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Taking young Kids out of school for skiing

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Has anybody any experience with schools whilst taking kids skiing in term time ? our kids got away with it as they were still in 'lessons' and the ir skiing went towards their GSE results..has it changed ???
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I think it comes down to the head teacher. My primary kid has had authorised time off for 'ski training' and races (and she's no Mikaela, purely for fun), but that's only about 6-7 days a year. I once met a family who had an authorised trip as it was a 'cultural experience' and their daughter had to do a little project.
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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?
We're in Scotland though where it might be a little more relaxed?
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We did all through primary for two children.

Informed the school of exactly what we were doing, specifically the head. Her words in return were "fully support families skiing, think it's a great thing to do, but can't sign it off as authorised. Will not take any action regarding reporting absence, you go unofficially with my blessing".

We had otherwise a perfect attending record all through school and good relationship with teachers regarding behaviour of children. In other words, acknowledged as low risk and always met school curriculum.

There where many there with all sort of reasons of absence and poor attendance. We just tried to stay above board and keep our heads down to comply.

Wonderful time spent skiing away during from half term too Very Happy
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Skiing is more important than education.

Ring them in sick for a week.
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Quote:

Informed the school of exactly what we were doing, specifically the head. Her words in return were "fully support families skiing, think it's a great thing to do, but can't sign it off as authorised. Will not take any action regarding reporting absence, you go unofficially with my blessing

This is absolutely the right way to do it.

Quote:

Ring them in sick for a week

and this is absolutely the wrong way.... turn your kids into little liars. rolling eyes
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
... Or they'll nark you out in a heartbeat, unless flu leaves goggle tan lines.

Be honest and if you have to do it, see if there is an inset week you can do it on too, as schools are often only required to report if a full weeks absence is recorded.

If you get fined, accept it as an occupational hazard and pay promptly, then its normally quite reasonable. We got fined £60 when we went away a few years ago, which is cheap compared to the premium you pay for peak weeks.
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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!
Based on our local area, a lot more of the schools are now reporting the absence and fines are being handed out. From what we hear, there is a lot more pressure that came around late 2017/early 2018 for schools to actually report to the local authority.

We took our daughter out 2 years ago with no fine, then last year we got a fine. Different schools, we asked both times for permission, and it was not authorised. We did find out from other parents of the school we didn't get fined at they were fined last year as well, and that school's head was very pragmatic and sensible.

Our daughter on both occasions had 100% attendance up to the point we took her out.

Regardless of the situation though the fine was £120 (£60 per parent per child...go figure) but the saving was over £1k.
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Quote:

Regardless of the situation though the fine was £120 (£60 per parent per child...go figure) but the saving was over £1k.
and pick a quiet week in the slopes and the experience is usually hugely better.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
We did it in Jan. Spoke to the Head before Christmas, she asked if it was for family reasons which it kind of is but not in the sense she meant... She didn't sign it off but no issues otherwise and no fines.

Personally, I think there's as much value in learning something like skiing, a new environment, a different teacher, a different skillset, etc as there is in spending a week in school, plus we brought along books for them to work on as well.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Quote:

see if there is an inset week you can do it on too, as schools are often only required to report if a full weeks absence is recorded.

good idea
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
The “fines” are nominal compared to the savings, just pay promptly and don’t complain - who knows, the head may relax their attitude in future years and you always catch more flies with honey than with vinegar!
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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
Frosty the Snowman wrote:
and pick a quiet week in the slopes and the experience is usually hugely better.
Interesting counter point to this, is we found our daughter loved the ski lessons but really missed out on English company, there was only 1 other child on her lesson that spoke English, and none at the smaller chalet hotel we stayed in. Its not the be all and end all BUT we are going back this time in April during easter break and we are hopeful there will be more English children on her lessons for her to talk to.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
ski3 wrote:
We did all through primary for two children.

Informed the school of exactly what we were doing, specifically the head. Her words in return were "fully support families skiing, think it's a great thing to do, but can't sign it off as authorised. Will not take any action regarding reporting absence, you go unofficially with my blessing".

