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Taking children out of school....

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
impingu1984 wrote:
@JoyZipper,

Quote:

You're insufferable aren't you (in your opinion) and a spelling / grammer Nazi to boot.


Based on your continued attacks in this thread on others who have a differing opinion to yours my opinion of you is somewhat stronger than simply insufferable.

Live and let live......


+1
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JoyZipper wrote:


I must congratulate you Sir on an excellent retort. At which Debating Society did you learn this witty one liner ? rolling eyes


At the troll spotting school, where they teach you not to feed them.
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zikomo wrote:
I am sure it has been pointed out before - but lots of UK areas do no have a half term break at all in the winter, including ours. I do not say this as an excuse, as I already said I don't believe I need one, but it is something we should all be keen to see changed.


Not to mention a ridiculously long summer holiday, which doesn't happen to fit in with our lifestyle. Luckily our school is flexible when it comes to term time ski holidays and we haven't had any issues and nobody died either.
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foxtrotzulu wrote:
@Boris
Quote:

The report very much talks about strengthening the existing rules. Yes it recognises that persistent absence is damaging and suggests ways to tackle persistent absence, it is not aimed (to my reading of the report) at the odd few days here and there for kids who have a good level.
, The Taylor report mentions strenthening the existing rules - Which is precisely what has happened. The report also talks very explicitly about term-time holidays. Paragraphs 14, 15, Recommendation #6, and in the section on Effective School Practice he notes: "Parents are taught to understand the difference between minor ailments and the sort of illness that warrants a day off and head teachers refuse every request for holidays unless there are really exceptional circumstances". If you read the Taylor report carefully you will see that he clearly believes that term-time holidays ARE an issue.

You also refer to 'kids who have a good level [of attendance?]'. The point is that a child with an average number of unavoidable days off for sickness etc. and takes a term-time holiday is not going to have a 'good' attendance level. Look at it another way, an employee who takes his full holiday entitlement, the average number of sick days AND another week's leave without permission is hardly likely to be regarded as having a 'good' attendance rate.


foxtrotzulu you and I are NEVER going to agree on this issue and in all honesty I am kicking myself for being suckered back into this ground-hog day thread. I AGREE the report says that term-time holidays can be an issue, but his recommendation was to tighten the existing rules and allow schools to make the call on what should or shouldn't be permitted. Under the old rules, our school (and I can only report on that) allowed up to 10-days when a child had an attendance record of 95% for the previous year - I also AGREE that children wouldn't have that level if they had had numerous sick days.

Largely I agree with a lot of what you say, except I feel that the current situation is far stricter than what the Taylor report proposed.

I also firmly agree with pam w that if you're going to take the kids out of school - just tell the school the truth. If your kids are generally in school you'll almost certainly find that the LEA are powerless to do anything either for a week. So if anyone wants to go - check your LEA policy carefully - tell the school you're going and go and have a good time.

FWIW - I too all our kids out when they were in Primary (with permission from school under old rules) and the boys are currently forecast to get A/A* at GCSEs. I wouldn't do it now for a week as they are in GCSE years.

I would (have) done it for the odd day - told the school - nothing happened.

Don't get me started on the "it's vital you don't miss any school but it's alright for the school to take your child out of lessons for 8 days this year so he can represent the school in carious running events" Yes these were days of school he missed and not planned sports days etc

I am now definitely going to not post in here again - until the next time Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing
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zikomo wrote:

Sorry I must have misinterpreted this, but it looks to me that you stated I have not researched and established the facts. Which is an odd thing to say as you have no basis for knowing, and it is also just a little provocative (just a little, I am certainly not crying about it!). And it is also untrue and unsubstantiated - just saying something does not make it come true!


BIB, quite, I couldn't agree more.

zikomo wrote:

And I do not have any evidence that taking kids out of school to go skiing is BENEFICIAL to their education, and neither have I ever claimed that i think it is. There is plenty of evidence, however, that all things being equal it is not DETRIMENTAL to their education, soothing which you and others have claimed. So as I have seen plenty of evidence to support my position, that is it not detrimental, I just asked to see the evidence on which others (such as your good self) are basing their opinion that it is detrimental. I am genuinely interested as I want to see if I have missed anything when looking into this issue and deciding whether to take my kids skiing during term time.

In short - it is very strange to ask for me to evidence a position I have never articulated and do not believe in, whilst at the same time refusing to evidence a position you have very clearly stated.


