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Taken the kids out of school

 Poster: A snowHead
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Agree with @shep. In Sweden the winter half term is week 7, 8, 9, or 10 depending on which part of the country you live. Resorts and ski apartment owners can get a few decent weeks, and it's not totally manic.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@shep,
Quote:

If all the energy and money parents spend trying to get around the rules were spent lobbying to change the school calendar the problem would go away;

Didn't government consult about a more flexible school year about a decade ago? Included shorter summer break and staggered holiday periods around the country?
As I recall, it failed mainly due to resistance to change by representatives of schools and the teaching profession. So we're still stuck with a school calendar based on kids helping gather in the harvest and festivals linked originally to winter solstice and spring equinox. Welcome to the 21st century.
Very Happy
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
You can take your kids out of school for any number of weeks for religious reasons.

As an atheist I find this discriminatory.

Sounds like we need a ski God and our excuse is sorted. Toofy Grin
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
jedster wrote:


And that I think is the answer - if children are doing well at school, parent's should be free to exercise their discretion and people who are not their parents or teachers should probably keep their noses out of the subject.


The day education funding is provided solely out of taxes paid by parents only is the day you get to demand the rest of society keeps its nose out wink


Quite.
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Quote:

The day education funding is provided solely out of taxes paid by parents only is the day you get to demand the rest of society keeps its nose out


Ah but you'll note I suggested that you leave it to teachers to decided if specific children will be disadvantaged by being taken out of school. My point is that there is no general truth about whether missing a week of school is going to be harmful to a child's educational attainment and only the teachers and the parents have the information to make a judgment. I'm not arguing that tax payers don't have a stake.

But just to be provocative, given I personally make a large net contribution to the State's finances does that mean that you don't get a say in how any of this effects my family (afterall you are not paying for my kids)? Equally, do I get more say on policy than someone whose tax payments don't cover the cost of the public services their family consumes?

I think that is a silly road to go down but it is what is implied by your comment. Let the people who know the child make the decisions for the child.
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@jedster, +1. One of the more balanced and sensible contributions to this thread. wink
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jedster wrote:
........
But just to be provocative, given I personally make a large net contribution to the State's finances does that mean that you don't get a say in how any of this effects my family (afterall you are not paying for my kids)? Equally, do I get more say on policy than someone whose tax payments don't cover the cost of the public services their family consumes?
.....


It has idly occurred to me that provision of education should be means tested.......... Just a thought, mind. Perhaps your case that would remove Dave of the Marmottes' interest in your children's education.
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Quote:

It has idly occurred to me that provision of education should be means tested.......... Just a thought, mind

Huh? Can't pay won't be educated (or can't pay enough won't be educated enough?)? It may be an idle thought to you but I'll bet it has occurred to some policy wonk of one party or another. The hard questions need to be asked but I hope that line of thinking is quickly dismissed.
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halfhand wrote:
Quote:

It has idly occurred to me that provision of education should be means tested.......... Just a thought, mind

Huh? Can't pay won't be educated (or can't pay enough won't be educated enough?)? It may be an idle thought to you but I'll bet it has occurred to some policy wonk of one party or another. The hard questions need to be asked but I hope that line of thinking is quickly dismissed.


I assumed they meant "free" education to be means tested. With the idea that you top up the cost of you child's education if you earn more than a certain amount. I wouldn't be entirely against that sort of thing if it meant that schools and teachers were properly funded, that we saw smaller class sizes, more teaching assistants and better SEN provision in school. Sadly I can imagine this happening without those things happening.
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@NickyJ, You might have assumed; I didn't. Your expansion of your assumption is just as bad IMV.
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I've done this for several years running, the school knew but we didn't seek official authorisation, nothing said

Won't be doing it this year though as it's running into my daughters GSCE year so we are stumping up for half term

Personally, I don't see any issue with it assuming the child in question isn't struggling and accepts they may have to make up some work.

The weeks people would tend to book appear to normally be run down weeks where they are actually doing very little in school

Schools can take the high ground once they stop having so many "training days" when you see half the staff out and about ! Shocked
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@tomlin169, Thanks for bringing the thread back OT Smile
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halfhand wrote:
@NickyJ, You might have assumed; I didn't. Your expansion of your assumption is just as bad IMV.


