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 Post subject: compulsory attendance
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 6:40 am 
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Deep down I must be libertarian too and have a strong Magwich streak. When school isn't good it annoys me that it is compulsory and I could be in trouble with the law for not sending my child. And I content myself with the fact that it is free. Then it strikes me as odd that if I paid fees to an independent school I would not be in trouble with the law for not sending my child. So it is possible to pay for freedom from the law in this respect.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:09 pm 
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mystery wrote:
Deep down I must be libertarian too and have a strong Magwich streak. When school isn't good it annoys me that it is compulsory and I could be in trouble with the law for not sending my child. And I content myself with the fact that it is free. Then it strikes me as odd that if I paid fees to an independent school I would not be in trouble with the law for not sending my child. So it is possible to pay for freedom from the law in this respect.


Whether or not you failed in your legal duty to provide education to a child of compulsory school age is nothing to do with the nature of the school they are enrolled with. If you provide education by enrolling them in a private school and paying the fees, but they then truant (with or without your knowledge) you are in precisely the same legal position as if you enroll them in a state school and the same thing happens. Your legal responsibility is not sending them to a state school they're enrolled in; it's securing them an effective and appropriate education.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:12 pm 
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In theory you are right, but in practice have you ever known an independent school enforce attendance on a patchy attender at the point that a state school might? And if you homeschool, there's barely much of a requirement to educate them at all.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:24 pm 
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mystery wrote:
In theory you are right, but in practice have you ever known an independent school enforce attendance on a patchy attender at the point that a state school might? And if you homeschool, there's barely much of a requirement to educate them at all.


It isn't the responsibility of the school in either case, of course, although they may choose to make it their problem and state schools are, as you point out, more likely to. As ever, it's the "the middle classes can get away with things that would have the working classes' children on the at-risk register" problem.

But don't touch that home school comment: they'll get you, you know.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:36 pm 
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Last edited by Loopyloulou on Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:28 pm 
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Loopyloulou wrote:
I'm sure heads at independent schools will not get petty about non-attendance if there is a reason (important visitors, pointless lessons etc). Why should they? I'm not sure they have the same powers to fine as state heads anyway.



They may or may not have the same powers to fine, but they should be petty about attendance. If you let a child believe they can take or leave school you are sowing a seed that will be with them for life, and that is wrong. A child needs to know from the outset that school is a must, the only reason for non attendance is illness, or something else that is not in the normal scheme, like a death in the family. Duvet days are just plain daft, and give all the wrong signals. I work almost full time, and cannot imagine phoning in to say I was not well, when in fact I was fine. That is just wrong.
Children need to learn that pretty quickly, in my view.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:13 am 
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Your plan sounds good WFG, and if I were a betting person I'd put a bet on him getting into the same school as big bro, so good luck. Hope it's not too long before you are able to find out if they would offer him a place.

What do you mean by a specialist music school? Somewhere like the Menuhin School or Chethams etc? Old tales of one person are no use I know but I did know someone who went to one such specialist school many moons ago and left during her mid-teens who claimed that self-harm was quite common there.

He's obviously a highly able boy, there seems a huge contrast between the two options.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:34 am 
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Loopyloulou wrote:
I'm sure heads at independent schools will not get petty about non-attendance if there is a reason (important visitors, pointless lessons etc). Why should they? I'm not sure they have the same powers to fine as state heads anyway.


State heads don't have the power to fine either. All they can do is report you for non-attendance. Authorities outsource some of their obligations (as child protection, not as education authorities) to state schools, but the power to fine is a magistrate's, and arises from the criminal offence of not ensuring effective education. As to whether an independent school would inform the authorities of a non-attending child, who knows? One would hope they would, and one stick might be that a local authority that believed a school was concealing persistent non-attendance could get very nasty: they could, for example, bring "not providing effective education" actions against all the parents. Independent schools I've looked at all had a parental undertaking about no unauthorised absences, but what their sanctions are, who knows?

But it seems a little perverse to pay for a school which offers pointless lessons you then withdraw your child from (I'm going to go to a restaurant I don't like, order food I won't eat and walk out: that'll show 'em!)


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:52 am 
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Last edited by Loopyloulou on Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Compulsory attendance
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:17 pm 
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It must surely depend on the child.
DD1 had the worst attendance record in the school but obtained the best gcse results and the only Oxford offer.
DD2 has the worst attendance record in the school but scored 141 141 141 in the CATs
There is no correlation between days off and academic attainment and if schools waste pupils time then they must expect pupils and parents to assess the situation accordingly


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