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Taking kids out of school - just check the rules first

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
laundryman wrote:
T Bar, it's the crassness of all recent governments. .

Would agree with this though the current one pretend to emphasize family values,when it suits them.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
boofit, not being able to take leave in school holidays is not a choice, it is a reality for some people, and they are therefore unable to spend quality time with their families, regardless of whether that is spent abroad or at home. Friend had to work for a national company for 5 years before even been allowed to take part in the ballot for school holidays. It is often a fact of low paid work mainly done by women such as supermarkets.
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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?
T Bar, again they all do. How many times did I hear G. Brown talk about "hard-working families"? A plague on all their houses!

Sorry, probably way O/T.
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boofit,
There should certainly be no compunction on you or anyone to have children but it is in all societies interest that children are raised both with good education and a family / community ethic. Today's children are needed to provide a society tomorrow that can care for its elderly.
The current government appear to be introducing rules in an attempt to educate them better whilst forgetting that they need to be a part of a community that does occasionally need time away from education.
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Quote:

not being able to take leave in school holidays is not a choice, it is a reality for some people,



Of course, all of this is true but what we are ignoring is that the vast majority of people these rule changes affect ARE able to take holidays out of term time, it is just less convenient/more expensive for them to do so. As I understand it for many of those who really can NOT take holidays at the right time exceptions are made.
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Exactly. I doubt the woman working at the supermarket -- mentioned above -- is looking to take off to Courchevel or Megeve.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Megeve or courchevel! For our small family of two adults and one 5 year old, we're looking at easily over £2.5k to go to the cheapest of italian resorts with crystal during the feb week. Move that on a week in term time and we can easily do the same trip for 1k less... The problem here is not the school holidays, it's the ski holiday companies cashing in on them.

That's life though.
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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!
Don't take things so literally. Yeah, you don't have to use a ski holiday company. While I know that's the norm for many in the UK, it's always been a head scratcher for me. There are soooooo many reasonably priced places in Austria (for example). Tripadvisor is your friend.
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Quote:

£2.5k to go to the cheapest of italian resorts with crystal during the feb week. Move that on a week in term time and we can easily do the same trip for 1k less...

The flip side of this coin is that because 1/2 term and other schol hols is so expensive, no-one that can holiday at other times will use these weeks, leaving them available for those who can only holiday at this time, little consolation though.
We have been very lucky in having retired friends with an apartment that have no desire at all to go 1/2 term week
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boofit, just making the point that even the cheapest packages are probably off limits for families relying on the wage of a tesco worker…
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boofit, it's not just skiing, it's any holiday. As has been pointed out many in armed forces have no choice when they have leave, your argument seems to be you can't be in the forces if you choose to have kids!

Or NHS
Pilots
Oil rig workers
Energy workers
Lots of industries

In fact there are loads of companies with this type of policy. And let's not forget situations change, when people have kids they may be able to take holidays in school holidays. But what if they're made redundant and in the new Jon you can't?

It's not as black and white as you make out!
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
foxtrotzulu, depends on the school, ours have made it very clear that no holidays in term time and its just tough if your parents allocated leave isn't in holidays
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Boris wrote:
boofit, it's not just skiing, it's any holiday. As has been pointed out many in armed forces have no choice when they have leave, your argument seems to be you can't be in the forces if you choose to have kids!

Or NHS
Pilots
Oil rig workers
Energy workers
Lots of industries

In fact there are loads of companies with this type of policy. And let's not forget situations change, when people have kids they may be able to take holidays in school holidays. But what if they're made redundant and in the new Jon you can't?

It's not as black and white as you make out!


Another one is some areas of banking and finance. They are obligated, by the FSA, to take a 2 week holiday such that any indiscretions which may have been occurring on their watch might be spotted. As such, this 2 week period cannot overlap with others under the same regulations, so there's not always much choice about when it can be taken.

Just treat it as a week of PE and foreign language instruction and you're not actually taking them out of education Wink
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
As I stated earlier, I'm sure there have to be some valid situations. However, it seems to me that people are being particularly defensive in to arguing the point. I'll stick by my premise that many are just miffed that they can't go skiing when they want. The rationale that children will learn more on the mountain is just that; a rationale.

