School Term Time Holiday Procedures

If I am honest I could write several posts for Ranty Friday this week, but as I am still working on a couple of issues with a certain fridge/freezer company I have decided to go with this one………School Holidays.

Yesterday I received this……..

The key line that really pissed me off annoyed me is “may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances

It doesn’t tell you what “Exceptional Circumstances” are either!

The booklet goes on to state that if you take your child out of school that there will be a £60 fine for EACH PARENT if paid within 7 days.  If not it will rise to £120 EACH PARENT within 28 days and if still not paid will then be escalated to the local authority to issue a fine.

This year we took the 12 and 5 year old out of school for the first time in a number of years for a holiday to Disneyland Paris.  It was only for 4 days, and was granted as both children had 100% attendance.

The reason we took them out of school was two fold – my husband’s job in retail means that he is unable to take sale times off…….this rules out Christmas, Easter – in fact most of the school holidays!

The second part was cost.  The price of the holiday was literally half the price of the week before (in the school holidays).  We couldn’t have afforded to go then.

I think the current rules are perfectly fair which give up to two weeks off a year.  That is perfectly adequate and it is reasonable to think that the kids can catch up with any work missed.  To not allow a holiday full stop, the children are missing out on a major learning opportunity.

Yes – we went to Disney but we learned about new cultures, languages, food, engaged with stories as well as having lots and lots of fun.  The boys were intrigued by how the euro tunnel was built and how we weren’t actually travelling through water as we were under the English Channel – how is that not learning?

It has completely thrown our holiday plans for next year into turmoil, which we have saved for years to be able to do.  This is the last year we can effectively take Kian out of school as he will be doing his GCSE work the following two years and I do agree with a holiday ban for years 10 & 11 as the work is even more valuable and important they don’t miss it.

Oh, and while I am moaning…….

  • how is it OK for the teachers to strike in term time, disrupting my children’s schooling
  • how can they justify “x” number of teacher training days in term time – why not have them during the school holidays……..teachers get far more holiday than the normal 28 days us normal folk get! (Isaac had one last week and he breaks up next Wednesday)

I want to know if this is another money making scheme from the Government, or just another attempt at telling the little people what they can and can’t do?


16 thoughts on “School Term Time Holiday Procedures”

  1. It is ridiculous, the school has always had the option to say no if it is at a silly time of the school year, tho the vast majority of parents pick their moments sensibly. Like you, I didn’t take any holiday at all when Betsy was doing her GCSEs, and this school year my kids had 3 days off for a holiday. Surely it is up to the parent to choose how to raise their offspring, sometimes some much needed family time is more important than school in my opinion.

    I presume most people will just lie to avoid the fines…prepare for lots of fake coughs….

  2. Bollocks to that. It’s outrageous, fining parents who can’t afford to take holidays outside of term time. To my mind, it’s still worth paying the fine and taking them out of school – cos even with the fine, it’s still a cheaper holiday.
    Our school just sends out a letter, either telling us that we have been gratned “authorised absence” for our children, or that the time off will be marked down as “unauthorised absence” – but parents just ignore it and take them out anyway.

  3. It’s a real issue this and tis year will be the first time we have to deal with it as Z starts school in September. It is such a shame that the holiday companies bump up the prices but a problem that I don’t see having any qick fix.

    • I am hoping the change to school holidays that is supposedly coming in will help with holiday prices…..but it may just end up making holidays more expensive ALL the time!

  4. Please don’t blame teachers for this, it’s the government and local authority who determine these things along with term dates and INSETs. Likewise can I just point out we work half of our holidays, I don’t know a single teacher who doesn’t, and we are also stuck with the expensive holiday costs.

    • I blame the government and local authorities for this daft ruling and inset days – I still believe these should be held in school holidays.
      I have to admit I know a few teachers and apart from a few days tagged at the beginning and end of the holidays get almost the same amount of leave as the kids, but yes, you guys have to shoulder the extortionate holiday prices too which is very unfair!

  5. This makes me so FARKING angry. Why are the government allowing holiday companies to RAMP up the prices outside of term time? That should be stopped now. And then maybe hard working families might not need to take their children out of school.

    And on days we keep our children off sometimes we know it is the right thing to do. In the last two weeks of term my kids did sod all.

    If I had taken them out of school, say to go to London, they would have learnt a damn sight more than they did sitting in a class room.

    This makes me SO angry.

    • I love the use of the word FARKING – brilliant.
      I totally agree with you, the little ones have been watching Disney videos and playing games the last week and the tween built a huge train set…..they should have proper lessons up to and including the last day. And one more thing……why on earth do they finish half day too????

  6. Totally ridiculous and has made my blood boil. My sons school has sent a similar letter, however, we have no booklet and no knowledge of the fine amount… i had no idea it was per parent, and how does that work where parents are divorced and for step parents?

    Other than the logistics, I agree holidays ARE educational. Home ed kids don’t have this stipulation. I strongly think that all children should be entitled to one weeks holiday per year at a time to suit the family.

    Its not just about holiday costs that rocket in school holidays its also about all those hard working parents whose work places dictate holiday.

    I travelled every year as a child and I learnt so much. Practising foreign language, learning different cultures, tasting a variety of food, hiking, experiencing travel by plane, train, cable cars, etc. Seeing mountains, spotting different animals in the wild. History, geography amd even maths when spending foreign currency.

    I could rant for hours on this topic. I do agree that examination year is crucial, but in the younger years I cannot see how one week would affect a childs education anymore than the numerous staff training and strike days experienced. And, holidays are educational in themselves. Even a holiday by the pool may give a child the opportunity to learn to swim !

  7. Teachers are told what to do by the government, this is not new and it is not their choice. Please do not blame teachers!

  8. Interestingly I spoke to my mum about this issue and she doesn’t think parents should take children out of school for holidays. Her opinion is that many parents save and take their kids on holiday in the summer hols (like she did when I was a child) and those parents obviously value their child’s education more than parents who take their kids out term time so they can sun themselves by the pool.

    She doesn’t think affording a holiday is a right and that actually there are plenty of days out that can be done during the summer hols at weekends.

    Obviously you can see from my comment earlier my view is the opposite but I thought it was interesting to hear an older generations opinion.


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