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Taking kids out of school - just check the rules first

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

It probably is fact but I suspect it is also "fact" that many of the parents you mention spend more time on Facebook each week than it would take them to glance at the documents referred to on that very same web page you linked to at 20.20.

think you are making assumptions there, for my age range, amongst my friends it would be more common to NOT be on facebook, most parents I know are not on facebook and are not on internet forums. When I talk about SH then I generally get a bit of a weird look. None of my close friends use any internet forum.

I am the Chair of the PTA. At our school the PTA is a purely a fundraising body. We have a parents forum and parent governors who should communicate but in the words of people on those bodies "its a sham". I have recently caused a bit of a stink at school due to decisions being made that werent put to the Governing body...it takes a brave person to stand up to these people and i did phone an alternative school at this time incase my child suffered at school due to my challenge. Thankfully other parents also stood up so I was not such a lone voice in the end.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
pam w, Fact if you trawl through your L.Councils pages ( and some make this very tedious to do so ) it becomes clear for the majority that a fine will not be issued till 5 days ( 10 sessions ). Now that is one whole week so if a family go away for a weeks holiday or visiting distant relatives or on an educational trip then they are at that 5 day limit. what most are not willing or able to define is does this 5 day mean they CAN ( though still may not ) be issued with a fine or that any further days will result in a fine.
It is also clear that some schools ( head teachers ) are not correctly informing parents when they make requests be this from lack of knowledge themselves or maybe even worse fear of any retribution from L.C.

So for the vast majority of parents it is not because they read and believe a particular paper but because those who should know and provide the correct information in a clear manner are not doing so. So please do not label people especially without having the correct facts in front of you as after all this could be seen as you not willing to find the facts out before making an assumption.





The simple statement is that a Local council could if they so wished fine you from day one, this is unlikely but not outside the act as it stands. Only if it stated very clearly that you have the right to take children out of school for upto and including a fifth day would it be impossible for any action to be taken till after this time scale. Till then you run the risk no matter how remote it may be.

This act of parliament is an abusive ruling and abhorrent to the rights of the citizens of a civilised democracy, who should have the right to take their children away for whatever reason as long as they will work with the school to ensure it does not affect the children's education. Teachers should not have to be afraid to inform parents of the facts and shows what a sorry state of a nation we have become. We have a right won in blood by our forefathers to stand up for our rights and to question any acts we believe to be wrong but successive gov want you to be brainwashed that what they say you have to do, you do without question.

Oh and my daughter has just had a letter from school complimenting her on 100% attendance for this academic year but I was told last term by the head after pulling the head up about something they did wrong that if she had even one day off we would be fined, ( now very unlikely this would happen and if did would probably get thrown out of court especially as I could demonstrate vindictiveness by the head ) but it shows how some will use this and abuse even the loose wording of the act.
The people enforcing it are not perfect and the way this is written leaves it open to far too much individual interpretation.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Quote:

what most are not willing or able to define is does this 5 day mean they CAN ( though still may not ) be issued with a fine or that any further days will result in a fine.

once the conditions they describe are met, the decision by a school to ask for a PN to be issued is discretionary, as is the decision of the LEA whether to issue one. The Code of Conduct might well not allow a school to issue a PN whatever a blustering head might say.

However, if you rant on to the Head about sacred freedoms and what our fathers fought for, no wonder he's got the hump. IIRC you declined to identify your LEA because you are in dispute with them. Why doesn't that surprise me? However, unless your LEA's Code of Conduct is very different from others, he could not fine you for a day's unauthorised absence.

