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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:25 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:08 pm
Posts: 1225
Given the new government rules on school absence how are HT's treating external music exams? Are they considered exceptional circumstances or does it go down as unorthorised absence?
(the instrument lessons are NOT taken in school)


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:11 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:26 am
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As long as you have notified the school in advance, it is allowed. It is classed as an appointment (like a dentist or doctor visit) and therefore authorised absence. I think you are getting confused with the 'holidays in term time' rules, where you can only take a child out in exceptional circumstances.

I forgot to notify the school in advance for DD's flute exam yesterday, so presumably I could be in trouble :)


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:34 am 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
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Location: Reading
I think it's seen as an off site educational activity, rather than an absence.

However my DDs school takes a bit of a different tack when it comes to music exams. As they are an exam centre they require any girls taking music exams to take them at school, (even if they have lessons outside of school) and will only allow absences for music exams elsewhere in exceptional circumstances as a result. I personally don't see that as a bad thing. Means they take the exam in familiar surroundings and need less time away from lessons.
DDs friend is taking a dance exam soon and they have been fine about that.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:53 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:50 pm
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We had one on Thursday and as it was the middle of the day DD was there for both morning and afternoon registration so it was not marked as an absence at all. I did notify thenm in advance in writing. Schools will always allow absence for music exams if necessary.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:56 pm
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We are also wondering about this as DS has a dance festival coming up during term time and may have dance exams next term. Our saving hope is that the school regularly enter choirs and bands in to the same festival.

In the past they have always been entered as Educational on the register as he due to the timing he doesn't always make registration, but this is a new school and of course there have been new rules. But it must be educational as he has to practise hard and when he performs at the festival he is on a huge stage on his own trying to out perform the other 20ish dancers, I think it takes a lot of guts and I couldn't do it :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:04 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 8:03 pm
Posts: 1827
Location: Gloucestershire
The same question applies to other musical activities. For instance, Music for Youth runs its National Festival at Symphony Hall, Birmingham during term time from Tuesday 8th to Saturday 12th July. Groups from all over the country attend (having been invited after an extensive series of regional festivals), with groups from schools (primary & secondary), music services & private groups covering everything from Early Music (no, I don't mean the Beatles) to pop & urban, orchestras to trad jazz bands. A few groups are then selected to play in the Schools Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.

I've not heard yet of a school refusing permission for a child to be out of class to attend these events. Certainly, my daughters school is delighted that the children are off representing the school & county, improving performance skills, encountering other styles of music, networking and having a great time as well. It's putting to practical use all those hours spent in lessons & practicing.

In Gloucestershire, although the County music service have in the past to organise overseas tours for the Wind & Youth orchestras during holidays, more recently they have only been able to book them during the last week of the summer term. Although last year it meant 4 girls missing the school junior concert, school seemed OK with the girls going away. It was, so I'm told, hard work (3 performances in 3 separate venues on one day alone), and my daughter came back far more confident in her playing than when she departed.

I suspect that representing school / county / nation in sports events would be the same.

All that said, we've never taken our girls out of school for a holiday - except for one half day (well, leaving 1 hour early on the last day of summer term when they were in Y's 1 & 3 respectively). Not that we can often afford holidays during school holidays :(

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