I work in IT sales. I am never allowed to take holiday the last two weeks of a quarter. In reality, it is frowned upon to take time off the last month of a quarter. This essentially rules out most of December, and March. Do I like this? Not at all. Does it impact my skiing and snowboarding? Yes, quite a bit. However, I made a choice to work in this field. Others have done the same, in whatever it is they choose to do.
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boofit, nope. You don't get it. Your tiny restrictions would be lovely for many of us. Perhaps one day you'll see. But thanks for the advice...
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I wasn't offering any type of advice. Like many others, just observation and opinion. I'm perplexed that I never hear of this issue in either Germany (where I live) or in the U.S. (where I am originally from). Can someone explain the uniqueness of the UK situation?
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
boofit, +1

There are indeed people who will be unable to take even a single week during the school holidays. However, I'm not sure that I have yet heard any/many of them on this thread.

Prices may well be higher during the school holidays, but it's no more a case of TO's 'cashing in' at those times than it is of them being charities when prices are less. No TO could possibly afford to run a business offering low season rates all year. People are more concerned with the interminable modern whinge of "But, it's not fair" then perhaps TO's should offer high season prices all year round? Of course, they would still go bust, but at least it would be 'fair'. If we are talking about what is fair, how is it fair that children get discounted tickets on trains and cheap meals in restaurants? They still take up as much room on the train as an adult and a happy meal costs probably more go produce as a regular meal. Why should pensioners get discounts at the cinema, but only at certain times? It's all about marketing and matching supply and demand. Anyone who can't get their head around that definitely should have spent more time at school.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
My wife is a teacher...guess when we have to go on holiday!?!
I would love to take her out of school for a couple of weeks holiday without your horrendous brats screaming, crying and generally being irritating...never mind just for once not getting my wallet raped by the airlines!

Stop whining and wait a few years until they are old enough to leave with a tin of beans and some beers while you go and have child free fun!
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Boris, only "beginning"?!?

I don't get why people get so upset with us having a bit of a moan about this? We live in a "free" country and thankfully one of our rights is one to moan.
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NickyJ, you have every right. It's just not becoming.
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boofit, LOL, I have often had that been said about me.
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Quote:

work in IT sales. I am never allowed to take holiday the last two weeks of a quarter

boofit, Well to use your own "argument" - it comes with the territory, don't like it you shouldn't have taken the job wink

adam.b, hey if it wasn't for are crying brats your wife would be unemployed - and they'd be no-one around to look after boofit, in his old age! And there's no way I'm leaving them with beer - beans I'll consider. Toofy Grin
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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!
adam.b wrote:
My wife is a teacher...guess when we have to go on holiday!?!
I would love to take her out of school for a couple of weeks holiday without your horrendous brats screaming, crying and generally being irritating...never mind just for once not getting my wallet raped by the airlines!

Stop whining and wait a few years until they are old enough to leave with a tin of beans and some beers while you go and have child free fun!


You could go on holiday during her 13 weeks leave, which is a bigger window than most working couples.

It sounds like you are whining a bit yourself.
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Filthyphil30k wrote:
adam.b wrote:
My wife is a teacher...guess when we have to go on holiday!?!
I would love to take her out of school for a couple of weeks holiday without your horrendous brats screaming, crying and generally being irritating...never mind just for once not getting my wallet raped by the airlines!

Stop whining and wait a few years until they are old enough to leave with a tin of beans and some beers while you go and have child free fun!


You could go on holiday during her 13 weeks leave, which is a bigger window than most working couples.

It sounds like you are whining a bit yourself.


From what I remember of my mum's 13 weeks 'leave' as a teacher, she spent many weeks of that preparing coursework for the coming school year, studying, revising and adopting content to fit in with curriculum changes and whatnot.
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feef, she sounds like a great teacher, but work her holidays away round her work, not being dictated to.
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Quote:

I'm perplexed that I never hear of this issue in either Germany (where I live) or in the U.S. (where I am originally from). Can someone explain the uniqueness of the UK situation?