I sometimes took my kids out of school for holidays. I still would, if there was a good reason. I would hope not to receive a PN (and the Codes of Conduct suggest some ways you can make that less likely) but if I did I would pay it, and regard it as part of the holiday cost. Not a dying in the ditch matter, I reckon. There are bigger and more important battles to be fought.

shimmy alcott. Sad to hear that the people on the Board of Governors think it's a "sham". That would a battle well worth fighting and I believe that Governors do have some quite extensive powers. I still see no reason why they shouldn't draw parents attention to the Code of Conduct though, as I said last evening, I also think your LEA's Code is vulnerable to legal challenge. If anyone were issued with a PN for 5 days holiday, for a child with otherwise good attendance, it'd make a good case for some interested governor to seek a judicial review (but not instead of paying the fine). Judicial review cannot be used to challenge the original Act of Parliament but it is certainly applicable to way legislation is interpreted and applied by a local authority.
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I agree that the information can be buried a few layers deep on Councils website, but it is possible to find to anyone who is interested.

There are some parents locally (no-one here) who are very much falling into the hysteria trap of believing th stories in the papers - I admit I was in this camp and as such started this thread!!! But it took me all of 10-minutes to find the relevant information on the Councils website which convinced me I was safe.

heaven knows pam w, and I often disagree but in this case I think she is spot on - there is a lot of people who are over-reacting (not aimed at anyone here) and could take a few minutes to find the facts out.

Again from personal experience - there is a lot of talk locally about being fined by the school - the school CANNOT fine you in Northants. It is clearly stated on the Councils web site that only the Council can impose fines.

This really is my last post here now as this is going around in circles - if you want to take your kids out of the school, and I have no problem with that, just spend some time reading the web site and be sure of your position.
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Quote:

This really is my last post here now as this is going around in circles - if you want to take your kids out of the school, and I have no problem with that, just spend some time reading the web site and be sure of your position.

+1

We really must find something to argue about on another thread, Boris. You start a fresh one about why you feel like a failure and I'll argue that you shouldn't... wink
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Boris wrote:
I agree that the information can be buried a few layers deep on Councils website, but it is possible to find to anyone who is interested.

There are some parents locally (no-one here) who are very much falling into the hysteria trap of believing th stories in the papers - I admit I was in this camp and as such started this thread!!! But it took me all of 10-minutes to find the relevant information on the Councils website which convinced me I was safe.

heaven knows pam w, and I often disagree but in this case I think she is spot on - there is a lot of people who are over-reacting (not aimed at anyone here) and could take a few minutes to find the facts out.

Again from personal experience - there is a lot of talk locally about being fined by the school - the school CANNOT fine you in Northants. It is clearly stated on the Councils web site that only the Council can impose fines.

This really is my last post here now as this is going around in circles - if you want to take your kids out of the school, and I have no problem with that, just spend some time reading the web site and be sure of your position.



not always as simple as that.

For example the school my son will be starting has, as it's attendance policy, a link to the council's relevant document on the council's website. The council document states that you should check the school's attendance policy
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speed098,
Quote:
This act of parliament is an abusive ruling and abhorrent to the rights of the citizens of a civilised democracy, who should have the right to take their children away for whatever reason as long as they will work with the school to ensure it does not affect the children's education. Teachers should not have to be afraid to inform parents of the facts and shows what a sorry state of a nation we have become. We have a right won in blood by our forefathers to stand up for our rights and to question any acts we believe to be wrong but successive gov want you to be brainwashed that what they say you have to do, you do without question.

Apart from wining a prize for one if the most delightfully pompous paragraphs I've read in ages you might like to reflect on the fact that the Act making education compulsory was passed in 1880. I rather think that our ancestors were fighting for the right to a good education, not the right to bunk off to Ibiza because it's cheaper in the term time.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quote:

our ancestors were fighting for the right to a good education, not the right to bunk off to Ibiza because it's cheaper in the term time.

yes, because it really is that simple isnt it? Parents only want to go on holiday in term time as its cheaper, it really is that cut and dried isnt it?
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Shimmy Alcott wrote:
Quote:

our ancestors were fighting for the right to a good education, not the right to bunk off to Ibiza because it's cheaper in the term time.

yes, because it really is that simple isnt it? Parents only want to go on holiday in term time as its cheaper, it really is that cut and dried isnt it?


Maybe it's worth telling the chief of Humberside Police

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-humber-28226694
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My younger son (15 and finished his end of term exams a month ago) is currently watching films each day in school. Today, it's The Shawshank Redemption. He's enjoying it.

