Has anyone had experience with taking their child out of school for longer than 10 days? - HotUKDeals
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Has anyone had experience with taking their child out of school for longer than 10 days?

Mrs.Z Avatar
6y, 5m agoPosted 6 years, 5 months ago
Afternoon all.

My son is in reception at a local primary school.
We have family in Morocco, including his grandfather who recently became very sick. My son has never met his grandfather so last minute we booked a ticket for him to fly their with his uncle (who was already booked to travel). We booked just last Sunday night for him to fly on Monday morning, with the intention of him staying for 3 weeks (though we haven't booked the return ticket yet).
The children were due back to school from half term that same day. When I went to tell the school they said I had to write a letter to the headteacher asking for authorisation for his absence, which I did. I also gave him the confirmation email showing how last minute we had booked the flight.
Today the headteacher wrote back to me that he is unable to grant compassionate leave as I have not stated an exact date for my son to go back to school (I stated in the letter that he would be back to school no later than 28th June). He said that if I can provide an exact date then he MAY grant compasionate leave for UP TO 10 school days. The printed part of the letter states than an unauthorised absence of more than 3 days can lead to a fine and longer than 10 days can lead to the child being taken off role.

Has anyone dealt with this kind of thing before or can please offer some advice? What would happen if they took my son off role - can I try and get him back in?

Because it may be the last time they see their grandfather and for how much it has cost us to send my son and his sister to morocco I would like them to make the most of it and stay for the 3 weeks with all their family - some of whom my son has never met. It will be over £200 cheaper for them to fly back on the 3rd week so I could swallow a £50 fine if neccessary but obviouly don't want to lose my son's school place. I have never taken my son out of school for holidays and never intend to. My daughter attends a different school and they have been fine about the 3 weeks absence.

Any help appreciated - thanks x
Mrs.Z Avatar
6y, 5m agoPosted 6 years, 5 months ago
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#1
Is your son's class full? ie 30 in the class and is the school oversubscribed? At our school children on extended holidays can be taken off role then added back on as long as the place hasn't been taken.
suspended#2
Personally i would be going to see the head teacher face to face... different schools have their own policies on matters and a face to face meeting may yield more sympathetic results :)
#3
alisonfitz
Is your son's class full? ie 30 in the class and is the school oversubscribed? At our school children on extended holidays can be taken off role then added back on as long as the place hasn't been taken.


I am not sure if the class is full but the school generally isn't oversubscribed - if it is then not as over subscribed as others in the area. That's why I am worried if my son loses his place will they just go straight ahead and offer out his place to someone else or will I get a chance to appeal?
#4
I'd get in touch with your local authority and get advice from them. I know that the rules were changed to stop families taking holidays during school term when they are cheaper but if this is the first time you've done this it does seem a bit extreme to take him off the school role. Headteachers, in my experience, can be a bit power hungry and **** so go above yours and see what your local authority has to say about it.
#5
all that fine business is bull, i wanna know what they spend it on....

OP i would go in and see head face to face and see what happens from there
#6
jonny619447
Personally i would be going to see the head teacher face to face... different schools have their own policies on matters and a face to face meeting may yield more sympathetic results :)


Yeah I could do, I am very shy though and not so good at arguing my case in person - I can write a good letter though! :)

Am I seriously taking the mick asking for 15 days? I personally feel it's rather harsh to threaten taking my son off role when the situation has been fully explained to them :-(
#7
I wonder whether taking a child off role means that the school's attendance record won't be adversely affected... but that might not be the case. I'd agree with the earlier post that suggests making an appt with the Head. I hope you get it sorted.
#8
I really appreciate the posts so far guys and am taking everything posted into consideration - just have to pop out for an hour to take my Mum home then will be back online :thumbsup:
#9
Mrs.Z
Yeah I could do, I am very shy though and not so good at arguing my case in person - I can write a good letter though! :)

Am I seriously taking the mick asking for 15 days? I personally feel it's rather harsh to threaten taking my son off role when the situation has been fully explained to them :-(


How about this.

A) Err Hi Mr Headteacher: His Grandfather is going to die fairly soon, and as he has never met him before, we wish that we spend a few weeks or even up to a month in his final days.

If he says no to that, then **** him and just go anyway, and if they fine, then take it to court.
#10
quick word with LEA and threaten to have a chat with your MP.
suspended#11
Mrs.Z
Yeah I could do, I am very shy though and not so good at arguing my case in person - I can write a good letter though! :)

Am I seriously taking the mick asking for 15 days? I personally feel it's rather harsh to threaten taking my son off role when the situation has been fully explained to them :-(


The point is not to argue!