We had otherwise a perfect attending record all through school and good relationship with teachers regarding behaviour of children. In other words, acknowledged as low risk and always met school curriculum.

Very Happy


And that's exactly how we did it,and the first couple of years of secondary too, picking weeks where there was at least one day of the school week missing anyway, going on the last day of term etc. when it was watch dvd day etc. As it happens I was a governor at the school over all that time, the head had no problem with responsible parents who did this after weighing it up properly but he came under increasing pressure from the LA / government people to clamp down as despite being the best school in the area, others had a better attendance record. ( We were also convinced some of the other schools were manipulating their attendance figures but that's another story.) I am not a governor now but can imagine the pressure from above to toe the official line of zero tolerance is probably even heavier.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
It's ironic that after some years of a government which purports to be rolling back the state and central control HMG's control over many aspects of education has been increasing steadily. This is the bossiest government we've had for a while. And they wonder why there's a crisis of recruitment and retention of good staff, especially head teachers. rolling eyes
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@pam w, If you think it's bossy where you are then you would have a shock with the Welsh version, the Cardiff Stasi is a description I have head a few times Laughing
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Did it for days at the end of term for skiing and tagged week/10 days onto half terms for family trips to China, only in infant and primary though. Never 'asked' always informed. Girls have already made it clear they do not want to miss days now they are in senior school
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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?
Having grown up in Cardiff, @skitow, I can believe that.
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We used to do it. Have 2 in primary school and 2 in secondary.

Our trip wasn't authorised by the primary school but the secondary school let us use it as Sports Training or some such (the boys were dry slope racing at the time and were in the ESF performance lessons.)

I spent ages writing a letter to the Primary head about reasons for taking them out of school including safer, quieter slopes and airports, cultural development and pointed out their otherwise perfect attendance record. But it was dismissed out of hand and we were fined - the head "sympathised" but said it was out of his control and he couldn't authorise it.

So we were fined, £60 per parent per child. £240 seemed a reasonable price to pay so we did the same the following year only to be told that you can only be fined once and if you re-offend you go straight to court and both my wife and I would get criminal records!!

Luckily we were booked with a very understanding small independent company who let us change our booking from January to Christmas. The snow was crap and I'm still bitter!!

All in all I think it totally depends on your head, there doesn't seem to be any consistency.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@jonathancarty, To be fair, whilst I am sure some heads are more prepared to put their head (sounds silly that Laughing ) above the parapet, when the likelihood of it being blown off gets almost certain, why would they do it ?
I think it depends more on the authorities above them.
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What really gets me is people having to worry about this. It's insane. Meanwhile God knows how many kids are being home "schooled" by nutters. My wife is a teacher and totally backs you all... just go.

We are moving out to Canada...partially because of this kind of claptrap.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Well, at least the policy is working... Ah...
Quote:
unauthorised absence up from 7.4m to 8.9m
60% avg. Price hike for trips in school holidays



https://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/2017/10/19/court-ruling-term-time-holidays-backfires-figures-show-surge/
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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!
We had a letter last year (Y1) and this year (Y2) from the head saying it would go down as unauthorised, which is exactly what we expected as that's the rule. Touch wood, our borough hasn't started fining yet.

Class teachers were both great, this year she got to do a presentation about the week.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
jonathancarty wrote:

So we were fined, £60 per parent per child. £240 seemed a reasonable price to pay so we did the same the following year only to be told that you can only be fined once and if you re-offend you go straight to court and both my wife and I would get criminal records!!



Really?

Never heard that before.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
It's a shame schools can't be find for failing to provide pupils with a competent, qualified teacher for every lesson.

The current law is pathetic
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@narbs, If it goes to court, yes you would, if found guilty. How much of a problem that is / would be I have no idea.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
narbs wrote:
jonathancarty wrote:

So we were fined, £60 per parent per child. £240 seemed a reasonable price to pay so we did the same the following year only to be told that you can only be fined once and if you re-offend you go straight to court and both my wife and I would get criminal records!!



Really?

Never heard that before.


When we had a similar thread going a few years ago (it got to many pages of you manage to find it) a snowhead got a similarly scary letter after taking their children out and paying the fine.
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