Term-time holidays to be banned, with fines.....

(387 Posts)
LilyBolero Sun 19-Feb-12 14:15:35
LilacWaltz Sun 19-Feb-12 14:17:57

A good move IMO...

Sirzy Sun 19-Feb-12 14:18:52

I think they are right to try to do something about it as it is disruptive to a childs education. If it is for a one off holiday that for whatever reason can't be in term time then some discretion should be allowed, but if its just for a normal family holiday then they are right to not allow it.

bibbitybobbityhat Sun 19-Feb-12 14:19:33

They are already banned in our school.

As someone with family all over the world, not all of whom have the grace to get married or celebrate important events during UK term time, I think it's way too harsh.

Holidays are not always a luxury. I'd like to see exemptions for family reasons.

JustHecate Sun 19-Feb-12 14:22:56

And the holiday companies will rub their hands in glee and put their already over inflated prices up still further.

tbh, I think that needs addressing. It is ridiculous that a holiday that costs £200 one week can cost £800 the next. I understand supply and demand, I do. I understand they exist to make profit. But there has to be a balance.

ragged Sun 19-Feb-12 14:25:38

Ditto, Dreamingbohemian.
Any ideas how soon it will come in? I may have to move my next visit to family sooner than I wanted, assuming it will be last such visit for a long time (decade?) thereafter, but also depends how "steep" the fines are.

pearshape Sun 19-Feb-12 14:27:02

the only holiday we can usually afford is a Sun £9.50 caravan holiday. These aren't available in school holidays so that means poorer children missing out again! ?

ragged Sun 19-Feb-12 14:27:26

Xpost with Hecate, that part is hard for me to understand, Hecate -- why does anyone need a package holiday? I don't like camping either, but there have to be all price band options between holiday-company & camping/staycation.

scurryfunge Sun 19-Feb-12 14:28:26

It's crap for the parents whose employers dictate annual leave dates.

EdnaClouds Sun 19-Feb-12 14:29:21

"discuss"?! hmm

I've done sun/daily mail holidays in school hols. They usually don't have July/August available but half terms/Easter usually have some.

I feel sorry for people with family abroad or parents in the army etc who don't have the option of when to take leave. That's where the HT discretion came in.

QED Sun 19-Feb-12 14:32:45

Supposedly term time holidays are banned in our school but there are lots of people on holiday in term time hmm.

But I have an unpopular view on here that holidays in term time shouldn't happen.

Do teachers ever go in holiday in term time I wonder? I have a feeling that some parents wouldn't be happy to hear that their child's teacher was off on holiday during term time. And although of course all MN who take their children away during term time will have very valid reasons for doing so, I think there are some people who do not take children on educational holidays, or to see relatives in other countries, but just do it as it is cheaper out of school holiday time.

MrsHeffley Sun 19-Feb-12 14:36:31


So now Tory voters with kids in private schools not only get cheaper holidays due to longer school holidays which begin far earlier than state none of the riff raff will be in the way either.

We can barely afford to camp in August let alone anything else.

Wealthy kids will get the benefits and experience of travel which everybody else not on a stonking income will now be unable to give their kids thus stomping on aspirations and life experience for many kids.

I know several families with excellent attendance who latch on an extra 2 days say to a half term holiday and save a lot.2 days!!!!!

So bloody fed up with parents having to curtail to a nanny state because a few choose to feed their kids crap and don't send them to school.

At our school parents are allowed within reason to take their kids out.It is an Outstanding school with very committed parents from all walks of life and good attendance.It's not abused,I personally have only taken my kids out once for 5 days in 4 years due to a free offer of a holiday from grandparents.

Why should we all be punished for parents in other schools who let their kids play truant on a reg basis?

TheMonster Sun 19-Feb-12 14:37:39


Sirzy Sun 19-Feb-12 14:37:49

But what is different from letting a child play truant for 10 days throughout the year and taking them on holiday for 10 days? nothing they are still missing vital education!

yousankmybattleship Sun 19-Feb-12 14:42:34

Good. About time somthing was done about this. School should not be optional and if you can't afford a holiday in August don't go. A holiday is not some kind of fundamental human right.

GetOrfMoiiLand Sun 19-Feb-12 14:43:59

Meh, I would just go on holiday anyway and pay the fine.

JustHecate Sun 19-Feb-12 14:44:36

It's everyone though, from the likes of butlins, haven and centreparcs, to the B&Bs and self catering places, the big companies and the little guy with the one self catering cottage to rent, to the airlines and the travel agents and overseas holidays.

The whole industry takes advantage of the big slice of the market that can generally only take holidays in set periods. If a new law comes in that means it is that or nothing for every single family with school age children - get ready to see some right price hikes!

Nobody needs a package holiday.

Nobody needs a holiday at all. Not needs as in 'requirement for life' needs grin

But people want them. Children love them. They are nice things to go on.

And for that reason, the entire industry will take full advantage of the restrictions being placed on families.

JustHecate Sun 19-Feb-12 14:47:06

I don't think I'd like to see a return to holidays are only for the rich.

My grandad's family could never afford a holiday. Once a year all the children in the school would be taken on a train to Cleethorpes for the day. That was it. One day at the seaside, an ice cream and a donkey ride.

Only the rich got an actual break.

I would hate to see that come back.

bigTillyMint Sun 19-Feb-12 14:47:44

It is not usually the children whose families take them out of school for a week or two at the end of the summer term that struggle - it is the persistent truants whose parents allow/keep them off on a very regular basis.

Tortington Sun 19-Feb-12 14:48:32

price hiking holiday company fuckers taking advantage of childrens memories should get fined

fucking cunts

Tortington Sun 19-Feb-12 14:48:59

dont have a word with the holiday companies cameron - you fucking twat will you?

MrsHeffley Sun 19-Feb-12 14:51:13


I am an ex teacher 5 days(which is what I know most people take)is nothing and makes buggar all difference.Many kids are off ill for way more than that.The amount of lining up,organising,meal/breaks,assemblies involved in 5 days means actually you're talking about missing very little and tpo be perfectly frank any child would gain far more by spending a week in France in a Siblu caravan.

Kids that regularly truant believe me are off an awful lot more than 5 or 10 days in one go,it's 2 or 3 days most weeks,months.

Kids need to experience life outside of school.They are being pushed more and more,start earlier and most have parents with very limited income. Experiencing life away from home is utterly priceless which is why we camp in August but it costs us well over £1K in kit and for a Cornish campsite in Aug you're talking £300 plus £££££ on food because you have no fridge.

We are in the HTB so god knows how poorer families are supposed to give their kids valuable life experience away from home.What are kids going to have to aspire to if they never,ever experience life outside of their own small town? Meanwhile the kids of the rich will get to experience goodness knows what travel thus giving them yet more benefits on top of their private schooling,music lessons etc.

Gov won't be happy until all kids of the lower classes are locked in school 8 hours a day 52 weeks of the year.

SixtyFootDoll Sun 19-Feb-12 14:51:15

My husband and I both work shifts and can't always get the school holidays off and together. This Summer police annual leave is cancelled during the Olympics ( school holiday time) .
We have got October half term off and are taking the kids out of school the week before, so that we can have a family holiday.
Holidays are important to us as we work really hard and it is time for us all to have fun togethter.
If I have to pay the fine, I'll pay it.

yousankmybattleship Sun 19-Feb-12 14:51:31

Holiday companies are in business. They will charge as much people will pay. clearly some people will pay their inflated prices. I am not one of those people. We can't afford summer holiday, but I still wouldn't dream of taking my children out of school during term time. We have lovely summers with fun days out and save up so that every three or four years we can afford a break away. I wish it was cheaper but I don't think it is fair to blame holiday companies - they exist to make miney not to provide a public service!

edam Sun 19-Feb-12 14:51:51

I wonder whether it will only apply to holidays or all unauthorised absence. We've already had threads here about unsympathetic heads being mean about families where someone is terminally ill, FFS. What about people with family overseas?

JasperJohns Sun 19-Feb-12 14:54:31

Coming back from US one day later last year saved us £650 on flights. It meant that eldest missed 1st day back to school after Easter break. I would not have got permission for this so he had his first ever 'sick' day. (His younger brother had an authorised day from his school).

This didn't sit particularly well with us, but as it is the only day he has ever missed since he was in y2 (he is now 13 and in y9), I don't feel overly guilty.

Kayzr Sun 19-Feb-12 14:56:19

This will mean that my children will hardly ever get holidays.

My DP works away and last year he was away for every school holiday except for Xmas.

So we have no choice but to take holidays in term time.

LtEveDallas Sun 19-Feb-12 14:58:13

Meh, if I want to take DD out of school for a holiday, I will. If the LA want to fine me for it, they can. As it was, so shall it be. I don't understand why this is news? Surely it's been this way for years?

Svrider Sun 19-Feb-12 14:58:14

If this comes in, it will quite simply mean my children will not be able to go on holiday
On their last holiday they learnt about crab pools, fishing and ferries
We as parents are capable of combining education with holidays
I'm talking bout one week in a caravan in Devon
Do you really think my children should be denied this?
Also the last time my holiday application was rejected at school, (wanted last 2 days. To make a 5 day break) the school proceeded to host a beach day on the Wednesday, and DVD afternoon on the thursday. The morning was spent tidying up
Yup, glad they missed out on a holiday for that
Ps both me and dh work, and simply cannot get leave in school hols

edam Sun 19-Feb-12 14:59:54

"Headteachers will lose the ability to sanction up to two weeks a year of ‘authorised absence’ during term time. The discretionary absence is intended to cover illness, bad weather and bereavements, but many heads come under pressure to grant it so that children can be taken on holidays."

From the Mail. So does that mean the Government will be fining people for a death in the family?

