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Do you take your kids out of school to go on holiday?

(123 Posts)
Flumpf Thu 23-Jan-14 14:41:39

This has been really getting me down since ds1 started school. If we take him out of school, we get a fine. If we go during the holidays, it is 4 times the price, hot and crowded.

ds1 is in yr1, he is doing well at school and his attendance has been very good. I think that he's been there every day apart from 2 sick days before Christmas. We would want to take him out for 1 week.

Dh refuses to pay the fine on principal. Last year, he phoned ds in sick every day from Butlins. I found it quite embarrassing, because they obviously knew he wasn't really ill. We didn't get fined though. I also didn't like the lying aspect of it, as ds knew what was going on.

I would rather just pay the fine for an easy life, to go on holiday without worrying about it.

I wouldn't want to take the piss, and take him out for holidays several weeks a year, just 1 week.

What do you do to get around this issue? Or do you just go in the holidays and pay the price? Thanks.

OldBeanbagz Thu 23-Jan-14 14:48:53

I haven't and won't take my DC out of school to take them on holiday. We don't do package holidays and chose destinations/travel that is generally not affected by school holiday price hikes.

I don't think you're setting your DS a good example by lying to the school. If every child in the class did the same it would be complete chaos!

millefleur Thu 23-Jan-14 14:50:38

No, i don't take my kids out of school to go on holiday

BigBadBiology Thu 23-Jan-14 14:52:17

No, but I will be next year. Have spoken to the head an we know we will have a fine.

DelightedIAm Thu 23-Jan-14 14:54:22

Over the many years of schooling, my children missed one day for the sake of a holiday due to the day a flight went out, to get them back again in time for term starting.

If you are keen to travel as a family, why not take a year out, homeschool and travel the world?

mouse26 Thu 23-Jan-14 14:54:36

We did once but got permission from the schools - my DC had never been on holiday and to go in term time was the only way we could afford it sad that was before the fines though, if we can't afford to go during the school holidays in future we just won't go, we have day trips out instead - either to theme parks or the beach.

No, we haven't taken our kids out of school to go on holidays - most of their friends haven't been taken out either, though I do know of a couple who tend to do it - but it is definitely not the norm in our schools at all - primary or Secondary.

alwaysneedaholiday Thu 23-Jan-14 15:00:18

No, i wouldn't take them out. We just tailor our holiday to the budget, or have time as a family at home.

MirandaWest Thu 23-Jan-14 15:01:00

I don't take children out of school to go on holiday.

MarthasHarbour Thu 23-Jan-14 15:02:44

Everything oldbean said. There are plenty of reasonably priced holidays if you search hard enough. We have managed to get a week away as a family in August for £500 in <gasp> the UK. Lovely cottage in Oxfordshire with loads to do for kids in the surrounding area.

We are fortunate that our LA has one week overlap in which none of the other LA's are off school so we can afford Center Parcs. We wouldnt pay their prices otherwise. But other than that change your expectations of a holiday and get googling!

Yes I have

It isn't great, not a great message to give your children, but flying long distance during the week is cheaper than over the weekends.

MarthasHarbour Thu 23-Jan-14 15:03:31

And there is no way i would encourage DS to lie to the school.

we have been once taken them away the day before term ended so missed 1 1/2 days on days they were only watching dvds anyway

ShoeWhore Thu 23-Jan-14 15:04:12

We have in the past, with permission from the school. Never for more than a week, never in a SATS year, not every year.

We probably won't do it again now the rules have changed.

Easter and May are less crowded and not so hot? We had a fab holiday to Barcelona in May a couple of years ago. I've become very creative about booking holidays!

Are we also drawing a distinction between holidays and going abroad to visit family?

TalkinPeace Thu 23-Jan-14 15:08:03


a) DH works term times too
b) with a bit of lateral thought its easy to find holidays that do NOT go up in price - have just done so for Easter to Turkey.

Lying to the school.
Hmmm. What else does he lie about in front of your children.

higgle Thu 23-Jan-14 15:10:23

My parents took me out of school for 2 weeks every summer - my father's business meant he had to take holidays either very early or very late. My education didn't suffer a bit, though in GCE and A level years I had to take my work way with me to revise. I took my sons out nearly every year until they were 11( but they went to a fee paying school where it was common practice) again no ill effects. I'd certainly do it again and pay the fine if necessary, but much better, in my view to save the money and lie about it. The whole system is totally stupid.

givemeaclue Thu 23-Jan-14 15:10:59

Yes. Authorised by head for 4 days last year. This year obviously head won't authorise but I am still taking them out. Will not lie will inform school. Happy to pay fine.

MoominsYonisAreScary Thu 23-Jan-14 15:13:03

Yes more than once and twice for mire than a month

givemeaclue Thu 23-Jan-14 15:13:28

In your case op, it is not the taking out of school it is the lying that is the issue. School knew you were lying so you made yourselves look like idiots.

chickydoo Thu 23-Jan-14 15:14:03

I will be taking DS4 out this year just for 3 days.
I am working abroad for 10 days over half term. I have no one in uk to look after him for the whole half term ( & the extra days) so he is coming with me. I don't mind if it's unauthorised I have to go on those dates I can't change them, I can't not go. DS can't fly to the destination alone, it is too far, to remote etc etc.
It won't be a holiday for me, DS will think it is though.

Bowlersarm Thu 23-Jan-14 15:16:53

One week out of 14 years. So far. We got permission from the head, and wouldnt have done it otherwise. Not planning on doing it again.

I don't think parents should take their children out frequently, or even annually.

Lying about it is really shabby behaviour, IMO.

Thurlow Thu 23-Jan-14 15:18:49

Kids aren't school age yet but I have never imagined doing this. Holidays are fun and everything, but they are not a right and they are not obligatory. I wouldn't take them out of school just for a holiday (though travelling abroad to see family is a slightly difference scenario).

School is one of those things - if you decide to have your kids educated at school then you have to go along with all the stuff that comes with it, such as not going on holiday during term time.

mummymeister Thu 23-Jan-14 15:19:42

yes, because I have a job where I have to work in school holidays and if I didn't we wouldn't get a family holiday together. this is not just about the fine, there are other threads on here all about it so wont repeat myself. it is an offence. you don't just pay up and go. the head refuses you authorisation (only the head teacher can do this, it is on their say so alone) they then mark your absence as unauthorised and depending on your LEA's policy you will be fined and you can also be taken to court. some places say no more than 5 days, some 10, some say not to go below 90% attendance and in my LEA any unauthorised absence is fined. £60 per parent per child so £120 per child/£240 for a family of 4. ringing in sick wont cut it now. some places are sending EWO's round to check. you can be asked to provide evidence that the child was sick when you return to school. I wont lie about it. this is the most rubbish bit of legislation Gove has ever dreamed up. it is inconsistent across the country and is a post code lottery as to whether you are given permission, fined, not fined, taken to court etc.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 23-Jan-14 15:22:13

Hello OP, I think you will find a lot has changed since last year and most LA will fine now.
Have you seen the threads about this, there are people having to pay huge fines, because they didn't pay sooner.
I have never taken our dc out for holidays but don't agree with fines and not being given permission.
Unfortunately, the rules have changed and these are the new policies and procedures you accept when you register your children in a state school.

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