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Taking kids out of school - just check the rules first

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
My written request for time in January received a reply advising permission was not given, noting that the holiday was booked prior to the change in the rules, but the time off would be 'unauthorised'. The following was also stated 'I realise 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.' I've since spoken to the staff responsible for sending the letters to ensure it's understood he WILL be off that week; it's fully acknowledged and they're sorry that the level of autonomy they had before, to decide on a case by case basis, has been removed.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
This is something I've been considering and wondering about myself. Wee feef is only 3, but I was thinking it might be possible to do a season with him in the Alps with me, but in a French school for the duration. It's not a whole year but equally it's not a holiday, so I'm not sure how that would fall within the boundaries of the current system.
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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?
feef, a nice idea. For him, the sooner the better. Little children will pick up a new language very quickly. If he gets some French (or German or Italian) imprinted in his brain at a young age he will cope much better if you take him out for a further season, when he's a bit older. And probably the sooner the better for you, too. snowHead

If you are away for, say, 3 or 4 months, a child would generally go to school locally, and slot back in when they come back - though with the pressure of numbers on some primary schools now you'd need to be clear about that in advance of his starting anywhere. My kids did odd periods of time in various schools (including overseas) when they were young, because of my job moving around. Didn't seem to do them any harm, though unfortunately they were all English-medium schools so they didn't acquire any new language skills.
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Depending on your wee feef's birthday, I believe you have the right to delay your child starting if they are 4 for a while. Didn't look into it fully as it wasn't something I wanted to do with Ellie, and my youngest will turn 5 just before her first day of school next september.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
In England, Kids are not legally obliged to attend school until the beginning of the half term after their fifth birthday.
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Ok, so Mrs B and I had a discussion about this over the weekend. The approach we are going to take is this:

Next week we have parents evenings, at these we will explain to tutors that kids will be missing the last day and the reasons for this - i.e. we are away and had booked prior to rule change or our knowledge of the change. We will ask for any work etc to be provided for the day we miss
On the day we will ring the abscence line and say they won't be in - its an answer phone so don't need to justify reason.
No lies told, up to school to decide how they want to record it.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Boris, sounds very sensible to me.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I'm surprised at all the people who are asking for permission. How about you live your lives for yourself and don't concern yourself with the rules. Do as you see fit. Rules aren't real you know- they're just someone telling you what to do. Allowing your kids school to tell you what you can and can't do is weak.

We keep a record of kids sick holiday and try to keep it down to sensible limits, but will take them out for long weekends, etc. School isn't the be all and end all of life. They're both doing exceptionally well despite having me as a delinquent father wink

'Rules are to guide the wise and for the fool to follow'.

Oh, and schools are run so ridiculously inefficiently, that kids wouldn't even need to go for half the time they do if it were organised well.


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Tue 19-11-13 18:40; edited 1 time in total
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Faiths daddy I totally agree,

I've recently had a letter home from my sons school with regards to two(2) days he has had off ill, this letter is a warning about future attendance.

However his school have closed for one(1) day ( a strike ) and are closed Thursday and Friday this week for an inset day, so three days (3).

Basically I'm inclined to send them a letter stating that future closers won't be tolerated and they should arrange child care for my son on the days he should be in school of they will insist on sending me letters ref his
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Esdel, go on, please do it..... I have been tempted myself in the past. Actually I did write and complain to the head about a closure due to snow, not about the closure itself but about there inability to follow their own process for notifying parents that they had sent us less than 2 weeks earlier.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Quote:

kids wouldn't even need to go for half the time they do if it were organised well

parents would love that, wouldn't they? They'd be clamouring for compensation for extra "child care" costs.
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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
NickyJ- the problem is, they'll happily be hypocritical when it suits. THAT is the nature of bureaucracy I'm afraid. Also, real life is ever changing and needs to be flexible, which rules stifle.

I think the thing that annoys me most about rule makers is the power that they have to back them up. I mean, I know it's ok to pull the kids for a few days, but if a pencil d*ck decides to make a thing of it, the law will back him up. This is why you need to be smart about it. I aim to keep sick holiday down to 5% if possible and 10% as an absolute limit- we got to 9% one year and had a letter over it. I managed not to yield utterly and completely to the authority and somehow managed to make it through the day.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Pam- it was a theoretical argument only. The practicalities would make it a non- starter. BTW, the main reason schools came about in the first place was to babysit parents who worked when the industrial revolution came about. Basic literacy only takes 100 hours- the rest is all dogma and padding.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
faithsdaddy,
Quote:

Basic literacy only takes 100 hours- the rest is all dogma and padding.
Quite right. 100 hours is plenty to get them into a decent university or find a good job. Who needs numeracy or culture or anything else?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

Do as you see fit. Rules aren't real you know- they're just someone telling you what to do.