MrsHeffley Sun 19-Feb-12 15:00:26

Yousank the cost of petrol (which will only go up) makes days out just not cost effective or affordable. If you go on 7 days out over an hour away you'll be paying a small fortune in petrol let alone parking fees,entrance fees.

We're lucky we live in Devon and have masses on our doorstep,what about those in the inner cities?Even going to Bristol has to be only a once a year trip for us as it's the best part of £50 in diesel,we can only travel to London to see grandparents 3X a year and stay as long as poss to make it cost effective.We are supposedly wealthy,what about those on very low incomes in a high rise block of flats in an inner city?

Sorry the days of 'day outs' are long gone for many.

GetOrfMoiiLand Sun 19-Feb-12 15:00:39

Agree LtEve. Lots of schools have been doing this for ages anyway.

If I wanted to go on holiday during term time, I would. Not to take advatnage of cheap hols, but because I was restricted often in when I could take time off. I wouldn't dream of doing it in GCSE years, however the rest of schooling isn't that crucial that a week missed would make that much difference.

ledkr Sun 19-Feb-12 15:01:37

Terrible that you are going to be fined for doing something pleasnat for your child when so many get away with only providing borderline "good enough parenting" with no consequences. How about people who dont take them out of school but are always late,dont have the correct uniform or kit and never do homework or spellings with them,will they be fined?

I was made single parent through no fault of my own and having a family holiday as we had always done gave the children not only some consistency but a chance to relax and get their head around what had happened in their family. Not a human right no but nice and completely unaffordable in school holidays on one wage.

I dont take them out of school if i can avoid it but i will do should i ever need to again,they are after all my children.

ByTheWay1 Sun 19-Feb-12 15:07:02

We take ours out if needed - hubby's job etc... BUT only because they are at Primary school, we will make do without when they move up to Secondary.

MrsHeffley Sun 19-Feb-12 15:08:47

I know Ledkr.

My kids are on time every single bloody day.I hear them read nightly and we give up a morning every weekend for homework.My kids are rarely if ever off ill.We support the school in everything.I'm soooo not being penalised yet again for poor bloody parenting elsewhere and to help a gov with it's figures.I thought the Tories were going to get rid of the nanny state,yet more lies.

Well Gov can kiss my arse and if I choose to give my kids valuable life experience the like of which kids of the rich enjoy several times a year I will< that's assuming £400 falls into my lap>smile

There isn't a need for us to take our DC out of school in term time. I can appreciate that some circumstances mean that parents would have to if they want a holiday though.

TheMonster Sun 19-Feb-12 15:09:10

It does annoy me because I'm a teacher and aside from the pupils missing education aspect of it, I cannot take holidays in term time. If DP can't get time off in the school holidays we can't go away.

OneHandFlapping Sun 19-Feb-12 15:09:31

It's another one of those policies which are easy to implement, make it look as if the government is doing something, and achieve absolulely bugger all to solve the real problem (in this case truancy).

Ditto Tony Blair's stupid light bulb policy (which does fuck all to solve global warming).

LilacWaltz Sun 19-Feb-12 15:10:37

Can't those with relatives 'overseas ' have them visit here instead? Or go in the holidays and stay in the relaives homes to cut costs?

MrsHeffley Sun 19-Feb-12 15:12:00

Body in our school I know assistants and part time teachers who have taken their kids out so clearly being peeved because you can't do it isn't an argument.

Teachers don't have the holiday childcare bills many have so benefit in other ways financially.

swanker Sun 19-Feb-12 15:16:13

So I'm sure none of you will mind when teachers also take holidays in term time?

FFS- they don't even get to see their children's nativity plays/sports days etc usually....

COCKadoodledooo Sun 19-Feb-12 15:17:10

The fines will probably still mean the cost will be less than going in school holidays.

Dh is a teacher so we're tied to ridiculous holiday costs anyway and haven't been abroad in a gazillion years. Would love to, simply can't afford it. I'd prefer it if the holiday companies levelled the playing field a bit and charged similar prices all year round, rather than massively inflating things out of term time.

TheMonster Sun 19-Feb-12 15:17:15

I have DS in childcare for a lot of the holidays so I can be in school working.
I'm not arguing about it, I was merely saying that I think it's wrong.

KalSkirata Sun 19-Feb-12 15:17:34

Gove can stick it up his bum. We dont do holidays but dd does get taken to a Children's Hospice. If we insisted on weekends and holidays we'd never get a go!

TheMonster Sun 19-Feb-12 15:18:19

Good point, Swanker. I was luckily able to see DS's nativity play, but was unable to make parents' day as my school wouldn't allow me the time off.

ihatethecold Sun 19-Feb-12 15:18:51

But BOE, you decided to become a teacher. You knew you wouldn't be able to take time off during term time when you chose the profession .
This isn't about teachers. It's about parents making a choice, or being TOLD what to do!

ByTheWay1 Sun 19-Feb-12 15:19:13

It annoys me in a way because our school one year CHANGED inset days AFTER we had all gone and booked the cheap hols (they put 3 straight after May break - bit of a result we thought..) and then had the audacity to tell us we had to APPLY for authorisation and then refused to give the kids who went away the full attendance certificate! They had many, many complaints that year.....

Yes. I am sure that parents would be outraged if little Jimmy turned up to school to find the class teacher had naffed off to Florida with their family for two weeks swanker. sad

COCKadoodledooo Sun 19-Feb-12 15:19:27

MrsHeffley that's cobblers. Our nursery charges all year round, save 2 weeks in the summer and 2 at Christmas. We have to pay whether he's there or not.

TheMonster Sun 19-Feb-12 15:19:32

I'd like Gove to stick a lot his ideas up his bum, but I am afraid this isn't one of them.
If holiday companies charged the same in school holiday time this wouldn't be an issue.

LilacWaltz Sun 19-Feb-12 15:19:37

How are the fines issued? Via court? That's how the EWO does them here.

So, you will get your name in the paper and a fine. Criminal record??

Dont think they ate aiming for a slap on the wrist and a fine of £20!

TheMonster Sun 19-Feb-12 15:20:44

Yes, ihatethecold, but you chose to have children and it's your duty to ensure they get a decent education. That means being in school.

COCKadoodledooo Sun 19-Feb-12 15:21:01

Ihatethecold some teachers are parents too. Who'd like to holiday with their family at affordable prices.

ScorpionQueen Sun 19-Feb-12 15:23:10

I would take my children out in term time if I could. It's me that can't have time off. August is a crap month to go abroad. Too hot, too expensive, hurricanes, monsoons, you name it. I'd love to holiday in May/June and save a fortune to boot.

It isn't the teachers setting the rules, it never is, but just keep on blaming them for everything...

vnmum Sun 19-Feb-12 15:23:21

This won't stop the parents who regularly let their DC play truant from continually doing so. Ok it is not ideal to take holidays in term time but the price of the holidays during school holidays is ridiculous and most people can't afford them so their children miss out on out of school learning and experiences.

And what about the forces children who have a parent deployed in afghan. Their deployed parent can't always choose when they will get R&R and that 2 weeks is a valuable time for the children to spend with a parent they have not seen for months before they go away again for more months. This is the only time I would want to take my DC out of school during term time and at the moment most heads a more understanding with forces families wanting to do this. If this ban comes in I would just tell them the DC were ill. I feel it is very important for them to spend time with their father.
I can actually see that if this ban comes in the number of children absent due to illness will suddenly go up as people look for ways around the ban but it still won't have any effect on the persistent truanters.

It is also not just forces families that have no choice of when they take leave, there are many other professions where this is the case so children whose parents are in those professions will suffer too.

The Government go on about the state of society and how important to society the family structure is etc then they go and impose restrictions on families that may well prevent them from spending quality time together when both parents are working full time

cornsilkteamdixon Sun 19-Feb-12 15:25:03

I'm more worried about the effects on parents of children who struggle to attend school.

swanker Sun 19-Feb-12 15:25:17

Yes- teachers chose to teach, but police officers chose their profession too (upthread) and others who say 'oh DH can't get time off in holidays'. We all make choices.
It isn't about 'being told what to do' it is about respecting there are set times when education is provided, and children should be there, taking full advantage of their opportunities.

MrsHeffley Sun 19-Feb-12 15:25:26

School age kids aren't in nursery.Our school holiday club would cost me £60 a day through the holidays for 3 kids if I worked.Kids aren't in nursery for ever and once they start school teachers will save on holiday childcare(one if the reasons I'd consider returning to teaching for).

As I said I know part time teachers/assistants who have taken their kids out on the days they don't work.

Also the new fines are going to be steep(ie steeper than the fines already in place) so putting up with a fine isn't going to be an option.They're obviously going to make it so expensive there will be no financial benefit.

TheMonster Sun 19-Feb-12 15:26:28

Well said ScorpionQueen and Swanker.

MrsHeffley Sun 19-Feb-12 15:26:41

And yes the truanters will carry on truanting.

2old2beamum Sun 19-Feb-12 15:27:26

If we are compelled to take a holiday outside school holidays PLEASE can someone please show me a self-catering holiday with hoists, wheelchair accessable for 2 people who are siblings no they do not want to share a double bed. Fortunately school and LEA understand our diffulties but all said and done there are very few any time of year.

If I was a teacher and I had been working on a particular subject and children were to disappear for two weeks on a holiday (without any special circumstances) I would feel a bit 'why do I bother'. TBH

TheMonster Sun 19-Feb-12 15:27:36

Teachers still pay for childcare. My DS is 5 and I pay for childcare before school (from 7am) and after school (until 6pm).

ledkr Sun 19-Feb-12 15:27:48

Our headteacher has just had paternity leave during term time. I agree he should have it but although far more crucial than a holiday does illustrate how often its a case of "needs must"
body I chose ot to become a teacher based quite heavily upon the lack of holiday flexibility. In my chosen profession i am far busier during the schol holidays and have to compete with other parents to book leave for those days,swings and roundabouts really.

