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    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?

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    Last edited by Former MSE Debs; 04-12-2012 at 3:06 PM.
Page 2
  • Brian Steele
    Whether you do or don't, you should tell the truth
    First off, I don't imagine that missing a week during term time will harm the overall education of a six-year old. It may well also be the case that any fine would be less than the saving of taking a cheaper holiday.

    What I would say, however, is that you should not lie to the school about it and simply make up an excuse.

    What kind of an example is it to your child, to say: "Not only am I going to break the rules and take you out of school, but I am going to lie to the authorities to cover for you."?
  • dunetune
    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'
    Originally posted by mandragora
    Love it, hilarious!
    • annettej67
    • By annettej67 5th Dec 12, 9:35 AM
    • 5 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    NO!!!! education is far too important to miss out because a holiday is cheaper during a particular time of year. Your child should be able to enjoy quality time with his grandparents which do not involve a holiday.
    • iclayt
    • By iclayt 5th Dec 12, 9:42 AM
    • 421 Posts
    • 823 Thanks
    Life is short, so let him go. It will be special for him and his grandparents.

    Ask the teachers to give you worksheets he can use to catch up when he gets back, if they're that bothered about what he will miss.
    • Ebenezer_Screwj
    • By Ebenezer_Screwj 5th Dec 12, 9:57 AM
    • 409 Posts
    • 226 Thanks
    No, you shouldn't. Term time is for schooling, school holidays are for holidays. Children these days get a poor enough education as it is without making the problem worse, all of you should save up for a combined holiday.
    • joehoover
    • By joehoover 5th Dec 12, 10:04 AM
    • 137 Posts
    • 229 Thanks
    I'm sure it won't harm the child's education at six years old to miss a couple of weeks, what's he gonna miss? Drawing a few pictures in Art and reading a storybook?

    But opposing that it's quite funny people describing this rewarding life affirming experience he'll have on holiday with his grandparents. What did you do on your holidays at 6? Kick a ball around, splashed in a pool and a sandpit probably - hardly stuff that is going to shape the rest of your life either.

    It doesn't matter either way. Go with your gut instinct.
    • gjojones
    • By gjojones 5th Dec 12, 10:46 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    At 6yrs old, this will not have any real effect on his education, so make up an excuse, save some serious money and enjoy.
    • Augustus the Strong
    • By Augustus the Strong 5th Dec 12, 11:12 AM
    • 296 Posts
    • 306 Thanks
    Augustus the Strong
    Let the child go for a week (you haven't specified the length of the holiday) and ask the grandparents to make sure they're all doing or looking at interesting things, and talking to each other, not just lazing about. Family bonding is important.

    Be open about it and discuss it with the school, explaining why you think it's important. Be prepared to pay a fine if they insist. Try and avoid taking the child out of school in future.
    • Talent
    • By Talent 5th Dec 12, 11:18 AM
    • 244 Posts
    • 219 Thanks
    Don't lie. Easy!
    • G_M
    • By G_M 5th Dec 12, 12:33 PM
    • 43,834 Posts
    • 51,816 Thanks
    How right you were, mandragora, back in post number 5.

    This thread is pointless, predictable, and hardly a moral dilemma at all!
    • Gillsx
    • By Gillsx 5th Dec 12, 1:21 PM
    • 56 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    Firstly, the reason you shouldn't take your son out of school for a holiday and why the fines are in place are that his education is very important and he shouldn't miss any of it (and they are off a large chunk of the year so it's valuable time when they are in school!). Yes it's expensive taking him away in the holidays, but this is something people should accept when they have children. It's the holiday companies who are making the money not the education system so don't blame them.

    Secondly, as someone with a small child and has accepted the above, I also know how nice it is to go away in term time as an adult and not being inundated with kids..... It's a luxury and something you can look forward to when he is 18.

    If you don't care much for the above then get the grandparents to pay the fine or just say no that his education is important.
  • last emperor
    ask yourself the question in reverse. how would you feel if you heard that half of the kids in your son's class had taken time out of school and your kid was behind in his studies because the teacher was busy helping the holiday kids to catch up?

    this behaviour is frowned upon (and fines sometimes issued) for a variety of reasons, but one of them is that it would cause absolute mayhem for the teachers if it became standard practice, so schools try to discourage it.

    it also isn't a brilliant lesson to teach your kid: "we're breaking the rules because we don't respect your teachers authority and think we're better than the other kids at your school". whether you think that or not, you run the risk of setting a bad example unintentionally.