Several of his schoolmates are now in Germany on a history trip. He has shown me photos he's been sent by them today. One was two chocolate donuts. Another was several bags of shopping from the local market.

We're not going on holiday until 1st August as any requests to finish even a day early, would be rejected.

Just sayin'
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Montana, i think i would just have gone anyway.
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Hells Bells, we weren't bothered for the summer, but know a couple of other families who would have gone earlier and are now pretty peeved when their child comes home each day talking about chocolate donuts and digging a tunnel with a spoon Laughing
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yup, my 13 year old watched two films today. One of the Batman movies and Kung Fu Panda 2
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Shimmy Alcott wrote:
yup, my 13 year old watched two films today. One of the Batman movies and Kung Fu Panda 2


Dunno what you're moaning about - cheaper than a babysitter and a trip to Blockbuster*



* retro gag cos it alliterated better.
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Dave of the Marmottes, true, and the three bags of popcorn she took in today cost about the tenth of Odeon popcorn Laughing
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I see Liberty are taking up the case of the family who went to a memorial service I hope they succeed.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-28375599
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Anyone got any more info on this? Mental if it's true!

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/girl-banned-schools-restaurant-treat-3881116
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feef, if that is true it is appalling.
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feef, playing devils advocate, you have to draw the line somewhere. She didn't have 100% therefore didn't meet the criteria for the trip.

You'd hope common sense would apply, but then you'd get some other kid complaining that they'd only missed one day too. It goes to show that you can't win, and even sadder is the the line where the school states they've stopped running the visit for everyone else now.
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feef, its in a few papers - seems genuine.

Quote:

playing devils advocate, you have to draw the line somewhere


yes, you do. But with otherwise 100% attendance then you would have hoped common sense would have prevailed. Unfortunately it didnt. I doubt one child or parent would have complained. They should have made an example of the child and had her as a guest of honour for only missing one day considering shed lost her mother. World gone mad when teaching staff show such a lack of compassion.
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Indeed, and like the whole thing it's the rules (not the sh ones as I know the auto replace will do its magic) being applied without common sense that have got us into this mess.
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I think it's one of the fundamental 'problems' with the UK and it's legislation. It seems that every potential eventuality has to have a rule created for it, perhaps so that no single individual has to take responsibility for making a judgement call or perhaps to protect those who have no common sense.

I've mentioned before about the changes in drinking laws as well as the introduction of new ones when there's already a pretty solid law which I have never witnessed being enforced and that is that a landlord must not serve someone who is drunk. If all landlords stuck to that, and that law was enforced, I suspect many of the new ones wouldn't have been required.

What happened to letting people adhere to the spirit, rather than enforcing the letter of the law
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Quote:

I doubt one child or parent would have complained.

Why do I think that is sadly not true .
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musher, I think if the school had applied a bit of lateral thinking it would have worked out brilliantly for all. Instead they resorted to a tick box mentality. That is not what education and inspiring our children should be about. Shame on them for being so lacking in addressing real issues. That school has demonstrated that its all about targets and nothing else. She was an 11 year old child.
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Did the teachers attending the trip have 100% attendance ?

97% of those who voted on the papers site have said she should have been allowed to go. The act allows for exceptional circumstances so why was this not authorised ?

The issues we have is that in this country we are supposed to have ONE set of laws/acts that apply to every single person but in reality that is far from what actually happens and this is what causes the problems. As others have said we seem to be removing common sense and replacing it with a law or act. I remember a TV program a few years ago in which a European worker commented on what you have to be show how to use a ladder correctly ? People who think all these regulations are fine are fueling the problem, should we really need a certificate to say we know how to put one foot infront and above another with similiar arm/hand action to go up a stupid ladder and the same to come back down ? Or should we just let someone get on with it as they do in most other country's.