TheMonster Sun 19-Feb-12 15:28:26

Exactly, Sparklingbrook.

TheMonster Sun 19-Feb-12 15:29:05

Indeed, ladkr, swings and roundabouts.

LilacWaltz Sun 19-Feb-12 15:29:32

But the fines are £ 250+... is this per child? And if you get a conditional discharge, then how many times a year will you be able to keep them off??

MandyT68 Sun 19-Feb-12 15:31:03

As a teacher, I would like lot put an alternative pint of view. This will not apply to me as not in England. However, there is constant pressure on results, even among very young children. Parents often take children out for a week or more for a beach in Tenerife or to go skiing. These are luxuries and not affordable to many. The very parents doing this are the ones who want the most from the school. I am not talking about a family wedding overseas or about this happening occasionally but about pupils missing every year for two weeks, sometimes tacked onto an existing
2 week holiday. These are not the parents of the poor who do a week in a caravan or have no holiday. These are middle class parents who have "saved" by opting for a state education and are spending the surplus on holidays. They want University places and A grades and salve their consciences by asking for work to take away with them, meaning more work for the teacher in setting, planning and marking the work. In my school we provide work for those absent for genuine reasons, including family ones, but not for those who are off on a jolly. It is made clear to them that we cannot be held entirely responsible if their children do not get high grades. Skiing and Tenerife are great fun but I would not think of them as a substitute for two weeks in the classroom. I do not feel long, cheap overseas holidays are a "right". Children with a good education will be able to afford far more holidays and travel than those without. Ducks head and waits to be shouted at!!!

EdithWeston Sun 19-Feb-12 15:31:42

"And what about the forces children who have a parent deployed in afghan. Their deployed parent can't always choose when they will get R&R and that 2 weeks is a valuable time for the children to spend with a parent they have not seen for months before they go away again for more month".

There is a separate recommendation already for Forces children; if applied as intended, they should be unaffected by this. (I'm not ruling out the possibility of extreme incompetence by bringing in incompatible measures though! But I do think this one has been worked around satisfactorily.

And it's not to key to the overall position which is that children enrolled in school should be there for the entire time, unless ill or bereaved. I suppose those who are not happy with the state laying down how state education is provided will have to HE or turn to the private sector.

Or perhaps free schools and academies will be able to exercise more individual discretion? Or perhaps as they come directly under SofS, they will actually have rather less?

ledkr Sun 19-Feb-12 15:31:59

This wont work,if i need to do it ill just keep quiet and keep the kids of sick.meh!

TheMonster Sun 19-Feb-12 15:32:59

Oh yes, Mandy! I have had many requests from parents for work to take on holiday, and when I have gone to the effort of setting work, it has never once been completed or returned.

Astronaut79 Sun 19-Feb-12 15:34:46

Instead of the annual kick off over kids out in term time, why don't we all direct our ire at the holiday companies who force people into it?

I'm a teacher and it really fucks me off that I have to pay a fortune to have one bloody week away. Especially now I have 2 dcs.

Feenie Sun 19-Feb-12 15:34:50

Teachers also pay childcare for training days - an extra £50 for me this month, on top of wraparound care.

ivykaty44 Sun 19-Feb-12 15:35:13

Will this increase the amount of parents that HE for a few years rather than go down the school route?

It crossed my mind if my dd's where little it would be easier to HE them until after infants - aged 7 and not be tied up about school holidays and term time as we would be free to do as we like and educate when we like during the year.

If you don't send your dc to school then you don't have to abide by the rules set down by Gore and his government.

With school places becoming scares in some areas would this start people doing things differently and keeping their children home and sending them to school ater when they reach junior or senior school?

Work to take on holiday? WTF? Sounds like conscience easing to me. confused

CleverlyConcealed Sun 19-Feb-12 15:36:24

Excuse me whilst I regain my composure <laughs hysterically>

I wonder who Gove thinks will administer the increased amount of paperwork and fines. Our EWS has been decimated in the recent round of public sector job cuts. Most primary schools locally won't even have an Education Welfare Service to speak of come September.

Feenie Sun 19-Feb-12 15:36:25

And hang on, Gove wants a reduction in the summer holiday aswell - so we'll all be fighting for the same four weeks at extortionate prices. Except private school families, of course. Marvellous.

CleverlyConcealed Sun 19-Feb-12 15:38:01

He's a twat.


ledkr Sun 19-Feb-12 15:38:54

mandy some good points but i will say agin that of course a holiday isnt a right,but the chance to experience things the same as peers from richer families should be.Why should my children si and listen to their friends exciting stories of planes and other countries just because i have less money than their parents. There are many pleasures in life that arent a right or we could do without but we dont.Life isnt all about hard work.

Foreign holidays aren't 'all that' IMO.

ClothesOfSand Sun 19-Feb-12 15:41:52

I hope this means that headteachers will no longer be able to take children out of school on holidays during term time. It will save me hundreds of pounds a year on school residential trips, and more of the school year will be spent actually teaching the children.

Housemum Sun 19-Feb-12 15:42:46

Not happy with the reasons behind it (ie I don't think banning holidays will do anything towards truancy rates - not the same thing at all) but I do think that we should be careful not to assume we have a "right" to a "good" holiday. I had fab childhood holidays, but all in cheap self catering UK accommodation as that was all my single-parent mum could afford. She to this day has not borrowed anything, except for a mortgage when she finally bought a house about 15 years ago - now repaid in full. I was about 15 before we went on a week's foreign holiday to Italy - in the school hols, she saved up for it.

People who can afford private education also get to afford the cheaper July holidays before the rest of us - life sucks sometimes, but I have to deal with it. This year I looked at package holidays but campsite it is again - because I will not take the DDs out of school for more than the odd day.

What this report doesn't cover is the rest of the authorised absence - what about funerals, weddings, music/dance/skating/whatever exams, modelling/theatre work etc?

ledkr Sun 19-Feb-12 15:43:09

Yes but thats your choice sparkling We love ours,it gives us something to look forward to and we have even learnt spanish which we practice when we are away.

Feenie Sun 19-Feb-12 15:43:49

confused Our residential trip IS spent teaching children - it's part of the curriculum, ClothesOfSand - how can you teach outdoor and adventurous activities at school?

I wouldn't want DS1 to go on his German trip in June without any teachers. confused

I'll have to hope elderly family members in Ireland have the decency to die during the holidays when the time comes then hmm And God forbid anyone over there gets married...

poorbuthappy Sun 19-Feb-12 15:51:29

Agree about the residential trips. My dn can't understand why he can't have 1 day off to do his sport thing, but the school skiing trip can have 3 days off around half term. confused

ClothesOfSand Sun 19-Feb-12 15:57:58

Lots of trips that parents take children on are also educational. If schools are allowed to take children on trips in term time, then so should parents if they can demonstrate the educational benefits.

The cost of DD's school trip last year was more than the amount we would normally spend on our family holiday, so as a consequence we didn't have one. So basically we paid the school for them to take our daughter on holiday and DS had no holiday as a result. This year, my parents had to pay for DD's school trip. It seems to have very limited educational benefits to me - we could provide better if we were allowed to take DD out of school for that week. If my parents didn't pay, she would have to sit in the year 3/4 classroom all week as the whole of year 5 and 6 are going.

DS is having a really wonderful week long residential trip this year (and actually the teacher has organised it so that it happens out of school time); I am not saying they are all a waste of time, but neither are all family holidays. Schools and parents should have to meet the same requirements to be allowed to take children out of school. It is as if we're all seen as incompetent at providing any kind of educational experience for our own children.

Morebiscuitsplease Sun 19-Feb-12 15:59:31

Already in force in our schools. hmm Those who have good attendance do not I think lose out missing one week in the back end of the summer term. Things do wind down. At the end of the day it is cost. My husband works hard and has suffered with stress, a decent holiday is very beneficial to him and the children love their holidays. It is quality family time together. We play ball at school excellent attendance, support school and if we take a holiday that is our decision. Will it stop the persistent truant ears.... I doubt it, it just penalises the rest of us.

ClothesOfSand Sun 19-Feb-12 16:01:08

Feenie, my DS is in year 9 and has never done 'adventurous' activities on a trip. Is it compulsory then? Have his schools failed to fulfill their curriculum obligations because he has never been? What are the adventure activities that absolutely must be taught by law?

maxybrown Sun 19-Feb-12 16:03:26

MrsHeffley - not all children have the chance to attend an after school club, some have to use a childminder and the Teachers who use childminders DO still have to pay for it all year round!

My Dh is a teache so we couldn't go in term time anyway, but we only go camping on cheap sites as that's what we can afford while I am not working.

Who said about Sun Hols? Well take a look at the Daily Mail breaks next time they do it, as they offer theirs in school hols too! We are having a week at Easter for £65 - that's not including the ent passes as we didn't want those as wouldn't use them.

DS1 is going to Germany with the school to help with his German language. It is not somewhere I would choose to go for a family holiday.

DS2 is going on an outward bound type residential trip. Abseiling, and zip wires, and making rafts is not something that appeals to me.

If it wasn't for these school residential trips neither DS would have these experiences. I think the teachers that take them on these trips deserve medals.

Cost aside, I would like to know just how every household where there is a school aged child or a teacher is going to be able to access a holiday when suddenly you only have the choice of going in a six week period over the summer.

For one, many departments of perfectly ordinary, every day public services (doesnt have to be military or police, many hospitals or customer services work this way too)are run according to strict staffing numbers. If most of those employees have school age children they are all going to be wanting to take their annual leave in this 6 week period. Can you imagine the scrum for annual leave? Where both parents work then you can double this problem.

