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Taking children out of school....

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Gaza wrote:
psyxologos wrote:
I think this is a ridiculous amount that is meant to just terrorize people, and we are planning to say to the school that she will travel with us to a family wedding instead. If the school had more reasonable policies regarding leave then I would have no problems being honest.


Personally, that is the last thing I would do. I'd be upfront and honest from the start and adopt the approach you highlighted subsequently about your work/life balance making it near impossible for you to have family time together. Your daughter could easily slip-up and talk about her skiing holiday rather than the family wedding. That may then trigger action by the school as they may feel deceit warrants action.


That makes sense. I think I will just be honest and tell them. If they understand it is OK. If not, then I will just pay the fine and worry about it no more...
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
pam w wrote:
@NickyJ, I realised that 10 sessions is 5 days, but that's a week and allowed every term in the LEA quoted above
And 14 sessions would give you extra days for driving. And when you read the details it's clear that even after that there's no automatic penalty. So, all in all, hardly the disaster that some people make out.


In our case, your child can be absent to up to 9 sessions per term, or 13 sessions in two consecutive terms. Once they reach 10 or 14 absent sessions respectively, the school will apply for a fine. As most tour operators work on a Saturday to Saturday basis, we will fall under the 10 sessions per term rule...
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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?
@psyxologos, but that would only be if you exceeded the 13 sessions in two terms? Your first 10 session week would be OK, wouldn't it?
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And even when the threshold has been exceeded a Penalty Notice will not be issued immediately ; there are other hoops which must be jumped through. At least that's the case in Hampshire. I do wonder how many of the people who get so hot under the collar have taken the time to sit down and read the relevant documentation from the LEA.

Where schools have sent out letters which do not properly reflect the policy then they should be challenged. Governors have a clear role here, surely?
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We just phone in that my daughter is ill each morning, they normally give up by Wednesday. This system requires very high factor sun cream Very Happy
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Well, @tomlin169, as I've said before, I think lying to the school and requiring the child to keep up a sham explanation stinks. Twisted Evil
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Yes, a cham explanation would be better.
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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 do agree that teaching your children to lie isn't the answer. I have many reasons to objecting to this legislation and my decision to ignore it is a "moral" one. I can't honestly say I hold the high ground as it is and encouraging my daughter to lie to people she trusts and respects would definitely burst my bubble of righteousness.
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Doesyour local LEA's Code of Conduct not allow enough leeway for a holiday@henzerani?
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Each to their own of course.
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pam w wrote:
@psyxologos, but that would only be if you exceeded the 13 sessions in two terms? Your first 10 session week would be OK, wouldn't it?


No. Nine sessions is what they deem acceptable. On the tenth they apply for a fine.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Crazy and petty, deliberately constructed to create a fine from a weeks family holiday. You can just imagine some petty and bitter council / LEA employee chuckling as they drew up the policy. That will teach the hard working family who wants to take their little darlings on holiday.

Yet it was brought in to fight truancy and has it worked? Have there been any impact / follow up studies that anyone is aware of?

We'll have this problem next year and for us luckily it isn't about the cost of the holiday, but unluckily when the stars align and we can both take a week at the same time. School holidays are a nightmare for cover at work and whilst I can go whenever I want, my wife can't.

Looks like we'll just have to start taking two week trips to get some value out of the fine Toofy Grin. Which will help our daughter improve her skiing more quickly as well.


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Wed 28-10-15 5:50; edited 1 time in total
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On a slightly different tack, no one has mentioned the savings that can be made from a week away from school. We are in the process of applying for the next September intake and looking at the prices for the pre and after school clubs, at the state schools in the village, the net cost of any fine is peanuts.

At the moment we have to pay 50w nursery regardless of how many weeks we go on holiday so again the fine as an incentive is ridiculous, but it does clearly unfairly target those on a tight income trying to take their kids on holiday. Which, to borrow a phrase, is incredibly regressive.

It should be used for truancy and not abused for holidays.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@psyxologos, in your earlier post you said the threshold was 13 sessions in two consecutive terms. So a ski week should be OK.

And even once the threshold is exceeded it's by no means automatic that a Penalty Notice is issued.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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@pam w, the way i read @psyxologos post was clear.

Up to 9 sessions per term or 13 if they were consecutive days over two terms. Therefore as typical TO holiday would require MOn-Fri absence and that is 10 sessions they would "potentially" be liable for fines.

At least that is how i read it.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Not the way I read it. He said 'consecutive terms' NOT consecutive days.
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pam w wrote:
So a ski week should be OK.

It's pretty clear that it's not (in the absence of discretion) from the original statement.
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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?
Yes, but my take was that 13 sessions could be 6 sessions at the end of one term and 8 sessions at the start of the next term. Eg holiday taken from Wednesday before half term and returning on the Friday after the half term.