I can remember questioning whether or not a week skiing is more beneficial during term time than during the holidays but I can't remember 'very clearly stating' that taking kids out of school was detrimental to their education. I must be getting old and forgetting stuff - can you point out where I did? Many thanks.
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swiftoid wrote:
zikomo wrote:

Sorry I must have misinterpreted this, but it looks to me that you stated I have not researched and established the facts. Which is an odd thing to say as you have no basis for knowing, and it is also just a little provocative (just a little, I am certainly not crying about it!). And it is also untrue and unsubstantiated - just saying something does not make it come true!


BIB, quite, I couldn't agree more.

zikomo wrote:

And I do not have any evidence that taking kids out of school to go skiing is BENEFICIAL to their education, and neither have I ever claimed that i think it is. There is plenty of evidence, however, that all things being equal it is not DETRIMENTAL to their education, soothing which you and others have claimed. So as I have seen plenty of evidence to support my position, that is it not detrimental, I just asked to see the evidence on which others (such as your good self) are basing their opinion that it is detrimental. I am genuinely interested as I want to see if I have missed anything when looking into this issue and deciding whether to take my kids skiing during term time.

In short - it is very strange to ask for me to evidence a position I have never articulated and do not believe in, whilst at the same time refusing to evidence a position you have very clearly stated.


I can remember questioning whether or not a week skiing is more beneficial during term time than during the holidays but I can't remember 'very clearly stating' that taking kids out of school was detrimental to their education. I must be getting old and forgetting stuff - can you point out where I did? Many thanks.


Hmmm I have to get better at ignoring those who incapable of holding a reasoned debate.....just ignoring or replaying any question or challenge put to you is really quite tiresome.
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@zikomo, so I didn't 'very clearly state' it was detrimental at all?

Look, as I said earlier in the thread, I don't really care if you or anybody else takes their kids out of school but I don't believe some of the reasons put forward for doing so.
If Mr and Mrs X want to take miniX out of school to go skiing (and are prepared for any consequences) then that's up to them but if they start trying to persuade others that this is for the child's educational benefit (as was being done last night) then I wonder who they're really trying to convince.
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I took my kids out of school not infrequently (and back in the day, I was taken out of school for family holidays, often missing school exams in the process Little Angel ). But it would never occur to me to argue "educational benefit" as a reason for doing it.

I do think school trips can be of great educational benefit - though certainly not all are. Just getting the little darlings away from their mummies and daddies has its advantages!
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This is really a debate about individual liberty versus obeying rules that are (arguably) good for society but may not be for your family. I'm much more of a libertarian than an authoritarian so you can guess where I come out although we don't really have a pressing need to go away outside school holidays so have only stolen the odd afternoon at the end of a term (when they are generally watching videos or playing games anyway).

I think prohibition (or alcohol) is a much better analogy than speeding. If we could really ban alcohol society would probably be a better place. However many non-problem drinkers would lose enjoyment to that achieve that end. Whether that would be a good trade off is something reasonable people can disagree about. Of course in practice, the ban would be ineffective.

If the "ban" on term-time holidays really would significantly improve the problems of low attendance then the cost to individual liberty might be justifiable (reasonable people could disagree about that). But it won't, will it?
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henzerani wrote:
Well, we've been fined. But more worryingly there is a bunch of paperwork telling us that if she misses anymore school time we will be prosecuted, fined or imprisoned and that social services will have to assess whether our daughter is safe will us.

Apart from the police state tone of the letter, has anyone been down this route and do the county councils actually try to prosecute?


Thanks for feeding this back. This is the sort of info I was after when I started this thread must have been a year ago. Sadly this sort of good information for parents is in danger of being lost in the noise of righteous indignation

For anybody that is even remotely interested I did apply for my eldest daughters up coming 1 day absence and it was not approved. I also spoke to the head before putting it in. My youngest I just wrote an informed the teacher as she is now in an independent school due to what can only be called bullying by her teacher.
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Quote:

she is now in an independent school

is she getting on well, @NickyJ? I hope so. snowHead
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pam w wrote:
Quote:

she is now in an independent school

is she getting on well, @NickyJ? I hope so. snowHead


Very well. She still finds it hard (the dyslexia doesn't go away) but is now willing to try, as instead of being put down constantly she is being encouraged. The result is a MUCH happier little girl.
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That's good news... snowHead
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You know it makes sense.
@NickyJ, http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/parents-can-take-kids-holiday-6647196

But I don't know how your system works. It seems it is the local council who should take action against the parents, not very good for the children. Shocked

Many here talk about the law , but I have not been able to find "a law" but a lot of adminitrative rules like:

https://www.gov.uk/school-attendance-absence/overview

but in the end it is just up to the school?