For another, there will simply not be enough flights/holidays to go round everyone, even if people could afford the inevitable hoik in prices. You would have to book 2 years ahead for both annual leave and holiday itself which isn't doable.

Finally, I don't want to see businesses and employees in family holiday resorts suffering because they are lying virtually empty during term time. They probably wouldn't be able to operate going from one extreme of demand to the other.

Altogether a ridiculous idea and I work term time in a school myself but don't lie with the "I have to do it so you should too" brigade.

'Can't those with relatives 'overseas ' have them visit here instead?'

Oh sure, I'll just tell all my family in the States to get married over here instead. And that big 50th anniversary celebration, I'm sure 200 people can fly to Europe no problem. Including all the 90 year olds!

Home ed looks better and better.

ClothesOfSand Sun 19-Feb-12 16:12:03

SB, I'm not saying that all trips are a waste of time; some are very good, as are many holidays that parents take children on. I don't know any Latin so certainly couldn't give DS the experience that DS's Latin teacher will be providing on the school residential but there are other experiences I can offer that the school can't. The same rules should apply for both school trips and family trips in term times.

Actually this will no longer apply to us anyway, because DS is starting GCSEs next year so will not be going on any term time residential trips with anyone, but it should apply to other year groups.

megapixels Sun 19-Feb-12 16:12:43

"normally done to take advantage of cheaper package holidays" hmm.

Like someone else said, I'd take them out and pay the fine. A once a year trip back to my children's country and culture, to be in touch with their heritate and language, to see older members of the family that they may not see again the next year, is more important to me than a few days of school lost.

Curly this is why in France and Germany, maybe elsewhere, they rotate holiday times among different regions and districts. This keeps prices somewhat in check and distributes people much better.

Why can't they do this in the UK?

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Sun 19-Feb-12 16:18:11

dreaming - I wondered that too as just returned form France whwere the feb half term is staggered across four weeks - was told by a teacher here that that would ot be acceptable here by the teaching unions as teachers with kids in schools on the edge of the regions would not get time off with their kids [puzzled]

Will the academy's/free schools etc HAVE to follow Govt rules on this? Or will it just be state schools ?

notveryinventive Sun 19-Feb-12 16:23:06

Sorry Ive not read the full thread, so not sure if this has been said, but holiday companies will HAVE to hike their prices to make up for having no holiday makers in term time.

If it becomes illegal to take children out of school to go on holiday (which Im assuming is anything from day off to form a long weekend to a long haul holiday destination taking 2 weeks and even longer?) then lots of places wont be able to fill up their places and will lose out there so will make the cost of holidays in August/Easter etc a lot more expensive and people wont go. Surely this will then lead to holiday companies going bust and even more people out of work and so on. Of course there will be plenty of people still going on holiday during term time as they will either not have school age children or wont care about breaking the law for whatever reason, valid or not. But I bet it would lead to a lot less holidays being taken up during term time.

TheCrackFox Sun 19-Feb-12 16:23:10

Our school is closing for the day soon due to local elections. Can I fine the local authority for not providing education for that day? Thought not.

CleverlyConcealed Sun 19-Feb-12 16:24:05

It won't matter anyway.

If you have a child in an academy that has set their own term dates which are totally different to your other children in state primary, you'll already be using all your holidays just to cover childcare and won't be able to go away as a family anyway.

Astronaut79 Sun 19-Feb-12 16:24:58

Rotating holidays is a good idea, but then those of who teach in one area and work in another woukd be screwed. I teach in England but live in Wales; I already notice that the kids round here aer often in school when I'm of and vice versa. Dcs not in school yet, but I'm dreading it; especially as I tend to miss at least part of my weekends with them due to school work.

benbecca Sun 19-Feb-12 16:27:35

I dont agree with this one bit - yes education is important - but just as important is good quality family time, not everyone can afford the inflated prices the holiday companies charge during school holiday time.

It isnt families who should be fined but the holiday companies who put up their prices - forcing many families to take their children out of school for a family holiday.

Plus what happens if a working parents job/circumstances doesnt allow them to take holidays at the same time as the school.

LilyBolero Sun 19-Feb-12 16:28:14

Wow, lots of discussion! grin

I posted this in a hurry, have just read through the responses.

My views are mixed - because I never do take my kids out of school, because I don't think it's generally 'right' to do that. otoh, it is ridiculous the way the holidays are hiked up in price (the holiday companies say that basically they are subsidising the cheap rates, rather than putting it up at peak times hmm ).

I think banning it is mad. But I think Gove is insane. Bear in mind he also wants to reduce the amount of school holiday, and also increase the length of the school day - he said that teachers should 'want to do this, if they enjoyed their job' hmm hmm hmm

I strongly think there is more to childhood than school, and all this trying to keep the children locked in school for as long as possible seems to be trying to fix the problems of the few by restrictions of the many.

sodapops Sun 19-Feb-12 16:28:46

When they get together with the MOD and stop sending the Armed Forces away in school holidays, I'll stop taking my DC out in term time!

perceptionreality Sun 19-Feb-12 16:30:23

It's completely wrong - if this isn't nanny state then what is??

Holidays cost as much as 3 times as much on peak times then any other.

Parents will just lie about why their child is off to avoid the fine imo.....

I have a child in a private school who it won't affect but I still think it's twattish angry

t0lk13n Sun 19-Feb-12 16:36:24

I wish I could take time off in term time but as teacher I can`t. However working in a deprived area with many EAL children, many of the children go off in term time as it is so much cheaper and I don`t blame them. My only bugbear is that children tend not to copy up any missed work sad

LilacWaltz Sun 19-Feb-12 16:40:20

What have the armed forces got to do with it?

kenhallroad Sun 19-Feb-12 16:41:00

I'm taking dd in may, it's for four days. I was going to tell them but I will just ring in sick. Can't go any other time and relative who we go to see is not likely to be around next year. I looked for school holidays and it was 1650 instead of five hundred!

MrsHeffley Sun 19-Feb-12 16:45:52

Right so they'll end all the ski-ing trips and all the other trips loosely termed educational eg the NYC trip on the aibu thread. A week in NY for a couple of hours drama will not benefit the rest of the curriculum.If Gov is going by this stance then surely no part of the curriculum merits a week away at the cost of the majority of the curriculum.Gov can't have his cake and eat it.

Also lets not forget everything is so expensive and people so broke the maj of what people are taking time off for are Sun holidays or GB self catering caravan holidays.I know absolutely nobody who could afford 2 weeks abroad in June let alone August.

cazboldy Sun 19-Feb-12 16:58:28

What about dc who do sports? (ds1 has just been picked to clayshoot representing the county - on a wednesday!)

We never have holidays, and can't afford to, and anyways we have to many animals to leave , but we do enjoy showing cattle, and usually all dc's have 4 days at the end of June for the local county show where they do the young handler's classes and show calves

They have alwyas been allowed time to do this, on the condition that they take some photos and do a piece of writing about what they have done. ( That was the head authorises it as educational)

What now?

LineRunner Sun 19-Feb-12 16:59:11

I can see real trouble ahead for Gove on this <fucking tragic> smile as the response on here shows that he will be perceived to be potentially criminalising his beloved middle classes.

I think he has been a bit naive and stroppy here. Probably he has had loads of Heads complaining about the newer tougher Ofsted regime, where it is impossible to get a 'good' or 'outstanding' rating unless attendance is also good or outstanding. But Gove, instead of looking again at the Ofsted regime, is pretending to be giving Heads the tools to do the job, whilst of course as we have already identified, truants will still truant.

In my LA area the biggest reasons for children missing school are the child's illness, and caring responsibilities. Also a lot of girls miss one or two days a month when they have a period simply because the schools will not let them go to the toilet on demand and this causes massive embarrassment and upset.

LtEveDallas Sun 19-Feb-12 17:04:15

If this is a 'new' thing (and I'm not convinced it is) this year will be particularly bad for the Armed Forces as many units have only been told in the last couple of weeks that they are taking part in 'Op Olympics' and therefore all leave in July and August is cancelled. Yes we were all warned it was a possibility, but some of the Units tasked have caused some eyebrows to be raised.

I'm lucky, I'm only on 'standby', so my (already booked) August holiday is unlikely to be affected, but my boss (for instance) was only told by her DH last week that he is on a leave ban for Aug.

Hopefully, like EdithWeston already said, headteachers were already aware.

MandyT68 Sun 19-Feb-12 17:05:20

Ledkr I totally agree that life is not all about work. It is important to have a balance. However, schools cannot be held accountable for pupils' results if those very pupils are attempting to achieve results on an academic year shortened by holidays. All pupils, even those in expensive private schools, cope with differences in income, in ability and in family circumstances. I tell my children that we can't afford things but that their education will, hopefully, ensure that they can buy these things for themselves some day.

startail Sun 19-Feb-12 17:05:41

I haven't done so for many years and because DD1 is now coming up to GCSES I probably wouldn't.
But they are my children and school is not the be all and end all off life.

If I feel that the children, DH and I seriously needed a holiday or, as has happened, the only sensible dates slightly over ran half term, then we would go on holiday.

Telling school is simply a politeness, I would not ask them for permission for them to be away. To my mind school do not have the right to refuse!

startail Sun 19-Feb-12 17:11:29

Oh and I voted conservative not to be lectured like this. So mr Grove can <choose your favourite grove swear word off>

I seriously hope that all those parents, who truly can't afford to holiday in term time write to their MPs.
The party of the family? The party of the family who can send their DCs to private school and escape Mr Grove's meddling more likeangry

Feenie Sun 19-Feb-12 17:21:06

KS2 PE National Curriculum:

Outdoor and adventurous activities
11. Pupils should be taught to:

a.take part in outdoor activity challenges, including following trails, in familiar, unfamiliar and changing environments
b.use a range of orienteering and problem-solving skills
c.work with others to meet the challenges.

