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Children Blocked from Dance Exams?


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I always just informed my children's schools that they would be absent on such a such a date for dance, LAMDA or music exams but I do know that at my daughter's previous dance school there was a problem with children from schools in a neighbouring local authority.  If permission for my children had ever been refused I would have taken no notice.  We used to have to travel from Staffordshire to Manchester for LAMDA so it took a whole day sometimes.  They have now opened a more local centre.

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The fundamental problem  here , as  usual, is that schools are not looking at using the correct coding for the  situation   and/or lack in glandular fortitude  to tell those who whinge over  other's legit absences being authorised. 

If  dance / music / drama  exams are being refused / blocked . recorded as unauthorised  yet sporting  representation  with county  or professional team academies is being passed  there is  the possibility of Equality Act  actions as the  policy  is  indirectly   discriminating on the basis of  sex   ( much as this may be seen as  stereotyping )

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1 minute ago, YorkshirePudding said:

I have never asked permission, just told school what the children are doing and when they would be collected and returned back. Both their primary and secondary schools have always responded with a 'good luck and let us know how you get on..'

 
possibly because the school doesn't have a problem with  chavvy but with means  / nouveau riche  parents  who  want to break the rules solely for hoildays ...  ( or even chavvy without  means  thanks to the  super  soaraway Scum and the 10 pound holiday promotion ) 

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Time off school to participate in a sporting competition comes under the same licensing rules as taking part in a performance eg EYB, panto, West End/Touring shows. 

 

Children who want to take time off to attend non local authority organised sports training tend to have the same issues as those taking dance exams. 

 

County orchestra & county sports  teams have no problems as it’s organised by the local authority. 

 

 

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27 minutes ago, YorkshirePudding said:

I have never asked permission, just told school what the children are doing and when they would be collected and returned back. Both their primary and secondary schools have always responded with a 'good luck and let us know how you get on..'

Ditto here,  over the years and a certain School Administrator  I have learnt to ‘inform’ rather than ‘ask’ for time off for the dancing exams. Be it RAD or ISTD. Even to the extent of the local Dance Festival. 😊🙆‍♀️ Response has always been supportive. 

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I just used to say they had an exam but girls in particular school in a different education authority had terrible problems. Yet their extracurricular activities were always mentioned on that school’s website and newsletters. 

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I've just had to ask for 4 days in a week's time  for Easter school, as the holidays don't match up, the next day for an audition and the following Wednesday for an exam. School just said they were really proud of how hard she works and - and that's Y9 with one early GCSE to work for. I was really relieved, pretty surprised and completely grateful to have chosen a state school which values the Arts - they still offer GCSE and A-Level Dance, Music and Drama despite cuts. But didn't realise until this morning just how lucky we are. 

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I've never had any problems getting time off for my children for dance or music exams etc. DD's academic school was singularly disinterested in her dancing, but they never actively tried to sabotage anything either. They are a lot more interested in my boys' musical and sporting achievements interestingly.

Amusingly, the only absence I've ever had a problem with was regarding my younger son. I recently got two letters within 24 hours from the school demanding an explanation for a day's "unauthorised absence", the second letter landing on my doorstep before I could possibly have had time to respond to the one my son had brought home, so they were obviously very concerned about this. Where was he? At the national finals of a science & technology competition.......representing the school! :rolleyes:

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3 minutes ago, Pups_mum said:

I've never had any problems getting time off for my children for dance or music exams etc. DD's academic school was singularly disinterested in her dancing, but they never actively tried to sabotage anything either. They are a lot more interested in my boys' musical and sporting achievements interestingly.

Amusingly, the only absence I've ever had a problem with was regarding my younger son. I recently got two letters within 24 hours from the school demanding an explanation for a day's "unauthorised absence", the second letter landing on my doorstep before I could possibly have had time to respond to the one my son had brought home, so they were obviously very concerned about this. Where was he? At the national finals of a science & technology competition.......representing the school! :rolleyes:

GIGO / PEBKAC

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1 hour ago, Picturesinthefirelight said:

 

County orchestra & county sports  teams have no problems as it’s organised by the local authority. 

 

 

It may vary from sport to sport, but that's certainly not the case for the sports my son participates in. County and regional teams are run by the youth development departments of the sports' governing bodies and are not connected to the local authority in any way as far as I know. I've had to apply for "absence due to exceptional circumstances" for county sports just as for music or dance related absences. Fortunately though most sporty things seem to go on at weekends or in school holidays so we've managed not to upset the school by requesting multiple absences.

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Surely the actual problem here is with the exam boards, who insist on scheduling exams during school hours? IMO the norm should always be to hold exam sessions in school holidays/weekends/after school, & never during the school day, certainly for secondary age students working towards GCSE's/A'levels?

 

I know it is a culture change but I do not agree that it is acceptable for children to be forced to miss school if they want to take a dance/music exam.

