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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 8:28 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
Posts: 8113
Hi

Would be grateful for any comments / help / advice

Have been offered sabbatical abroad next year for about 3/12. Would really like to take kids - will be 14 and 10 then. will be working so will be able to register them in local schools (australia).

Trouble is local school here is only giving negative vibes so far - ie that it would be considered truancy and if DS were registered anywhere else for school (ie not truant) then he would have to give up his school places here.

haven't spoken to LEA yet but can anyone help or advise.

many thanks
herman


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 10:44 am 
If I were you I would ring your LEA for advice. If the person you speak to sounds as if they are clueless don't be afraid to follow up by letter.
I was advised that when we moved to the UK from the USA at the beginning of July (when their US schools had just broken up) my kids would be counted as truanting unless they attended local schools for the few weeks until the official end of term for our LEA. I decided to ignore this as if what I was being told was true any child attending a private school in our county (with similarly longer summer holidays) was breaking the law if they didn't find a state school to take them in for the last couple of weeks of term each year.... I was speaking to someone whose entire approach and tone of voice suggested that she was reading off a prompt card and was not going to THINK about the issue. You may, however, be luckier.

I believe that your children's schools are allowed to deregister the children if you take them abroad. Not all schools would choose to do so however.

It will probably depend partly on whether they are oversubscribed. If so, they may feel that they should offer the place to a waiting child. Also, dare I say it, it may depend on the time of year you take the children out. Schools (in our area anyway) are funded according to how many children are on role on a particular date each year. They won't want the numbers to be down on that date! Equally, they won't want soaring unauthorised truancy rates- and they cannot authorise a 3 month absence.

One possibility might be to arrange for the children to be counted as receiving schooling "off site". They could then stay on role but not be counted as truanting. There are various home schooling organisations that might be able to advise on this ( try google) but ultimately your school and LEA will probably need to agree this with you.

The other issue, of course, is the level of disruption to your children's learning. This may not be a big deal with the 10 year old but if the other child has started GCSE courses it could make things difficult. Presumably you have discussed this with the schools?

Anyway, good luck whatever you decide.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 10:58 am 
What a fantastic opportunity for you and your children.

Unfortunately I think the above guest is correct and the school have every right to remove your children from their registers. If all you have had so far are 'vibes' from the school I would seek clarification initially from them in writing to pin them down and force them to commit either way. I expect they would need to seek LA advice themselves. Its a shame schools and LAs are so wrapped up in figures/red tape that they often don't see this learning opportunity for what it is.

Good luck to you and I hope it works out.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 11:20 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:54 pm
Posts: 1770
Location: caversham
hermanmunster,

Trying to think of alternatives.

LEA's have a service to educate children who are out of school long term ( illness, injury, etc ). You could see if they would accommodate you and so keep the places open for your kids to return ? It's a rule based system so you have to bend it.

I had a battle when after three terms in a LEA special needs nursery I was told my second child would have to spend five months at home before entering main stream education as that was the rule.

When I pointed out that this would undo most of the progress made they "invented" a reason why he could stay for one more term, even making the place full time with lunch as part of his transition plan, for which I am eternally grateful.

stevew61

PS Buy a caravan and claim to be a traveller? :)


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 1:27 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
Posts: 8113
Mega thanks everyone for your helpful and thoughtful comments. I've chosen this time to "go for it" as 10 year will have done (and hopefully passed ) the 11+ and 14 year old will be in year 9 and won't be deciding on his options for GCSE until later in the year.

I agree with the comments about discussing it further with the LEA - hopefuly they would find it difficult to object completely and might just try and find a "get out clause" to cover the circumstances.

I might be back for some more advice... :D


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 4:04 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 3:36 am
Posts: 141
Hi Hermanmunster
What a wonderful opportunity! You have to do it! I know when I asked our local primary school (this was about 6 yrs ago)about the same thing, and they were over subscribed, they said they wd leave my son's place open for 6 weeks only, as they had a w/l (and how were they to know we would come back after the stated time?) Also, will the school get funding for your children whilst they are away? Just a thought.
Where abouts in Austalia? Exciting indeed! Let us know what you do!
USA


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