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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 8:03 pm 
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Has anyone kept their dc off school before crucial exam time and how did the school respond? What is the legal position? Is there a 'being educated elsewhere' category for absence?

When dd did the 11+ two years ago, I kept her off for a couple of half days just before the entrance exam of our first choice school. She only missed a few non important lessons (Art, RE etc) and I thought a restful time at home with the odd practice paper would benefit her more. I was honest with the school but they put it down as unauthorised.

I know schools have really tightened up on attendance and have introduced fines etc. Youngest dd will be sitting in 2017 and if I think it will be of benefit I might consider keeping her off for a few days in the run up.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 8:28 pm 
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Location: Petts Wood, Bromley, Kent
DD sat three grammar tests Sept 2015. First was on a Saturday so no problem. Second was a school day and from 1.30pm so she went to school in the morning (half and hour drive from school to test). Third test was late morning and logistics just meant she stayed off for the day. DD did well in all three but the best one was the one where she was at school in the morning and then the test after lunch. No time to worry about test and she was 'in the groove' academically as she's been at school. I had heard of some parents who just avoided school for the first few weeks of September (at the advice of their very expensive tutors who recommended last minute revision) but that was ridiculous in my mind. For us all practice ended at end of August and if she didn't know it by then then there was no point in doing any more revision.

I suspect as with all things 11+ it depends very much on your DC and what would work best for them in the run-up to the test(s). As to legal position I can't advise as DD was/is in an independent school so I just told them and they put it down to authorised absence - alternative learning.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 8:41 pm 
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I cannot see any reason to do this. Ok, if the exam is on a school day fair enough, but to keep your child off to revise? No. It is not fair to take your child out of the classy and disrupt the rest of the classes smooth running just for the 11+ anymore than a holiday. School is school and such an absence will and should be unauthorised. If all 11+ parents did this then big chunks of schools like the one my boys were at would be half empty, it's not right. If your child is ok to do the 11+ then they do not need time off to do it, and actually I suspect it could just up the pressure on them to feel the exam is sooo important that they need to be given time off to work.
I'm really sorry if this is something you maybe feel compelled or pressured to do, but really, you can do it without.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:59 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
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Middlesexmum wrote:
Has anyone kept their dc off school before crucial exam time and how did the school respond? What is the legal position? Is there a 'being educated elsewhere' category for absence?

When dd did the 11+ two years ago, I kept her off for a couple of half days just before the entrance exam of our first choice school. She only missed a few non important lessons (Art, RE etc) and I thought a restful time at home with the odd practice paper would benefit her more. I was honest with the school but they put it down as unauthorised.

I know schools have really tightened up on attendance and have introduced fines etc. Youngest dd will be sitting in 2017 and if I think it will be of benefit I might consider keeping her off for a few days in the run up.


Do what you think will work best. It won't be authorised but if it's only a short amount of time off you can't be fined for that if that's what's bothering you.

I hear what everyone else says but if you know it will give your daughter some benefit, why not.

The being educated elsewhere category for absence is used for the test itself and for open days etc at other schools - but not for extra time you take off before or after the test even if you were working hard on maths, English etc. Working at home cannot be used as education elsewhere these days but the test is fine because it's in another registered school. It's nothing to do with whether your child is being educated elsewhere or not I'm afraid --- merely bureaucracy.

She's your child, not the state's. Yes, it would be mean to disrupt other children's education but is this really going to happen in the circumstances you are talking about? I don't know. Depends how your school does things. It wouldn't make one jot of difference at ours.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:04 am 
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Most of dd's tests were on Saturdays so it wasn't necessary. The two exams that were on week days - we picked her up at lunchtime for the afternoon one and dropped her back at lunchtime for the morning one. I didn't want to make her feel that these were any different from music/ballet etc exams when we automatically take the shortest amount of time off school...


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:45 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:30 pm
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I gave my ds the day off school before exams. I did so to enable him to rest and chill out mentally and physically. I also disallowed strenuous sports the week before and instead we would go for nice long walks instead. I told the school he was either sick or actually sitting an exam on the day of absence even if we were not, this worked as hardly any other children were sitting the same exams. I believe they may have known I was fibbing on occasions but didn't do anything about it as lets face it all my 11plus prep will hopefully boost their sat results. All absence therefore was authorised. Do whats best for your child you know them best.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:21 pm 
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Tactical 'flu!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 1:09 pm 
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my DDs school wanted proof (i.e. email, letter)... so always sent them proof by printing an amended letter to say the exam is smack bang in the middle of the day. Otherwise they expected her to go to school before the exam.

I also didn't allow her to do extra curricular activities which were strenuous... good luck


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 2:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
This is a very personal choice and should be down to the parents to decide.

Your dc not being at school is not going to have a dramatic impact on the other students.

When students are ill for the day the class does not fall apart. We know of two students who are in West End Productions and take a huge amount of time off school. There was also a boy in dd2's class at primary who was part of a tennis course and left school at lunchtime two days a week.

My dds got better with every exam they took, picking up something from each experience. Other students can plateau so it all depends where your student is on the learning curve.

I know of students who started very late in July and then put a tremendous amount of daily work in and secured a place. Then there are others who started in Y4 and then lost focus in Y5 and nearly missed out on a place.

The really important thing is to understand where your student is on the curve and act accordingly. DG


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
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Location: Essex
I'm with the 'keep it normal' brigade, personally. Rhetorical question - 'Is the child really such a shakey candidate for an academically selective school that whatever they do in the day or so before the exam will make that much difference?'. Once they get in, the school wilt expect that the pupils in the sports teams, taking part in language competitions etc will perform to the best of their ability in those areas and get all their normal work done well and on time. Most if not all schools also encourage and celebrate participation and achievement in out of school activities such as swimming, Scouts, etc.

By all means, take your DC out of school for however long you feel is necessary, but at least tell the school the truth, rather than involving your DC in deception.

_________________
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.Groucho Marx


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