It could be taught at school, I guess - but it wouldn't be very adventurous! confused

LineRunner Sun 19-Feb-12 17:22:15

It is very, very nanny state.

Feenie Sun 19-Feb-12 17:25:14

I do hope that this latest goonery will be one of the final nails in his career coffin.

Here's another:

Michael Gove under pressure in anti-gay sex education

<crosses fingers>

ClothesOfSand Sun 19-Feb-12 17:38:04

CC, children of secondary school age don't need childcare (certainly according to the government; see all the workfare threads for an example of this), so having children in a secondary academy with different holiday dates shouldn't make any difference to childcare.

EDRefugee Sun 19-Feb-12 17:44:38

It's not a fine. It's a tax on the (mainly) middle class households who will still take their children out for holidays during term time.

Since when did Gove love the middle classes?? He's raised the price of university education from vaguely affordable to completely out of reach for many MC households. And now an extra tax for taking a holiday.

Gove - and the rest of this govt - exist only to serve the wealthy.

LineRunner Sun 19-Feb-12 17:47:36

Gove thinks all the middle classes are or should be wealthy, though. He doesn't 'get' in-work poverty.

Let's face it, he's a twat.

I don't think the Tories will be re-electable.

EDRefugee Sun 19-Feb-12 17:50:09

Not to be middle-classist - it's also a tax on all the working class households who will now be forced to pay the government first if they'd like an affordable holiday.

Well the fine plus the holiday could mean it will be cheaper to go in August anyway. confused

Becaroooo Sun 19-Feb-12 17:52:46

Agree with getorf and others

I would go and pay the fine.

EDRefugee Sun 19-Feb-12 17:56:11

Indeed, the fine will likely mean it's still cheaper to take the holiday in term time. Gove is just looking for a new revenue stream.

Becaroooo Sun 19-Feb-12 17:56:34

ed Yep.

ArielNonBio Sun 19-Feb-12 17:58:26

How much would the fine be? I would be tempted to do the holiday in term and take the fine on the chin. It still wouldn't be as expensive as a term time holiday. We work all summer and cannot go on holiday then. I obviously wouldn't do if the child was about to take exams or was an important school year, but I know full well that missing two weeks of class in a state school with 32 kids in the class will not adversely affect my child's education.

I say this as a former teacher.

Becaroooo Sun 19-Feb-12 17:59:12

Its just mad.

We treated ourselves and kids last year to a holiday abroad (first since having dc so for 8 years) It cost £2.5 k which is a LOT I know. We went in term time (long story but holiday booked at half term was cancelled by travel company) but if we went there in the summer hols ^the same holiday" would cost £5k.


Voidka Sun 19-Feb-12 17:59:41

We dont do term time holidays, but I can understand why people do.
The only people that will benefit from this is holiday companies.

Becaroooo Sun 19-Feb-12 18:00:44

Ariel Exactly! I dont think any parent would be booking a week in Benidorm in their childs exam year!!!

ArielNonBio Sun 19-Feb-12 18:00:46

Meant "school holiday time holiday" confused

ArielNonBio Sun 19-Feb-12 18:02:19

And if I may sound arrogant for a moment, I know that two weeks with me will be more educational than doing a lot of the stuff they do in class.

EDRefugee Sun 19-Feb-12 18:02:52

Voidka - now Gove has thought up a way for the government to benefit too! Clever guy.

EDRefugee Sun 19-Feb-12 18:04:07

Becaroo - flippin' 'eck! That's going to have to be a hellish fine before it's more expensive to go in term time!

CleverlyConcealed Sun 19-Feb-12 18:05:21

Oh yes I forgot that bit Clothes. I wonder if Gove will get around to writing some legislation that allows us to leave our 12 year-olds at home without us risking prosecution if they burn the house down.

LineRunner Sun 19-Feb-12 18:08:54

Does Gove even know that a lot of 12 year olds finish their state school day at 2.30pm? Does he think they all get home at 6pm?

LineRunner Sun 19-Feb-12 18:12:46

Btw, those saying that they would pay the fines - surely that would mean admitting you have committed an offence. (A bit like accepting a caution or a FPN does.)

ragged Sun 19-Feb-12 18:18:31

I think it comes under civil law, not criminal law, so not equivalent to a caution which is only used for criminal code of law.

I've always said that I'd pay the fine if it came to it ,which for 4 kids has been £400, not a lot when flights alone (this is offpeak you understand) can cost us close to 2k. BUT, they are talking about "steep" rise in the fines which suggests... I dunno? £200 each (100% increase)? And £800 would make me think hard.

VoodooKitten Sun 19-Feb-12 18:20:44


I doubt it will stop parents going on holiday in term time if they really want to. They'll just lie and send in a sick note.

Well that's what I would do anyway.

ByTheWay1 Sun 19-Feb-12 18:29:57

The figures being discussed at one earlier point were

a)£1000 per offence i.e. per child per period of unauthorised absence - so a week before and a week after October half term for instance £2000 per child.... or
b)£100 per day per child.

CleverlyConcealed Sun 19-Feb-12 18:35:25

shock Seriously?

boredandrestless Sun 19-Feb-12 18:39:05

There is no way I can afford a holiday in the school holidays, and if this came into force I would call DS in sick. At the moment I risk the possible fine (think it's £50 or 100 in my area, not sure) as I only have one child, and it is still way way cheaper than an impossible for me to afford, school holiday time break. Thankfully the head at his school is currently understanding and grants it (I think head looks at child's attendance rate when making a decision).

Longer school days would break my DS, he has autism and already comes home from school exhausted.

EndoplasmicReticulum Sun 19-Feb-12 18:49:05

Makes not a lot of difference to me personally, as I am a teacher so can't take holidays in term time anyway.

I do think the holiday companies need to take some of the blame though, as a lot of posters here have said the reason they go in term time is because it is so much cheaper.

I agree that education will not be adversely affected by missing a week. Especially as the expectation seems to be that the teacher will run around arranging work for the missing child, or giving up their spare time when the child returns from holiday to catch them up on what they have missed.

ilooklikegrotbagstoday Sun 19-Feb-12 18:49:27

Taking DS out of school for 2 weeks after Easter, fine me if you like! If you can get the money out of me i'll still have probably saved more than going during the holidays.

LilacWaltz Sun 19-Feb-12 18:54:30

Look at people's fines.... It's a trip to magistrates court, the fine and costs too. And usually a conditional discharge.

Fines up to £2-300...

LilacWaltz Sun 19-Feb-12 18:55:07

And details of your crime in the locall paper for all to see...

LilacWaltz Sun 19-Feb-12 18:55:59

It's not enforced by your school. You have to go to court

MuffinTheMilf Sun 19-Feb-12 18:57:23

They can fuck off. My kids have had disrupted education due to moving house & country several times and because we've happily taken them on holiday during term-time It hasn't affected them educationally in the slightest. In fact in some ways I think they are more well rounded individuals thanks to their travels than many of their peers.

I also might add that they rarely miss a day through illness.

I will continue to do what suits us and just pay the fine. Obviously I'm mindful of not taking them away during important exams and what not but at primary school I really can't see the problem.

And yes, holiday companies need to be regulated bit more.

ilooklikegrotbagstoday Sun 19-Feb-12 18:58:17

It wouldn't bother me if i was in the paper for taking DS out of school. I'm sure there would be a long list of us. It's not a crime i would be ashamed of.

CleverlyConcealed Sun 19-Feb-12 18:59:26

You don't currently have to go to court unless you don't pay the fixed penalty.

maybenow Sun 19-Feb-12 18:59:34

it's a ridiculously blunt instrument i think - friend of mine currently has her school-age child in asia visiting another friend who is living there for a year for a special once a year festival.
It's the most AMAZING experience which she will never forget for her entire life and so much more educational than any school project on other countries other religions or other cultures. some parents don't value education, others value education in it's whole sense not just 'schooling'.... depending on my personal circumstances genuine zero-tolerance of term-time absence might actually drive me to home school.

LilacWaltz Sun 19-Feb-12 19:00:40

It's going to change..... The current system will get tougher

Ineedalife Sun 19-Feb-12 19:03:43

I am another one who will still be going in term time, gove can shove it up his arse.

My kids get a great experience on holiday and there is no way i can do a week in school hols.

We only go camping in devon bty.

They can take me to court and i will pay the fine at a.£1 a week.hmm

CleverlyConcealed Sun 19-Feb-12 19:04:25

Yes - I said currently, correcting your statement.

TalkinPeace2 Sun 19-Feb-12 19:08:14

could we have a version of the story with a source OTHER than the Daily Fail?
Then I might actually give it some credence

CleverlyConcealed Sun 19-Feb-12 19:10:04

I don't think there is one TalkinPeace. It was a leak.

cazboldy Sun 19-Feb-12 19:14:29

but this isn't going to actually solve persistent truants, or help people whose children are having problems through bullying

yet again they are picking on the wrong people sad

mercibucket Sun 19-Feb-12 19:14:42

A grand fine! Per child!!
Never ever piss off the middle classes. The lower order revolt but the middle classes vote

LilacWaltz Sun 19-Feb-12 19:18:40

So those who will take their kids out anyway..... Can I ask, how do you feel about contributing to ( negatively) your individual schools league tables

TalkinPeace2 Sun 19-Feb-12 19:22:52

More like its a bilge Daily Fail story.
The fines system has been in place for years.