So this seems to be "the law" - but I don't know what i says i detail?

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1996/56/contents


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Mon 8-02-16 20:10; edited 1 time in total
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Regarding the law, this might be of some interest: http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/family/school-holiday-fines
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@swiftoid,
That is a very interesting article and reinforces my belief that I would claim they were ill.
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I love this thread but I'm not sure what the problem is?

1. There are a set of rules about absence which most people (on here at least) tend to disagree with.
2. People justify breaking the rules on the grounds of "educational experience" or simply "I know better".
3. Most on here really don't care about the poor teachers who,regardless of the rules, have to go in school holidays.
4. Most on here seem to be able to afford to go during school holidays but choose not to.
5. Those that choose to go in term time object to paying the small fine, to the extent that they would ask their child to lie even though they return to school with a suntan Smile
6. There is no consideration of the potential effect, of lots of parents taking children in the same week, on the learning experience of the rest of the class or on how the children who have been away 'catch up'.
7. Almost everyone on here considers their children are at an educational level that they can afford to miss a week of school, would they have the same opinion if their child was average or below? (It's a truism that most parents think their child is average or above)
8. Some of the people on this thread have children at public/independent schools to which the LEA rules don't apply.
9. The rules/law needs clarification.

I do believe that more headteacher discretion should be allowed but I don't believe that anyone has a right to take their child out of school just to go on a holiday.
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tarrantd wrote:

3. Most on here really don't care about the poor teachers who,regardless of the rules, have to go in school holidays.
.


Wow - where on earth did that come from? Firstly teachers are just as affected - next year my daughters schools feb half term are on different weeks which means my daughters teacher has the choice of taking her daughter out of school to match with the holidays of the school she teaches in, or not being able to use that week for a holiday.

Also the impact of the change of rules is already causing the price differences between term and holiday time to increase, that is only going to get worse. Meaning the teachers are going to suffer even more.


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Tue 9-02-16 8:44; edited 1 time in total
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Quote:

3. Most on here really don't care about the poor teachers who,regardless of the rules, have to go in school holidays.


Really???
Shocked

There are quite a few who are

A. Work in schools (Teachers, TA's or admin staff)
B. Have partners who work in schools
C. Have extended family who who in schools
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Quote:
I love this thread but I'm not sure what the problem is?


Your 1-9 contain lot's of "most" people and "some" people. That is where the problem lies.

Also why do you say "I do believe that more headteacher discretion should be allowed" - isn't that part of the problem?
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Layne wrote:
Quote:
I love this thread but I'm not sure what the problem is?


Your 1-9 contain lot's of "most" people and "some" people. That is where the problem lies.

Also why do you say "I do believe that more headteacher discretion should be allowed" - isn't that part of the problem?
I suspect he thinks, like I do, that discretion shoul be in the hands of head teachers. But, only if they have the will and power to use that discretion properly. There are plenty of references to the fact that teachers felt unable to refuse requests for term time holidays as it had become accepted as a right. I'd like to see the current system continue for a few years until the culture had changed and then gradually hand power back to teachers so that they can allow absence in truly 'special' circumstances, which in my view do not include cheaper holidays, busy pistes etc.
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@foxtrotzulu,
Quote:

which in my view do not include cheaper holidays,


I'd agree with the cheaper holiday reference, but what if we changed the premise and said "affordable". If it was genuinely a case take time out of school and be able to afford a family holiday (skiing or otherwise) or not have a holiday. Alternatively if there was no other date that the rest of the family could make due to work arrangements (or different school holiday dates), could they in your mind be seen as 'special'.

NB. I'm not suggesting means testing the decision to allow process, or indeed that it's a workable premise at all, but interested in your view.
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We don't have any choice if we want to go skiing, the school holidays simply don't fit our working lives. Well we do have a choice of course, either no skiing or take our daughter out of school for a week or two. To us (and our school as it happens) it's really not the big deal that politicians are making out. We always plan ahead and make sure our daughter has suitable homework to keep her going. She's only 6 anyway! Last year the teachers actually commented how confident and bubbly she was on her return to school. British winters are hardly inspiring anyway! When she gets a bit older we're going to see if she can attend the community school in resort for a few weeks. That would be genuinely educational.

