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    • MSE Jenny
    • By MSE Jenny 26th Aug 08, 2:48 PM
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    MSE Jenny
    MMD: Should you take the kids out of school for a holiday?
    • #1
    • 26th Aug 08, 2:48 PM
    MMD: Should you take the kids out of school for a holiday? 26th Aug 08 at 2:48 PM
    Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:

    Would you take the kids out of school for a holiday?

    You’re strapped for money and couldn’t afford a family getaway this summer. Yet you notice a super-bargainous holiday to Majorca in the last week of September. It’s much cheaper than the sky-high peak season prices and within reach of your budget. The catch is it would mean taking the children out of school in term time. The kids, aged 8 and 10, would miss ten days of lessons for the hol. You’re worried out them getting behind, but think it will be educational for them to experience another culture. Would you take them out of school for the holiday?

    Click reply to have your say.

    Previous MMDs:

    Would you tell a charity shop that a Chloe bag was under-priced?

    Should the whole family forfeit the holiday?

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Page 1
    • shellsuit
    • By shellsuit 26th Aug 08, 2:49 PM
    • 23,017 Posts
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    • #2
    • 26th Aug 08, 2:49 PM
    • #2
    • 26th Aug 08, 2:49 PM
    Think you have made a mistake there Jenny

    EDIT : Whoops, you beat me to it! lol

    My reponse would be, so long as it didn't interfere with major exams, then I would quite happily take my children out of school for a holiday.

    We are actually going away in the first week in October this year.
    Tank fly boss walk jam nitty gritty...
    • Murphy_The_Cat
    • By Murphy_The_Cat 26th Aug 08, 7:48 PM
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    • #3
    • 26th Aug 08, 7:48 PM
    • #3
    • 26th Aug 08, 7:48 PM
    Yes I'd take an 8 & 10 year old out of school for a holiday, if it was the last week in September. In fact I wouldn't even hesitate to do it if that is what was the most suitable thing for the family.

    Last edited by Murphy_The_Cat; 26-08-2008 at 8:02 PM.

    • zzzLazyDaisy
    • By zzzLazyDaisy 26th Aug 08, 7:58 PM
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    • #4
    • 26th Aug 08, 7:58 PM
    • #4
    • 26th Aug 08, 7:58 PM
    As far as I know you have to get the school's permission? I have taken my grandchildren on holiday in term time, with the school's permission. I always make sure that they learn about the culture and some of the language. Provided the school has no objection I can't see the problem - and neither of them have fallen behind with their schoolwork, quite the opposite they have both always get really good school reports.
    • Sheepster
    • By Sheepster 26th Aug 08, 7:58 PM
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    • #5
    • 26th Aug 08, 7:58 PM
    • #5
    • 26th Aug 08, 7:58 PM
    I can't for personal reasons, but if I could....then I would.

    It's all very well when we had people like Tony Blair bleating on about parents not taking children out of school, and his government threatening fines for doing so....unlike him, we don't get holidays given away!

    His out of touch government should reserve their annoyance for the reason poorer parents take kids out of school - the rip-off holiday companies hiking the prices every single school holiday.
    • fudgecat
    • By fudgecat 26th Aug 08, 9:00 PM
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    • #6
    • 26th Aug 08, 9:00 PM
    • #6
    • 26th Aug 08, 9:00 PM
    Two weeks out of school in the Autumn term is enough to miss an entire scheme of work of a specific genre in, say, English. If that is the only possibility for the parent and children to take a holiday, then fine as the benefits to family life may well outway any formal education loss. If it is done purely for a cheap deal, then go ahead - but do not convince yourself it will make no difference to your child`s education - it will. I am doubtful that a two week package break on one of the costas will particularly broaden the experience of other cultures?
    As you can guess - I am a teacher!
  • enor
    • #7
    • 26th Aug 08, 9:06 PM
    • #7
    • 26th Aug 08, 9:06 PM
    Absolutely 100% would take them out of school, if I could get away with it! I'd also take them out for the day if I felt there was a worthwhile event or just for a break. They're my children not the schools or the governments so as long as they're cared for I can't see why it should matter.
    • luxor4t
    • By luxor4t 26th Aug 08, 9:15 PM
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    • #8
    • 26th Aug 08, 9:15 PM
    • #8
    • 26th Aug 08, 9:15 PM
    YES: but I would ask the primary school for work well in advance, and make sure it was done well.

