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"Bunking off" school as a child.

(91 Posts)
biglouis Fri 31-Mar-23 03:09:41

Did you ever do this? Did you get caught?

When I got to age 14 (going on 15) I used to bunk off about every couple of months.

The system was that you went into your “own” class for registration morning and afternoon. Then you went off to whatever class you were timetabled for. It was assumed that you would then go where you were supposed to go. Even if s/he noted your absence the teacher of that class would take it for granted that as registration had occurred any absences were noted and dealt with. With the corridors filled with kids on the move to their respective classes it was easy to hide in the toilet and then sneak out as soon as it was quiet.

We only ever bunked off in the afternoons. Two of us had working mothers, so we took it in turns to go to one another’s houses. Occasionally we got the bus into the city and walked around the shops. Only once were we ever challenged by a nosy sales assistant as to why we were not in school. We told her that we had been sent to purchase supplies for our final year sewing project and of course we were believed. We were both top of our class in several subjects and knew that we were not going to fail our GCE. We planned our absences carefully so as to fly under the radar.

As soon as the GCE results came out there seemed very little point in going into school so we bunked off even more. There were no smart phones or email back in the late 1950s/1960s for the school or our parents to keep track of us. So we mainly got off with it.

nanna8 Fri 31-Mar-23 04:30:55

On cold days myself and a few friends used to hide in the showers during hockey. We got away with it and had some good chats. We would sign in first, of course. The teacher must have missed us, there were 5 or 6 , but never said a word.

Ailidh Fri 31-Mar-23 05:59:57

Nope, it never crossed my mind.

BlueBelle Fri 31-Mar-23 06:40:55

Never and it never entered my head to I don’t know anyone who did my children never did they went to school on a bus and got off at 4 I don’t think any of my grandkids have either
I wouldn’t have known what to do with myself I loved school even the boring bit’s

PaperMonster Fri 31-Mar-23 07:05:03

I did it once - during French class me and my friend hid in the loos. My daughter’s at secondary but I doubt she’d do it - it’s a very rural location so she’d just be in fields. And she won’t visit the loos at school anyhow!!

NanaDana Fri 31-Mar-23 07:17:02

No, was never tempted to do this, despite the fact that I hated Maths and Physics, and the Maths teacher hated me! Why would I want to leave the place where all my friends were? Plus I thoroughly enjoyed History, English and Art. Also, I don't think that any of my friends "bunked off" either, or if they did, they were very crafty about it,

Calendargirl Fri 31-Mar-23 07:27:48

No, would never have thought of doing it.

I think it would have been picked up at our school. If you registered in the morning, but didn’t turn up for an afternoon’s class, the teacher would have queried it and someone would have said “Well, Calendar was here this morning”.

Did those of you who bunked off carried on doing this in your working life, throwing ‘sickies’ at every touch and turn?

Marydoll Fri 31-Mar-23 07:28:06

Never considered it. I was a very good girl and I was too scared of my mother!

My son did it once in sixth year.
I got a phone call at my school ( down the road from his) from his guidance teacher, whom I knew well.
It turned out half of sixth year had disappeared.
My response was, He is eighteen, the oldest pupil in the school and leaves tomorrow. I think we can let it go!.

DanniRae Fri 31-Mar-23 07:43:36

No I never did that. Nor did I smoke behind the bike sheds or do anything else behind the bike sheds!
Sometimes, mind you, I wish I had been a bit wilder wink
Next time around, maybe?

BigBertha1 Fri 31-Mar-23 07:45:26

At 15 I bunker off all the time. I had a much older boyfriend and eventually got pregnant at 16 this ruining my education and prospects. The baby was adopted. After a failed marriage I got my s#£&t together got trained and qualified had a career my daughter found me in my 50th year and I got my MAc at the same time. I was a very naughty girl at school which was stupid because I was quite bright. I regret missing the opportunities although my mother was never going to let me go to college or university.

Katie59 Fri 31-Mar-23 07:46:19

Never did, I enjoyed school, those that did were in the “D” stream that didn’t see the point of school, looking back most would have been special needs these days.
No provision then, 40 in a class, no classroom assistants, the teachers did their best to teach the basics and keep order.

Whitewavemark2 Fri 31-Mar-23 07:48:43

No never occurred to me. Apart from the odd idiot teacher, I liked school.

Witzend Fri 31-Mar-23 08:06:51

No, it never occurred to me. I don’t recall anyone else doing it, either.

Dds and friends used to bunk off occasionally during Wimbledon fortnight - they’d stand in school uniform outside the gates of the All England at around 4 pm (it’d take them a good hour to get there) in the hope that anyone leaving early would take pity and give them their tickets - it usually worked! I gather the AE have got wise to it though - tickets can now be used once only.

Humbertbear Fri 31-Mar-23 08:20:33

It never occurred to me to bunk off till I was in the 6th form and met my husband who was on a gap year from uni. He had Thursday afternoons off work and I had no lessons at school that afternoon. I made sure I got home the same time in the early evening so my mum had no idea I did this. We’d been married ten years before she found out.

Blondiescot Fri 31-Mar-23 08:22:50

No, it never occurred to me to do so either - not to mention the fact that I would have been far too scared to incur the wrath of my mother!

