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AIBU to expect my daughter not to be fined

(103 Posts)
granoffour Thu 15-Mar-18 12:19:54

My daughter's sister in law and her fiancé are getting married in York near the end of July. It's on a Thursday. My daughter and her husband are obviously going to go BUT they have to take my dGD who is in year 1 out of school (it closes on the Friday so she'd be missing school on the Thursday and Friday) They've tried approaching this with the head but he's simply said he can't authorise anything and they will be fined for taking her out of school. Is this fair? I don't think so. She has great attendance otherwise, apart from the off tummy upset or whatever. And she's only 6 years old. confused

eazybee Thu 15-Mar-18 12:23:54

It is the law; they have to accept it.
Don't make an issue of it.

Nannarose Thu 15-Mar-18 12:36:51

Personally I think it deeply unfair.
There are hardly any cultures where attending a wedding is not regarded as an important part of family life and important to social development. There is time to write to the chair of the governors- maybe stating a willingness to pay the fine in order to ensure that the child experiences this.
However, I think you have to leave it to the parents as they know the school, the head and the governors best.

Back in the day before 'fines' one of my sons was all set to win a £100 voucher for perfect attendance. He then had to decide whether to forgo it in order to attend his grandmother's funeral. He had made the decision that being with family was more important.

Luckygirl Thu 15-Mar-18 12:40:03

The head is tied by the law - a ridiculous law.

He does however have discretion and I know that many heads take a broader view of life than this one.

It really is nonsense.

GracesGranMK2 Thu 15-Mar-18 13:14:56

You are misreading the law.

Children may only miss school legally if they are too ill to go or you have got advance permission from the school. Granoffour's DD has asked for this permission.

If you ask for that permission to take holiday (which this would come under) in school during term time it will only be considered if:

*You make an application to the head teacher in advance - which is what has happened
*there are exceptional circumstances. This is not defined but I think many would think the mother's wedding was exceptional.

You have to ask why anyone would ask permission if this money making scheme is used the way this head did. It is encouraging people to lie and say the child is ill.

Luckygirl Thu 15-Mar-18 13:20:33

Indeed - I am sure this child will now be very poorly come the day.

OldMeg Thu 15-Mar-18 13:34:25

I read it that it was the mother’s sister in law who was getting married.

As others have said, it is the law and the HT has only limited powers to grant leave of absence.

granoffour Thu 15-Mar-18 14:58:49

Yes, it is the mother's sister-in-law. So my granddaughter's aunt who is getting married. She is going to be a bridesmaid as well I should have added. I think you're right, Luckygirl. It's such a shame to have to lie about it but I suspect she will be 'down with some illness' on the day. Makes me so cross because that is setting an example to kids to lie to authority and yet, what choice do they have?

Greenfinch Thu 15-Mar-18 15:38:02

Just pay the fine and forget it. It isn't much.

Eloethan Thu 15-Mar-18 15:47:44

I think it's ridiculous. There are children being home schooled or schooled in various other establishments, who, if recent reports are correct, are subject to barely any oversight. Yet taking a child out of school for 2 days in order to go to a family wedding is treated like it's a big deal.

Who actually gets the money for the fine? Is this just a money-generating idea?

I thought that head teachers were allowed to use some discretion as to whether they authorise absences.

minesaprosecco Thu 15-Mar-18 15:55:18

It may not be much, Greenfinch, but as an ex teacher I think this law is an example of Government interference in areas which are not its business. So as such, there shouldn't be fines at all for absenteeism, but especially so for a child who has a good attendance record. The fines don't stop persistent absenteeism which is the real problem that needs tackling. The headteacher in this case is, to my mind, applying the law far too rigorously.

Mapleleaf Thu 15-Mar-18 16:02:46

I totally agree, minesaprosecco.

jenpax Thu 15-Mar-18 16:08:49

I have also known parents get letters when childs attendance drops below 98% which is perfectly easy to do with small children in the winter months and coughs and colds etc!. The whole missing school thing has become draconian and does not actually tackle persistent truancy which is usually due to a whole set of sociological issues

Oopsadaisy12 Thu 15-Mar-18 16:10:00

On the other hand, why are so many weddings during the week? it’s a pain for everyone to have to juggle time off work, and take children out of school.
Much easier when I were a lass and weddings were on a Saturday.
Another cost (school fine) incurred for relatives due to a weekday wedding.

jenpax Thu 15-Mar-18 16:29:41

I think the weddings are a lot cheaper in the week and now that they are so expensive people try to make savings where they can

Squiffy Thu 15-Mar-18 16:30:53

Oops Weekday weddings are much cheaper than weekend weddings!

Iam64 Thu 15-Mar-18 16:40:41

Weekday weddings are much less expensive.
I agree its unfair to penalise people to try and abide by the rules. Parents who don't care about school attendance aren't bothered by fines, they ignore them.
This rigid approach encourages honest people to fib and their children to be caught up in deceiving the authorities. Not Good.
Alongside that, we have an increase in 'home schooling', much of which is off grid with no checks to speak of. Crazy

M0nica Thu 15-Mar-18 17:12:24

There was an article in the paper today that says parents are just including fines for missing school into their holiday budget.

Take the child out, say they were ill. The school cannot do much before the next term and however false it looks, I fthe parent says the child is ill, how can the school prove anything after the event?

GracesGranMK2 Thu 15-Mar-18 19:54:28

Probably don't put photos on Facebook in that case.

Deedaa Thu 15-Mar-18 22:04:47

I would pay the fine so the girl can have the fun of showing her friends photos of her as a bridesmaid. A six year old isn't going to be very good at keeping it a secret.

Yes education is important but I really don't like the idea that school is more important than big family events like the wedding of a close relative.

Bridgeit Thu 15-Mar-18 22:13:43

Absolutely agree Deedaa.

I was ill for many weeks at a young age & therefore missed quite a bit of education does this mean that had it not been for the time that I was off school that I would have been a genius ?

hildajenniJ Thu 15-Mar-18 22:24:48

I got married on a Thursday! It was during the Easter holidays though. I agree about the fine though. This headmaster seems very inflexible.

Mapleleaf Thu 15-Mar-18 22:38:59

When a school is being inspected, Ofsted take into account attendance figures overall. It can affect a schools results which in turn can affect a schools ofsted rating.
I still think, though, that a headteacher should use their discretion. It’s the persistent absentees that cause the problem.

ninathenana Fri 16-Mar-18 07:21:32

We took ours out of school for holidays twice whilst they were primary age. Not due to the cost of holidays but because H's shift pattern meant he only had two lots of 10 days off in a year and the dates were rotated so these could fall in June and October for instance. If we didn't go during one of these periods, we would never have had a family holiday.
If we'd had to pay a fine back then we couldn't have gone.
I think a family wedding or funeral should be exceptions.

jenpax Fri 16-Mar-18 07:36:31

Fair point about ill health Bridgeit! I missed most of my lower sixth year at school due to hospitalisation and ill health but still managed to get 3 A’levels and go off to university!