Oh and pam w, foxtrotzulu, you seem to like accusing people of believing the sensationalism in certain papers yet if you read your own posts you are both as bad if not worse than those papers.
Just because some councils make the policy clear does not mean that all do. Just because some make it clear does not mean that they will implement it correctly. An example of how bad a local authority can be, mine used to charge people for a new bin when the dustbinmen had damaged the other bin saying that it was the persons property. Myself and others including a retired union rep challenged them and quite clearly stated that if it was our property then the council were guilty of criminal damage and always refused to pay and never did.
This union rep challenged the council senior officers at a meeting and after that without anything being said if you phone up for a new bin for whatever reason they now just deliver it. BECAUSE BEFORE THEY WHERE ILLEGALY CHARGING RESIDENTS ! ( no refunds were given to any that had paid).

So just because it is the gov or the Legal system stop thinking that they are right all the time and know best, we are not a nation of Lemmings following blindly to our demise.





As a nation we are going insane what sort of a society are we going to leave for our children and grandchildren ? will it get to the point that you sneezed and did not use a hanky so you will go to prison for potentially causing actual bodily harm as you could have passed on an ilness to someone else even though you were in your own house ?

And yes I have sensationalised the above bit but honestly just were will the line be drawn if ever?
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Another one.
http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/uk_news/Education/article1436627.ece
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Quote:

Just because some councils make the policy clear does not mean that all do. Just because some make it clear does not mean that they will implement it correctly.

indeed. A woman in the paper today. Her son is quadraplegic with cerebal palsy and is registered blind. He will be 14 in October and doctors have given him a life expectancy age of 14-19. His Mum booked a cruise holiday for October half term and then the travel agency said they had to change it as they couldnt find a cabin suitable to his needs until later in the month. The school has told the Mum that she faces a fine and possibly a criminal record. If that is not exceptional circumstances then i really dont know what the hell could be. Now it has hit the papers the local council have seen it and have agreed that it should be exceptional circumstances and they will speak to the school to make sure the staff understand the rules rolling eyes
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speed098 wrote:


The issues we have is that in this country we are supposed to have ONE set of laws/acts that apply to every single person but in reality that is far from what actually happens and this is what causes the problems. As others have said we seem to be removing common sense and replacing it with a law or act. I remember a TV program a few years ago in which a European worker commented on what you have to be show how to use a ladder correctly ? People who think all these regulations are fine are fueling the problem, should we really need a certificate to say we know how to put one foot infront and above another with similiar arm/hand action to go up a stupid ladder and the same to come back down ? Or should we just let someone get on with it as they do in most other country's.


O





As far as I am aware there is nothing to stop you using a ladder in your own house in your own time how you will.

Not everyone is blessed with your commonsense and intelligence and there have been a lot of work place accidents through using ladders incorrectly.
I see no reason why there should not be workplace instruction to help prevent industrial accidents.
I rather suspect that the instruction has more to do with safely securing the ladders at either end and appropriate size, strength etc than it has to do on how to climb them though judging by the numbers of people I have seen trying to climb them whilst carrying things in their hands it would not come amiss.
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T Bar, This was how to go up and down a ladder not about using the correct ladder for the work being done. I fully agree being told which ladder to use for a particular job needs to be told to new employees ie using a roof ladder etc, we started with logical health and safety and now we have total mediocracy. It may have been the same program reported on a church have a hand rail for a couple of steps due to health and safety rules yet nobody in the history of the churcbeen involved in any accident on the steps.
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190 school days. 175 days holiday including weekends

How much more holiday do families want?
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West Yorkshire police have followed humberside police's lead and also asked for term time absences to be granted.

http://www.itv.com/news/calendar/update/2014-07-17/west-yorkshire-police-call-for-change-in-law-on-term-time-holidays/

So we have two police forces asking for common sense to be applied and two decent displays of where common sense has gone out the window.

Is this REALLY a better state of affairs than before??
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1969jma, in what way do weekends count as "holidays". Many parents work weekends if they are not officially at work then I assume most of their weekends are used up doing stuff like housework, ironing, shopping, cooking (including batch cooking to sort out mid-week dinners as most mums work these days), doing kids spellings and homework, sorting uniforms for the following week, sorting out household repairs and maintenance, sorting out bills and paperwork, doing some work at home etc . Yes, the odd weekend we will do something as a family but this is a treat not the norm. A weekend is not the same as a holiday.

