Petition urges end of term-time holiday ban

A petition is demanding that the coalition reverses the ban on pupils in England taking holidays during term-time, claiming that it ‘adversely affects’ many families.

Since 1st September headteachers have not been able to grant absences outside school holidays except under ‘exceptional circumstances’. They used to be able to permit up to 10 days a year for family holidays in ‘special circumstances’, but this is no longer allowed, the BBC reports.

A petition against the ban, on the 38-Degrees Campaigns By You website, has been signed by over 127,500 people. “These changes will adversely affect many families who cannot afford the cost of a holiday in school holidays,” the petition claims, “Also not all businesses can allow their staff to be off all at the same time therefore is the department of education now saying that children are not entitled to holidays with their parents any more. I feel that most MPs in the Government had holidays with their parents when they were younger so why do they think they have the power to stop our children’s generation from enjoying the same lifestyle?

The petition demands that pupils who have a good attendance record should be allowed to have an annual holiday with their parents of up to 10 days once a year.

Parent Craig Langman, who started the petition, said that holidays taken during school breaks can be three times as much as during term-time and that the decision whether to allow time off during the term should remain with headteachers: “I’m not asking kids to have a guaranteed extra two weeks on top of their existing 10 weeks’ holiday each year – but this blanket ban on term-time holidays with the threat of a fine is almost killing families.”

Should parents be allowed to take their children on holiday during term time – what do you think?

14 thoughts on “Petition urges end of term-time holiday ban

  1. With teachers being under such pressure today to cram so much in at such a speed and with all the new pressures of performance pay, it can be very frustrating and disruptive when a pupil is taken out on holiday mid term. This is all part of a much bigger issue which the current government is responsible for.

    I personally don’t agree with taking children out for holidays in term time, but could there not be restricted times of year and year groups when this could happen? Eg don’t see why there is a problem after SATs in the summer term, as long as it doesn’t coincide with transition visits/ plans.

  2. It’s not all about working parents what about those teachers whose holidays don’t coincide with their own children if they want a family holiday they have to take them out. Also schools need to guarantee that they are teaching up to the last minute it’s alright saying they can’t go on holiday if they are watching dvds the week before Christmas

  3. I guess it depends how much you value education. If a child misses two weeks, say four or five consecutive lessons of maths, this could make quite a big dent in the child’s education. Then, of course, there is the administration; for what period of time and for what level of absence would “good attendance” merit an absence on holiday? On the equity side, does this penalise the less healthy child and reward the healthier child? Lastly, is a holiday necessarily about going somewhere expensive? The strongest argument of the petitioners may be that the staff impact on business is a problem but I have not heard any comment from the IOD or CBI; so perhaps this is not perceived by them to be an issue.

  4. It is disruptive when children are taken out during term time because then staff are expected to ensure the child catches up with the learning that has been missed. What needs to be understood by all, is that parents are not always allowed to choose to have holidays during school holiday times. They should therefore be allowed to take their children on a family holiday during term time. It has always been double or triple the price to take a holiday during the school holiday dates, and it is about time the holiday companies stopped cashing in like this. It would be far fairer to spread the costs of providing holidays over the year, so that everyone paid a little more. Finally, as a teacher myself, who was never able to afford to take my children abroad, I can recommend plenty of places to stay in Britain!

  5. The issue is two-fold. Holidays could be taken in the UK – many teachers have families and this is the same for them as parents. Holidays abroad are a luxury NOT an entitlement of family life. Holidays in term-time have an overwhelmingly detrimental effect on a child irrespective of the time of year they take them, as they simply cannot catch-up with the experience lost inside the classroom. Finally, the issue is really with holiday companies exploiting specific time-periods. This is what should really be addressed by the Government.

  6. There were a couple of times where I took my own children out of school during term time. It had no effect on their grades. To me the new experiences and family bonding were far more important than sitting in a class room. We put far too much emphasis on classroom teaching and forget children learn in all different circumstances.

    As a retired teacher I do know exactly what pressure teachers face, but the child and his/her education and development should be the main focus.

    My boys who missed quite a bit of classroom teaching (the youngest also did the last 2 years of IGCSE’s as homeschooling) are doing very well and I believe those essential times of fun and bonding we had on our little get-aways were far more valuable than any classroom time.

    By doing well, I mean really doing well.The one has a very successful IT career and the other one is studying chemistry at Imperial College.

  7. As a parent, i do understand how costly it is to take your children on holiday during school holidays and as a result of this i barely go on holidays now as i simply cannot afford to go away. However, as an educational practitioner, I do see why this might be a good idea.
    The children who go away during term times are more llikely to face learning challenges when they return and whilst they might be struggling with their learning, their confidence will also be affected as they may feel as though they are behind. As a result of this, such children will require more of the teacher’s time which slows the rest of the class down.
    Perhaps a ban may not be so necessary but parents must be educated enough on this issue so that parents can see and understand clearly how much it costs their children should they go on holidays during term times.

  8. There are many children who have their families abroad (eal children) and cannot afford to see them during school holidays. Asking them to pay a fine to be able to see their grandma or sometimes their siblings is horrendous. It’s denying them their family, their culture and their roots. In many schools head teachers are saying no to this families and as a result I personally know quite a few children who don’t really know their families back in their parents home countries.

  9. Sometimes it isnt a case of wanting to take children out of school for a whole ten days, it may be that having a few days flexibility either side of a school holiday would enable families to travel more cheaply. The travel companies also need looking in too for increasing the costs so much during school holidays.

  10. I believe that travel is invaluable for children. My parents were not able to afford out of term time travel so twice in my schooling life we went overseas during term time for short family holidays visiting family and friends overseas. This opportunity broadened my horizon at the same time allowed me to get to know my wider family – resulting to a stronger identity. Michael Gove and his rich cabinet friends can afford to gain such experiences in the holidays which is why they lack empathy and enforce ideological policies that are not suitable for the vast majority of decent hardworking British people. Vote them out and bring back democracy to our lives.

  11. The problem is the unscrupulous holiday firms who extort money from parents knowing that they can’t travel at other times. Leglislation should focus on preventing unnecessary price rises during school holidays not compromising children’s education by taking time out of the curriculum.

  12. I am a TA on relatively low pay compared to a lot of parents across the country. Because I work in school, I cannot take my kids out of school for family holidays. We arrange our holidays according to the money we have available which means that we do not spend our holidays in the Maldives, Mexico, Florida, Lapland etc. Our family holidays are spent in destinations that we can afford, spending time with our children and enjoying our family time together. Having said that, I do believe that travel broadens the mind – I don’t believe that 2 weeks at the Kids Club in an all-inclusive holiday resort constitutes travel!

  13. It seems rather unfair to blame the holiday companies. If demand for package holidays rises during the school holidays they will have to pay more for rooms and flights because plane operators and hoteliers will increase prices to meet the demand; otherwise they will have too many buyers and too few seats and rooms they can supply them with. Also when demand falls during the non-school holiday periods holiday companies have to reduce their prices substantially to attract customers. It really boils down to the basic laws of business.

  14. It is a parents responsibility to see that their child has an all round education and if they feel it is beneficial for the child to visit another country then that should be their right to do so! The child does not belong to the state and balance in everything is key to a happy life, not this educational pressure.that seems to pervade our society

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