Well that is the reason for having them really - anarchy isn't an ideal society to live in I understand wink
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Foxtrotzulu- Does it really need take 12+ years though? Are you a teacher? I ask, because all teachers are conditioned to believe in the system and that with reform, it could all be ok. 'If we could just get the right rules, it would be perfect'.

Boris- Do you actually need to be told what to do? Can't you decide which rules make sense and which one's should be ignored? What about laws which change over time- back in the 50's you could go to prison for being a homosexual. Now, homophobia could land you in clink. Which is correct- then or now? Or maybe it's only right or wrong if the law says so?
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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?
faithsdaddy, The wink was a clue I wasn't being entirely serious

I'm with you - there are some laws I ignore as they are daft IMO - 70 limit on motorway is one! But if I ignore them and get caught, it is the law which is right and not me. This will always be the case however much we think otherwise.

On balance I'd prefer to live with rules than without them - I'll just ignore the ones I disagree with
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Ah yes, time to come down from my soapbox Laughing I would take the points too, but it doesn't mean I- or anyone- should think it's intrinsically right, just because it's the law. I mean, the premise for the 70 MPH limit is the performance limits of cars from before I was born- so it's flawed at least in that sense.

I guess what I'm saying is that I respect the POWER of the law, but not the law itself. If a school isn't going to let you take your kids out of school- then should you abide by their rules just because they say so? People here have established that you can ignore the directive with little to no consequence. Easier to ask forgiveness than permission eh Little Angel
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Quote:

Easier to ask forgiveness than permission eh


You haven't met my wife Laughing

I do agree though, so we have decided to tell school truth
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For me the law is a little bit like a football referee. They are right, even when they are wrong. Some laws may be silly (in our view), but as a society we accept the need for laws and we have decided that democracy, rather than anarchy or anything else, is the way we choose to be governed. I may choose to break a law, but I fully accept that I am in the wrong if I do. If you choose to play the game, you have agreed to abide by the rules of that game.
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Foxtrotzulu- Who chose to play the game? I was born here, nobody asked for my compliance and I've never been consulted about any laws. I really do understand where you're coming from, I just don't think it makes sense.

What if a law came out that you had to cut off a finger? Taking what you said literally, you would 'accept that I am in the wrong if I do'. Obviously I came up with a silly example to make a point, but there are plenty of silly laws.

Did you know Labour tried to bring in a law that would have made it possible to imprison someone for up to two years for not having a bell on their bicycle?
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Ahhh, nothing like a ruck in the evening. Glass of plonk, forehead deeply furrowed, fingers agrily mashing the keyboard Laughing
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faithsdaddy, just out of interest, do your kids pick and choose which of your "laws" that you set them?
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Rob- had a bit of a think about it. It doesn't really come up much. I do guide my kids, but I also encourage them to think for themselves. I really mean that, I'm not just saying it. That applies outside of rules as well- conversations with my son about religion have led to him coming to his own conclusion- which differs to mine. I'm happy that he considered his stance, rather than just going along with what everyone else did.

Sorry Rob, couldn't really think of any examples of my kids having a conflict with the law. Good question though and a great counter Smile
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faithsdaddy, wink I have some sympathy with what you're saying, although your criticism (direct or implied) of teachers is, IMO, misplaced. The teachers I know don't like the conflict that these rules bring, imposed by government and increasingly reducing their flexibility to reach sensible partnership between schools and parents.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Personally, I think you are all missing the point of school holidays, they are not there so that the kids & teachers can have a break. Children are really only allowed school holidays in the winter so that the rest of us know when to go skiing to best AVOID the little tykes on the piste!
Therefore I think it follows that any parent who removes their little darlings from school in order to take them skiing should be shot/castrated/made to go on holiday with other parents children (delete as appropriate) as a punishment!

(not sure what emoticon to use here!)
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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
rob@rar, while I suspect you are right in that teachers dislike the conflict these rules bring I suspect that is a large part of the reason teachers have been removed from the equation. I read part of a report the other day that said head teachers DO feel that the widespread low-level absence was indeed a problem, but that dealing with it was difficult because of the conflict issue. Allowing teachers to pass the buck for this must be something of a blessing to them IF it helps to reduce this low level truancy.

