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Will term time holidays continue?

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The government have received a petition demanding they put a stop to the ban on schoolchildren taking time off school for holidays during term-time. The petition has 126,000 signatures and has been submitted to the Department for Education. Campaigners state that families can’t afford the inflated cost of a holiday during school holidays.

10 days were previously allowed

The Department for Education say they have given schools the freedom to set term dates, allowing parents the chance to book cheaper holidays outside of the standard term dates. Up until September 2013, Head Teachers could allow up to 10 days off per pupil for holidays in “special circumstances”. This rule has since been removed from the regulations.

The ban will have an impact on those families who can’t afford the extortionate prices charged to holidaymakers during the school holidays.

“Also not all businesses can allow their staff to be off all at the same time”, says the petition.

“All children who have a good attendance record should be allowed the opportunity to enjoy quality time with their parents on an annual holiday of up to 10 days once per year.”

Can term time holidays be educational?

Craig Langman, who started the petition, said that his six year old son still remembered a family holiday to Rome taken in term time two years previously. The holiday had come in handy for his son who has since completed school projects based on Rome.

“It was probably more educational than being in school to be honest. He still remembers the Palatine Hill and the Colosseum.”

Mr Langman claims holiday prices in the school holidays can cost three times as much as those available in term time, making it unaffordable for the majority of families.

“I am not asking kids to have a guaranteed extra two weeks on top of their existing 10 weeks’ holiday each year – but this blanket ban on term-time holidays with the threat of a fine is almost killing families.”

He added that Head Teachers should still have the power to grant extra days holiday.

“I feel that most MPs in the government had holidays with their parents when they were younger so why do they think they have the power to stop our children’s generation from enjoying the same lifestyle,” says Mr Langman.

“Soon only rich kids would be able to go on holiday and that’s unfair on everyone else.”

single parents holidays with children

Children taken out of school can lose valuable learning time

The Department for Education claims that children lose valuable learning time when they are away and waste even more trying to catch up upon their return, which is why they prefer holidays to be taken outside of term-time.

“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.”

What do you think?

Perhaps the government could take a look at the travel agents hiking up their prices in the school holidays whilst they’re at it, what do you think?

Members of The Working Parent Facebook page feel that enforcing holidays only during planned school holiday time is giving travel companies permission to increase the prices.

Some of the comments that we have received:

-If you are working hard all year and the only time that you can go on holiday with your family is during term time then who are the government to dictate to you when you should go? Don’t they have enough say/control over enough already? A holiday together is a lifeline for some families and its not just the price that prevents families going away during official holidays but the pretty obvious fact that not everyone in a company can go away at the same time!! School isn’t the only place to be educated, there is a whole wide world out there for them to explore and be inspired by. I dare say they’d more in a week exploring Italy (language, architecture, customs, history etc) than they would in a week at school. The curriculum is not well thought out at all, it focuses too much on Maths & English and little about anything else, little wonder children are bored rigid at school. Seems OK for school trips to be taken during term time though? I couldn’t even get permission to take my kids to the Cheshire Show as the school said I couldn’t take time of to go on ‘my jollies’ (direct quote) yet other schools give permission and go on organised trips there. I don’t see why a school is allowed to decide where and when it is not suitable for a child to miss lessons, especially if they are prone to making your child miss this ever so important education through strikes.

-I went on holiday during term times and it didn’t affect my education. I will be taking my son on holiday during term times unless it seems to be affecting his education.

-It’s term time therefore they should be at school. Holidays are a luxury item if they can’t be afforded when your children are on school holidays you shouldn’t go. Otherwise you are willingly denying them part of their education. Whether it’s the social integration of primary school, SATS, GCSE etc they are all within the curriculum for a reason and shouldn’t be missed due to a cheap deal to Malaga!

-I think the holiday companies shouldn’t be allowed to double and sometimes treble holiday costs during school holidays. Peak times will always be more expensive, but the price hike is beyond reasonable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About Dani Lee

About Dani Lee

Dani enjoys turning her hand to writing when she gets a chance. Dani works full time and has 2 children, Sophie, 7 and Harry, 15 months and if anyone knows what it is to be a working parent, she does!

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