French, German and Austrian school holidays are all staggered over several weeks.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
foxtrotzulu, you have heard from one now.

Last year I couldn't take a week of in the Xmas or Easter hols or half term.
This year I Might, just might, be able to take off the third week in April

It is absolutely a real issue. I can afford to do the half term/new year thing and have taken the kids to the US, Canada and Switzerland in the past.
I just can't get the leave then in my job.

This year might involve dragging my younger son - in year 7 - out of school.
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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
Filthyphil30k wrote:
feef, she sounds like a great teacher, but work her holidays away round her work, not being dictated to.


Easier said than done when the curriculum changes come out during the summer holidays and need to be in place before the term starts
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
stoat of the dead, I'm talking about holidays, not skiing holidays specifically. Were you unable to take a week off during the summer holidays, summer half-term or autumn half-term?

We can agree that it's a good thing for parents and children to be able to spend at least a clear week per year with their children on holiday. However, there is no reason that has to be skiing or even out of the country or away from the family home.

I come back to one of my earlier points, that if the flexibility to take holidays during term time in 'exceptional circumstances' had not been abused by so many who simply found it more convenient or cheaper then there would probably not have been any need to introduce this new regime there by making it harder for those with genuine problems.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
foxtrotzulu, well we do seem to be talking about ski holidays on this thread. And if children are not good at conventional school sports but have a real talent and love of skiing, isn't that worth nurturing? I'm surprised someone who usually seems a bit right-of-centre/libertarian to me, holds your views.

You didn't have a different username her a few years back did you?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
foxtrotzulu, I'm intrigued by your repeated reference to the old system "being abused" Puzzled The old system permitted holidays and all the school I am aware of, or have been mentioned here, added their own conditions of at least 95% attendence and subject to teacher/form tutor believing they could catch up with out issue.

The school under the old system had the right to say no - so not sure how parents were abusing the system? Using it to their advantage certainly but abusing - no.

To my mind we have gone from a system which

Was fair, understood, flexible and gave power to schools to one which does none of that. Nor will it address the problem of those who don't give a toss abotu their kids.

Obviously we will differ, and many others here are siding with you, but no-one has yet been able to give me a good reason why or how this will address those children who are persistently missing school.
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Boris,

This from the DfE website:
Quote:
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.
These were the previous rules.

My point is that the definition of 'special circumstances was not intended to cover such reasons as 'the snow's better in February' or 'It's a bit more convenient', or 'It's cheaper'. the problem was that rightly or wrongly head teachers were giving permission in pretty much any circumstances and not just the special ones.

Quote:

Obviously we will differ, and many others here are siding with you, but no-one has yet been able to give me a good reason why or how this will address those children who are persistently missing school.


I don't think this new policy is even aimed at the most serious truants. It is aimed at reducing the wide-spread but low severity absence level. From what I have read head teachers do see this as a serious problem and consider that even 5% absence is detrimental to a pupil's education, as well as being disruptive to teachers and the class as a whole.

The Governments new rules are in response to an independent report by Charlie Taylor. https://www.gov.uk/government/people/charlie-taylor Among his findings/recommendations:

Quote:
Whilst there should be no outright ban on term-time holidays and with headteachers having the discretion, the government should toughen up the rules. If children are taken away for a two week holiday every year and have an average number of days off for sickness and appointments, then by the time they leave at 16 they will have missed an entire year of their schooling.


Headmasters do still have the discretion to allow term-time holidays in 'exceptional circumstances'...
Quote:
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.


Although head teachers have always had the authority to refuse parents permission for term-time holidays I doubt many have felt able to do so if the general view here is anything to go by.
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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?
I would think that most the posters on here fall into a middle class group, the very group who will be most upset if little jonny is not doing well, and probably spend more time working with their children to help them get on at school.
I have taught my children basic French to help with their ski holidays and are pretty good on British-French history over the last thousand years.