I have friends who have been hit over the last three years : £10 per child per day.
It was still cheaper for them than the premium on the flights.
AND the not letting kids who've been on holiday go to the prom - that was under the last government.

Sorry ladies but you've all fallen for a bit of Daily Fail Froth of Gove trying to see which way the wind is blowing BEFORE jumping.
The new way of doing policy : test it on Mumsnet and the Daily Fail comments page.

Juule Sun 19-Feb-12 19:32:08
ArielNonBio Sun 19-Feb-12 19:33:22

Lilac, I think a lot of people would answer that they couldn't give a stuff about their school's league tables if they are based on shit like this.

Ineedalife Sun 19-Feb-12 19:34:15

Lilac, I feel less concerned about that than my kids never getting a holiday,

IMHO my kids spend too much time with their bums on seats and not eoungh time being kids!!

Juule Sun 19-Feb-12 19:34:21
LilacWaltz Sun 19-Feb-12 19:35:25

Will it affect their ofsted?

cookcleanerchaufferetc Sun 19-Feb-12 19:37:55

Lilac - my children contribute significantly to the league tables in that they bring up the standard as they are clever. The stupid stories that taking your child out of school - and I am talking primary level here - makes the school academic levels go down is not always applicAble. We take our kids out of school and they are above average academically and well rounded. Holidays are extremely important to us and if we choose to take them out of school so be it.

There are children who miss more school due to illness than mine do. Will they be fined in due course?

Parents should be fined if their children are out of school and sitting around at home doing bugger all..... This is truanting. The government should concentrate on why these kids truant and look at their families.

Teachers can't take leave during school time because they signed up to a job that dictates holiday time. Just like doctors can't get every weekend off. Part of the job that teachers have chosen.

LilacWaltz Sun 19-Feb-12 19:40:31

Mine are mainly secondary.

ByTheWay1 Sun 19-Feb-12 19:43:28

But being absent without authorisation from school is truancy - whether it is parent sanctioned or not... whether it is for a posh holiday, a day at the zoo, a birthday, or hanging round the shopping centre smoking....

cookcleanerchaufferetc Sun 19-Feb-12 19:44:27

Secondary Is different ..... Though I would let them miss the odd day or last few days of the term.

lisad123 Sun 19-Feb-12 19:44:45

All parents will do is say the kids are sick.

Sorry it's terrible, the poor won't get a holiday and kids life experiences will be less sad
The rich on the other hand will get cheaper holidays because private schools have different holidays.
We go camping in the summer and costs a fair wack, certainly more than it used to sad

bytheMoonlight Sun 19-Feb-12 19:44:57

I didn't get any leave alloacted in August this year. The only half term I was got was feb.

No holidays in the warm weather for us then. Dh works Saturday mornings as well and finds it impossible to get a Saturday off, so we can't even do a weekend camping holiday.

Tbh I'd be inclined to send dd2 back to school, after a week a off and tell her to say she was unwell.

I don't want to advocate lying in any form, but what choice would we have?

cookcleanerchaufferetc Sun 19-Feb-12 19:46:29

Being on holiday may be truancy but my children are having quality family time, experiencing new things and learning.

Truanting in the typical sense, ie sitting on their arses in front of tv or wii because they can't be bothered to go to school is absolutely completely different.

maybenow Sun 19-Feb-12 19:47:49

"But being absent without authorisation from school is truancy" - yes but the stupidity is removing the power from HTs to give authorisation.

As well as my friend's primary age kid who is in asia right now at a cultural festival, when i was in my final year at school i already had all my grades (scotland) and unconditional offers for university so i went away with the girlguides to work in a mexican slum and it CHANGED MY LIFE... i could not have gone in summer due to the weather (and i worked all summer to save up for uni anyway). My HT sent me on my way with his blessing. Something he wouldn't be able to do now sad

TalkinPeace2 Sun 19-Feb-12 19:52:01

my kids Junior school closed early one day so that the staff could get home in time for the world cup England kickoff.
Those of us parents who were working that day were V V V pissed off
I reported the head to the LEA
but they had gone home too

pot kettle black

jubilee and royal wedding holidays clearly have NO impact on learning after all

Sirzy Sun 19-Feb-12 19:54:05

Talkinpeace, although closing early to watch football is undoubtly wrong. The whole school being closed is very different to a child missing lessons. When schools are closed for holidays and bank holidays children aren't missing out as there is nothing to miss out on.

cookcleanerchaufferetc Sun 19-Feb-12 19:54:15

If teaching is so important why rent inset days all during the holidays rather than school time ....

CleverlyConcealed Sun 19-Feb-12 19:54:23

Absence does affect the ofsted - even authorised absence. When everyone is getting satisfactory ofsted reports Gove can force us to become academies which is his primary aim.

MNHQ - you really do need to get him on for a Q&A so we can rip him to shreds offer him biscuits.

cookcleanerchaufferetc Sun 19-Feb-12 19:54:44

Why rent? Why ARENT!!!

Sirzy Sun 19-Feb-12 19:55:03

Maybenow From what I read that type of 'experience' would still be allowed its the 2 weeks away every year type thing they are trying to stop which I can fully understand.

HumphreyCobbler Sun 19-Feb-12 19:57:10

I have mixed feelings about this. As a teacher I do not get to go on holiday in term time anyway, but I do understand the cost implications. We just don't go abroad and often don't go away at all.

On the other hand I do find that my classes are massively disrupted by holidays during term time. I teach early years too - but we have plans, assessments, school productions, accountability where coverage is concerned. Random children missing great chunks of time disrupt this process and cause a great deal of extra work and fitting of stuff into what is, already, a very tight timetable.

As for those claiming that this is solely to attack those of lesser income and vindictively designed to ensure that those poor people never get a holiday I would imagine that Gove is trying to make sure that all children get an education. You may disagree with what he is doing (as I say I can see both sides, but probably only because I am a teacher grin) but I think this is going too far.

TalkinPeace2 Sun 19-Feb-12 19:58:04

they only decided at lunchtime - those of us at work arrived at normal time to find bored and upset kids in a nearly empty school

if the kids are taken out of school and learn and experience and do positive things I still think that it should be the teachers discretion

like when I took mine to the US for a week for a family funeral / one off huge reunion - no regrets, the school should NEVER be penalised for allowing me that.

HumphreyCobbler Sun 19-Feb-12 19:58:26

oh GOD the training days chestnut.

Training days are taken from the holidays, your children still get their mandatory amount of educational days a year.

MrsHeffley Sun 19-Feb-12 19:59:51

Also the amount of time my 3 have wasted time with supply or assistants teaching due to staff on courses,PPA time and illness let alone sponsored this and that afternoons makes it laughable that 5 days away experiencing new things as a family and having a lot of much needed one to one time(often very educational)is frowned upon.

CleverlyConcealed Sun 19-Feb-12 20:00:39

Cook - they are in the 'holidays'. They were taken from teachers holiday entitlement; the children don't lose any taught time.

minimathsmouse Sun 19-Feb-12 20:00:44

We are taking DS2 out of school. DS1 is Home educated.

I find it very strange that people agree the school has a right to impose 100% attendance. The education act states that a parent must ensure a child has a full time and efficient educations suited to their needs and level of learning.

It doesn't say that school is compulsory so therefore I can't see any legal justification for this nonsense.

Plenty of children learn whilst on holiday. We are off to Wookey Hole, Cheddar gorge and Bristol to look at rocks and fossils. I'm quite certain both children will benefit just as much from this as they would from spending half the day in the playground, a quarter of it sitting on a mat and the other quarter lined up in a corridorsmile

BoffinMum Sun 19-Feb-12 20:01:03

Cookclean, technically the professional development days are in fact part of the official holidays for the children, who are only supposed to be in school 190 days a year. So the five training days are on top of the usual term time working period for teachers. It just feels like the children are being short changed because it's usually pretty disruptive for the parents.

Sirzy Sun 19-Feb-12 20:01:21

How dare those naughty teachers bother to keep there skills up to date hey MrsMeffley - anyone would think they did it to make sure the children got the best possible education!

HumphreyCobbler Sun 19-Feb-12 20:03:22

Supply teachers are given exact work to cover with the children. Most schools use familiar supply when possible and the teachers are expected to continue with the work that the class teacher had already planned.

It isn't like the old days when a supply teacher meant you played heads down, thumbs up for hours on end...

BoffinMum Sun 19-Feb-12 20:05:53

They do need those five days to keep up with things like changes to exam regs, changes to government policy, updating knowledge on arrangements for special needs, making sure they are not duplicating projects across different year groups, making sure the children's academic progression is properly planned for and so on. It's pretty crucial stuff.

ByTheWay1 Sun 19-Feb-12 20:06:54

Sirzy - it is great for them to keep their skills up to date - but they should be made to publish - and stick to the dates of these inset days in advance - we were given 1 terms notice of our school moving 3 of these days AFTER we (and many others) booked holidays and then were told to APPLY FOR AUTHORISATION for our "holiday in term time"

Hulababy Sun 19-Feb-12 20:08:31

Nothing will stop people taking their children out of schools for holidays.
It has always happened and it always will.

And tbh, if not in GCSE/A Level years, then a week or two once a year really will not harm a child's education.

I have been a teacher and I still work in schools, and I can assure you that for the vast majority of children a term time holiday really doesn't have that big an effect on their overall education.

I always had term time holidays when growing up. My dad only got shut down holidays and they were never in school holidays. We never went abroad but we did spend valuable time together as a family for a week or two once a year. And yet all three of us siblings went on to university, got good degrees, got decent jobs and live good lives.

Education is very important but education does not only occur in the classroom with 30 other children and a teacher. And sometimes spending time together as a family, away from the day to day rigours of life, can be just as equally important too.