    After the dreadful summer we have just had I amsure their health would benefit!

    When our kids were that age OH was on a leave rota -choice of holiday times went to those with the longest company service. We had to take our family holiday when the rota dictated or go without. When he first worked there our "summer" holiday was in October!
    • bap98189
    • By bap98189 26th Aug 08, 9:24 PM
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    • #9
    • 26th Aug 08, 9:24 PM
    • #9
    • 26th Aug 08, 9:24 PM
    Yes, I would take them on holiday in an instant, so long as we are not talking about 16 year old about to do their exams or something.

    Frankly the whole school system is far too serious nowadays.If people really believe a child's whole education would be ruined by missing a week or so of school they need to lighten up. Whatever happened to enjoying your childhood?
    • phoebe03cat
    • By phoebe03cat 26th Aug 08, 9:40 PM
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    Quite agree - make the most of childhood while you can. The grind starts soon enough, there's too many exam pressures and incredible stress on primary school children imho; and such a narrow repetitive curriculum it will hardly matter in the scheme of things, especially with all that endless coaching for SATS - and I am a primary teacher/deputy head. Don't think you can expect the school to supply and mark work missed though.
    Last edited by phoebe03cat; 26-08-2008 at 10:00 PM.
    • parahandy
    • By parahandy 26th Aug 08, 10:00 PM
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    I'm having to take our daughter out of primary school for a week and one day in October as we're going to Canada, but it coincides with the Scottish October school week.

    I did actually write a letter to the school asking for "authorisation", but they ignored it...
    Everybody dies, but not everyone truly lives
    • ceebeeby
    • By ceebeeby 26th Aug 08, 10:03 PM
    • 4,237 Posts
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    Should be on bad mothers thread - cos we're about to take ours out of school for 3 weeks

    It gets worse - DD2 sits GCSE's this school year.

    Was only time OH, me and other relly's could all get the time off to go.

    What a thing to admit on my 1000th post - and you won't be able to thank me either because it's sooooooo naughty!
    • dazchief
    • By dazchief 26th Aug 08, 10:25 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    Most definitely...
    This is one topic that really frustrates me!
    Life is not just about what you learn in a classroom and league tables. It is about experiences. And if the teacher from the previous comment can get his head out of his personal ofsted worries and focus on the children for a minute, he would realise that it isnt just about the costas, its about spending time as a family unit, which, in my opinion, is under rated in discussions, and the benefits far outway the costs from a family perspective on many levels.

    In addition, I would welcome comments from other cultures and religions where it is known that their children can be taken out of school for longer than 2 weeks for 'religious' reasons. Whats the difference ? none !
    • brucie24
    • By brucie24 26th Aug 08, 10:34 PM
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    • 43 Thanks
    What about the fines?
    Our local LEA now fines parents for taking children out of school without permission from the Head/Govenors. Both the Headteachers of my childrens schools (primary & secondary) have said explicitly that permission WILL NOT BE GIVEN for ANY holiday!

    If we decide to take the children out without permission we face a fine of £ 50-00 per child per parent per week!

    With 3 children (and as far as I know, a happy marriage ) that means a two week holiday would cost
    us £600-00 !!!!!!!!!!!

    Hence the answer to the dilema is NO I wouldn't.
    Last edited by brucie24; 26-08-2008 at 10:57 PM.
    • sealady
    • By sealady 26th Aug 08, 10:43 PM
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    I work in a school and it does make a difference when the kids miss an important piece of work, not because of exams but more about the way work is done in schools. You start a topic or piece of work perhaps on a monday and by friday that work is nearing completion, so when they come back to school on the Monday the teacher either has to start again or the child missing out completely and Now days the is so much silly pressure on the teachers about targets, grades, etc. From experience teachers normally only briefly plan a week ahead so asking for all the stuff the child has missed before it's been taught can be very time consuming for the teacher perhaps it's a parent responsibility for the child to catch up in their own time for the work that they have missed.

    From the other side of the coin family holidays are important and sometimes the both parents and the school have to be flexible. We are very fortunate because our Head is pretty understanding about situations and if she can help she is always willing to understand and 9/10 times will approve holidays during school time. I know from experience as I am taking time off during term time for myself and both my kids
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 26th Aug 08, 11:33 PM
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    Our LEA fines too if you go on the hol without getting permission, I thought it was £50 per child, hadn't heard of per parent per week- will have to look it up.

