Term Time Holiday Fined
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  1. #1
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    Default Term Time Holiday Fined

    A couple of the familes here have been fined for taking term time holidays. It seems that they work on the percentage of attended days so if you go on holiday in September you get fined but if you go in May or later, you're not fined, because you have built up a bigger percentage of attended days. One mindee told me today that although she has a bad cold and cough, she has to go to school because they are going on holiday in May and are going a day before school breaks up. This explains why the schoolies here are all turning up unwell and still off to school, but passing on their germs to us all including me. I have now reminded parents that children that are sent home from school unwell will not be collected by me. I'm feeling very sorry for these children at the moment with their coughs and colds. It seems so unfair that they have to struggle on so they can go on holiday next year (Rant over)

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    It seems an odd system. So, if a child was ill on the first week of school, they'd have a 0% attendance, fine the parents and shall in the truancy officers? I wonder if the staff would like their sickness/attendance judged by the same measure?

    I know there are national guidelines, but I confess I've never been tempted to read yet another few hundred pages of Whitehall guff. I'm not sure what the point of national guidelines is, since every LA seems to have completely different local rules.

    In our county, heads have to judge whether to treat any absence as 'authorised' of 'unauthorised', including sickness. Not sure how this can possibly be an informed decision unless the head demands a doctor's note for every instance or the LA puts every headteacher through medical school.

    Parents can be fined of prosecuted if three days of unauthorised absence occur within any six week period.

    It seems very different from your local system.

    Still, I've given up expecting school to make sense. My granddaughter came home three weeks before the summer holiday and announced it didn't matter if she missed school because they'd stopped counting attendance for the year. Out of curiosity I asked at the school office and they confirmed that the year's attendance figures were indeed completed three weeks before the school year ended. Go figure.

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    Our school has rewards every week for the class with the best attendance - it's motivating but like you we are seeing children in school who really shouldn't be there

    Luckily our parents are supportive and don't send them here if they are ill but the children are begging to go so they don't let their class down...

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    I see so what you’re saying bunyip makes sense here then. So if they go on holiday in the last week of summer school term they don’t get fined as the schools stopped counting. So god help the child who gets chicken pox in the first week of term, they’re done for for that school year then.

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    Can I just make this clear that it isn’t the school that sets the cut off date.
    The LA / government take their statistics from this date so it is very frustrating for the school too. They could have a months worth of 98% that never shows, this is particularly frustrating for small schools where each child could be worth 10% in data.
    Attendance has become such a big part of the school’s data that lower than 98.6% or a declining attendance pattern will tip the school into the lower catagory when inspected...it counts in progress and attainment analysis and under the behaviour scrutiny too. You are quite right Bunyip, the headteacher’s themselves do not like this system either, they are not medically trained as you say but if they do not have a robust attendance policy which they are seen to follow their leadership ability will be questioned. The NAHT are constantly advising in this area.
    Since the government have upped their anti of holidays being taken in school time it has become increasingly more difficult ...some LA’s / Acadamies ( I think Acadamies are more dictatorial than LA’s) have advised ‘robust’ attendance policies to make sure the head is not in the awkward position of playing god on yay or nay holiday requests, the system is set and is followed with black and white precision, no grey areas. But when you are dealing with humans this just isn’t possible....and the consequences are as you started with Sylvia...children attending when they shouldn’t, passing germs to other children and staff, it’s all a big bag of nails for everyone involved, parents, children, staff, headteacher’s, welfare officers, the tourist industry - Devon has been particularly hit.

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    I went shopping the other week and I saw too many school aged children out with their families. They certainly looked well enough to be in school. In some cases there were families with three of four children all of school age. I know, I'm being judgemental again and there are a million reasons why these children might not have been in school. I just hope that all schools are doing their bit to support families for which truancy seems like the easy option, for whatever reason.

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    I do love the 100% presentation at the end of the year. When children are absent to get their reward

    A few parents have clicked on at our school and the last 2 weeks don't count as unauthorised absences.

    Personally I hate rewarding children for not being ill.....................

    Ds2 was ill last year and the head thought he was faking. Yeah he projectile vomitted all over her office

    Let's hope for a fairer solution for all parties soon
    When someone tells you nothing is impossible, tell them to go slam a revolving door

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