An English primary school sent a letter warning parents that their children could lose their enrollment after they missed class to attend their grandfather’s funeral.
Sheffield's Handsworth Ballifield Primary School told Andrew and Danielle Overend-Hogg that their three children weren’t authorized to take an absence when they missed school to attend the funeral in Cumbria, about three hours away.
Teagan, 9, Isla, 5, and Elsie-Mae, 3, could lose their spots if they miss class again.
New government education regulations passed in the UK last August say that children can only miss school for "exceptional circumstances.”
Ballifield head teacher Sheila Hague says the warning was issued in compliance with the new guidelines.
"It was a standard letter that was sent out, which is rather black and white, but we followed guidelines which cover all our family of schools in this area," Hague said.
The children’s father said the loss of their grandfather was a stunning blow after the kids lost their grandmother just eight months earlier.
"It's almost as if they are saying if you have to suffer the death of a grandparent it should happen out of term time," Andrew Overend-Hogg said. "I'm really disgusted. If it's all about Government regulations then it seems the grief of a family has no relevance at all."
"We are sorry the family feels upset but we have tried to be flexible, taking into account the previous good attendance records of the children," Hague said. "But we also have to be careful not to open the floodgates to other situations that may occur."
Parents have pointed out the absurdity regarding child absences after a head mistress of a Leicestershire primary school, Vina Pankhania, took off an entire month to get married, while parents continue to be fined.