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Taking kids out of school term time

 
 
TwistedBanana
Townsperson

TwistedBanana
Taking kids out of school term time
13th May 2016 at 11:59AM
As there is a landmark case in court today in relation to a parent who is fighting the fine he received for taking his child out of school during term time, I thought i would see what peoples thoughts are. My thoughts are listed below.

I have real concerns about this policy and how it is used. Initially the policy of fining parents for their child's non-attendance was brought in to punish the parents of serial "waggers", those kids who were hanging around shopping centres when they should have been in school. It was meant to be a wake up call to these parents to deal with their offspring or face punishment.

Typically though, the councils soon realised that getting these people to pay the fines was a non-starter, too much hassle. So they re-targeted and started to chase the easier prey, the parents who don't want to be dragged through courts, who don't want to have their name tarnished, the parents who sometimes due to their own working hours or due to cost, take their child out of school for a family holiday. So once again, the many are being punished for the sins of the few. Kids have been taken out of school for a week here or a week there for many years, i don't imagine any child has ever been affected in anyway. As long as the parent avoids critical times like exams ect, and doesn't take them out in the final year of schooling then I don't believe there will be any negative affect on that child. If that was the case then any child who has a week off with flu is going to fail in life.

A major critical point of this rule is that the fine is £60.00 per parent. So a single parent takes their child out of school gets fined £60.00. A two parent family get charged £120.00 in both cases multiplied again by child. How can this be anything more than a money making exercise, it makes absolutely no sense.

Common sense seems to have been thrown out of the window.

We also have the situation where many schools have different holidays, having a child in primary and one in senior school could pretty much mean that family vacations can only ever happen in the Summer holidays now due to other holidays falling out of line with each other

Be aware that I am not coming at this from a disgruntled parent angle, I have one child left in school and he is heading in to his final year.

I would be interested to hear other views on this





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vulcanman
Townsperson

vulcanman
Re: Taking kids out of school term time
13th May 2016 at 4:25PM
I too have struggled with this as a policy. The bit that irritates me is that the money goes to the councils and not to the schools! If it were the other way around, and schools were to benefit from some extra dosh, actually I wouldn't be as concerned ...

From what I can see it is actually a simple equation as even if you get fined, it is still much cheaper to take the youngsters out in term time than to pay the extortionate additional cost of a vacation in school holiday times. Fines would have to be much greater to stop this happening.
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BlueGrover
Forum Moderator

BlueGrover
Re: Taking kids out of school term time
17th May 2016 at 8:21AM, Edit: 17th May 2016 at 8:22AM by BlueGrover
In my old job I used to provide evidence so parents could be issued with Education Penalty Notices. Loved it!
May I add that EPN's are also issued for general poor attendance, not just holidays in term time.
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glenandem
Forum Moderator

glenandem
Re: Taking kids out of school term time
17th May 2016 at 5:01PM
I think the head should be given authority to look at each case individually on this myself, might even encourage not to have as many days off if it helps they're case, my kids have or had 100% attendance and this year is my eldest girls last year before she starts high school so we decided to go Florida last month, we did it during Easter so she had a week during break and then a week missed school days, rather than ask permission we just said I had chicken pots and they wouldn't let us fly, they're not allowed to ask for a note from me lol and we was sorted but it's a joke parents having to lie, if attendance is good and the child isn't struggling then I don't see a problem!
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