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Teacher, teacher…

So, the thing that’s bugging me is this; we are no longer allowed to take our children out of school for the day without being charged an extortionate amount of money for the privilege! £60.00 per day, per parent on the birth certificate I believe is the exact figure! However, should the teachers decide to strike, we have absolutely no say over the fact that our children are effectively banned from school for the day!

Now I’m aware that both of these things are down to different organisations, the strikes being the responsibility of the Unions and the other ridiculous rule, the responsibility of the government… a joke in itself! Now the issue of striking isn’t something I’m going to get into as, to be honest, it’s not something I know enough about to form a real standpoint so for the sake of this article I’m just going to go with it, so to speak. However, being fined for taking our children out of school is fairly black and white in my opinion, a no brainer… it’s a joke!!

My son is 6, if I decide to take him out of school for the day, or even for a week, because I want to do something with him, something that will cost double the amount in the school holiday, how is he going to suffer from that? Let’s be honest, he’s not!! He’s 6 and a week of learning is going to have no huge consequence!! I of course think that when a child is studying for his or her GCSEs or something else particularly important that they shouldn’t be able to take time off and I also think that the amount of time off they are allowed per year should only be 2 weeks, 3 at the absolute most and preferably not all taken at one time as that would admittedly be rather hard to catch up on! Oh…what’s that? That’s how the rules used to be? Exactly my point! Why on earth change something that used to be entirely reasonable, into something just utterly stupid and unreasonable!! Suggestions on a postcard please!

It could be that the government wastes money to such a massive extent that they’re just trying to get some back in any way possible, as if we don’t give them enough already! Or it could just be that they’re stupid enough to believe it really is a good idea!

I have a friend who’s a teacher and asked their opinion on the matter, firstly asking their opinion on the idea of the fines. The answer I received being, “Hmm depends on their previous attendance in my opinion. But I know some schools are more black and white. I think most would agree that persistent offenders should be fined but one off activities can be valuable educationally.” I then went on to ask about the ‘old’ rules and their opinion of how effective these were. To cut a long conversation short, the answer was that so long as the head teacher had to authorise the time off in advance and it couldn’t just be taken as and when someone felt like it, as obviously this could get ridiculously disruptive to education, then it was, “probably a better system,” providing the head teacher wasn’t too lenient.

So what I’m hearing basically is that I’m right! I love it when I hear that! Now as I said at the beginning of this glorified rant, I’m aware that the people responsible for this stupidity are not the same people responsible for the strikes, well not directly anyway and I have nothing against the strikes in themselves. Indirectly, however it is all the government’s responsibility. I’m acutely aware that they are destroying the country piece by piece and this is probably one of the lesser concerns but all the same it is the one that has particularly irritated me this week! It does seem to add insult to injury somewhat don’t you think?

Comments

  • This sounds like a case of, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, ” which was the original policy. Money. It is ALWAYS about the almighty dollar (pound!.)
    As a U.S.A.-ian, it strikes me as odd that there are policies on removing children from school. We certainly don’t ‘charge’ a parent. If a child misses too much school, for any reason, he/she might have to repeat that school year.
    Yes, we all must pay homage to the fact that the world is grossly dependent on fines and fees and it can seem that that fact can be used as a disciplinary tactic.
    Nice work, Rebecca!

  • Thank you my lovely! Yes our government do like to make a mess of things!x

  • Right Becky, time for me to weigh in as a teacher 😉 and say I agree with you! I have taught for seven years and in that time I have only been on strike once and that was under pressure to in order to support my union (for which we pay ridiculously high fees so you kinda feel you should strike in order to go along with their policies or why bother paying for it?)
    As for taking children out of school this is an issue which really bugs me. Attendance is appalling in many schools and children miss out on so much that they never catch up. However, many parents who choose to take their children out of school,provide them with enriching and educational opportunities (that because of risk assessments and fear of being sued) schools no longer offer. I hate that everyone is punished because of a select few! It should definitely be done at the schools discretion and they would know who is genuinely taking their children out for a valid reason and who just can’t be bothered to bring their kids in that day! Really glad you wrote this piece… If could rant all day about teaching related issues :)

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