Oldnproud Fri 31-Mar-23 08:22:53

No, never bunked off - unless you count the time in my last year at primary when I told my mum one lunchtime (I went home for lunch every day) that I had a headache and didn't feel well enough to go back to school for the afternoon. I knew that she wasn't convinced, but as it wasnt something I had done before, and she couldn't prove I was lying, she reluctantly agreed. In reality, it was because we had a maths class, and I was worried about the homework. Crazily, I was scared because I had done it. That morning, at break, it had been mentioned by a classmate, and she had been adamant that we were not supposed to have done it. I was so scared and anxious at the thought of having done something 'wrong', albeit by actually doing more work than expected, that I couldn't face going in!

In sixth form, a friend and I once went out of school during a free period. It wasn't allowed, but we did it anyway. As (bad) luck would have it, the deputy head/ head of girls drove past us in the town and recognised us. We were called to her office when we got back. She was a formidable woman. I can still remember how awful I felt about being ìn trouble.

I really wasn't cut out for doing things wrong at school. Instead, I saved all my stubbornness and challenging behaviour for my poor parents.

Marydoll Fri 31-Mar-23 08:28:37

When I was in sixth year we went into town on a free period.
Someone had seen us and phoned the school, not because we weren't in school, but because we weren't wearing our hats!

Ailidh Fri 31-Mar-23 08:31:55


When I was in sixth year we went into town on a free period.
Someone had seen us and phoned the school, not because we weren't in school, but because we weren't wearing our hats!

We were allowed out at lunch time but only if we wore our blazers and berets; and we were Never to be seen eating in school uniform.....

Grannynannywanny Fri 31-Mar-23 08:41:06

I did it once by accident as an 8 year old. My school was 1.5 miles from home and I ran home every day for lunch . Only that day I ran straight out when the 10am playtime bell rang. Ran all the way home and into the house and scared the living daylights out of my poor Mum. 60 years on I can still remember feeling totally bewildered when I realised what I’d done. My Dad had just gone to bed after his night shift and got back up when he heard the voices. He took me back to school after lunchtime and I was mortified.

LRavenscroft Fri 31-Mar-23 08:43:24

Not sure if it was exactly bunking off but in Sixth Form Friday afternoons were P.E. and we had the most revolting little PE teacher, a short, twee, catty little woman who was 'ever so sweet' not and her lessons were horrible. As I was carrying a fourth A level, I used to leave the message that I had to study in the library in town to get some books for my extra A level. Walking away from the school on those afternoons was like stepping onto a cloud of freedom. I usually ended up in the local Wimpy having a milk shake and getting the bus home early but it was certainly much nicer than spending time in that woman's lessons at 17.

sodapop Fri 31-Mar-23 08:47:28

I didn't 'bunk off' either . Like Blondiescot I was too afraid of incurring the wrath of my mother, she was the disciplinarian in our house.

M0nica Fri 31-Mar-23 08:47:49

No never bunked off, but when I was in the VI Form I did bunk off hockey. The school didn't have a lot of land, so once a week hired public playing fields about half a mile away. We were walked there at a leg cracking pace and it had no changing rooms and we FROZE.

In the VI form, a friend and I appointed ourselves 'hockey monitors' and would walk round the school chasing up all the laggards, by the time that was done, it was too late for us to walk down there, all the games would have started, so we secreted ourselves, quietly into a corner of the Lebrary - no permanenet Librarian.

It worked for over a year, but we were eventually caught and sent off to join the others.

boheminan Fri 31-Mar-23 09:01:58

Yes. Me and my mate AK used to nip out at the dinner hour and go into town, maybe buy a record or make up in Woolworth's. We eventually got caught out and got caned (across the hands for girls and on the behind for boys) didn't stop me though...I hated school

Redhead56 Fri 31-Mar-23 09:03:57

Our school went comprehensive and after registration we were supposed to go off to classes but bunked off. Initially it was just to sit in the toilets how exciting! we got daring and left the school grounds. One of the girls we bunked off with became a well known public figure. Another group bunked off school they were boys one became a well known footballer but they shall remain nameless.
We even went to the shops and stole sweets etc I don’t know how I had the nerve because my parents were quite strict. I think no…I know I was was doing it as a dare I was rather rebellious. I was caught stupidly taking chocolates and eating them as I walked around the shop.
That ended my sagging school days I was worried about my parents finding out. The woman who caught me eating the chocolates said if I stayed in school it wouldn’t go any further. I literally took her by her word and stayed in school and behaved and was better for it. Academically I made up for the lost days sagging school and I did very well for myself. The woman who gave a a chance to improve my behaviour as a rebellious teenager certainly did me a favour.

Yammy Fri 31-Mar-23 09:09:23

No never, I've been in the sick bay a few times when there were French tests because I got so worked up. The teacher twigged and gave us the test as a surprise when least expected,
Some girls I knew bunked off to go and see the Stones at the nearest city , that night they were on the front of the queue and had to suffer a long time for doing it.
DH bunked off from school and took two friends to play on the local very busy docks, he never got invited to their birthday parties again.
My cousin bunked off two days after starting school she went after registration and took a route through country lanes when my gran who looked after she got home she was sitting on the step.