Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

    Former MSE Debs
    Real-life MMD: Term-time truancy for a cheap hol
    • #1
    • 29th Nov 12, 5:20 PM
    Real-life MMD: Term-time truancy for a cheap hol 29th Nov 12 at 5:20 PM
    Money Moral Dilemma: Term-time truancy for a cheap hol

    My parents want to take our six-year-old son on holiday during term-time, because it's loads cheaper than during the school holidays. It's a bit of a 'now or never' opportunity for him to go away with his grandparents, but the school will fine me if I take him out of school for a holiday. Should I make up an excuse so he can go?

    Click reply to have your say

    Note: While this MMD wasn't sent in by one of our users, please remember that these are real-life Money Moral Dilemmas and while we want you to have your say, please remember to be nice when you respond.

    Previous MMDs:
    View All

    This Forum Tip was included in MoneySavingExpert's weekly email

    Don't miss out on new deals, loopholes, and vouchers

    Last edited by Former MSE Debs; 04-12-2012 at 3:06 PM.
Page 1
    • JayWalker
    • By JayWalker 4th Dec 12, 9:13 PM
    • 88 Posts
    • 106 Thanks
    • #2
    • 4th Dec 12, 9:13 PM
    • #2
    • 4th Dec 12, 9:13 PM
    There are some things more important than saving money.

    Don't risk his education for the sake of a cheaper holiday. Arrange to split the costs of a cheaper holiday for ALL of you in during the school hols.
  • poet123
    • #3
    • 4th Dec 12, 9:23 PM
    • #3
    • 4th Dec 12, 9:23 PM
    Yes, I would let him go, he is six, he will catch up, and time spent with GP's can't be guaranteed for ever.
  • lolly_896
    • #4
    • 4th Dec 12, 9:23 PM
    • #4
    • 4th Dec 12, 9:23 PM
    There are some things more important than saving money.

    Don't risk his education for the sake of a cheaper holiday. Arrange to split the costs of a cheaper holiday for ALL of you in during the school hols.
    Originally posted by JayWalker
    There are also somethings that are of equal importance, spending time with family. IMO

    I wouldn't make excuses, i would take him regardless
    DFW Nerd #awaiting number - Proud to be dealing with my debts!

    Dont cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

    Sealed Pot Challenge #781

    • mandragora
    • By mandragora 4th Dec 12, 9:26 PM
    • 2,543 Posts
    • 4,716 Thanks
    • #5
    • 4th Dec 12, 9:26 PM
    • #5
    • 4th Dec 12, 9:26 PM
    How is this even a new or interesting question? This issue has been debated to death on here many, many times before. By the end of page three schools will be the only purveyors of anything worthwhile and educational, or fascist authoritarians who have no idea of the realities of family life because all teachers live in an ivory tower, and the parents/grandparents will be encouraged to go on the holiday and think of the penalty notice as an extra little sum to pay, or encouraged to lie, or berated for not putting their child's education first, and no good will ever come of it. By page 6 the issue will represent will be the symbol of all that's wrong in our society. By page nine we might get to 'a boy died once' if we're unlucky. Somewhere along the line we'll have 'Why don't you go camping? It's great fun and never did me any harm' vs 'Why shouldn't we have a family holiday, it's the only way we'll ever get one and our circumstances are very special/tragic/unique'

    I'm disappointed this is the most interesting MMD you can come up with - give me 5 minutes and I'll see if I can knock up something fresher. Oh, I know: 'I think my neighbour's a dole cheat, should I tell the authorities or keep schtum because if they have their benefits cut, the children will be even worse off, and I'd never live with myself/they might find out it was me who told'
    Reason for edit? Can spell, can't type!
    • Tigsteroonie
    • By Tigsteroonie 4th Dec 12, 9:32 PM
    • 20,711 Posts
    • 51,045 Thanks
    • #6
    • 4th Dec 12, 9:32 PM
    • #6
    • 4th Dec 12, 9:32 PM
    How is this even a new or interesting question? This issue has been debated to death on here many, many times before.
    Originally posted by mandragora
    I would agree. There have been numerous threads debating this very issue, and the posts do tend to deteriorate as the thread progresses. I'm surprised at MSE posting this, have they run out of ideas?

    For the record, I say take him. But then I am in the "I was taken out of school every year for a family holiday, it gave me a broader education and greater understanding of foreign countries/languages, and it never did me any harm" camp
    Mrs Marleyboy

    MSE: many of the benefits of a helpful family, without disadvantages like having to compete for the tv remote

    Proud Parents to an Au-some little boy
    • janiebquick
    • By janiebquick 4th Dec 12, 9:48 PM
    • 388 Posts
    • 482 Thanks
    • #7
    • 4th Dec 12, 9:48 PM
    • #7
    • 4th Dec 12, 9:48 PM
    First of all, parents are entitled to take their children out of school for two weeks with the school's permission. At the age of six, your child will not suffer by losing two weeks in school. There is absolutely no way his 'education' will suffer because schools in the UK do not educate children they school them. And the school has no authority to fine you for anything.
  • Cabbagewhite
    • #8
    • 4th Dec 12, 10:33 PM
    • #8
    • 4th Dec 12, 10:33 PM
    I would say go, a week is not going to make much difference. The school should allow 2 weeks per year for holidays/funerals etc., and will usually allow it as long as you don't choose a SATs/exam week. I wouldn't make a habit of it though. A week away from school won't do the child much harm educationally and is no worse than the several days each term that the school will get them to watch DVDs (worse just before Christmas), or the extra-long playtimes during good weather etc,etc. Or is it just my Children's school?
    • tgroom57
    • By tgroom57 4th Dec 12, 11:22 PM
    • 1,096 Posts
    • 10,968 Thanks
    • #9
    • 4th Dec 12, 11:22 PM
    • #9
    • 4th Dec 12, 11:22 PM
    A six year old will learn far more going on holiday than he/she would learn in an equivalent time in school.
    Take him and enjoy.
    wltw (would like to win) A plumber & £1,000 @ Homebase or B&Q; single electric oven w electronic programmable timers, FGW ticket(s) & a nice surprise
  • robynprincess
    Do I think you should let your son go? Absolutely. Should you make up an excuse? Absolutely not. You will be asking to him lie. He will want to talk about the holiday and if you make up an excuse there is every chance that the school teacher might ask him about it (in a nice way, 'oh you were poorly? Are you feeling better?' that sort of thing). Do you want to teach your child from a young age that its ok to lie if it gets you out of trouble?
  • ditzyangeluk
    Take him .. education - pah! They never worry when they have their "teacher training days"

