It was in the news on the weeks counting down to the School Summer Holidays about parents being fined for removing their children from school during term time to travel on a family holiday and I have to say it makes me cross.
I understand school have certain targets to meet and attendance for children is one of those, however for the likes of my children that have exceptional attendance (even if the teen did last year throw in some lates walking to school!)
I have been an active supporter of school rules, uniforms and stances on behaviour, however I do feel very disgruntled with the continued “clamping down” and fining of parent taking a family holiday in term time.
I think for me what does get me growling is the continued stance that children who are absent for one week for holiday purposes will therefore miss out on their learning … My question is when the school is shut through boiler malfunction, snow or staff no-show … there is never any mention of making up those much-needed days of learning.
I know the holidays we have been on have been much-needed to reconnect as a family, before I worked from home being self-employed I very rarely could get time off in the holidays and especially previous jobs that meant I worked in excess of 60 hours a week … having a week reconnecting as a family was so very important.
For me I would be more than happy to take daily work with me on holiday and to ensure my children were completing it while there as I am sure would many parents.
Gone are the days where the Head Teacher could use their discretion, instead parents now face a fine of £60 per pupil, per parent, rising to £120 if it’s not paid within seven days and it’s causing a rather large divide across the board.
I will continue to keep my stance that Travel is Education … after all my son on his holidays this year learnt about 2 different cultures, experienced different languages, cultures, foods and even activities as he learnt to swim on his last holiday.
Something has to be done to ensure families and schools don’t miss out on either aspect …. of family or school life and with nothing yet on the horizon from the holiday companies about reducing the costs for premium date holidays I think more needs to be done to think outside the box like the Head Teacher at a school in South Wales that the Telegraph recently reported doing just that and using all the allocated 5 inset (training days) within a week allowing the parents of children at the school to take advantage of the lower prices for holidays and trying to ensure that attendance remained high … a win win in most cases I would personally say.
What about you, do you agree with family holidays in term time?
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post.