I am not saying it is a GOOD thing, it is something I have been getting undertones about for both education and NHS. It started with university education why should younger education provision be excempt? There is sarcasm there BTW.
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You know it makes sense.
tomlin169 wrote:
Schools can take the high ground once they stop having so many "training days" when you see half the staff out and about ! Shocked
The requirement for five training days per academic year was introduced in the 1980s by the then Secretary of State Kenneth Baker (some teachers still refer to them as Baker Days, although that's pretty rare these days). When the training days were introduced the time was found by reducing teachers' holiday allowance by one week rather than the number of teaching days per yea, so kids are in school exactly the same number of days as they were before the training days were introduced. A good school will get a lot of value out of those training days.
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rob@rar wrote:
tomlin169 wrote:
Schools can take the high ground once they stop having so many "training days" when you see half the staff out and about ! Shocked
The requirement for five training days per academic year was introduced in the 1980s by the then Secretary of State Kenneth Baker (some teachers still refer to them as Baker Days, although that's pretty rare these days). When the training days were introduced the time was found by reducing teachers' holiday allowance by one week rather than the number of teaching days per yea, so kids are in school exactly the same number of days as they were before the training days were introduced. A good school will get a lot of value out of those training days.


That doesn't appear to be either of ours then Very Happy
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tomlin169 wrote:
That doesn't appear to be either of ours then Very Happy
Sadly not all schools are good. Perhaps poor schools are more in need of training days...
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
rob@rar wrote:
tomlin169 wrote:
That doesn't appear to be either of ours then Very Happy
Sadly not all schools are good. Perhaps poor schools are more in need of training days...


Laughing maybe that's their aim !
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
tomlin169 wrote:
rob@rar wrote:
tomlin169 wrote:
That doesn't appear to be either of ours then Very Happy
Sadly not all schools are good. Perhaps poor schools are more in need of training days...


Laughing maybe that's their aim !
I doubt it. Probably worth pointing out that schools don't set these rules, they are imposed by government.
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achilles wrote:

It has idly occurred to me that provision of education should be means tested.......... Just a thought, mind. Perhaps your case that would remove Dave of the Marmottes' interest in your children's education.


Ah you are making a mistake that I am actually interested in any individual child's education beyond those I know personally. I'm primarily interested in ridding sHs of the woolly justification used to salve middle class consciences on doing something as crass as taking kids out of school. I do care generally in a societal sense about education and specifically in not leaving kids behind and I think there is still a lot of disrespect generally shown towards teachers and schools about stuff which is no longer within their control. I also believe there is a knock on impact of brighter and more privileged kids bending rules in that it sets a bad precedent re the value of attendance. But I fully expect most sHs to be clever enough to do the right thing by their own kids. & of course the main life lesson to be learnt is that skiing is fun, skiing when its quieter means you get more skiing= more fun and that sometimes sticking it to the man is the way you get fun.
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@Dave of the Marmottes, well said. Some people are quick to criticise schools for following the rules on attendance (they have no choice but to follow them) while also arranging school ski trips during term time. Maybe snowHeads typically aren't the right demographic to have benefitted from school ski trips, but there is no way that I would have been introduced to skiing (which has had a major impact on my life) without my school offering that opportunity, sometimes during school holidays, sometimes during the first week back after Christmas. Without the two or three teachers who put in a lot of effort to make those trips happen I very much doubt I would ever have started skiing. I think it's a great shame when this topic makes its perennial appearance schools and teachers get so much of the blame.
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Some schools do some of their "Baker days" in "twilight" hours - into the evenings, for equivalent time. So if teachers are seen "out and about" when kids are off for INSET days (or insect days, as my grand-daughters invariably call them) it might be about their having been working at other times. Most schools, including those at which my daughter and son in law teach (which are not bad schools), have far too great a turnover of staff, and quite a lot of stress-related absence, which is very bad for all concerned. Some teachers being taken on are ill-qualified (in various ways) for the job because good applicants for the many vacancies can be few and far between. They certainly need all the training they can get, and some serious thought needs to be given to the reason for the shortage of good teachers who will stick with difficult jobs. My daughter - probably over-conscientious - only copes by working flat out, 5 days a week (and some weekend time) for 3 days a week pay. She would sink, if she tried to work full-time hours.
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pam w wrote:
My daughter - probably over-conscientious - only copes by working flat out...
Perhaps overly-conscientious, but certainly not atypical. My girlfriend works a 70-hour week and a (un)reasonable fraction of her holidays (two weeks of the six week summer holiday this year, for example) to keep on top of the job. Her school has a high turnover and an ongoing battle to recruit staff including the most senior posts for which the salary is fairly decent.
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rob@rar wrote:
pam w wrote:
My daughter - probably over-conscientious - only copes by working flat out...
Perhaps overly-conscientious, but certainly not atypical......


