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 Post subject: School and study leave
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 3:29 pm 
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I am conscious of the fact that new term is starting soon. Just wondering how does it work if the exam is falling on the working day and not Sat. Do we have to inform the school in advance that the child will not be coming? Can the child take study leave ... 1-2 days before the exam?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:51 pm 
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I have no idea if you are allowed to or not but I will be telling my school that, that is what I will be doing for one day before each exam day. I am also telling them that my daughter is not going to do any school homework until all her exams are over. After all if your child does not get into the school you want or even any school at all it's not as if the primary that they are at the moment is going to do anything to help you get into a decent secondary school.
My daughters primary school told me at the beginning of year 5 that we were on our own and that they would give us no help at all to get into a Grammar school so I feel no guilt or worry that they may not approve.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:39 pm 
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Legally the school would have to put study leave at home down as

a) unauthorised absence, and they have the powers to fine you or

B) authorised absence.

Either way it affects their attendance stats. I would just do whatever gives your child the best chance of passing. Less likely to get a stomach bug at home too!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:37 pm 
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'Study leave' in this context is unauthorised absence.

As a teacher and parent, I'm horrified that you would think of doing this; what message is it giving your child?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:31 am 
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Unless the child is well steeped in the latest dfe circular on which codes a school should use and when if a child is absent I think it would give the child the same message as being able to take time off for entrance exams and the bucks 11 plus practice test - that time off is permissible for educational purposes.

It is also legal to flexi school with the school's permission. Few schools would now give permission as the recent circular makes it clear to the school it has to be recorded as absence, and schools' attendance data forms part of the ofsted judgement. The decision by the dfe to change this is not because genuine and good teaching and hard work at home by flexi schoolers was not recognised by them, but mostly because some schools were fiddling their absence data and sending kids home for unofficial exclusions with some work to do - it is to make the point to schools that if the child is marked in some way as present the child needs to be at an authorised alternative provider and that the school still has some responsibilities on those days.

Op, there will be a huge range of views on this and at the end of the day it is your choice whether to break the law or not. Some children would get more stressed by having time at home so close to the exam to dwell on it, for others it could be really helpful in several different ways.

It is a moral dilemma; if you think it would make a big difference to your own child in a positive way I would do the uncomfortable thing and risk the fine and the disapproval it may bring.

There will be homeschooled and flexi-schooled children sitting the same exams as your child right through to A level so for two days out of a lifetime you are contemplating being like them, but without the permission a flexi schooler would ideally have.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 11:30 am 
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I guess there's no right or wrong approach. The message given is - one need to remain focussed on the goal till the last minute and make best use of the time to ensure that distractions don't hinder in the path to success.

At the end of the day, the primary school also gets a lot of credit based on # of children getting selected into the grammar school so they should not crib about study leaves.


Guest55 wrote:
'Study leave' in this context is unauthorised absence.

As a teacher and parent, I'm horrified that you would think of doing this; what message is it giving your child?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 11:37 am 
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It is not a good message to withdraw your child from school other than for the 11+ dates.

The school gets no credit for 11+ qualification from Ofsted or the Local Authority. However Ofsted is interested in attendance rates ..

If you need the school's help later with an appeal then don't be surprised if they are less than co-operative!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 1:49 pm 
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Yes, that could be a downside! However, other than various bits of information off the school file what can a primary school really offer for an appeal? And one has the right to info off the school file whether the parent has offended the school or not. I would hope that a school wouldn't retaliate in this way as it is about the child's education, not the parents' decisions or the school's attendance stats.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 1:57 pm 
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I agree, that it would not give a child a good message to withdraw them from school for 11 plus study. In addition if a child needs that much extra study then perhaps a GS is not the right place for them.
I would also agree that it important to keep the school on side, in case you need a letter from the head or teacher. for appeal. My DD's school have been very thoughtful and helpful, her teacher wrote an excellent report that I am confident will help in appeal if (and I am praying it won't come to that but you never know), we should have to go the route.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:16 pm 
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It's easy to say these things from a position of cosiness and make comments that if a child needs "that much" study leave perhaps they shouldn't be going to grammar school after all. What if your child goes to a much better school than this other child? Or what if your school will be supportive at appeal and this other school won't be so even more rides on the test day? Or what if the child or a parent has had a protracted period of illness or some other difficulty during year 5 or earlier on their school career?

Is 1 to 2 days "that much"? How does anyone know how much your child did last year or anyone else's child for that matter to make the "that much" judgement?

I think the OP was asking about the technical position of study leave - not for value judgements about whether their idea is morally acceptable or not, or whether their child is a grammar school candidate because they have dared to think that a day or two of study leave might be appropriate.

At the end of the day, if you think it would benefit your child, and you think the end justifies the means, go for it. You'll only regret it if you listen to some of the (bordering on nasty) comments on here.

Yes parents are responsibly for ensuring that their children attend school every day. But the spirit of this law is to ensure that children's education is not prejudiced by (a) silly parents who just cannot be bothered to get their children to school (b) parents who send their children out to work instead (c) parents who use their children as a carer for themselves or younger children (d) parents who just don't notice that their children are bunking off school all day.

And the stricter rules about flexi-schooling seem to be to protect children from schools that were sending troublesome ones home with some work to do and marking them down on the register for some kind of off-site education so it didn't impact on the absence figures.


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