School dilemma

First published in Letters

A BBC survey has found that half of Welsh local authorities ask head teachers to refuse all requests for holidays during term-time.

Also finding that under the Welsh Government’s school assessment programme, known as banding, absences negatively affect a school’s score. It is therefore no surprise that this may be the real reason that schools are now refusing absences, as this could affect their overall positions in the league tables.

If the reason given by educational experts was to be believed that every day in school is vital, why is it, then, teacher training is organised in term time and not through the term breaks?

How many times has the start of a term been put back a day because the first day after a break the school is closed for training and therefore reducing the number of teaching days.

Instead of penalising parents and children, schools should have policies and processes that make it easier for a pupil to catch up any missed lessons.

Like many public bodies, they appear to be driven by the all-important stats that prove the world is rosy.

Dave Fothergill St Julian’s Avenue Newport

Comments (9)

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5:14pm Wed 21 May 14

Realist UK says...

The NUT & NASUWT would be up in arms if teacher training was conducted during holidays. We know that all school time is vital, vital to the process of number crunching figures for banding purposes.
The NUT & NASUWT would be up in arms if teacher training was conducted during holidays. We know that all school time is vital, vital to the process of number crunching figures for banding purposes. Realist UK
  • Score: -1

11:50am Thu 22 May 14

maggiesian says...

Realist UK wrote:
The NUT & NASUWT would be up in arms if teacher training was conducted during holidays. We know that all school time is vital, vital to the process of number crunching figures for banding purposes.
I find it hard to believe that Dave and Realist UK have not been told many, many times that the training days are taken out of Teachers' holidays. They used to be called Baker Days after Kenneth Baker introduced them when he was Education Secretary. When they were introduced teachers had their annual holidays cut by five days and at the time those training days could not be at the beginning or the end of term nor on Mondays or Fridays.
[quote][p][bold]Realist UK[/bold] wrote: The NUT & NASUWT would be up in arms if teacher training was conducted during holidays. We know that all school time is vital, vital to the process of number crunching figures for banding purposes.[/p][/quote]I find it hard to believe that Dave and Realist UK have not been told many, many times that the training days are taken out of Teachers' holidays. They used to be called Baker Days after Kenneth Baker introduced them when he was Education Secretary. When they were introduced teachers had their annual holidays cut by five days and at the time those training days could not be at the beginning or the end of term nor on Mondays or Fridays. maggiesian
  • Score: 2

6:56pm Thu 22 May 14

Dave on his Soapbox says...

maggiesian..... training days may well be taken out of teachers leave....but unlike support staff etc they are not paid pro-rata....i.e. paid for the whole year

But you are missing the point......training day result in children missing out on 5 days worth of teaching.....which their parents are being told is the reason for stopping them from taking their children out in term time.

If it's ok for teachers to make children miss 5 days of schooling......why is it not therefore ok for parents to be able to take the children out for the permitted 10 days.
maggiesian..... training days may well be taken out of teachers leave....but unlike support staff etc they are not paid pro-rata....i.e. paid for the whole year But you are missing the point......training day result in children missing out on 5 days worth of teaching.....which their parents are being told is the reason for stopping them from taking their children out in term time. If it's ok for teachers to make children miss 5 days of schooling......why is it not therefore ok for parents to be able to take the children out for the permitted 10 days. Dave on his Soapbox
  • Score: -1

8:39pm Thu 22 May 14

maggiesian says...

Dave on his Soapbox wrote:
maggiesian..... training days may well be taken out of teachers leave....but unlike support staff etc they are not paid pro-rata....i.e. paid for the whole year

But you are missing the point......training day result in children missing out on 5 days worth of teaching.....which their parents are being told is the reason for stopping them from taking their children out in term time.

If it's ok for teachers to make children miss 5 days of schooling......why is it not therefore ok for parents to be able to take the children out for the permitted 10 days.
As the training days are held in what was the holidays the children have the same number of teaching days as before. The Government of the day would not allow the training days to be all held at the end of the term and that is why many people think that children are missing out on education. It's a fairly easy concept to grasp!
[quote][p][bold]Dave on his Soapbox[/bold] wrote: maggiesian..... training days may well be taken out of teachers leave....but unlike support staff etc they are not paid pro-rata....i.e. paid for the whole year But you are missing the point......training day result in children missing out on 5 days worth of teaching.....which their parents are being told is the reason for stopping them from taking their children out in term time. If it's ok for teachers to make children miss 5 days of schooling......why is it not therefore ok for parents to be able to take the children out for the permitted 10 days.[/p][/quote]As the training days are held in what was the holidays the children have the same number of teaching days as before. The Government of the day would not allow the training days to be all held at the end of the term and that is why many people think that children are missing out on education. It's a fairly easy concept to grasp! maggiesian
  • Score: 2

10:57pm Thu 22 May 14

pbhj says...

Dave on his Soapbox wrote:
maggiesian..... training days may well be taken out of teachers leave....but unlike support staff etc they are not paid pro-rata....i.e. paid for the whole year

But you are missing the point......training day result in children missing out on 5 days worth of teaching.....which their parents are being told is the reason for stopping them from taking their children out in term time.

