MoneySaving Poll: Should parents be allowed to take kids out of school for a holiday?

Former_MSE_Sam_M Former MSE Posts: 346 Forumite
Poll started 16 May 2016

Should parents be allowed to take kids out of school for a holiday?

The floodgates could open for parents to take their children out of school during term time following a landmark ruling at the High Court last week.

However, the Department for Education has since vowed to change the law and in doing so could tighten the rules.

Should parents be allowed to take their kids on holiday during term time? What's CLOSEST to your view?

Did you vote? Are you surprised at the results so far? Have your say below. To see the results from last time, click here.

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Thanks! :)



  • justjoanne_2
    justjoanne_2 Forumite Posts: 4 Newbie
    This isn't just about money. In an age where, increasingly, both parents work it can be really difficult for both parents to get time off work during the six week break over summer. As someone without children it was really frustrating to be told I could not have time off during that time simply because all the parents needed that time. Obviously if all parents took time off during one 6 week period there would be nobody left in work. So there does need to be some flexibility. Obviously children need to be in school at certain times of year, and in the GCSE years you need to be more cautious. But my parents took me out of school for one week each year and I came out with great qualifications so I don't think a carefully planned week off is a disaster for a child's education.
  • agarnett
    agarnett Posts: 1,301 Forumite
    I think perhaps the existing law could stand, but with a new exception that allows parents to make their own decision with the provisos that
    (a) one or both parents had a university education and came out with a 2:1 or greater in something other than basket-weaving (so have an informed idea about what education means), and
    (b) both parents work and household income puts them outside qualification for Tax Credits

    By definition, haven't the rest already submitted themselves to UK wage-slavery and nannying by the State?

  • gadgeteer_2
    gadgeteer_2 Forumite Posts: 769
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    edited 16 May 2016 at 1:53PM
    Personally I think this is entirely an own goal of the government and I hope/suspect the rhetoric will die down and plans to tighten the laws quietly dropped.

    There was already clear rules. Heads were allowed to authorise up to two weeks of absence if there was a good reason. In short they were given DISCRETION.

    By removing that discretion, it forced parents to either lie or fight the law. Eventually someone has done it.

    The education select committee chairman Neil Carmichael said parents would be "wondering what to do". Well no we're not. We're not wondering at all. Thanks to the wonderful own goal they've scored, it looks like we're free to take kids away now as long as we meet the arbitary "reasonable attendance".

    What they should have done was crack down on the small minority of parents who were completely failing to send their kids regularly rather than apply a blanket ban on everyone. Of course that sort of targeting is hard so they took the easy way out.

    Let's go back to using common sense eh? Let parents and the head decide if a short absence away from school is going to harm the child's education. How central government can know better than a parent & teacher I will never know!?!?

    It is incredibly annoying for a parent to be told "No, you can't take your child out of school for the last day of term because you will harm their education" only then to find they have been watching cartoons all day.

    Oh and remove the stupid attendance record from OFSTED inspections which lets face it was only put there to force heads into refusing every single request in the fear they will lose their rating.
  • george-smith
    george-smith Forumite Posts: 9
    Seventh Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    Simple really.
    Parent: "I wanna take my kid on holiday in school time".
    Teach: "OK, here's a list of all the lessons s/he will miss that week, make sure the kid catches up and sign this form to say you will ensure the kid does the work"
    Parent: "Thanks, see you in a week".
    Teach: "Have a good time"
    Am I oversimplifying it?
    Do I win £5?
  • cgreen1980
    cgreen1980 Forumite Posts: 1 Newbie
    Most parents are sensible when it comes to making decisions regarding their children and i'm sure they would not take them out term time if they were in their gcse year or due to sit sats, nor would they take them where the attendance is low. We should be allowed to make our own sensible decisions regarding our own children. Headteachers should be allowed to have discretion over such things also. I am not talking extended breaks but a simple 7 day period (or one school week as absence goes). Not all learning occurs inside the confines of a classroom, in fact there are facts out there evidencing that many children learn much better from hand on experiences. the government seem to have more and more control over our lives and that doesn't sit well with me. Add to that the right to a family life which is covered by the human rights act as a fundamental right, this is something that is being slowly eroded away with the government and standards of living dictating that we must work more hours and work longer into our lives before retirement and all the while this undermines quality of family life. My children are exactly that, they do not belong to the state and I will make sensible decisions for my children how I see fit. A small minority who do not ensure their children attend school regularly etc were the governments rationale behind this whole farce of fines for term time holidays. People do not all work the same shift patterns nor are they able to choose when they take their holiday time are they meant to never have a family holiday? then there is the inescapable fact that it is in some cases 3 times cheaper to take a holiday the week before end of term than it is the week they break up, so many families feel they have no other choice in order to have that time with their family away from it all. As they have done previously though the government have been shown to be being unfair and are now trying to change the law to suit what they want again. I'm not sure about other people but I am getting rather fed up of being told by this government how to live my life and what my decisions should be, I am a grown adult fully capable of making rational decisions and thinking for myself.
  • Tigsteroonie
    Tigsteroonie Forumite Posts: 24,952
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    School / headteacher discretion should apply.

