A mother with terminal cancer has been denied permission for her son to miss a week of school for what could be their last last family holiday because it was not an “exceptional circumstance”.
Angela Rose, who has only months to live, wrote to her eight-year-old son Carlo’s school begging for permission for him to be taken from school for a week-long family caravan trip during term.
Ms Rose, 36, was diagnosed with breast cancer 14 months ago. Within just weeks, doctors told her the cancer had spread to the mother’s bones and brain and she had between one to two years left to live.
The dying mother of three, from Milton Keynes, UK, planned to take Carlo, along with her 13-year-old son and 18-year-old daughter, on a caravan trip in Great Yarmouth.
She said she could not afford the school holiday premium price for her holiday, so she booked it for during term to save more than $1000.
Stanton Middle School, in Buckinghamshire, reportedly knocked back her request, saying leave could only be granted to pupils in “exceptional circumstances”, the Milton Keynes Citizen reported.
Ms Rose said she couldn’t believe the response, especially considering Carlo had a 98 per cent attendance record.
“If a dying 36-year-old mum wanting to take her boy on holiday for one last time isn’t an exceptional case then I dread to think what is,” she said.
The local UK guidelines only allow leave to be granted to pupils during term in “exceptional circumstances”, and parents may be fined up to $210 for the unauthorised absence.
Following a request from the local council, the school has since apologised to Ms Rose and reversed its decision to allow Carlo to have one final holiday with his dying mother.
“Although we knew she had health issues we did not realise the full extent of them. We should have checked further – we didn’t, and we’re very sorry,” a school spokesman said.
“In the light of this we will of course grant this leave of absence, outside of normal school holiday time.”
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While Ms Rose is looking forward to the family trip next month, the cancer patient said potentially being fined for her son taking a week off had placed unnecessary stress on her.
“I had to fill in a form to give the reasons I wanted to take my son out of school during term time. I clearly stated that I had terminal cancer and this could be our last holiday together,” she said.
“I just don’t see how they could have made a mistake.”