If we could combine skiing with no loss of school time, then that would be ideal. But that ain't going to happen the way school holidays are arranged.
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@tarrantd,
Your points
1) the majority of the country disagree with teh rules so it is hardly surprising that most on here disagree.
2)People 'justify' breaking the rules because they think the rules are a bit silly and overbearing
3)Most people have a lot of sympathy for the teachers as far as I can tell, don't know where you got this idea from.
Friends who I ski with are teachers.
4)Personally I can't always get the time hence I need to have time with my children during term time. When I can I am happy to ski during the holidays. For others finances are obviously more pressing , no idea why you think most can afford it.
5)Well if you disagree with a rule you are generally unhappy to comply with the punishment for breaking it. Though as far as I can tell I am one of the very few who condones lying in these circumstances.
6)Most schools cope pretty well with the occasional absence.
7)My children's emotional and physical welfare is as important to me as their educational welfare and they got into uni anyway.
CoolA particular bugbear that ministers and administrators who by and large are rich and privately educated should enforce these laws on others and not apply it to themselves.
9)Revoking would be better.
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Quote:

and make sure our daughter has suitable homework to keep her going


So you expect the already overworked teacher to set some special homework to ensure your daughter keeps up, whist you choose take her out of school for a holiday? Hope I read that wrong. I'm all or taking kids on holidays, but I'm not on board with that decision impacting any one else i.e. taking up any extra teacher time before or on your return.
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Quote:

So you expect the already overworked teacher to set some special homework to ensure your daughter keeps up

Headteacher at the school I was a governor at set a clear policy - wouldn't set any special homework but would suggest a study book to buy. We thought that was sensible. But the challenge she faced was of families taking their children out for a month or more to visit relatives in Pakistan etc.
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Quote:

was of families taking their children out for a month or more to visit relatives in Pakistan etc.


Hence the whole zero tolerance policy coming into place I guess!
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kat.ryb wrote:
Quote:

was of families taking their children out for a month or more to visit relatives in Pakistan etc.


Hence the whole zero tolerance policy coming into place I guess!


Probably, but as if often the case Zero tolerance is used when organisations (or individuals) are not comfortable, willing or able to manage behaviour on an individual basis. One rule for the many or all because the few are too weak or scared to deal with the one or few.
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You know it makes sense.
kat.ryb wrote:
Quote:

and make sure our daughter has suitable homework to keep her going


So you expect the already overworked teacher to set some special homework to ensure your daughter keeps up, whist you choose take her out of school for a holiday? Hope I read that wrong. I'm all or taking kids on holidays, but I'm not on board with that decision impacting any one else i.e. taking up any extra teacher time before or on your return.


LOL! No special homework, just a 5 min chat at the parent's evening about what's coming up during the term and then preparing (as in us preparing, not the "poor overworked" teacher - as if most other professional jobs or running your own business are not anything like as demanding) some homework based around that. She's 6, so we're not talking about a thesis on rocket science.
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Just as a hypothetical situation, let's say a parent had £5k surplus funds in the year. They are keen skiers, but also really, really want some cosmetic surgery (for entirely aesthetic reasons, not for some medical ailment).

The surgery is £2500. A skiing holiday in term time is £2500 but in school holidays it is £5000.

Their local authority won't fine them due to their policies.

Should the parents a) play by the rules, going on a skiing holiday in the holiday period or b) Take the cheaper holiday, take child out of school (a cost to their education) and then pay for the cosmetic surgery.

It's a question of how many luxuries you can afford - one or two?
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Quote:

The surgery is £2500. A skiing holiday in term time is £2500 but in school holidays it is £5000.


Neither, 2.5k isnt going to get much cosmetic surgery, and 5k isnt going to get a great skiing holiday in half term. One or the other. Very Happy
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Quote:

Should the parents a) play by the rules, going on a skiing holiday in the holiday period or b) Take the cheaper holiday, take child out of school (a cost to their education) and then pay for the cosmetic surgery.


rolling eyes why not make it even crassier and more heavy handed? How about they use the £2.5k on coke and call girls instead just to make it easier for you?

In the end it is about whether parents should be allowed to make these decisions or not. You can argue about whether a week of schooling is worth £2500 I suppose. But I don't think there is any point in speculating what the save £2500 is to be used for - charity, paying down the mortgage or p1ssing up the wall.
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@larkim, if the LEA won't fine them it's because their holiday IS within the rules. All the LEAs allow a certain amount of unauthorised absence (sometimes the rules are expressed in terms of x number of sessions over y terms). Your example doesn't really make sense (and for the reasons @jedster sets out).
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Quote:

Probably, but as if often the case Zero tolerance is used when organisations (or individuals) are not comfortable, willing or able to manage behaviour on an individual basis. One rule for the many or all because the few are too weak or scared to deal with the one or few.




