Me, Education, and Taking Holidays in Termtime

I’ve just been watching a news report about a Dad who refused to pay a fine regarding taking his child out of school for an extended family holiday during Term-time. He went to Court and because his child had an Attendance rate of over 90% the Judge agreed that he didn’t have to pay the fine. I’m really pleased that the Judge saw sense.

All of us parents who have looked at holidays will know that Holiday Companies hike the prices as soon as School Holidays start. It can be as much as double the price. Most of us either pay up or change our plans to something we can afford.

I believe in Education. I was a School Governor for almost 10 years. My kids almost always had 100% attendance. I only asked for permission to take my son out of School for a holiday when he was in Year 1. It was granted. I asked the Headmaster if it would be OK for me to take my son out of School to see a Johnny Ball Maths show when he was about 9 and he said of course! He deemed it educational.

 I believe my attitude is the probably the norm. Fines to stop people taking children out of school were brought in to stop those children who are out of school often, with bad attendance records. There can be all sorts of differing reasons for these absences, and I really think that the Teachers and Head Teachers should be the judge as they are probably more aware of individual circumstances. Obviously if a family is having a day off a week and a holiday every term, something has to be done. But it isn’t this type of family that makes the headlines.

And what about Homeschoolers? They have the flexibility to decide when and if they want a trip. They can decide what they may learn on their travels. And taking your children out of school for a year to travel could be a fantastic adventure. 

The Jobsworths who say that taking your child out of school is disrupting their education are missing the point. Schools are closed several days a year for voting – a real bugbear of mine. If you can give blood or have a Boob checkup in a trailer in a carpark, why can’t you vote in a similar setup?

I’m so glad the Judge in this case saw sense and took all the circumstances into account. That’s exactly how it should be.



4 thoughts on “Me, Education, and Taking Holidays in Termtime

  1. Yes! I was really pleased to see such a sensible decision.
    You make a really good point on homeschooling, which I think is great for the families who follow it, but no one says diddly if they have a day out to learn and experience new things, very double standards.

  2. I agree with you I firmly believe education is really important and regular and consistent attendance is really important, but there are occasions when family holidays just fit better with life to be outside the proscribed holiday time. It’s a huge bugbear of mine that kids get rewarded for 100% attendance when children with chronic or intermittent illnesses are simply unable to these goals through no fault of their own. My primary school used to send the kids home with different colour letters for attendance green orange and red making sure the whole class knew who had been ‘good’. Ate atime where we were struggling with ill health this was yet a further blow to an already fragile child. What happened to common sense and dealing with actual problems at root cause rather than branding everyone with the same blanket consequences regardless of individual circumstances? Rant over !!!

  3. I agree with you, though I think it was reported badly! Too little stress was placed on the ‘good attendance’ part I think and people will choose to interpret it as we can take our children wily nily. What makes me even madder about the stupid £60 fine is that schools don’t even get the money!!
    At Primary School, unauthorised attendance ( for holidays ) not a jot in reality. Like you say, it’s to encourage poor attendance by families who need support in non/low attendance. I wish I could have taken my children on cheaper holidays but working in a school meant I couldn’t really!
    I say, take your children away if you need to, they are only little once, you will never get the time back!

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