permission refused. is head mistress being unreasonable?

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jules1066
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permission refused. is head mistress being unreasonable?

Post by jules1066 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:02 pm

My dd (6) just got her first contract for a tv commercial. We were all so excited for her. I put in a request for permission to have a day off school for filming and the headmistress replied that permission could not be granted as it is not an 'exceptional' reason and referred me to the school website. I was also told that they had not seen any official 'forms' (agency doing licence). This is our first time, and I feel gutted as this is so unreasonable and surely it is an exceptional reason and will benefit my DD. Also I don't think that her educational needs will be affected either so that argument doesn't stand, surely. She's one of the brightest in her class and does this mean she will never get permission for any project? I've requested a meeting to see if I can get the headmistress to change her mind. Anyone got any advice? Wish dd was at private school!! Where this seems to be ok.

lostouthere
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Re: permission refused. is head mistress being unreasonable?

Post by lostouthere » Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:18 pm

I completely feel for you as we are taking our first steps in this whole thing this year. We have had a few authorised days, the first few without much issue (a couple of sessions for a panto, and then a student film where I was expecting a bit more of a fuss), then the final one required a meeting and the head did explain that she feels she will be called to account for the number of days she authorises, and that it doesn't really fit into 'exceptional circumstances' as set out in the legislation. At the same time she also sees it is something DS really wants to do in future and it is not her place to discourage what really should be encouraged. So we are into 'each case on its merits' and 'proceed with caution' so goodness knows what will happen next time we get something (fingers crossed we do!). I don't know if it will help but I actually wrote a letter on the last two occasions to explain what the reasons were for wanting to do it and the advantages of the projects for DS and attached the invitation to audition (for the last one) and a note from the producers (for the student film) to indicate how important it all was - then again we were doing the licensing ourselves for the first two and so I also had to put the form itself in for signature. Perhaps if you explained that a licence is being obtained and that the impact on education is considered as part of that process with her input then that would also put her mind at rest? I do think the schools are in a difficult position especially if they have not come across the situation before and are under pressure from all sides. Generally I think the acting is good for their creative writing and confidence and it seems to have helped rather than hindered so far. I haven't tried it for a commercial or any kind of paid work. Good luck with it all, I really hope it works out.

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Re: permission refused. is head mistress being unreasonable?

Post by Dwafffamily » Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:47 pm

It's just so wicked and cruel and I feel for you :( I fail to see how a day or two off school will affect a child's education, it just doesn't and this is more to do with ticking bloody boxes, how's that about the kids?? If they are that bothered, your child can take the days worth of work with them and get it completed.
I do hope you are able to speak with the head and go over some of these points and do stress you're happy to take work with you.

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Flosmom
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Re: permission refused. is head mistress being unreasonable?

Post by Flosmom » Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:55 pm

One of the NAPMs went through this just a few months ago and - through diligent research - worked out that its not up to the Head Teacher. It's the LEA that issues the license. I wish I could remember who or when it was that this was discussed on here, but if you search 'licenses' or scan back through the forums you may well find just what you need to resolve this.

Good luck - and well done to your DD for the casting

Deb x

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Re: permission refused. is head mistress being unreasonable?

Post by eleanorrigby66 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:59 pm

Oh, I hate hearing stories of headteachers who do this :( . I think it's very unfair and very unreasonable, and especially at 6-years-old when your DD is hardly revising for any important exams! I think it's very sad how headteachers can turn their nose up at such opportunities when it's hardly any of their business - and if your DD were to have a future in performing arts, these things are 'exceptional' and certainly beneficial to her!! ](*,) It makes me so cross how they can have so much control over something like this.

I've heard awful stories of children who've won West End roles, only for their headteacher to rip that chance away from them - a headteacher who barely knows them, and then has so much say over their success! :(

I would think if it was happening for 1 or 2 days and at 6-years-old, that doesn't bode well for future roles either.

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Re: permission refused. is head mistress being unreasonable?

Post by paulears » Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:06 pm

A day off school at her age, or any age, to be completely honest has no impact at all on the usual educational programme. Things have been a bit quiet for me, so I've been doing some supply teaching and I have to say I'm shocked by the non-progress made in some classes by dreadful behaviour. It was a shock to see what constitutes 'normal'. So the practical result of missing a day is close to zero. However, the head is King of her castle, and she is perfectly within her rights. She can come up with sufficient evidence to back up her case - and at 6, you can't use the "good for her career" card, because the stats show that while it might be good for her bank balance, career longevity is not remotely guaranteed - and the Head knows this. Some heads can be supportive, but there is growing evidence that they are using middle class, foreign holiday taking families as special cases, while cheerfully excluding lower achievers with poor behaviour.

I note some are now initiating fines for missing school - the entire force of law being used to punish the good kids and families. If one of the troublesome and disruptive ones misses school, with no permission sought - do they do anything? Nope - because that child's absence promoted education not restricted it.

You will have to decide if you risk it? She sounds as if she might be reasonable, but has automatically refused. Why not make an appointment and have a chat. On your side you have Baker days, union strikes and cold weather closures. These things we are told have no impact on their education, so you do have some mitigation.

Next time the school closes for the day, it will be difficult for the head to say that this day didn't matter, but your day did!

Good luck

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Re: permission refused. is head mistress being unreasonable?

Post by lostouthere » Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:39 pm

Flosmom wrote:One of the NAPMs went through this just a few months ago and - through diligent research - worked out that its not up to the Head Teacher. It's the LEA that issues the license. I wish I could remember who or when it was that this was discussed on here, but if you search 'licenses' or scan back through the forums you may well find just what you need to resolve this.

