OMG. Are these 'penalty notices' for taking children out of school in term time legally enforceable?

(768 Posts)
Utterlyastoundedmum Mon 22-Jul-13 14:53:42

Not interested in having a debate about whether it is 'right' to take a child out of schol, in term time for holidays etc. just wanting to know whether they can be enforced from a legal perspective.

I have just read the latest school newsletter and am to be honest, very annoyed indeed to find that as of September the school are changing its policy on authorising absences. Until now it's always been on a case by case basis but now they are saying no absence will be authorised whatsoever no matter what, except for one day for weddings ( with proof!)

The penalty is £60 or £120.

Not very fair on any parents such as myself who booked a holiday for a week in October as we really CANNOT get away in half term this year.

I will not be paying unless this is legally enforcible!!

TumbleWeeds Mon 22-Jul-13 16:11:12

Is it valid for the whole of the UK?

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 16:12:38

It is legally enforceable and they can enforce it on me next year when I will take DS out of school for 10 days for a holiday. They can suck on my (imaginary) balls.

It's another nice way of kicking the less rich amongst us, for the Tory government, who are the fuckwits that have implemented this fine system. If you can't afford out of term prices, you shall not go on holiday. Well, I can and I will. <flicks the birdie in the general direction of Westminster) And I will pay my fine £1 per week. smile

josephinebruce Mon 22-Jul-13 16:13:12

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

WorraLiberty Mon 22-Jul-13 16:14:35

PrettyKitty, so it would be just as educational in the school holidays won't it?

Of course it'll be more expensive, but then you'll just have to spend longer saving for it...if you feel your 5yr old's education will be so enhanced by a trip to a french theme park.

PrettyKitty1986 Mon 22-Jul-13 16:14:45

I pity you Josephine. You sound very bitter.

LauraSmurf Mon 22-Jul-13 16:14:52

It had been around for a while as PP have said. As a teacher I am pleased to see it. There are far to many parents who think very little of taking children out for a week 'because its cheaper'. Sorry but tough! If you want flexibility for holidays then home school, otherwise you have signed your child up for state education so you should follow the rules.

As teachers we NEVER get cheap holidays and NEVER get to go when it's quiet.

I know I'm about to be flamed but just speaking my opinion.

PrettyKitty1986 Mon 22-Jul-13 16:16:09

Worra that wasn't my point...of course it would have the same value whenever.

I was replying to the poster who seems adamant that no holiday has any educational value. Which is riduculous.

trolleycoin Mon 22-Jul-13 16:16:18

All very well if in school learning stuff. My DD (8) is fed up of watching Shrek etc and can't wait to be off to do all the things we have planned which include:

Going to France and experiencing culture, history, languages, food, museums, helping to plot the routes etc.
PE through walks, swimming, playground, outdoor adventure.
Getting crafty and baking with Grandma.
Behind the scenes tour of local theatre
Wildlife spotting at the local council park
Weekly library trips

I could go on. Just saying...

Nerfmother Mon 22-Jul-13 16:16:34

Dying grandparent wanted to pay for us to visit. School refused. If she was dead that would be fine. Academy.

Nerfmother Mon 22-Jul-13 16:16:45

She is now dead

bishboschone Mon 22-Jul-13 16:17:33

It's not a big deal though is it £60 . Let's face it you haven't paid full sack for a holiday .

LillethTheCat Mon 22-Jul-13 16:17:45

But why does each parent get fined and not just both together for each child? So if I choose to take my DCs out of school for a week and get fined so does DH? Surely it should be per child?

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 16:18:45

Josephine, she said AND PARIS as well as Disneyland. Can you not read?

AugustaProdworthy Mon 22-Jul-13 16:19:43

Sorry if this has been asked but academies operate outside the LEA don't they? So are academies charging or not?

CloudsAndTrees Mon 22-Jul-13 16:22:26

PrettyKitty, the same educational value would have been there if you had gone in the school holidays. You could also have used it as a way to teach them about saving up and waiting to get something you want if it would have cost you more.

GoodTouchBadTouch Mon 22-Jul-13 16:22:32

Right Lilleth.. WHY fine both parents? What if one SAH? Totally unfair

StuntGirl Mon 22-Jul-13 16:22:56

If all these activities are so educational perhaps you should take your children out of the educational system altogether, then you can bake/go on walks/whatever to your hearts content.

EBearhug Mon 22-Jul-13 16:23:15

Although given "the right to family life" under EU legislation, a legal challenge could be mounted as schools could be argued to interfere with it on that basis.
In some EU countries, e.g. NL, and it wasn't the only one, it's illegal to take children out of school during term time, as we discovered when trying to organise an on-site careers thing coordinated with other offices in Europe. So I'd be surprised if a challenge would get through.

AnotherWorld Mon 22-Jul-13 16:23:54

Travel broadens the mind. Of course it's educational.

Feels like lazy legislation to me. Easy to hit the parents going on holiday with an oversized fine who may have otherwise good attendance.

LadyBryan Mon 22-Jul-13 16:25:09

PrettyKitty I honestly cannot see how you can argue a trip to Disneyland is educational. The other parts of the trip to Paris maybe, but the Disneyland part? Really?

And the educational value would be the same whether term time/holiday time.

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 16:26:17

CloudsAndTrees, the "holidays can be educational" argument isn't in relation to the time suring which the holiday is taken. Kitty is saying that it is short-sighted to ban term-time holidays (which will effectively mean NO holidays at all for some families) as they can be educational/culturally stimulating.

And the saving up thing, how patronising? Some families scrimp and scrape all year to afford a cheapo term-time holiday. A holiday in school holiday time will be totally unaffordable to lots of people. hmm

As an aside, I expect the order of service for a wedding or funeral would constitute evidence.

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 22-Jul-13 16:27:33

I don't think that she said that the Disneyland part was educational. LadyBryan, but do all keep banging on about it, won't you?

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Mon 22-Jul-13 16:27:55

The educational value of going in the school holidays isn't there if you can't afford to go in the school holidays or if you want to go to something which isn't there in the school holidays (thinking specific exhibition OK if you live in London and can go after school )

I can't afford to go away regardless so from that pov it doesn't really effect me and I'm saving hard for my friends wedding and seriously £480 extra is a killer and the difference between going and not (DP is already not going to save money).

LadyBryan Mon 22-Jul-13 16:28:38

I suspect the real crux of the matter is what people class as holidays.

Just been having a look for arguments sake, and you can book a cottage in various places in the UK in August for £250. Which absolutely isn't extortionate.

We holiday in the UK regularly. We also holiday abroad. Both are holidays, all are in the school holidays!

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