school, but in financial terms, the flights on the Thursday were £750 whereas flights on the Sat would have been £2400.

Any advice Snowheads massive ?
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It's pathetic that kids with great attendance records that are in yrs 3 and 7 are put in this position. Go with your conscience.
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Timberwolf, go to your Councils web pages and read their policies on this. One of mine was vague but the Code of Conduct document was very detailed. To trigger the head into possibly putting you forward for a fine my policy states more than 10 unauthorised sessions within two terms (so five unauthorised days). I think with 2 you will be fine. I'd be honest and just tell them you are away and leave it in their hands. 2 days is nothing IMO. In order to issue a fine the head needs to send your written request so maybe by just telling the head he will simply just write it down as two unauthorised absences.
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Frosty the Snowman, I have no conscience when it comes to skiing wink. In all seriousness, you're exactly right - the whole situation is a shambles. It's ridiculous that because of their immaculate attendance and the fact that missing 2 days will have no detrimental effect on either of them, that the heads don't have the ability to use their discretion and 'grant' 2 days unofficial leave.

Shimmy Alcott, Thanks, I'll take a look before having the conversation so I'm armed with a bit of knowledge. Interestingly enough, their schools fall under 2 different Local Authorities, so Ii wonder if the policies differ at all Toofy Grin
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Quote:

Interestingly enough, their schools fall under 2 different Local Authorities, so Ii wonder if the policies differ at all

yes, that's an interesting question. The essential document, as Shimmy Alcott says, is the "Code of Conduct". They MUST abide by that - though it seems that some authorities and/or Head Teachers are giving guidance which does not confirm to their Codes of Conduct, perhaps in hope that parents will just go along with what they say, and not look up the document themselves. In all the discussions we've had and despite a fair bit of bluster and foot-stamping and noble talk of Human Rights, there has been no evidence that any LEA can fine for 2 days unauthorised absence.
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