Good luck - and well done to your DD for the casting

Deb x
That's very interesting, because while you can't decide to work without a licence (the producers would be committing an offence), you can decide to take the risk of an unauthorised absence from school. :D It must depend quite a bit on the approach taken by the licensing authority though. Maybe if you give them a call you will have more ammunition for the discussion ahead. The head teacher may not realise how normal it is.

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Re: permission refused. is head mistress being unreasonable?

Post by Flosmom » Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:07 pm

I had a dig around but I can find the thread - I think it may have been archived.

It might be worth a PM to supamum or begolina - I have a feeling that they were involved and might recall the debate.

There was even an awrsome letter shared that set out all the background to the regulations etc - it was very impressive and blew a hole through the Head Teacher's capacity to refuse time off.

Good luck

Deb

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Re: permission refused. is head mistress being unreasonable?

Post by sophiesocks » Tue Apr 22, 2014 5:49 pm

Have sent you a pm - but here is the details of the current legislation, i think a lot of teachers are confusing permission for holidays with performances, good luck

Child Performer
The amendments made to regulation 7 of the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 on leave of absence do not affect the section that allows the parent of a child performer to seek leave of absence from school for their child to take part in a performance. The amendments affect section 3 and 4 of regulation 7, which relate to leave of absence for the purpose of a family holiday.
Section 2 of Regulation 7 (which has not been amended) still enables a head teacher to grant leave of absence for a pupil to undertake employment during school hours for the purpose of taking part in a performance within the meaning of section 37 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1963.
Legislation sets out that a local authority licence must be obtained before a child can take part in a performance. Where the license specifies the dates that a child is to be away from school to perform, then the head teacher should authorised those days. However, where the terms of the license do not specify dates it is at the discretion of the head teacher to authorise leave of absence.

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Re: permission refused. is head mistress being unreasonable?

Post by begolina » Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:25 pm

Yes, it was me writing the letter. I can't find the thread. It was something like "what the law says about the licence". Can admin resume the thread? It is not in my old post either. Alternatevely, I can see if I find the original one and take away all the peronal bits to make it more like standard letter. Let me just put the dinner on and then come back to you.

In the meantime, just to keep the discussion going, I would advise not to take time off school for auditions (but I live in London, and dd's agent is very supportive about it) and def never took time off for students film (it can be done during weekends or after school time). Better to keep the chance of time off when is going to be need it.

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Re: permission refused. is head mistress being unreasonable?

Post by jules1066 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:25 pm

It's really heartening to read all the replies. I felt very badly treated by my DDs school today. Firstly, trying to get a meeting with the head was somewhat tricky! I took advice from the man at the council who issues the licenses and ironically is also the man who fines parents who take their kids on holiday during term time. He explained it was all possible and generally Heads would sign it off as authorised absence using code 'c' on the form. Unless there was a genuine educational issue. But sadly DDs head was adamant and won't authorize the performance now or any in the future!!!. She claims that since January the government is clamping down and her school's policy has had to get stricter. She barely discussed DD, nor the benefits to her. As DD is a 'gifted and talented' child I felt the head was being unreasonable as it could surely not be detrimental to her education, more likely it would compliment her education. And I felt so cross that one person had the power to simply dismiss these wonderful opportunities outright in the name of her school's statistics (outstanding ofsted school). So in a moment of complete madness I decided to pull her from the school altogether and put her into her older sisters school which is private, but at least I know the head there encourages and compliments kids for these types if achievements. And I feel MUCH better for it. I will also write a letter of complaint to the head and the school governors. Surely if the majority of primary school Heads sign these types of performances off, surely all of them should.

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Re: permission refused. is head mistress being unreasonable?

Post by paulears » Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:33 pm

It would be sneaky to let the local paper have a press release on your daughter's success in getting a role - and I can imagine nice pictures. Then next week - girls dream shattered! It's not good to manipulate the press is it? Satisfying though it would be!

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Re: permission refused. is head mistress being unreasonable?

Post by eleanorrigby66 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:03 pm

Wow, Jules, I am so so cross for you reading how short-sighted and unfair the head was being!! Unbelievable, and very sad, that they won't even take the time to consider the individual case - I really do think that is awful. [-(

.... but wow, good on you for pulling her there and then! Wow! I think you did the right thing, firstly in case your daughter would like to perform in future and secondly because the school is clearly not willing to nurture and support the individuals there. To say 'not now or ever' is infuriatingly uncompromising and unsupportive, to say the least. I guess the school to that head is not about supporting children in their future careers, but just about having a squeaky-clean record regardless of individual achievements and goals. [-X

As though one kid being out of school for one day would affect Ofsted anyway!! :roll:

jules1066
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Re: permission refused. is head mistress being unreasonable?

Post by jules1066 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:33 pm

Hi Begolina I would love to see the letter.

My DD will stay at the School for a few more days until I can get a formal letter to the head and governors. :? DDs daddy too is fuming! The irony is that the head is leaving at the end of term, but it's also the end of the infant school for DD so a new start for her too. In a strange way it's satisfying to fight an unjust cause, and hope one day others will benefit. Fingers crossed DD gets another opportunity, ha ha :D

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Re: permission refused. is head mistress being unreasonable?

Post by louey74 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:56 pm

I am so cross on your behalf, it is so hard for children in this industry as it is.
I am very lucky with my young DD school, when she did panto they fully supported her and marked her out as educational so does not go against the schools attendance. Still hoping & praying for something from her agency but good to know the school will support her.
My older DS on the other hand is not offered the same support and would struggle to get permission, as he is now 14 this has not mattered as isn't getting called for any castings as believe this can be a very quiet age.
I am so pleased that you have taken her out of the school, always a difficult decision but as your other child is there you know what you are getting involved in.

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