If you asked me for a fiver in a sombre, little distressed way, there is more chance of me giving it to you then if you argued your point about why i should give it to you.

people buy people (SALES TERM)... BUY HIM! :thumbsup:
#12
if you get an appt with the head, and it doesnt go your way i would have a word with your MP and then maybe even local rag, wont look very good for the school not allowing a child to vist a dying relative
#13
I would get advice from the LEA so you know what their rules are before you go to see the headteacher. They makes the rules not the headteachers and it might be less stressful this way.
banned 1 Like #14
I am surprised the headteacher has not asked you in for a meeting, its a bit unfair ranting about the head when they have guidelines to follow, maybe you could phone the LEA yourself and ask where you stand, they have reasosn for what is happening and probably hear a sob story for most who push for time out
#15
The head teacher at your school seriously needs to get some perspective on this.
1. Your child is in reception, 3 weeks off is hardly going to be detrimental to his education.
2. You have given a valid reason for the absence
3. The funding for your son is already in place at the school, the amount of paperwork it will take to remove him from role and replace him will not be worth their while, they know this and are merely trying to assert some authority.
4. I strongly advise you make an appointment with the head, if that isnt an option for you, write a letter stating your reasons (again) for taking your son out of school, give an exact date, even if its a later date than you expect. Also in the letter state that you are sending a copy to the Head of the school governers and the local education authority.

I worked in a school office for 6 years and have never heard anything so ridiculous, you have enough stress with impending loss of a close relative. Ignore the empty threats and take your son to see his grandfather.
banned#16
bitseylango
The head teacher at your school seriously needs to get some perspective on this.
1. Your child is in reception, 3 weeks off is hardly going to be detrimental to his education.
2. You have given a valid reason for the absence
3. The funding for your son is already in place at the school, the amount of paperwork it will take to remove him from role and replace him will not be worth their while, they know this and are merely trying to assert some authority.
4. I strongly advise you make an appointment with the head, if that isnt an option for you, write a letter stating your reasons (again) for taking your son out of school, give an exact date, even if its a later date than you expect. Also in the letter state that you are sending a copy to the Head of the school governers and the local education authority.

I worked in a school office for 6 years and have never heard anything so ridiculous, you have enough stress with impending loss of a close relative. Ignore the empty threats and take your son to see his grandfather.


^^^^^^ This
banned#17
I would have just written to the head, explained he WILL be out of school untill a certain date and let that be that, i wouldnt ask permission, the head doesnt ask me for permission when he takes holidays in term times either.

no point in face to face, state your facts, and he has it in writing, thats all he needs.
#18
You can ask for up to 10 days normally - however, your circumstances are exceptional and you need to explain them properly to the head. I would make an appointment as soon as possible (maybe take someone else with you if you don't feel confident about it) and be a bit tearful?!

http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/index/family_parent/education/problems_at_school.htm

Holidays during term time

A school can agree to let your child take off up to ten school days a year for holidays. However, this depends on the policy of the school's governing body, and they do not have to agree.

If you want to take your child out of school during term time, you should talk to the school's head teacher first. In England, if you take your child out of school without the head teacher's permission, you could be fined. Failure to pay the fine within 28 days could result in prosecution.

If you want your child to take more than ten days off for a holiday during term time, you must get permission from the school's governing body. In your child's school, it may be the head teacher who has responsibility for making this decision. If the head teacher refuses to let your child have the time off, you can ask the governing body to consider your request. However, most governing bodies will only agree to allow more than ten days' holiday in what they consider to be exceptional circumstances.
#19
I'm surprised that they have said that they will take your son off roll. As far as I am aware, children can only be taken off the roll of a school when they have moved to another school, unless they are missing from education (think that takes about 4 weeks continuous absence but I can check). The worst that can happen is your son's leave will be unauthorised and you may be fined.
#20
Thanks everyone for all your advice.

I am going to phone up first thing in the morning and try to get an appoitment with the headteacher. The problem is that after tomorrow he will not be in until Tuesday and I just don't know whether I should just book the return flight for the date I want or if I should wait and risk the prices going up or the flight becoming full.

I found these people who I am going to phone in the morning and I found a number for my borough's Education Welfare Service, should I phone them?
I will also try and find the details for the governing body of the school

Susannah, may I ask how you have your info? Is your work school/education related?
#21
Usually absence is authorised for 2 weeks as long as the child's attendance has been over 95%.

Look at the schools website there should be some policies on there. Normally special permission needs to be sought for over the 2 weeks.

Hope that helps.
#22
Terrible excuse, you will ruin your kids life by taking them out of school for this period of time.
#23
Mrs.Z
Thanks everyone for all your advice.