Oh agreed! I'm not in favour of this at all btw - just can see why its easier for schools to be like 'government says no' than consider things on an individual basis.
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ansta1 wrote:
@foxtrotzulu,
Quote:

which in my view do not include cheaper holidays,


I'd agree with the cheaper holiday reference, but what if we changed the premise and said "affordable". If it was genuinely a case take time out of school and be able to afford a family holiday (skiing or otherwise) or not have a holiday. Alternatively if there was no other date that the rest of the family could make due to work arrangements (or different school holiday dates), could they in your mind be seen as 'special'.

NB. I'm not suggesting means testing the decision to allow process, or indeed that it's a workable premise at all, but interested in your view.


Apologies for the slow response. I typed one up then the iPad died!

Two different scenarios:
1. Parents are unable to get time off to go on holiday with their children. I am pretty sympathetic to this one and, if I were in charge I would probably allow this. However, I am think about when it is completely impossible for parents to get time off. To a degree the parents choose their careers and when you have children you do have to accept that you can't 'have it all'. The question in my mind is "Is it impossible for the family to spend a week together at any stage during the year". Tied in with that is the question of how much family time those involved get thye rest of the year. If one or more parents works away for extended periods then I woulkd also be much more sympathetic. A good example is a member of the armed forces. Of course there are others who find themselves in this situation, but the vast majority of cases I have heard of are not ones in which it both truly impossible for the family to get away.
2. The financial aspect. Skiing holidays are seldom cheap however you do them, so I'm not sure how much sympathy I have for someone saying that the only time they can go skiing is in term-time. The family would probably save money by taking a break somewhere else during the summer holidays instead. The fact that we all like to ski and might prefer it to going to Spain/Greece is slightly irrelevant.

I'm not trying to convinve anyone else of these views above, just responding to your request to know what my attitude was.
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foxtrotzulu wrote:

To a degree the parents choose their careers and when you have children you do have to accept that you can't 'have it all'.


Yes it's a pain sometimes. If it wasn't for the kids and running a business we'd be skiing probably twice as much. It's all a compromise and taking them out of school for a week or two each winter is part of that compromise. Some people here obviously view that as being totally unacceptable, but then we view skiing as more of a lifestyle choice than a casual holiday. It's the only time we get to spend any quality time together as a whole family and there's no way we're going to get bullied out of that by politicians - which is what this stupid rule amounts to.
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Quote:

1. Parents are unable to get time off to go on holiday with their children. I am pretty sympathetic to this one and, if I were in charge I would probably allow this. However, I am think about when it is completely impossible for parents to get time off. To a degree the parents choose their careers and when you have children you do have to accept that you can't 'have it all'. The question in my mind is "Is it impossible for the family to spend a week together at any stage during the year". Tied in with that is the question of how much family time those involved get thye rest of the year. If one or more parents works away for extended periods then I woulkd also be much more sympathetic. A good example is a member of the armed forces. Of course there are others who find themselves in this situation, but the vast majority of cases I have heard of are not ones in which it both truly impossible for the family to get away.


Two of the large supermarket chains are major employers of women with school children in our area. One of them at least had a policy that you needed to work for them for at least 3 years before you even got a sniff of the school holiday dates. One mother I know had a partner who worked at Nissan, who still close down for factory fortnight at the end of July, and also for a week at Easter, also in school holidays. He also had to take time off over Christmas and New Year which his supermarket worker wife wasn't able to do. They had a week at most to take a holiday, usually in May after the Easter break, and then only if he volunteered to work one of his weeks during the close down to do maintenance jobs.
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Quote:

5k isnt going to get a great skiing holiday in half term

Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked

That's a whole other thread there
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Boris wrote:
Quote:

5k isnt going to get a great skiing holiday in half term

Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked

That's a whole other thread there


Its already running....

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=124017
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
We are taking the children out of school on Friday to travel down to the Alps. On the way down we are going to stop by some WWI trenches at a small museum in Belgium. It is an un-authorised absence, but the head and both of my children's teachers have said how stupid this is (that the absence can not be authorised as it doesn't count as 'exceptional circumstances), that they will learn more from this visit than they would do that day at school. in order to ski at half term we have to drive - flights would make it unaffordable. And driving there in one day is not something I fancy doing with two young children, so we need to go on the Friday. This then gives us the opportunity and the time to make a visit to historic sites, something we intend to repeat for years to come and I am happy that this more than compensates for the loss of one day's schooling at the end of the half-term/term.
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