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It would be almost impossible, costs would go up A LOT and the wait for a private visit would be a lot longer than they currently are.  Also many public centre venues would not be available evenings and weekends (I'm thinkig of the church hall local ABRSM music exams are held in or the Friends Meeting House LAMDA exams are held in for example). 

 

Elitism would increase, dance is different as exams are generally  done in groups and at the dance schools own premises but music and drama exams the fees for a private visit are going up year by year.  Teachers are trying to combine sessions with each other but it is very difficult.  Only academic schools with enough children to have a private session would not be disadvantaged.

 

Examiners tour the country and a full day of exams will start at 9.00am and continue up until 6.00pm with a lunch break.  That would never be achievable evenings and weekends only.

 

 

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I imagine weekend/evening only working would have a huge impact on recruitment to examiners posts too. Aside from being highly antisocial hours, given that most examiners are also teachers there would be a huge impact on their own schools. It looks like a fairly arduous role to me as it is - I can't imagine many people wanting to take it on if exams were always  out of school hours.

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DS  is "educated off site" for his exams. Never been a problem at Senior School, they let him leave 45 minutes early every Friday so he could get to his associate class when he was in Year 7. Primary school was a different kettle of fish, the head didn't "do dance" so exams were a bit of a battle! 🙄

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We have never encountered a problem with any of the 3 schools my dd has attended, my understanding  is exams are classed as educational activity and coded as such on the register, nothing to do with aurhorised or unauthorised holiday or exceptional circumstances.  This has been the same for auditions/ open days and summer schools which started before term ended. 

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3 hours ago, Nicola H said:

 
possibly because the school doesn't have a problem with  chavvy but with means  / nouveau riche  parents  who  want to break the rules solely for hoildays ...  ( or even chavvy without  means  thanks to the  super  soaraway Scum and the 10 pound holiday promotion ) 

How rude! 😱 I'm obviously a "super soaraway chavvy Scum" mum then as I've taken my children on the so called £10 breaks when they were younger! 

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1 hour ago, youngatheart said:

Surely the actual problem here is with the exam boards, who insist on scheduling exams during school hours? IMO the norm should always be to hold exam sessions in school holidays/weekends/after school, & never during the school day, certainly for secondary age students working towards GCSE's/A'levels?

 

I know it is a culture change but I do not agree that it is acceptable for children to be forced to miss school if they want to take a dance/music exam.

It's not as simple as that, my students would not be able to take the exams if examination hours were restricted to out of school hours as I simply would not be able to get the hall space for the necessary length of time. For example I have over 60 candidates entered for RAD exams next term and I also have to factor in examiner breaks,lunch etc.

I always ask parents to let me know of potential issues so I can endeavour to timetable accordingly if at all possible.

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I have only ever heard of the problem arising when parents have made the unfortunate mistake of asking for time off as 'holiday', especially for things like dance summer schools or workshops. 

 

If you tell the school it is an 'approved sporting activity' then they can't say no. After all, dance is one of the sports listed on the GCSE PE curriculum. The other code they can use is 'educated offsite'.

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We have had schools refuse to authorise absence for dance exams. We now schedule all our exams to take place over the weekend and on the very rare occasion that they need to run onto a week day we only enter students who have either left school or attend a school that will authorise the absence (or have a parent who is happy to pukk them out without authorisation) It is a logistical nightmare!

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Re the “chavvy” remark, I can understand the different treatment between private and main stream schools. Even though there is actual legislation under children in entertainment, the rules regarding monitoring and reporting are very different. With private schools, time off is a “commercial arrangement” whereas local authority come down on mainstream like a tonne of bricks. 

 

Law should be consistent in my view and not determinedly by social class! 

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6 hours ago, Nicola H said:

possibly because the school doesn't have a problem with  chavvy but with means  / nouveau riche  parents  who  want to break the rules solely for hoildays ...  ( or even chavvy without  means  thanks to the  super  soaraway Scum and the 10 pound holiday promotion ) 

I haven't posted for ages but felt compelled to ask "what point are you actually trying to make?"  You came across as rather offensive but I thought I'd ask what your thoughts were before deciding wether you were being rude or not. 

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3 hours ago, Bluebird22 said:

We have had schools refuse to authorise absence for dance exams. We now schedule all our exams to take place over the weekend and on the very rare occasion that they need to run onto a week day we only enter students who have either left school or attend a school that will authorise the absence (or have a parent who is happy to pukk them out without authorisation) It is a logistical nightmare!

 

I suspect I know which out of the two local authorities the schools were in. 

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6 hours ago, daughtersdance said:

How rude! 😱 I'm obviously a "super soaraway chavvy Scum" mum then as I've taken my children on the so called £10 breaks when they were younger! 

The 'Scum' comment is another name for the S** newspaper. Lots of people prefer to use that term because of the way the paper treated the Liverpool fans and also the phone hacking. Sorry for going off topic!

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