Either way your point still stands that just because a set limit is exceeded it does not automatically mean a fine will be issued.
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@ansta1, either side of half-term is still in the same term.
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@laundryman, agreed, but I assumed by the way it was outlined that they probably deem each half term as an individual term for the purposes of those guidelines. However my sig may provide a further answer. Very Happy
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@psyxologos, which is your LEA? It would be helpful if we could put our collective minds to work on the precise wording. I might be assuming too much in the way of similarity with my area and others I have looked at.
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. . .'got away with it' for the 3rd time in succession for this years early Sept Summer Hols. . .and yes our decision was based partly on price (3x kids under 10), but also on the fact that we don't feel their primary school education is in any way at risk . . .the positives of an active family holiday vs a teacher training day and a settling in week are hardly an issue . . .

Our method
1 - Ensure your kids have a good attendance record
2 - Bring them up to be polite and respect their elders/teacher
3 - Build a positive relationship with the head teacher (ie. don't constantly moan about the schools inadequacies)
4 - Inform the school of your intent well before the absence
5 - No fine
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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!
@pam w, it's not that I can take holiday without being fined. Or that I particularly resent the fine. It is that the policy makes it illegal for me to take my daughter out of school for a holiday:

"2.2 In law, parents/carers are committing an offence if they fail to ensure the regular and punctual attendance of their child at the school at which the child is registered, unless the absence has been authorised by the school. Only schools have the power to authorise or grant a leave of absence." (Hampshire's Code of Conduct)

@tomlin169, of course. Just giving my opinion. The main point is that you and I should be able to make decisions like this for our families without having to break the law and then choosing whether we conceal our offenses or not. It's a slippery path.
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@Belch, thank you. That sums it up nicely.
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@henzerani, I understand that. I often took my kids out of school for a holiday and still would. But there's no way I'd lie about it - and even worse, tell the kids to lie about it, rather than share excited stories about their ski holiday.

Our area - like many others, though apparently not all, have rules which mean that a week's ski holiday is fine. Unfortunately my daughter and her OH are teachers. So that doesn't help!

If you feel you are doing the right thing, take the kids on holiday
Only someone who would never do 32 mph in a built up area is justified in getting excited about "committing an offence". wink
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I am sorry if I was not clear. The rules are (I quote from one of the bulletins we get as parents)
Quote:
Unauthorised absences of 5 days (10 half day absences) or more in a term; or 14 half day absences over two consecutive terms WILL result in the school applying for a fixed penalty.


Which means that if we take a week's holidays the school will apply for a penalty, same goes if children are absent seven days in total in two terms following one another.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@psyxologos, which LEA?
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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
Absence authorised.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
psyxologos wrote:
Absence authorised.


Hurray - viva la revolution!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Great news for George Osborne at least - clear evidence that he can shrink down the number of days kids are in school (as clearly they don't need to be in school for as long as they are right now as parents are opting out voluntarily) so he can reduce the number of teachers, less heating and lighting bills.

"viva la revolution!" . . . .
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
loving the pontification on this site . . .so much more moralistic than your bog standard forum . . .!
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Never ending story. Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley
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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?
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@psyxologos, We do not need him - we have freedom over here (with our children). Feel really sorry sorry for you all over there living in that kind of dictatorship. Madeye-Smiley
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Stick to school holidays so the slopes are clear of kids at all other times. wink

Seriously - If I had kids I wouldn't want some jobsworth head telling me what I can and can't do with my kids so they can hit a bunch of targets, and mess about having nativities. I'd take the fine!
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Hyst wrote:
@psyxologos, We do not need him - we have freedom over here (with our children). Feel really sorry sorry for you all over there living in that kind of dictatorship. Madeye-Smiley


We could learn a lot from our Viking cousins . . Embarassed
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Would appear the London Borough of Sutton enforce the fine Evil or Very Mad oh well the holiday cost saving was a lot more than £120 so every cloud and all that!
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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!
@alti - dude, the evidence seems to be that parents are doing as they are told and not taking their children out of school as much. Attendance in my daughter's school is much improved, as are results - although I suspect the latter is due to the headteacher and his staff.

My moral handwringing is about to begin. I am a governor at my daughter's school and I have just taken her out of school for an unauthorised week skiing. The head of governors has left it to my "moral compass" as to whether I resign or not. To be honest, I'm not really upholding the values of the school, am I?.
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@henzerani, "moral value" as to whether you resign.... From giving up a lot of your valuable free time to the school!??! Is the head of governs a complete......<connection>
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@henzerani, that's a tricky one. Moral nonsense to one side, what is your governing body's expectation of your headteacher in terms of managing term time absence and what the school's general policy for requests for term-time holidays?
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