Families are very pressurised these days, with most Mothers working. The Government need mothers to work, fact. The Government also needs reasonably functioning families, this is how children become balanced adults. There are SEVERAL examples in this thread of how MANY families can not take holidays just within school break times...we can only just manage a summer holiday this year by taking one day unauthorised absence from school as I have to accommodate my staff who are all mothers (except one - who has already taken her "summer holiday") and who also need time off in the summer. If we dont have adequate staffing then patients would not be seen. We then have the case of uniformed staff who have leave times restricted as do many other workers.

In my personal experience there are not many people that take holidays in term time (only one of my close friends did this on a regular basis) - the real problem with absences lies with much deeper social issues (chronic truant-ism)...that is what needs addressing.

Government have taken a sledgehammer to smash a very small nut - because these parents are easy to target and fine, while ignoring the real threat to childrens education...parents who just cant be arsed to ensure their kids get to school.
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1969jma,

All our friends with school children and I suspect most parents would be happy to see the summer holiday shortend by 3 weeks and parents being allowed upto 10 days term time authorised absence.
Net gain 5 days more school per year.
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speed098 wrote:
I suspect most parents would be happy to see the summer holiday shortend by 3 weeks and...


Oh yeah, I can totally see all the teaching staff getting behind that proposition wink
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Serriadh, next year, I think, there is a bit more freedom for setting term times...our head said to me that he'd like to reduce Summer hols and increase Christmas...woo hoo for Skiing hols!
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Shimmy Alcott wrote:
Serriadh, next year, I think, there is a bit more freedom for setting term times...our head said to me that he'd like to reduce Summer hols and increase Christmas...woo hoo for Skiing hols!


The trouble is I can easily see that situation being MUCH worse for working parents. Right now because lots if schools are off at the same time, you have holiday clubs available to book your children into during school holidays. If certain schools have different leave dates there will be no holiday clubs available, worse if all schools have different dates, you will find a lot of areas will find it uneconomical to run at all if the holidays are too spread out. Then if infants and juniors schools (which I will have a child's in each from September) have different holiday dates it may become impossible to take a holiday without taking one of them out of term time. It's bad enough the inset days don't coincide as eat up a lot of leave but spread out so you can do very little with it and hav no holiday clubs available.
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Many people have children in different schools or colleges which already have different term times and it is absolute bedlam for booking a holiday ( we have had this and again will have it for the next two years).

Serriadh, If the teaching staff do not get behind this then tuff. They are still being paid and how many people do you know who can dictate toi their boss what days they work. But if they get to have the time off I dare say they will campaign for the change on the first day of next term, and if organised properly could be done to allow teaching staff 10 days off durring term time.


Shimmy Alcott, Yes it has been propossed and may well go ahead and will cause a lot more problems my kids will have Easter next year starting different weeks so one no matter what will have to take a week off school or no holiday for us. ( So to be fair hopefully we will go for 3 weeks and both miss one week of school so as to not discriminate against either authority Very Happy ).
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NickyJ, there isnt an easy answer - for me personally, reducing the Summer Hols would be a nightmare as 100% of our employees are women. Im struggling to accommodate their summer holiday requests with 6 weeks to work with. Speaking with the teachers, IME, they want a shorter Summer as the kids really take a backwards step with 6 weeks off. An extra Christmas week would probably be very welcome by ski enthusiasts, and i was just making a bit of a joke, this being a snowsport forum Toofy Grin but most people, these days, want a week away in the sun and given the pressures we are all under on a daily basis (both parents working, juggling family life, juggling sickness, juggling childcare etc) I think it is well deserved and is essential for general well-being.
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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.
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there really is an easy answer to this - for a win win situation. Reduce the 10 days previously permitted to 5 days. With weekends families can make this a 9 day holiday. 9 days is a reasonable holiday time.
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