    Yes, I would go, having recently discovered/realised we are unlikely to get travel insurance for dh unless we exclude cancer and we can't exclude it cos he is on regular checks to make sure it hasn't returned, if it does he will be having more treatment and we wouldn't be going away but we'd lose our money cos we can't insure against it. The only way I see us going away in next few years is to book and go between check-up appts, which means we can't get any 'earlybird' deals.
  • PaulGreenUK
    1. Youíre strapped for money and couldnít afford a family getaway this summer.

    Spend quality time with your family. Not money that you do not have.

    2. Yet you notice a super-bargainous holiday to Majorca in the last week of September. Itís much cheaper than the sky-high peak season prices and within reach of your budget.

    It may be within reach of your budget but, at what cost?

    3. The catch is it would mean taking the children out of school in term time. The kids, aged 8 and 10, would miss ten days of lessons for the hol.

    When you are 8 or 10 a "year" is a long time as it represents a larger fraction/percentage of your whole life. 10 days of lessons can make a difference!

    How many lots of "10 days" are you planning on taking during their school days?

    4. Youíre worried about them getting behind, but think it will be educational for them to experience another culture.

    Are you really going for the culture or going for the Sun? Will you try the local cusine or look for the all day breakfast?

    5. Would you take them out of school for the holiday?

    Does the benefit to "THEM" out weight the costs to "YOU"?

    There is a big difference between an "education" and "qualifications". Having to attend school is part of their education. However, there has to be a way of filtering the candidates for a potential position. Qualifications are a starting point. A degree shows a standard of leaning!

    Life is hard! We cannot always do or get what we want! Later in life those 10 days extra holiday could make the difference to "their" quality of life!

    The question posed by the forum is for "Summer" holidays. However, "Christmas" is a peak time. Playing "devils advocate", do you suggest to your children that Christmas will be celebrated at an off-peak time as it is more cost effective?

    It comes back to "old fashioned" values!

    I am not a teacher.
    I do not have children.
    I do take holidays in the off peak season.
    However, I do believe that time spent together as a family is more valuable than the location!

    There will also be exceptions to the rule and on these occasions Children should be allowed out of school. However, to use "cost" as a reason is not a good enough reason!

    Give your child(ren) the best that you can!
    • sleepyfrog
    • By sleepyfrog 27th Aug 08, 12:57 AM
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    • 15 Thanks
    I wouldn't hesitate
    My 5 year old son was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome and for the last year he has been stuck in a cupboard with 2 teacher's for 6 hours a week while we fight the LEA for a placement at a specialist unit. He has now got a place but are still waiting to hear when he will start - probably October. If the LEA are happy to have him miss so much time due to their lack of funding for proper teaching supervision they can't argue with me for taking him out of class for a holiday.

    I am self-employed and can't get cover during the school holiday's anyway, plus being very fair skinned I can't stand high temperatures - so out of season holidays are our only option. Maybe if we had a summer ("like when I were a lass!") this wouldn't be such a problem, but the holiday firms definately don't make it any easier.

    If the government don't want parents taking term-time holidays they should outlaw peak and off-peak pricing.
    • chocky
    • By chocky 27th Aug 08, 1:43 AM
    • 57 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    I've only taken my 2 out of school once for a holiday and as a compromise with the school, agreed to tack one week onto the half term week. To most children who usually have a good attendance record and are not falling behind, a week or two out of school won't make much difference.

    The exception to this though I think would be if your child has SEN and has support in school. Such children benefit from routine and to miss a week or two of school, would have a detrimental affect on their education.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 27th Aug 08, 1:51 AM
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    This subject has been done to death numerous times!

    But here's my answer again.

    I think it is wrong to take them out of school in Term Time unless it is unavoidable (and 'cheap foreign holiday' does not equate with 'unavoidable' - go camping or stay with friends in the school hols instead). Not being able to have a family holiday AT ALL otherwise, maybe because of parent's work patterns, would be a good reason imho. So is something like Spendless' medical reasons above.

    The reason I disagree with it is not to do with disruption in education -on the whole I don't think it would make any difference- but because I think the children need to learn that there are obligations in life and we cannot always do as we wish. The parents who agree with taking them out need to learn this too imho.

    Does it matter if you have a holiday in Wales instead of lying burning on the Costa del Sol? Young children especially, will probably enjoy the Welsh holiday more!
    Last edited by seven-day-weekend; 27-08-2008 at 1:56 AM.
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