LilacWaltz Sun 19-Feb-12 20:10:14

Mine are a mix of reception, primary and gcse. So nobody gets a holiday

HumphreyCobbler Sun 19-Feb-12 20:10:26

Inset days are given out at the end of the summer term for the whole of the next year in my school. Chopping and changing is only going to alienate the parents.

bytheMoonlight Sun 19-Feb-12 20:11:13

It's ok for teachers though isn't it, because they actually get the summer holidays off, and all the half terms.

What about us that can't get leave during the school hols?

Mallinky Sun 19-Feb-12 20:12:44

I would have no issue taking my children out of school for a week. They are at primary school. It really will have no impact whatsoever on their future.
In fact, my children do a bit of extra work that is not set by school fairly regularly. They also read books that are in addition to those they get from school.

Dh is a contractor and doesn't take holidays in the middle of a contract. Usually the best time for a holiday is at the end of a contract which doesn't always coincide with a school holiday.

I hate being dictated like this.

If my children were playing truant, causing trouble, not up to the level they should be due to missing school then fine, but if not, then go away and let me have some say in my childs upbringing.

MrsJasonBourne Sun 19-Feb-12 20:14:09

My dds reception class all received 100% attendance certificates last term. The certificate actually credited this to the fact that the whole class had put in 100% attendance and therefore everyone got a certificate.

So the fact that several kids were off vomiting at home and at least three of them had been taken off for the parents to jaunt off for shooting weekends in Scotland didn't count then? hmm

If the rules are flouted, who is actually going to care? Who is ever likely to actually get fined for this? What a load of scaremongering. Typical DM.

It's not the teachers proposing this. Why has it turned into teacher bashing?

Its not even teachers that set inset days. Some cases it's not even the head.

Now can we all get back to Gove/Gov bashing?

HumphreyCobbler Sun 19-Feb-12 20:15:29

some teacher are quite keen on Gove too you know wink

ByTheWay1 Sun 19-Feb-12 20:17:00

a week once or twice a year may not affect some kids education, but when 10 members of the class do it, and teachers are constantly playing catch up, and the TA who normally helps the slower members of the class keep up is spending time with kids who have been on holiday explaining the work that has been missed so they are not sat around looking blank, perhaps it is the kids whose parents haven't bent or broken the rules who end up suffering the most.

Perhaps these rules are being tightened to help the poor blighters who are having to backpedal after popular in-term holiday breaks - whilst having to listen to little "Johnny's" recount of his trip to Disneyland ...

HumphreyCobbler Sun 19-Feb-12 20:18:32

That is exactly the point I was trying to make - when one does it is doesn't matter, when lots go it is a PITA.

shock really Humphrey? I've not met anyone who likes him!

HumphreyCobbler Sun 19-Feb-12 20:25:10

I am quite keen grin Not about everything, but certainly about synthetic phonics. And surprise inspections.

I think I am seriously in the minority here though. Although I believe I have seen Moondog speak approvingly.

MoreBeta Sun 19-Feb-12 20:27:39

It is clear that the fines will have to be very very high to deter anyone.

Unfortunately, holidays out of term cost more because there are only so many flights available and hotel rooms. Holidays in term time simply cannot be the same price as in school holiday periods - there would be too much demand if prices were kept low in school holiday periods.

Our children go to private school so we get longer holidays and yet there are still parents who repeatedly take their children out in term time for a holiday. The school has a rule that it should not happen but it plainly does.

Hulababy Sun 19-Feb-12 20:30:22

ByTheWay - tbh, it really has little impact on me, as a TA, in the classroom, nor on the teacher because we do not recover missed work as such. We do make sure the children are up to scratch with key things obviously, but in my experience, a week or two doesn't make most children fall behind enough to warrant additional support in class beyond a quick 5 or 10 minute recap at most. And the way the curriculum works no key elements of the curriculum are covered as just a one of. They are all recapped on at various times over the year and then again in subsequent years.

I work in a school where we have many children with families overseas and many take term time holidays, especially linked to visiting family. It is only when children are off for extended times - such as 3 or 4 weeks or more - or several times each year that we notice an issue. And tbh that affects any child who misses a lot of school be it for holidays or illness, etc. But this is very unusual, so it is one or two children in the year group or school, not several per class.

That is my experience anyway.

Obviously once in upper years of Y9/10 and onwards it is very different.

Actually surprise inspections is one that makes sense cos at least it avoids that mad panic putting displays up & tarting up the school. Those schools who hide pupils won't get away with it either.
Am v anti most stuff he has suggested.

Sorry got cut off! Especially Academies/Free schools which are causing problems for us at work at the moment.

Portofino Sun 19-Feb-12 20:31:34

Here (Belgium) you can have ONE day without a doctors note. If I took dd on holiday during term time, she would lose her school place.

Mallinky Sun 19-Feb-12 20:32:02

Seriously, how much catch up is required at primary level?
You could get a whole class off at some point or another due to chicken pox or a bug going round. How much 'catch up' takes place then?

tralalala Sun 19-Feb-12 20:34:06

bye bye holidays sad

Mallinky Sun 19-Feb-12 20:36:01

Its just another money generating exercise.
I bet the fine won't be enough to deter people. It'll be £50 and most people who want to take the kids out will just pay it.

Hulababy Sun 19-Feb-12 20:41:16

Surprise inspections wouldn't bother me either. TBH if it meant the mad panic that currently occurs as soon as they get the call it has to be better in my mind. And, thinking about it logically, a school should be judged on what they do normally anyway, regardless of the day of week, etc. But OFSED shpudl take into account that classes may be out of school, doing one off fun activities, etc too.

MrsHeffley Sun 19-Feb-12 20:42:01

No apparently the fines are going to be very steep.

NotYetEverything Sun 19-Feb-12 20:42:51

I really don't like this policy, partly because it reinforces the already widespread idea that learning can ONLY take place in a school, and that learning is pushed into children at a set rate and on a set schedule for them to absorb, like little sponges.

If I possibly can, I'll be Home Edding to escape this diktat.

maybenow Sun 19-Feb-12 20:51:31

sirzy - the link that somebody posted to the Guardian story said that these two 'discretionary' weeks are going to be taken off HTs if Gove gets his way.. because the poor HTs are 'being pressurised' to grant the weeks for 'ordinary' school holidays.

Juule Sun 19-Feb-12 20:53:04

"Children only have one chance to get their education right"

I don't agree with this. It might be simpler to get qualifications at school-age when in theory that's all you have to consider. But it's not the end of everything if you don't.
What happened to lifelong learning?

Juule Sun 19-Feb-12 20:54:46

"partly because it reinforces the already widespread idea that learning can ONLY take place in a school,"

NotYetEverything I agree.

Portofino Sun 19-Feb-12 20:59:02

I don't agree that this is a problem. A free education is a priviledge - one that many, many children don't have. Kids in the UK are really, really lucky in the general scheme of things to have this.

So it is wrong imho, to show it the finger and declare that your RIGHT to 2 weeks in Greece/Benidorm/Florida overides the provision made for your kids, and the hard work the teachers put in to planning lessons etc.

Hulababy Sun 19-Feb-12 21:09:53

"Children only have one chance to get their education right"

Disagree. There are many ways in which a child or an adult can be educated, at all times in their life.

holidaywoe Sun 19-Feb-12 21:58:38

If the law states children must have a full education suitable to their needs can I not put my term time holiday down as a residential?
In our last holiday which was 3 days of term time tagged on to the half term my boys:
Read everyday and had time to talk about what they were reading
Wrote postcards home
Swam everyday and played volleyball
Learnt quite a bit of spanish
Learnt to use a new currency and went shopping
Cooked and ate local foods
Devised and went on treasure hunts with maths clues
Worked out the bill and what change was due in restaurants
Learnt about a different culture and way of life
Visited places of historic interest
Documented their experience in pictures, videos and photos

I reckon that in a court I could truthfully stand up and say that in the 3 days they had missed of school I had indeed provided them with quite a good education!!!!

HumphreyCobbler Sun 19-Feb-12 22:03:27

how much catch up can be needed anyway?

Quite a lot actually. There is in my school anyway.

holidaywoe Sun 19-Feb-12 22:07:54

Really at primary

KalSkirata Sun 19-Feb-12 22:12:12

piff. If Gove really cared about education he might find out why its taken 3 years to assess my child for a VOCA. 3 years of no speech.
And there wouldnt be time of for the stupid jubilee/Quens birthday/royal wedding and other crap.
Its about raising money.

CardyMow Sun 19-Feb-12 22:12:38

Right. Someone like me, who has two dc with disabilities, but neither of them are 'severe' enough for DLA another thread on it's own, that is. can't afford a holiday AT ALL.

We go to a particular charity, the Family Fund, and they pay for our family to have either a long weekend (Fri morning-Mon afternoon), or a week, in a caravan park. It will be the only holiday this family gets.

HOWEVER. The charity cannot afford to pay for school holiday prices. So if the parent os going to get fined £££ - they can't accept the holiday that will be their ONLY form of break AT ALL.

So, they just NEVER get to go on holiday or away.

AND mostly, they only get this holiday paid for ONCE through the Family Fund - for the whole childhood of their DC with a disability. Because most people only ask once.

So their family may have NEVER been on holiday since that child was born with a disability - and now they will NEVER get to go. Full stop.

OH - and even shelf-stackers can't take their holidays in school holiday time 99% of the time. Because that's when the store is at it's busiest. So even a lot of NMW workers, who in NO way will be able to afford to pay this fine, will now be totally unable to have a family holiday for the entirety of their DC's schooling. Which is sad.

