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School Holiday Fines

edited 4 November 2015 at 1:11PM in Marriage, relationships & families
486 replies 94.7K views
Former_MSE_Megan_FFormer_MSE_Megan_F Former MSE
418 Posts
Hi all, we have a new School Holiday Fines guide, and we'd love to hear your feedback.

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MSE Megan F
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  • When I was a child my parents often went on holiday without me during school time, leaving me with an aunt or one of my mother's friends whose child was a friend of mine. They didn't waste money taking me abroad and having me spoil their holiday by having to drag a bored child around the sights, or having me throw up on a plane or in the car!

    I had a WONDERFUL time. I was an only child so revelled in being 24 hours with a playmate or (in my aunt's case) being on a council estate with loads of children to play with. They sent me postcards and when they returned there were gifts from the holiday - usually including a costumed doll. I don't remember missing my parents at all.

    During school holidays we went away together for lots of outings - usually just for a day or two - to the seaside, or to London (I loved the Science Museum) or to stay with relatives or friends in other parts of the country. I still have a few memories of a trip to Scotland when I was 4 - the Edinburgh tattoo and picnicing by Loch Ness.

    Children don't need lots of money spent on them - holiday without them if you can find a minder for a week or two! And in the school holidays have lots of fun together doing simple, unstressful things.
  • edited 4 November 2015 at 12:27AM
    bylromarhabylromarha Forumite
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    I've been Money Tipped!
    edited 4 November 2015 at 12:27AM
    Sits and waits for the following posts

    - didn't do me any harm going on holiday in term time
    - parents have every right to take their kids out of school
    - holiday firms shouldn't force these decisions with such a hike in prices
    - what's wrong with taking a holiday in the 13 weeks kids have?
    - so it's fine for teachers to strike and have DVD days, but not ok for parents to miss one of these useless days at the end of a term
    - add the fine into the cost of your term time holiday as it's bound to be cheaper than a holiday in school holidays
    - has anyone thought about people who can only take their holiday from work in term time?
    - holidays teach kids far more about the world than a book ever can
    - what's educational about 2 weeks by a pool in a hot country?
    - term time holidays teach kids it's ok to break the rules
    -teachers shouldn't make the rest of the class miss out on their time to catch up a child who has selfishly been away
    - holidays are a right, not a priviledge
    - holidays are a priviledge, not a right
    - what about school staff? They don't get the option.
    - my child had 40% attendance rate and got A*s in all his 20 GCSEs

    Have I missed any?
    Who made hogs and dogs and frogs?
  • This old chestnut again. The 'you're destroying your child's education by taking them out of school for one week a year' brigade will be along soon, along with the 'it's my right to take my kids out of school in term time' brigade, bashing each other's choices, refusing to acknowledge for a nano-second that the other may have a point, and all refusing to admit they could be wrong about anything.

    I think I will stay clear of this argument. There really is no right or wrong though. It depends massively on each individual child, whether their child suffers from being kept off during term time, or whether it makes no difference... Surely everyone should agree with that?
  • Well, I regard my opinion as from a child's point of view (10 or under).

    I had a heck of a lot more fun staying back with other kids while my parents went abroad than doing boring things with my parents. I hated missing days at school because continuity was lost - especially with maths and languages - but I have always been competitive academically.

    If you are talking about teenage children it's a little different - I think they can get a lot more than younger children from experiencing a different culture.
  • jockinafrock_2jockinafrock_2 Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    I have no axe to grind as my kids have long left school but I feel that your guide ought to at least mention that unauthorised absences have an impact on the whole school community. Teachers have to backtrack and give extra help to enable absentees to catch up on work they have missed. By doing so, the other pupils in the class are disadvantaged to some extent. Schools are communities, and those who do not abide by the rules of the community should at least have the selfish aspect of their behaviour pointed out to them. Less "Me! Me!" and more "Us! Us!" would be nice to see.:)
  • Tiggifarfar.Tiggifarfar. Forumite
    76 Posts
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    Booked a two week hol to Australia in Jan, son (13) hubby & I. Sis in law lives there & not seen for 13 years. been thinking about it for years & finally took the plunge, fully expecting to recieve the fine. The timing is right because; year 8 is not a crucial exam year, sis-in-law is a teacher & January is their summer holidays. I'm not saving money by taking him out of school in fact it's quite an expensive time to fly. So I submitted the holiday form & received a call from the head of year, bit of a lecture about how they don't authorise any absence ra ra ra & then she said BUT we consider this to be educational & his attendance always been 100% so as long as son takes a scrapbook & records his time over there, a bit like a diary & presents it to the class, this will be considered 'homework' and actually authorised! and in fact they were really happy for him to be going.
    I still believe that the fine is unfair but I would have paid it if they asked.
  • kathrynhakathrynha Forumite
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    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker Car Insurance Carver!
    If you had asked me 6 months ago what my opinion was on this I would of said that there are cheap holidays available in school holidays if you are willing to stay in this country and camp, and unless you have a family member who isn't allowed any holiday in school holidays, then you shouldn't really take your child out of school.

    Six months later, we are taking our 9 year old daughter out for a family holiday next week.

    Half way through the summer holiday my husband (and her dad) had a stroke. She spent the 2nd half of her summer holiday being shoved between various family members and friends and hospital visiting.

    Thankfully my husband is going to be okay, but this has obviously had quite an effect on are family, so I thought a week away would do us all good.
    Unfortunately last weeks half term wasn't an option due to hospital appointments, so looking at all of our calendars, next week was the only week when we could fit in a holiday.
    So we are going, and school have authorised it. Teacher is sending home some work, and we are going to do our own little project on this half terms topic.

    I am still not okay with people having term time holidays every year just because it is cheaper, but sometimes a one off term time holiday is much more important to a child than the school they will be missing
    Zebras rock
  • pollypennypollypenny Forumite
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    Why on earth start this hackneyed topic a 'an official' MSE discussion?

    It's been done to death, usually annually. :(
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
  • GloomendoomGloomendoom Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    pollypenny wrote: »
    Why on earth start this hackneyed topic a 'an official' MSE discussion?

    It's been done to death, usually annually. :(

    My thoughts exactly.

    Didn't the last thread on the topic only just finish?
  • I am a retired key stage 1 teacher. A lot of emphasis is put on the effect on children's GCSE grades but actually I think younger children are affected more by missing school. At the age of 5 -7 every day brings new piece of learning and in the days when I was teaching and holidays were allowed it was a nightmare trying to catch children up with stuff they had missed. For example in one week children might be introduced to the concept of practical sharing , dividing objects into two/ three/ four piles etc. , learning what the division sign is, doing simple division problems with apparatus. How difficult for a six year old to then be faced with a sheet of division calculations when s/he comes back off holiday. As a teacher you then have to try and fit in all that one to one teaching while still stretching and supporting the rest of the class. Its the same in other subjects too. Ok it has to be done when children are ill but is a fun holiday more important than key concepts and learning. I'm a mother of 4 and grandmother of 6 and I know that holidays abroad are no more valuable than days out or a week in the holidays in a caravan by the seaside. Its the parents who want the hot weather not the children!
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