Every year for the past thirty years, this has been the day I/we load up everything but the kitchen sink and set off to take part in a brilliant event. (I'm not going to name it here because I don't want the DG identity recognised by anyone who knows me in real life). This year, we're not going, because the boys' school kicked up a major fuss; threats of getting in the Education Welfare Officer, all sorts. We were told "every single day counts in education".
What really annoys me is that every time we go along to those "keep the parents informed" evenings, they say "Once the attendance drops below 95%, there is a very clear effect on the GCSE results. It is proven that poor attendance causes poor results."
So I have several major issues with that:
(1) Even after their one-week unauthorised absence "to accompany the parent with whom they reside on their main annual holiday", my children's attendance is always 97%. Which by the school's own words is not in the danger zone.
(2) There are many reasons why a person with poor attendance might have poor results. That does not automatically mean that the relationship is simple causative.
(3) Last week, and three weeks ago, all students were sent home at morning break, to allow the school to prepare for Open Evenings. Three lessons missed, both days.
(4) Only yesterday my middle son was given the afternoon off, along with about fifty others, to enable them to get home in time to get to a school-organised event last night. In other words, every day counts unless the school themselves decide it doesn't.
Anyway, today all over the country, roughly one hundred people I've known for between fifteen and thirty years are at this moment driving towards their holiday and I'm not. I am pissed off and unhappy.