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Term time holiday ban

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The Government has cited the loss of ‘valuable learning time’ as the reason behind its decision to ban families from taking children out of school during term time. But the move has not gone down well with hundreds of thousands of parents up and down the country.

Previous rules

Previously, headteachers were able to grant up to 10 days’ leave a year outside the standard school holidays in ‘special circumstances’. Now the reference to the 10-day limit has been removed and they can’t grant any period of absence except under ‘exceptional circumstances’.
One family has already been fined almost £1,000 for taking their three children out of school during term time.

Unfair to families

MPs debate holidays during term timeCampaigners say the new ruling is adversely affecting families who can’t afford the much higher cost of a break during school holidays. Some companies double, or even treble, the price of their holidays from one week to the next if the second week falls during the standard times that schools are off.
One online petition, started by a parent on the 38 Degrees campaign website, has so far attracted more than 200,000 signatures against the ruling. The issue has also led to criticism of the companies which massively ramp up their prices in the school holidays.

Campaigns to stop price hikes

Another campaign which specifically calls for holiday companies to stop charging extra has also attracted more than 100,000 signatures and could now be debated in the House of Commons. In its defence, the Government claims that schools are being given the freedom to set their own term dates, thereby enabling families to take holidays at less expensive times. However this would create further problems for families, especially those who have children attending different schools, such as primary and secondary. If those schools have different holidays then this could spell the end of the family break altogether.

The Department of Education’s views

A spokesperson for the Department of Education, reported on the BBC, said: “If children aren’t in school they lose out on valuable learning time and have to waste more time catching up. That’s why children shouldn’t be taken out of school during term time unless absolutely necessary. “We are giving all schools the freedom to set their own term dates, for example David Young Community Academy in Leeds operates a seven-term year starting in June. This means that parents and teachers can benefit from cheaper holidays at the end of September.
“We want schools to consider changes to term dates that will work for their pupils and their families.”




One Response to “Term time holiday ban”

  1. James dibl

    Found a new petition on this, its disgraceful how we are being dictated to. As long as children regularly attend i don’t see the issue with term holiday within reason max 2 weeks. Its funny how this regulation does not affect private school as stated in the petition. Hopefully if we keep bombarding parliment with petitions, it might get changed as they just expect the general public to give up the fight.



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