    ultimately, if this is a genuine "once-in-a-lifetime" situation then exceptions can be made, but if your parents just want to watch him play in the sand on the costa del sol while saving a few bucks, then maybe they should just go to margate during the summer holidays instead.
  • Daisy-Belle
    Instead of endlessly debating the rights and wrongs of taking children out of school can we do something about the profiteering companies that make it so expensive in the school holidays. I don't believe it is about supply and demand, Other European countries have different holidays especially in the summer so demand will be spread already
  • the_original_tonic
    Really? Is it only about money and lying?
    You can debate until you are blue in the face about whether they will miss anything in School, whether the holiday will be more educational which really depends on the week you choose to miss and the type of holiday. Aside from that, it is about morals and ethics. Surely by taking a holiday you are condoning skipping school when it suits you? Does that not engender a complete lack of respect in education? We have so many problems with children truanting because school doesn't matter - maybe it actually starts with the parents attitude from day 1. He might only be 6years old, but believe me, he's learning, not just at School but from his parents as well!
    • IndieSinger
    • By IndieSinger 5th Dec 12, 2:23 PM
    • 85 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    I have to say I'm confused by two people mentioning in a derogatory manner that teachers take InSeT days, so why shouldn't kids go out on holiday during term time.

    InSeT days are NOT in school time. The Local Authority (usually) tells the school how many days education they must provide. So that's what they do. It's usually around 13 weeks, give or take a day or two.

    It is vital that schools provide InSeT days as well - they do this OUTSIDE of the directed teaching days. Most schools choose to attach them to the end or start of term to minimise disruption to parents and carers. Some schools put them in the middle of terms or even in the middle of a week - this bugs me and is, thankfully, rare.

    As others have said, as a true one-off, I can let it slide. But I'm loathed to agree to it generally because otherwise, why are kids at school at all if they could just not go and be provided with worksheets..?
  • ptolomy
    I regularly missed a few days of primary school to go on holidays with my family. My parents were teachers too (secondary though so slightly different term dates) and never saw any problem with it.
    It didn't encourage me to truant when I was older or to devalue education at all - I did extra classes at night school when I was older and have a degree and MA.
    At 6 years old I don't think he'll miss out on anything vital in a week. Just find out what his teachers are going to cover and there'll probably be an easy and fun way to cover the same stuff while he's on holiday.
    All the people saying it would be a nightmare for teachers if everyone did this are clearly forgetting that kids are always picking up bugs and having a few days off, the education system doesn't collapse because of it though.
  • jowyle
    I think the tip of this debate should be started towards the government for allowing holiday companies to over inflate prices when the school holidays are on forcing parents to take the kids out of school and then be pestered from the schools for "fines".

    Petition to Mr Cameron I feel..... (not that he'd do anything about it of course!)
    • Samuraiman89
    • By Samuraiman89 5th Dec 12, 3:20 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Go for it.
    I was taken on holiday once or twice a year (two weeks at a time) and as a lot of people have said, I learnt so much more (culture wise, foreign languages, history, personal development) then I ever did at school.

    My holidays continued until my final year at Secondary School and it did me no harm - speaking as someone who graduated and joined an airline and then broadcaster as an analyst in London ;-)

    Ironically in my school, the kids who never went on holiday are now the ones without jobs with children in their late teens lol.

    Travel = more rounded person.
    Last edited by Samuraiman89; 05-12-2012 at 3:21 PM. Reason: typo
    • norfolkmum
    • By norfolkmum 5th Dec 12, 3:30 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    Definitely let him go on the holiday. He's 6 years old, what's he going to miss? I took my kids out of school for a week every year until they were year 10 and starting GCSE work and they were fine. My eldest passed all her GSCEs with A*s and As. They had a bit extra homework when they got home and caught up easily. They could have a week off school with a bad bug or flu. When mine were at Primary School the headteacher said to me that they would learn more on a week's holiday than they would in a month at school. As long as you don't take the mickey and give them loads of time off for holidays, a week won't hurt.
    • saveroo
    • By saveroo 5th Dec 12, 4:12 PM
    • 17 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Term-time truancy, or learning opportunity?
    Perhaps it depends what type of holiday is intended. If it is just a beach holiday, then perhaps it is not sufficient reason. However, I always obtained permission to remove my children from school during term time because the experiences they would have whilst on holiday would far outweigh any classroom teaching. For example, real-life language, cultural, history and geography lessons whilst travelling through mainland Europe, Science lessons whilst waiting for the launch of the Space Shuttle, etc. These are experiences that cannot be gained in context within the classroom, and can enhance the more formal schooling experience. Think hard before taking your child away without permission - the truth will out!
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