I need to take DS's out of school in term time, advice please?

(59 Posts)
mummyplonk Thu 10-Jan-13 14:46:02

Hiya, I have DS's in years 3 and 2. My brother (their only Uncle) has just proposed to his lovely girlfriend, they are going to get married in Novemebr next year. One problem, he lives in Australia sad we obviously hardly ever see him, we have never been able to afford to go there and he has announced he is going to pay for all of our flights and our parents so there will be 6 of our family and 100 of her smile.

I have never taken them out of school before but we are not going to miss his wedding for the world. It seems like an exceptional circumstance to me, do you think so too? and because of the distance I was thinking about asking for 3 weeks? Is there a maximum amount of time they will authorise does anyone know? This is probably the only time in our life we will all go there, accomodation provided so would you ask 3 as well or try and push it to 4 weeks? Thanks for reading.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 17-Jan-13 20:24:14

I find it unbelievable that LEAs are able to do this. If school was compulsory I could understand it a bit more. I know that the dc in question are on the school roll, but surely they aren't going to miss much if they take a month out.
I'm sure the fines only serve to fill the depleted pot of local government, just like any other gov fines these days.

If it were me I would go for it anyway, but also keep a journal of all the subjects, topics etc their visit included.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Fri 18-Jan-13 14:24:23

Does your brother have any flexibility over the date of the wedding? I would suggest you either add on two weeks after the Oct half term hols or 2 weeks prior to the Xmas hols. Our head teacher is happy to approve 2 weeks for holidays so long as it's all in one block.

Frikadellen Fri 18-Jan-13 17:16:07

Well I live in Kent and we had the following send to us on the 9th of November 2012

The Educational Welfare Officer from Kent County Council’s Attendance Service visited {name of school}
last term to ask us to remind parents that ‘regular and punctual attendance at school is
both a legal requirement and essential for pupils to maximise their educational
opportunities.”, and to advise parents that under section 444 of the Education Act 1996
penalty notices (fines) will be issued to those parents whose children have unauthorised
absence. Under new guidance issued by Kent County Council the following will apply from the
beginning of term 2:

A parent of any pupil who has 10 unauthorised sessions in any two terms will be issued
with a penalty notice. By a session we mean 1 morning or 1 afternoon - therefore 10
sessions is equal to 5 days.

A parent of any pupil who is late for more than 10 sessions in any two terms will be
issued with a penalty notice.

A parent of any pupil who has had 10 consecutive unauthorised absences will be issued
with a penalty notice.

A penalty notice is a fine of £120 (reduced to £60 if paid within 28 days of receipt of notice) per
parent per child. So if a parent has two children with unauthorised absences or late sessions,
the fine would be £480 (each parent would be fined £120 per child. A parent also counts as a
partner who may be living at the same house as a child. KCC’s view is that any adult living in
that house has a responsibility to get the children to school). The fine is not issued by school
but by KCC attendance service. The attendance service regularly visits to look at the registers
and monitor each pupil’s attendance.

What do we mean by unauthorised? Any absence that is not authorised by the school is an
unauthorised absence. Examples of this may be: holidays, days off at the beginning or end of
terms to extend a holiday, days off because of birthdays, any absence for which the school has
not received a written explanation within a week of the date of absence.

When will an absence be authorised? For visits to the doctors or emergency dentist (routine
visits to the dentist should be made after school or in the holidays), visits to open days at other
schools, music exams etc. However if it is suspected that a false claim of illness is made in
order to get an authorised absence a doctor’s letter will be requested.If in doubt whether an absence is authorised or unauthorised please speak to us. If for any reason you feel there are exceptional circumstances for a holiday to be authorised you must write to the governing body, via the Headteacher, using the form in the school entrance foyer.

izzyishappilybusy Fri 18-Jan-13 17:28:15

If they are going to start fining us for being late I'm dead in the water.

I have real issues with ds refusing for go to school (there are reasons) and he is late nearly every day.

I refuse to leave him crying at the classroom door.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 18-Jan-13 17:31:04

I don't think that the KCC are acting legally. The Education Act clearly states it is the responsibility of the parent to provide an education for their children. This can be outsourced to a school or otherwise.
I would argue they were receiving an education and any fine is the responsibility of the parent not another adult.

ajandjjmum Fri 18-Jan-13 17:37:33

We chose to take the DC away from school for a few days just before the end of the summer term - they were actually back for the final couple of days. It was for family reasons that we thought were important - one school was fine about it, the other a bit iffy - and it was totally the opposite way to what we expected.

DH went and saw both heads and explained the circumstances and our reasoning. We were asked to put it in writing, and they approved.

If I were you OP, before you go and see the Head, I would spend some time finding out about 'educational' trips that you will undertake with the DC, and I think someone's earlier suggestion of a scrapbook is a great idea!

izzyishappilybusy Fri 18-Jan-13 17:39:24

I don't get how a penal notice can be back dated per session.

I've read the link from below and it looks like £60 per notice to me.

Its just going to make foreign holidays the province of the well off.

lljkk Fri 18-Jan-13 17:39:45

I think you need to chat to your school, informally, OP.

I've not had trouble taking mine out for 2-3 weeks, once every 4 years, to see family who live 13 hours flight away. We don't really go on holiday, otherwise.

ivykaty44 Fri 18-Jan-13 20:51:17

Recognising the issues?

Schools may wish to take account of the following when making judgements about requests for extended visits:


¨A visit involving family overseas can have an entirely different significance to the notion of a “holiday”
¨Visits may be an important part of a child’s identity and cultural links as he/she grows up
¨Parents may feel that the reason for their visit outweighs the disruption to their child’s education. Perhaps maintaining family links has a greater significance and pressure in different societies
¨It is often very difficult for ethnic minority families to maintain links during circumstances of family bereavements or sickness of relatives, especially when long distances and high prices are involved

Acknowledging the above issues should allow for a more positive and constructive dialogue with parents.

found the above in this

I can remember my father being granted 6 weeks leave from work as he worked within a large mixed group of Indians who where allowed 6 weeks holiday to go home every 4 years, apparently at the time it was not allowed to prevent them from going, my dad wanted to visit australia and visit his uncle and so was also allowed the time every four years.

i have no idea legally where the local authority stands in trying to prevent visiting family overseas. But would take a guess that the way the above is worded as some bearing on that - just a hunch

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