[I don't think I have a hope in hell of finding a copy of that report, so please feel free to dismiss my comments as unsubstantiated if you wish]
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
foxtrotzulu, that might well have some truth to it. However, persistent truancy and taking 5-days out of term time when you otherwise have 99% attendance are two different things, at least IMO. I'm all in favour of schools having support to deal with persistent truancy and with families who abuse any flexibility about term time absence for family events, but putting them in conflict with supportive parents by having no flexibility to approve even a single day attached to a school holiday seems counter-productive.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
rob@rar, I think the point was that head teachers were saying that even a low level of truancy was a big issue. Authorised leave for holidays was a bigger issue than all other causes of absence except doctor's appointments. Apart from the child missing time at school the disruption and additional work to get them back up to speed were a significant problem.
I suspect that if the old system had been implemented as originally intended (absence approved for up to 10 days for exceptional circumstances where holidays could not be taken at any other time) then there would have been no need to change the rules. The problem is that the system above became .... 'You get the school holidays and an extra 10 days to take whenever you like'. I think I am right in saying that the exception for family holidays in exceptional circumstances was removed about 6 years ago but teachers found it impossible to enforce.

Quote:

I'm all in favour of schools having support to deal with persistent truancy and with families who abuse any flexibility about term time absence for family events, but putting them in conflict with supportive parents by having no flexibility to approve even a single day attached to a school holiday seems counter-productive.
I agree with you, but I think that it long ago ceased to be just a 'single day attached to school holidays' and parents have been tearing the ar*e out of it. The crackdown was probably inevitable.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

I suspect that if the old system had been implemented as originally intended (absence approved for up to 10 days for exceptional circumstances where holidays could not be taken at any other time) then there would have been no need to change the rules.

The government should not be in the business of enforcing ridiculous rules on all because they are incapable of enforcing others they should enforce the other ones properly.

Most families get a limited time with their children and it is mostly within the years they are at school to ban them from going to important family gatherings and to take holidays at a time that may be unavailable to some and unaffordable to others will severely restrict the family life of some.

The schools are paid for by families and they are there to serve families not the other way round.



I did not take my children out of school much but when I did it allowed us to take holidays as a family to the huge benefit of our family life and without any apparent detriment to our childrens education.
Encouraging people to lie to the authorities in search of some damn silly target is the opposite of what an enlightened democratic government should be about.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
It's another example of legislation and rules for the sake of it.

Those who allow persistent truancy were breaking the law before these rules came in. So what, bringing in another rule will somehow discourage rule breakers from breaking rules?

It's like the stuff surrounding greenlanes and trail bikes. I often see 'illegal motorcycle' use as one of the reasons for closing vehicular access to these lanes. Do they really think someone who is already carrying out an illegal activity is going to be deterred by making it illegal?
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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?
Can I just add that our sons school is taking them skiing in Scotishland for a week. The upshot of this choice week out of school, in school time is that we get to have a week somehere cold, in a nice hotel, in peace and quiet with no kids cluttering up the jumps.
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We recently applied for and were granted a week off for our 2 in January (years 10 and & 7) who are both at the local State school. We did point out that we had booked before the law was changed (we've taken the same week for a few years now and never had a problem) but also that our son (year 10) is taking skiing as one of his sports in his PE GCSE! Not sure if that really swung it, certainly got the feeling that they didn't appreciate having there autonomy on this taken away by the Government.
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Ok, so I've been reading this thread for a while, and will offer a completely different perspective. Everyone here that is ruffled has kids that they are responsible for. What seems to really be bothering people is that THEIR holiday might be impacted. You have kids. They have to attend school. You made a choice to have said kids. You can go on holiday when they are on school break.
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boofit, you can't have been reading that carefully then - otherwise you would have noted that many parents CANNOT always take their holidays during school holidays.
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Well, that's just part of the deal.....
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
boofit,
One of the main reasons people have children is for the enjoyment of family life under the rules that existed when most people had children it was quite within the rules and within normal behavior to occasionally enjoy time with your children for important family events and holidays.
With the crassness that characterizes this government they are setting up a bureaucracy to encourage lying and the spending of tax payers money on 'child attendance officers'
That is what people are objecting too.
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T Bar, it's the crassness of all recent governments. I think we also have a bureaucratic caste that carries on regardless of things like elections, and over whom we have little control.
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Well, I wouldn't pretend to know what's going through everyone's minds. And, I can certainly understand that not being able to go on ski holiday would really suck. I wouldn't be happy. But, then again, I chose to not have children, and my wife and I travel (and ski) when we want. I'm sure, as you point out, that some people are irritated at the regulations. I have to believe that some posters, however, are just unhappy that it will impact their skiing.
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