That ties in with knowledge of teachers in the achilles' family network. They are now retired; from what I see, teachers have even more stress these days - respect to them.
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achilles wrote:
- respect to them.
Indeed. Teachers aren't unique in having to work hard if they are going to cope with the demands of their role and do a reasonable job - plenty of people work extremely hard no matter what job they do. But I do find it frustrating when unreasonable criticism signals a complete lack of respect for those teachers and those schools working hard to do their best for their students.
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.....[/quote]

It has idly occurred to me that provision of education should be means tested.......... Just a thought, mind. Perhaps your case that would remove Dave of the Marmottes' interest in your children's education.[/quote]

Isn`t it already? At least in part, by where parents can afford to live! Laughing



ps sorry the quote hasn`t copied properly. Clearly my parents took me out of school too often! Laughing
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PaulC1984 wrote:
You can take your kids out of school for any number of weeks for religious reasons.

As an atheist I find this discriminatory.

Sounds like we need a ski God and our excuse is sorted. Toofy Grin


Good idea. 'Jedi Knight' made the census list in 2001. I've prayed for snow more often than anything else.
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Themasterpiece wrote:
PaulC1984 wrote:
You can take your kids out of school for any number of weeks for religious reasons.

As an atheist I find this discriminatory.

Sounds like we need a ski God and our excuse is sorted. Toofy Grin


Good idea. 'Jedi Knight' made the census list in 2001. I've prayed for snow more often than anything else.


And does your god listen to his supplicants?
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Quote:

It has idly occurred to me that provision of education should be means tested.......... Just a thought, mind. Perhaps your case that would remove Dave of the Marmottes' interest in your children's education.


Implication of that would be a growth in the private sector and even less equality of educational opportunity. Personally I think that is the opposite direction to the one we should be going in
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You know it makes sense.
Quote:

Personally I think that is the opposite direction to the one we should be going in

Agreed. Equality of education provision would do a great deal to put right some of the problems of inequality generally - but it needs to start v early with high quality nursery care. By the time some kids start formal provision at 5 they are already pretty well doomed - any Reception teacher can pick them out in the first week. If not the first half day. If not the first half hour.....

Attendance is a key issue but the "problem" of holiday absence is just a tiny part - and not the most important part - of it.
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@pam w, I'd have to agree. My school, back then, truancy was a far bigger problem than a few days off on holiday.
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pam w wrote:
Quote:

Personally I think that is the opposite direction to the one we should be going in

Agreed. Equality of education provision would do a great deal to put right some of the problems of inequality generally - but it needs to start v early with high quality nursery care. By the time some kids start formal provision at 5 they are already pretty well doomed - any Reception teacher can pick them out in the first week. If not the first half day. If not the first half hour.....

Attendance is a key issue but the "problem" of holiday absence is just a tiny part - and not the most important part - of it.

No 1, equality of education does not mean the brainier kids or kids with a good attendance get term time holidays and others don't surely? No 2 all the little things add up don't they - school uniform punctuality, use of electronic devices, respect for others property, etc. Once you start letting things go it will rapidly spiral downwards. And one rule for one and not for another also undermines the whole set up.
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pam w wrote:


Attendance is a key issue but the "problem" of holiday absence is just a tiny part - and not the most important part - of it.


