Monday, July 21, 2014

Jobsworths again

There are those out there who will hold to a rule no matter what, they cannot see outside it nor can they ever even contemplate that as with many rules there are exceptions. For some reason or other, they tend to be attracted to working for the state... Then again perhaps that's not such a surprise, private industry and businesses (unless working for the state) have to be flexible, it's good public relations after all.
The mother of a terminally-ill boy is fighting against being fined for taking him out of school for what could be his last holiday.
Maxine Ingrouille-Kidd has been threatened with a fine of up to £120 and possible prosecution if she takes her son Curtis out of school during term time.
Doctors have given Curtis, 13, who is a blind quadriplegic and has cerebral palsy, just a few years to live and warned he may only survive until his late teens.
“My son is 14 in October and this may well be his last holiday,” the mother-of-three said.
“He is never going to have a career, he is going to spend the rest of his life with us looking after him.
The family have my deepest sympathy, it must be heartbreaking for them, yet there will be a lot of moments to treasure too.
In this instance though I simply cannot see a reason for the school to object, Curtis is after all in a terminal condition and unless someone comes up with a miracle cure (unlikely) then he won't even make it to take exams, never mind find a useful niche in society. Whilst I can in part see some reasons for keeping kids in school during term times, mostly I wonder against the mentality that believes that going away for a couple of weeks in term time will make a difference to their education. It's probably more to do with it being inconvenient to the school or teacher.
To be honest I believe that Curtis' mother simply ought to take him and then ignore the fine and if summoned to a magistrate opt for a trial by jury as I do not believe that there is a jury in the UK who would convict. Not in this instance anyway.

10 annotations:

Mac said...

One should ask, to whom do children belong? The parents or the State?

The English Painter said...

It would be interesting to know exactly what important education Curtis would be missing if he was taken out of school...

Kath lissenden said...

When I worked in school they were far more flexible about taking children out of school during term time, but you did need written permission and 90% of the time the school would happily oblige.
The reason for this crack down and it did start about 5 years ago now is that like all these things there were a handful of parents in every school who took the piss to put it plainly.
The situation got so ridiculous that the government stepped in and told the schools that as unauthorised absenteeism was at an all time high schools needed to do something. Schools unwilling to upset parents carried on until the government then started a fines system for the schools. At the end of the year the school receives a financial penalty for every child who has unauthorised or unexplained absence, then they see if the school is above the number for absence percentage and then fine them again.
So whilst I agree with you, I always try to bare in mind that the more parents that do this the more the school is fined and the more money is lost form every child in one schools education (the fine money paid by the parent does not go to the school) .
Let's not forget too that schools used to be more flexible till a small proportion of parents took ridiculous liberties and ruined it for the sensible parents. Obviously in this child's case it is ridiculous and he should be allowed to go, but schools have become paranoid and unable to be flexible enough to differentiate cases.

Dioclese said...

I heard the other day that there is a case going through the courts witht e support of Liberty where the family were fined because they took the kid abroad to attend a family wedding. They're refusing to pay and are being prosecuted. The defence is article 8 of the Human Rights Act about right to family life.

Why is it that teachers seem unable to apply common sense?

Why does the EHCR impinge of every aspect of our lives?

Makes my blood boil...

Paul Robson said...

No, it's because schools get measured on absences, and one absence can make quite a big difference.

Anonymous said...

I must agree with Kath listener's comments about parents abusing the system. Several years ago, the headmistress (imagine Margaret Rutherford cloned with Atilla the Hun) told parents that if their children missed more than a set period over the school year, their child would be placed in a lower class and have to take that year's lessons again. Despite complaints, it happened to two children, one the offspring of a school governor who felt that school rules didn't apply to her) and the incidence of children being taken out of school during term time stopped.
By the way, Kath, it's "bear in mind".

Lord T said...

Why she doesn't just take the poor little sod out of school and give home education. He ain't going to be doing much anyway.

Another example of the caring state.

These people need to be kicked about a bit. It seems to be every facet of the public sector that is full of jobsworths and fuckwits. I don't think my computer can hold the list of fuckwits who need dealing with nowadays.

Kath lissenden said...

Penseivat, thank you so much for correcting me, as I am Dyslexic I do occasionally miss the odd thing when I comment.
I have struggled all my life with people permanently correcting my slips and errors and it was that level of pickiness that made me even more determined to help children who suffered the same persecution.
I do sometimes still make mistakes and love to be corrected thank you so much for your concern.

Anonymous said...

A fair comment, Kath Lissenden, although you couldn't have expected him to know before he posted his message that you were dyslexic, could he?

It might have been yet another example of the parlous state of teaching in this country, which was pretty much what the original post was about.

If you accept that you make mistakes, as do we all, why come down so heavily on anonymous's? I am sure he meant no offence.

By the way, I am anonymous too, but I haven't posted here before, so please don't blame the other one for my post.

Anonymous said...

I meant no disrespect at what I thought was a humorous aside. Whilst not dyslexic myself, I am constantly tortured by an autocorrect with a mind of it's own, hence my calling you "listener" instead of "Lissenden" - you have no idea what came out this time before I corrected it (another humourous aside!). One day I may just send a message, any message, without changing what my laptop comes up with, and see what response I get :-)