I am going to phone up first thing in the morning and try to get an appoitment with the headteacher. The problem is that after tomorrow he will not be in until Tuesday and I just don't know whether I should just book the return flight for the date I want or if I should wait and risk the prices going up or the flight becoming full.

I found these people who I am going to phone in the morning and I found a number for my borough's Education Welfare Service, should I phone them?
I will also try and find the details for the governing body of the school

Susannah, may I ask how you have your info? Is your work school/education related?


I'm a SENCO (Special Needs Co-ordinator) at a Secondary school.
#24
Susannah
I'm a SENCO (Special Needs Co-ordinator) at a Secondary school.


Thanks very much, will have to see if I can get hold of the headteacher tomorrow - otherwise I am just going to have to book the flight and notify them by letter :thumbsup:
suspended#25
Jelly
Terrible excuse, you will ruin your kids life by taking them out of school for this period of time.


Are you just begging for attention? Ok all eyes are on you now... well done you womble!
#26
Jelly
Terrible excuse, you will ruin your kids life by taking them out of school for this period of time.


damn the final three weeks of reception are the most important of a childs life....how did i forget!?! :roll:

mrs z. im taking my son out for 2weeks, he is year 2. head of infants wasnt too happy but way i see it is its not something i do normally and all he is missing is the infant concert! he done his SATs and all. i too dont like to go in and have chat, but my sons teacher was a bit of a biatch this year to him so i did make an appt. to go see her. she did call back and apologise bla bla, but just goes to show that making appointments and speaking directly is the only way to deal with schools. good luck
#27
thanks again. The headteacher isn't in today and won't be in till tuesday now which has left me very stuck as i haven't booked the return flights yet, was going to wait until i had seen the headteacher :-(
banned#28
Mrs.Z
thanks again. The headteacher isn't in today and won't be in till tuesday now which has left me very stuck as i haven't booked the return flights yet, was going to wait until i had seen the headteacher :-(


did the teacher ask your permission for a day off in term time?

get your flights booked, dont worry about the trumped up busybody, all the time you delay booking and delay by waiting for the headmaster all goes to show them its not important family business, and they love to say no.

Get it booked, and tell them when you think you might be back, thats plenty good enough
banned#29
Jelly
Terrible excuse, you will ruin your kids life by taking them out of school for this period of time.


^ I agree.
#30
tell the headmaster to stick his authorisation up his arse....on your way to the airport pop into the school and crap on his desk
1 Like #31
Look at http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Parents/Schoolslearninganddevelopment/SchoolLife/DG_4016103

It does state in their that:

Holidays in term time can only be agreed by the headteacher or someone with appropriate authority. Schools can use their discretion to grant up to 10 days’ authorised absence in a school year if both:

the parent the child normally lives with applies to the school in advance of the holiday
there are special reasons for the holiday
Schools can only agree to more than 10 school days’ absence in any school year in exceptional circumstances.

Schools must judge each holiday request on a case by case basis. They can take into consideration:

the time of year for the proposed trip
if it's near any exam dates
your child's overall attendance pattern
any holidays already taken in the school year
the age and stage of education of your child
your wishes
the ability of your child to catch up the work that they have missed
the reason why you are taking the time off during term time
Schools should not take into consideration:

availability of cheap holidays
availability of desired accommodation
poor weather experienced in school holiday periods

The bold bits i feel you have a case with...it is an exceptional circumstance which the school can grant, if they refuse, like other people have said, contact you Local Authority.

Obviously all schools differ, i've just asked if i can take my daughter away for 10 days during school term, she's in Reception and all the school said was that they dont grant permission, its my choice. If i want to then i can tell them and they agree.
overlap with the beginning or end of term
banned#32
vibeone
^ I agree.


Did your parents frequently take you out of school for long periods VB1?
banned#33
guv
Did your parents frequently take you out of school for long periods VB1?


Nope.

I know what you're doing, but heres a short anecdote:

I won attendance record one year... then comedically failed to make the presentation ceremony due to a family emergency.

Oopsies.
#34
Just spoke to someone at the LEA and she was rather sympathetic - she said she will speak to the Education Welfar Officer and ask her to phone me.

The LEA said that it is entirely up to the headteacher, though she thinks that it's unlikely that my son will be taken off role
banned#35
vibeone
Nope.

I know what you're doing, but heres a short anecdote:

I won attendance record one year... then comedically failed to make the presentation ceremony due to a family emergency.

Oopsies.


A kid at my eldest's old school (who left to go to secondary at the same time) was given an award for being the only person in his school / the whole of the london Borough of Bromley, who had a 100% attendance record for the whole of his Primary school career! Thats some record for a youngster!. Almost as good as my no sickness at work since Easter 2002!

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