If it's ok for teachers to make children miss 5 days of schooling......why is it not therefore ok for parents to be able to take the children out for the permitted 10 days.
They're not missing 5 days of teaching. The 5 days are extra days to the 190 teachers are contracted to teach for.

It's important that teachers have additional training as their careers progress, particularly if taking up management roles, to stay on top of legislative changes and such. It's also very sensible that these days are chosen arbitrarily so that not all teachers are demanding service from providers at the same times. That all teachers (and sometimes auxillary staff) take training together surely aids in development of the esprit de corps of a school too.

Back to the initial point in the letter - attendance means next to nothing. There is apparently a correlation between attendance and results but merely sitting in school won't give you an education and certainly experiences outside school _can_ be of greater input in to academic development.
[quote][p][bold]Dave on his Soapbox[/bold] wrote: maggiesian..... training days may well be taken out of teachers leave....but unlike support staff etc they are not paid pro-rata....i.e. paid for the whole year But you are missing the point......training day result in children missing out on 5 days worth of teaching.....which their parents are being told is the reason for stopping them from taking their children out in term time. If it's ok for teachers to make children miss 5 days of schooling......why is it not therefore ok for parents to be able to take the children out for the permitted 10 days.[/p][/quote]They're not missing 5 days of teaching. The 5 days are extra days to the 190 teachers are contracted to teach for. It's important that teachers have additional training as their careers progress, particularly if taking up management roles, to stay on top of legislative changes and such. It's also very sensible that these days are chosen arbitrarily so that not all teachers are demanding service from providers at the same times. That all teachers (and sometimes auxillary staff) take training together surely aids in development of the esprit de corps of a school too. Back to the initial point in the letter - attendance means next to nothing. There is apparently a correlation between attendance and results but merely sitting in school won't give you an education and certainly experiences outside school _can_ be of greater input in to academic development. pbhj
  • Score: 2

5:56pm Fri 23 May 14

Dave on his Soapbox says...

......if this is the case why is it when you would expect the start of term to be on a Monday in September....it is on a Tuesday because of teacher training....as it is after Christmas..... it appears to be one rule to suit schools and teachers.....and another for parents......another concept that's easy to grasp...
......if this is the case why is it when you would expect the start of term to be on a Monday in September....it is on a Tuesday because of teacher training....as it is after Christmas..... it appears to be one rule to suit schools and teachers.....and another for parents......another concept that's easy to grasp... Dave on his Soapbox
  • Score: -2

8:59am Sat 24 May 14

tebes says...

I always fail to understand why it is always the fault of teachers when it comes to training days or schools closing for snow. Is it the fault of the employees if Asda for example raise their prices?

Teachers have no say about taking the five training days or school closures-in just the same way that shop workers have no say in raising the price of goods.

If you have a gripe against training days etc-take it up with the layabouts in Cardiff Bay.

Steve
I always fail to understand why it is always the fault of teachers when it comes to training days or schools closing for snow. Is it the fault of the employees if Asda for example raise their prices? Teachers have no say about taking the five training days or school closures-in just the same way that shop workers have no say in raising the price of goods. If you have a gripe against training days etc-take it up with the layabouts in Cardiff Bay. Steve tebes
  • Score: 1

9:12am Sat 24 May 14

brian819@btinternet.com says...

I need to know what evidence there is to necessitate local authorities "asking" Head Teachers to refuse pupils holidays during term time.
Whether or not this practice would or would not affect a school's assessment in the eyes of the Welsh Government is of no concern of the pupil or the parents only the school. It is not right that local authorities should impose their will on pupils and parents without providing clear evidence that what they say is true. Even so, the decision should be able to be appealed to a higher independent bod with powers of quick response. It would have to be independent or it would not be fair.
I need to know what evidence there is to necessitate local authorities "asking" Head Teachers to refuse pupils holidays during term time. Whether or not this practice would or would not affect a school's assessment in the eyes of the Welsh Government is of no concern of the pupil or the parents only the school. It is not right that local authorities should impose their will on pupils and parents without providing clear evidence that what they say is true. Even so, the decision should be able to be appealed to a higher independent bod with powers of quick response. It would have to be independent or it would not be fair. brian819@btinternet.com
  • Score: -1

10:06pm Wed 28 May 14

Mwy Eira says...

My daughters' school haven't authorised term time holidays for years. The governing body made a decision that they would go down as an unauthorised absence. If a school refuses an application for a term time holiday, the parents can still take them out, have it put as an unauthorised absence but may well have a knock on the door by the Educational Welfare Officer on their return.
My daughters' school haven't authorised term time holidays for years. The governing body made a decision that they would go down as an unauthorised absence. If a school refuses an application for a term time holiday, the parents can still take them out, have it put as an unauthorised absence but may well have a knock on the door by the Educational Welfare Officer on their return. Mwy Eira
  • Score: 0

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