If not missing even a day was so crucial to future employment how do we manage illness, inset days, dress as a penguin day, sports day and god forbid school closed as it's snowing day?
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Quote:

I don't think this new policy is even aimed at the most serious truants

So what's the point? Surely that's who they should be going after? I know I sould like a broken record but previously at our schools, permission would only be granted "if your child had a greater than 95% attendence in previous academic year". The 95% figure being the one that schools, teachers, DFE etc all keep saying is the threshold which you shouldn't drop below!

Quote:

If children are taken away for a two week holiday every year and have an average number of days off for sickness and appointments

See above - if they had been sick and missed school for any reason they would drop below 95% and not be allowed time off under the OLD rules

From your report quoting:

Quote:

Whilst there should be no outright ban on term-time holidays and with headteachers having the discretion

So an independent report says there should be no ban on holidays, so they introduce one! And to all intents and purposes they have taken decision away from schools.

I understand your point about low level truancy being disruptive, while I agree this can be the case in more critical school years, I am not convinced this is the case in Primary school and early years of secondary. Far more disruptive to my childrens education in the last few years has been

School closed due to Use as Polling Station, Teachers Strikes, Snow Days
Boys being bored for entire Yr7 as they are not streamed and repeating things they know as others are bought up to speed
Disruptive pupils who aren't interested
persistent truants who turn up when tehy feel like it

Quote:

the government should toughen up the rules.

Fine - they could do this be enforcing teh 95% rule to permit leave and reduce the number of days to 5.

Please bear in mind that we for the last few years have not taken time off in term-time, apart from this one request for 20 Dec, but I am annoyed that they have scrapped a system which worked in my opinion to one which doesn't - again IMO
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foxtrotzulu, I know (via friend of a friend) of some body who was under the old system due to high level of sickness in he year. My friends friend was one of those mums who keep there child off at the slightest sniffle (whereas I am in the camp to dose em up with calpol and keep your fingers crossed the last the day.
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Quote:

I would think that most the posters on here fall into a middle class group, the very group who will be most upset if little jonny is not doing well, and probably spend more time working with their children to help them get on at school.

Filthyphil30k, almost certainly - but I hear that being middle class will be made illegal soon, you can either be the ruling elite or scum to be controlled by your betters.
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[quote="Boris"]So what's the point? Surely that's who they should be going after?[quote]

I don't get the feeling you really want to understand.

The issue is that there can't actually be one rule for rich people like you who want to take little Oscar to Verbs on the cheap, and another rule for people who can't even dream of those things.

Your outrage at the limits of your privilege would be understandable if you had significantly less of it. Pay your way like everyone else.
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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!
Out of curiosity, 2 questions to those who think taking kids off for term time holidays is OK:

Would you as easily take your kids off the school if it was a fee paying school?
Would the fee make any difference e.g. £1,000 p.a vs £25,000 p.a?

PS
I'm not arguing, this is just a quick research D)
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Boris wrote:
Quote:

I would think that most the posters on here fall into a middle class group, the very group who will be most upset if little jonny is not doing well, and probably spend more time working with their children to help them get on at school.

Filthyphil30k, almost certainly - but I hear that being middle class will be made illegal soon, you can either be the ruling elite or scum to be controlled by your betters.


So at least one old system is due to return then Toofy Grin
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philwig, enlighten me then - if yoou're not going after persistent truants how is the rule being applied equally to everyone?

Quote:

one rule for rich people like you who want to take little Oscar to Verbs on the cheap

Please read the above - I have not taken the kids out of school during term time for over 4-years now, this started as a query over one day.

FYI none of the kids are called Oscar and not have I ever gone to Verbier - cheap or otherwise.

Quote:

Your outrage at the limits of your privilege would be understandable if you had significantly less of it. Pay your way like everyone else.

Read the above - for once - AGAIN I have not taken them out of school in term time for 4 years, this year we are going at Xmas, one day was to make my driving tasks slightly easier. I think I am paying my way

Oh and please tell me how I am more priviliged than you?

BTW congratulations - has been a well argued and debated issue and you have to resort to being abusive rolling eyes
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