For sure but little things add up. Say you are a well-intentioned but over stretched single working parent battling with a child who is at risk of developing their own truancy pattern. It's a tiny bit harder to get through to them the importance of attendance if the more privileged 25% of the class has buggered off on jollidays that week.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
PaulC1984 wrote:
You can take your kids out of school for any number of weeks for religious reasons.

As an atheist I find this discriminatory.

Sounds like we need a ski God and our excuse is sorted. Toofy Grin


What, like this one? http://www.gobreck.com/events/ullr-fest
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@Dave of the Marmottes, in my school, "over stretched single working parent battling with a child who is at risk of developing their own truancy pattern" was not the issue.

Rather less post-modern romantic.
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@under a new name, we didn't all grow up in Trainspotting wink But yes perhaps I was hypothesing an example where the rich kids buggering off sking might have an impact. Obviously less likely to be as momentous with kids who systematically truant because their parents don't give a toss and they know the authorities can't really control them.
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Quote:

we didn't all grow up in Trainspotting But yes perhaps I was hypothesing an example where the rich kids buggering off sking might have an impact. Obviously less likely to be as momentous with kids who systematically truant because their parents don't give a toss and they know the authorities can't really control them.


Also, at least in theory the rich kids are more likely to have parents that can afford to go whenever they want, whereas the poorer kids parent's may have no option but to go during term time, or not go at all.

Of course the rich kids parent's may well prefer to go in term time too!
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Quote:

It's a tiny bit harder to get through to them the importance of attendance if the more privileged 25% of the class has buggered off on jollidays that week.

apart from the 25% being a silly number I don't really buy the argument.
If a child is taken out with the school's support because
a) their attendance record is good
b) they work hard
c) they are on track
I'd have thought that provided an incentive for parents and kids to do their bit.
What I think is corrosive is to set arbitrary rules that apply without considering the situation of the individual child and therefore fall in to disrepute encouraging hardworking kids and supportive parents to be subversive.
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Quote:

apart from the 25% being a silly number I don't really buy the argument.
If a child is taken out with the school's support because
a) their attendance record is good
b) they work hard
c) they are on track
I'd have thought that provided an incentive for parents and kids to do their bit.
What I think is corrosive is to set arbitrary rules that apply without considering the situation of the individual child and therefore fall in to disrepute encouraging hardworking kids and supportive parents to be subversive.


I think that makes a lot of sense, if you encourage kids to attend 90% of the time (or 95% or 99% whatever the target may be) with the knowledge that if they meet that target they will qualify for time off for good behaviour then maybe it could encourage those who take the odd day off to keep up their attendance so they can get a whole week off with both the school and their parents blessing!
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jedster wrote:
Quote:

It's a tiny bit harder to get through to them the importance of attendance if the more privileged 25% of the class has buggered off on jollidays that week.

apart from the 25% being a silly number I don't really buy the argument.
If a child is taken out with the school's support because
a) their attendance record is good
b) they work hard
c) they are on track
I'd have thought that provided an incentive for parents and kids to do their bit.
What I think is corrosive is to set arbitrary rules that apply without considering the situation of the individual child and therefore fall in to disrepute encouraging hardworking kids and supportive parents to be subversive.


Is 25% really that unrealistic in a generally well off area if you gave parents a free hand for the week before half term? I don't think having clear rules that are consistently applied is corrosive. They aren't arbitrary, the expectation is you will not take kids out of school for anything within your control. That's your contract with the education authority. I don't think it's realistic to consider the situation of each individual child and even if it were how you stop teachers making arbitrary decsions e.g. skiing good, beach bad; museum good, theme park bad.

I can see how it might stop the whining if you gave kids a 5% skive credit but then you'd just move the whining to families where the kids have been ill or had a family bereavement or whatever.
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Quote:

I don't think it's realistic to consider the situation of each individual child and even if it were how you stop teachers making arbitrary decsions e.g. skiing good, beach bad; museum good, theme park bad.


It used to work fine though...the problem is now that because of (presumably) some parents/families/children abusing the system by repeatedly not turning up it has ruined it for everyone else.
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