If it meant saving hundreds of pounds, would you defy new government legislation and still take your child out of school for a family holiday?
A new government ruling effective from the 1st September 2013, states that children can only be taken out of school during term time in exceptional circumstances. Previously head teachers were allowed to authorise up to 10 days per school year absence for each child.
They’ve taken the decision as they believe that poor attendance can damage a child’s education – well none of us need a degree to work that one out! Parents will now be fined £60 per child which will double if the fine is not paid within 21 days, and failure to pay altogether could lead to a court appearance and a criminal record. Seems a little extreme. But what qualifies as exceptional circumstances?
The Oxford Dictionary’s definition of exceptional is ‘unusual, not typical’. Well to me having a holiday is not typical because I don’t do it all the time. The government state that ‘special family occasions’ will be considered ‘exceptional’, is a holiday not a special family occasion?
Parents are up in arms over the new ruling; an e-petition has been sent to parliament, and a Facebook page set up in protest; however most parents are in agreement that they will still book holidays during term time as it is cheaper to pay the fine than to book a holiday during the official school holidays. So what are the government trying to prove here?
To me poor attendance means those kids that skip school on a regular basis for no particular reason other than that they can’t be bothered, many of whom have parents who can’t be bothered either. This new ruling will have no effect on their attendance whatsoever. The government are surely just alienating hardworking parents who deserve a yearly family break. But what responsibility should the tour operators take?
Well, the ideal scenario would be for them not to raise their prices during school holidays, but we all know that’s never going to happen. Perhaps the government should put a cap on the amount that operators are allowed to raise prices by. Or perhaps the government should stop telling us how to bring our children up and concentrate on the state of the economy instead.
To add fuel to the fire, the National Union of Teachers are planning further strike action during the next school year, brilliant – if you could just make it the last two weeks of June next year, that would be perfect. Thank you.
[message_box title=”About the author” color=”red”]Yvonne is a content writer for Holiday Hypermarket and a parent of three.
WILL THE NEW RULING EFFECT YOU? WILL YOU DEFY THE GOVERNMENT AND STILL TAKE YOUR CHILDREN OUT OF SCHOOL? PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK IN THE COMMENTS BELOW. [/message_box]