    Truancy resources should be targeted at those parents whose children are absent from school on a frequent basis for unknown reasons, and not those absent for a two-week period for a known reason.
    :heartpuls Mrs Marleyboy :heartpuls

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

    :) Proud Parents to an Aut-some son :)
  • missbiggles1
    missbiggles1 Posts: 17,481
    10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    It shouldn't be a moneysaving issue - it should be an educational issue as that's what's more important.
  • onesixfive
    onesixfive Forumite Posts: 470
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    It's not so simple as taking children out of school for a week..

    Schools, pupils, and teachers, should be brought into the real-working world, and have a flexible approach to staffing & holidays.
    Teachers & Pupils should be allowed to take a set number of days off per year, (and nowhere near the 13 weeks that they currently take)!
    Say - 4 or 5 weeks plus bank holidays?
    Cover should, & could, be provided for absent teachers (by supply).
    When pupils are absent there is no reason why, in this hi-tech world, why any missed vital content of lessons can not be emailed to them or their parents.
    It would avoid the "expensive school-holiday" trap of travel companies, who push prices up by 3 or 4 times around school-holiday weeks.
    Most responsible parents & teachers will ensure they attend when it's exam-time (or enforce a ban).
  • Mark_Beech
    Mark_Beech Forumite Posts: 77 Forumite
    edited 18 May 2016 at 9:02AM
    I'm frankly astonished at what I have been reading and the simplistic solutions that some are offering. Teachers emailing missed lessons - parents being best placed to know "what's best" for their children! Take a school with 800 children. Do some of the contributors here have any idea of the extra work that would be generated for the school of administering what is being suggested? School heads having to make 800 decisions, write 800 letters - teachers having to assess just what the child might have missed - somehow convert it into something coherent for the parents/child to easily understand in isolation at home - 800 times - maybe more than once every year?!
    Taking a child out of school for a couple of weeks (every year?) doesn't just potentially have a significant impact on their education - but will have an adverse effect on all the other children. If the class has covered difficult concepts in maths and English grammar during their absences they are likely to never really catch up.
    Children are on holiday from school for 13 weeks in every year - a whole quarter of every year. It is pathetic for parents to maintain that they are unable to arrange to take holidays during these periods.
    I do however have some sympathy for parents being asked to pay higher prices to holiday during school breaks. Maybe the solution would be for government to legislate for the cost of holidays never to vary more than a small percentage and for holiday companies to have to evenly spread their costs across the whole year.
    I have examples within my own family of children being significantly affected by absence from school (and university) due to ill health and their academic progress being very significantly affected.
    Taking your child out of school during term time is simply selfish. Do so at your (child's) peril.
  • bevernbridge
    bevernbridge Forumite Posts: 4 Newbie
    I'm frankly astonished at the supine ill-informed almost-superstitious beliefs being posted here by some.

    Schools have a vested interest in discouraging holidays during term time. Some of this is due to teaching always having attracted people of an authoritarian bent. Rules are rules ! We know best ! Do as you are told !

    Tish. Children learn more by going on holiday with their parents than by being overstretched or held back in our 21st century compliant office-and-shops-folder education system. If indeed it still qualifies for this title - target-oriented tickbox machine might be more accurate.

    Very sad to hear so many believe we need to be ruled, regulated, and fined so much. One suspects masochism of some sort ...
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