Letter: When approval means truancy

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The Independent Online
Sir: Our six-year-old son is a pupil at a local state infant school and, apart from absence due to illness, has never missed a day during his two-and-a-half years' attendance. Recently, however, there arose the possibility that my husband and I would need to travel to Australia for three weeks before Christmas. This would have necessitated taking our two children with us.

We duly spoke to our son's headteacher, in order to gain her permission for his absence. While happy to have granted our son leave, she felt obliged to warn us that only two of those three weeks would have been counted as 'authorised'. The other week would apparently have had to be counted as 'unauthorised' - in spite of her approval - and therefore marked officially as 'truancy'.

Of all governments, this one at least should recognise that there are shades of grey between black and white.

Yours faithfully,


Watford, Hertfordshire

17 November