    If you feel guilty, let him go and pay the fine - will still be cheaper than waiting until the extortionate prices charged in school holidays!
    Be who you are, say what you feel
    Cos those who mind don't matter & those who matter don't mind

    You are what you are ~ live with it!

  • logic lizard
    Missed work from week or two off school can soon be caught up. Ask grandparents to read/tell a bedtime story with him and add up the cost of icecreams or similar, talk to him and explain what he sees and ENJOY. If he takes more time out than his allowance, you may have to pay up - be honest - but the opportunity shouldn't be turned down if it's a one-off.

    (ll - retired teacher - sorry, no ivory tower or influence with the Education dept.)
  • tia86
    Talk to the school about it and don't lie. Most schools will negotiate on this. It is likely if you explain he might not get the opportunity again and discuss it openly they will work with you and also be able to give you any dates to perhaps avoid if they are doing something really important. I would have thought unless this is a regular occurance and your son has missed a lot of time they would allow it this once.
  • bex0309
    I got taken out of school for holidays every year and the only time it was a real problem was when it was September. I hated missing the first two weeks of school and I really felt left out of the catching up after the holidays and it can be hard to catch up on new work which gets started at the beginning of term. IMHO the end of term is fine, but be honest to the school.
    • pennypinchUK
    • By pennypinchUK 5th Dec 12, 7:42 AM
    • 382 Posts
    • 732 Thanks
    The school will "fine" you? On what authority?

    If it's very much a one-off, and you can add an element of education to the trip, and (importantly) it doesn't immediately impact your child's SATs or a key educational event I'd be surprised if a school would try to say no.

    Travel is an important part of growing and developing as a person. If you're doing it now just because it's cheaper it's clearly questionable (or you wouldn't be asking the question), but if it's for a special reason that can be justified, explain your reasons to the school and go.
  • betterinoursthantheirs
    Do the teachers pay a "fine" when they have a strike day, or a training day right after some holidays? Does the school pay a "fine" when they close because it snows or it's cold? No.

    Weigh up yourselves which is the right course of action for your child and if you decide the holiday is right tell the school what you are going to do. Check the dates you are thinking of are not especially important. If they try any "fine" nonsense politely tell them no.

    You don't want the child upset by any pressure from school - it does happen even to a 6YO - and you don't want to make a bad relationship with the school, but there's nothing wrong with being politely assertive as to whose child it is.
    Last edited by betterinoursthantheirs; 05-12-2012 at 8:36 AM. Reason: wonky keyboard!
  • mandajaneb
    My two children were taken out of school every year for a holiday, they are now at University. It does them no harm to miss the odd week or two. If it was months then it would be a different story. As mentioned before, they are happy when the kids miss school for strikes or polling days!
    • pinkpanther22
    • By pinkpanther22 5th Dec 12, 9:05 AM
    • 12 Posts
    • 18 Thanks

    Take him on holiday - if he had an illness I'm sure you'd take him out ofschool without hesitation - just for different reasons.

    Am I correct in presuming that the only reason a school would"fine" you is that our esteemed Government has set them "targets"for attendance and there is some kind of financial incentive involved? (I'mguessing - I don't have school age children).

    Missing two weeks of school for a child in lower primary school doesn't seemlike the end of the world.
  • gardengirl
    There's a little more to this than money, or even telling a lie. What about instilling a sense of community and commitment to the school? This will be pretty important in later life when selflessness will be more valued. It's not really necessary to take a foreign holiday to develop the sense of adventure, to learn about new things etc. This is a vital part of growing up anyway. And why use this as an opportunity to slag off teachers? That doesn't really come into the argument at all. The me, me, me attitude is one that youngsters can be steered away from at an early age, in my opinion. Have an open discussion with the child.
    • Inverness
    • By Inverness 5th Dec 12, 9:24 AM
    • 262 Posts
    • 231 Thanks

    Holidays during term time

    A school can agree to let your child take off up to ten school days a year for holidays. However, this depends on the policy of the school's governing body, and they do not have to agree.

    If you want to take your child out of school during term time, you should talk to the school's head teacher first. In England, if you take your child out of school without the head teacher's permission, you could be fined. Failure to pay the fine within 28 days could result in prosecution.

    If you want your child to take more than ten days off for a holiday during term time, you must get permission from the school's governing body. In your child's school, it may be the head teacher who has responsibility for making this decision. If the head teacher refuses to let your child have the time off, you can ask the governing body to consider your request. However, most governing bodies will only agree to allow more than ten days' holiday in what they consider to be exceptional circumstances.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim's to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

799Posts Today

5,469Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • While I oft bemoan Xmas being a retail festival. It's strange today many are bitter that shops are REDUCING prices, usually its the opposite

  • And leave people held hostage to high Xmas prices? Our tradition was Xmas discounts spread in Nov/Dec not on one day

  • John Lewis website is down - its price matching black friday deals. Maybe its a good day to buy cheap extra servers?

  • Follow Martin