I myself have only been on ONE long weekend in the 8 years since I was diagnosed with epilepsy. Two years ago, the Family Fund paid for me and my dc to have a long weekend in Yarmouth. I had to take the dc out of school for the Friday, but the Monday was a 'holiday' day. So for the sake of ONE DAY in 10 years (Can't do term-time now as DD has started one of her GCSE's in Y9), my dc would have missed out on their ONLY holiday for their entire childhoods, in DS1 and DS2's case! Because there is NO WAY ON EARTH I could have found the money to cover the fine, and that was the only weekend that they had left to offer.

Gove is a twatbag of the highest order. That is all.

holidaywoe Sun 19-Feb-12 22:19:35

Its just a ridiculous to take the power away from Heads who know families personally and therefore know of their personal circumstances or if the child frequently misses a lot of school and hand it to people to whom it will just be a list of names!
I thought we lived in a free country and therefore if I can prove that my child is in no way suffering from missing school then providing it does not exceed the 10 days it should be a problem.

yousankmybattleship Sun 19-Feb-12 22:23:58

Holidaywoe - all the things you describe sound lovely and are, of course, educational. They are things that should be done in holiday time though.

holidaywoe Sun 19-Feb-12 22:28:34

They were done in a holiday it just so happened that the holiday was happening in 3 days of school time but it doesnt mean that my children werent learning. You yourself have just said they are educational. The 3 days they missed at the end of term werent half as educational believe me.

trixymalixy Sun 19-Feb-12 22:29:51

If they do bring this in then they should think about staggering the school holidays across the country as they do in other countries so that not all the schools are off at the same time.

holidaywoe Sun 19-Feb-12 22:32:30

If they bring in the proposed holiday changes in my area my hols will be different to the kids anyway!

LilacWaltz Mon 20-Feb-12 08:03:49

I'm wondering how far this will all go..... Will travel agents refuse to complete bookings in term time for children? Maybe it will be 'against the law' for holiday companies to take children during these times.

trixymalixy Mon 20-Feb-12 08:38:53

I suspect that more than a few travel companies would go bust if that happened Lilac!!

LilyBolero Mon 20-Feb-12 09:01:38

This was David Cameron talking in 2010....
""What would strengthen families and make it easier to bring up kids - and how can we support that? It's by asking those questions that you arrive at our family-friendly reform agenda.

"Not laissez-faire, just leaving families to get on with it in a hostile world. Not nanny-state, some bureaucratic system telling parents what to do.

"Just thoughtful, sensible, practical and modern support to help families with the issues they face."""

Link here

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Mon 20-Feb-12 09:09:27

It is depressing how little parents in the uk value school - in most countries in the world for most of time people have been/are desperate to get schooling for their children ( schooling, ie teaching by qualified teachers). The lesson teh kids will learn by parents wilfully ignoring school rules is that school rules are not to be respected. If tyou sing up for something you have a compact to follow the rules, or try to change them, not just those that are convenient. Ironic that half the threads on the education sub forum is about parents desperate to get their kids into the 'best' local school, then blithely undermine the schoo by devaluing its teaching in the eyes of theor kids once they are in sad

LilacWaltz Mon 20-Feb-12 09:25:52

I suppose it costs the government a massive amount to provide the education in the first place..... Whatever it amounts to per child per day should be the 'fine'

cory Mon 20-Feb-12 09:32:47

Will there be exemptions for e.g. the children of terminally ill parents?

swanthingafteranother Mon 20-Feb-12 09:48:18

The Christmas holidays were so arranged that there was one day to get home after New Year break (term started on 3rd Jan) so impossible to get cheap flights from my parents' in Eire. I just accepted this, but felt mildly peeved that THEN other parents who found it equally badly timed took the whole week off to go ski-ing, with the permission of the head - on the basis that ski-ing was so educational, and soo difficult to fit in a week ski-ing over Christmas break otherwise (NY of course v expensive time to go ski-ing). It was the highly motivated parents, whose children had excellent grades, excellent attendance btw who the head so readily granted extra authorised hols to.
I don't think it should be done on that basis. Either we all should be allowed extra days hols or none of us. I don't think it should be a reward for good behaviour shock

Also my kids have been ill a lot with cough and cold viruses this term. And off for a week each at varying times. I wonder whether they might have better spent the time on holiday getting some fresh air away from germ laden classrooms.

EdithWeston Mon 20-Feb-12 09:54:18

The article (both the one linked here and the Guardian one) both say that DofE has refused to comment on this, on the grounds that it is a leak.

I suppose anyone who really knows the answer would be unlikely to leak further on a public site like MN.

But does anyone know what the proposals actually say? Nothing has been leaked about bereavement absences etc. Nor do we know if this has emerged from the politicians or the bureaucrats.

swanthingafteranother Mon 20-Feb-12 09:55:16

I really like the parents I'm being mean about btw blush I just feel cross that some of us take the holiday dates so literally and others of us just cut through the cr**p and think So, this holiday in Cyprus will be educational for my children, it's the only time I can take it, so I'm just GOING TO BRAVE IT OUT. I'm jealous that other people can see more clearly what's important and some of us just get bullied into submission by rules and regulations.

BoffinMum Mon 20-Feb-12 10:28:25

This is one thing they should leave up to head teachers, who know their school and their children best. There are a lot of good reasons for kids to be absent in term time, and a lot of bad ones, and you just can't legislate for all that. So leave it to those who can judge individual situations and provide the necessary flexibility.

BoffinMum Mon 20-Feb-12 10:32:41

PS FWIW if people want to take kids out of school for a bit, it is perfectly legal to de-register them from school for a fortnight and then re-register them when they get back. The Government keeps that pretty quiet as administratively it's a nightmare for the Local Authority.

BoffinMum Mon 20-Feb-12 10:33:47

PPS BTW I wouldn't recommend that course of action as you may lose your child's preferred school place. But it is, as I say, perfectly legal.

LilacWaltz Mon 20-Feb-12 10:33:47

Ooh boffinmum..... How interesting!!

BoffinMum Mon 20-Feb-12 10:35:19

Shit, hope I haven't started a trend there. blush

Chandon Mon 20-Feb-12 10:52:57

All this bullsh&t about how educational and important these holidays are for your children. hmm

Well, they are not. maybe in the spoiled, entitled culture of Britain they are, maybe in your mind.

For kids putting up a tent in a garden of a relative or a friend, or going for a sleepover are fun adventures. No need to trek to Croatia, Maldives, whatever. Yes, that is fun, but it is a luxury and in no way essential to anyone, less a "right".

I don't see how a supposedly "educational" trip to a skiing resort or a hot country is any different from keeping your kids at home for a week and watching Jeremy Kyle.

Both show an equal lack of respect for the school and the teachers.

People never respect what they get for free (ie education in the UK), and this lack of respect shows in the attitudes on this thread.

I think that the school should have the possibility to let kids get out of school for a day or more in case of restrictive disability in the family (like poster upthread), funeral, sickness.

Someone else posted that in Belgium you lose your school place if you take them out for no reason. Sounds reasonable I think.

nancy75 Mon 20-Feb-12 11:05:32

We are taking dd out for a week in april, she is 6, has had no time off and has never been late. We are going to Australia to visit her grandfather, who is dying of cancer, to say goodbye as dd is unlikely to see him again. We will also be celebrating her great grandmothers 90th birthday, she is also not in the best of health and this may be the last time we see her too. The school has given me no end of crap about taking her. As a parent i think it should be up to me to decide what is best for my child.

MrsHeffley Mon 20-Feb-12 11:12:08

Chandon have you read the thread?

People aren't talking about trips to the Maldives,for many it's a week in a tent or caravan most of the time.Camping in the UK is extortionate in Aug.Who wants to camp in Feb?You need ££££ to kit yourself out anyway.Even camping isn't a cheap holiday anymore.With the cost of petrol daytrips aren't that affordable or cost effective.

Some kids don't have gardens.Some kids never leave the city they live in.That is not ok.Kids need aspirations.Life is different to what it was years ago,the world is on everybody's doorstep.Children who experience the wider world(wether it be the other end of their own country or abroad) are going to have advantages.But Gove and the Tories don't care about that as their kids won't be affected in fact it will suit families like theirs with kids privately educated as their holiday costs will go down and there will be fewer people cluttering everywhere up.

I travelled a lot as a child,my kids have never even been on a plane and sorry re experience I can see first hand what they're missing out on.I show them books etc but it's not the same as experiencing first hand travel.We've done France twice(paid for by grandparents) and the education they got from that alone has been priceless.Many families won't have grandparents to fund life experience for them.

Holidays in school holidays will rocket(holiday companies already struggling will have to to compensate for the lost income out of school holiday)so even more kids are going to be priced out of going on holiday.It will literally be only the rich kids who experience life away from home.

Pootles2010 Mon 20-Feb-12 11:18:35

Can see both sides tbh, but really, what is the point of £100 fine when you're saving about five times that by going in term time?

LilyBolero Mon 20-Feb-12 11:23:03

The thing is, I'm probably in the 'no holidays in term time' camp. I never have taken the kids out, I don't think I ever would, we don't do expensive August holidays.

But I totally resent Michael Gove blaming truancy on parents who, with the school's permission, take their kids out for a planned week. That isn't the cause of the problem of truancy ffs. It should be up to the school and the head teacher. Michael Gove is imo a maniac, who has some sort of weird idea of what school should be, and is trying to impose it on everyone. Like his stupid E-Bacc, which doesn't include subjects like RE, Music or Art . Or his ridiculous ideas on shortening the school holidays, or making everyone study maths to age 18.

So, my view is - keep it as it is, let the heads decide whether it's a reasonable request or not, and then regulate the holiday companies so that there isn't a massive incentive to go away in term time.

LilyBolero Mon 20-Feb-12 11:24:02

Pootles, they were talking about £100 PER DAY or £1000 PER OFFENCE....

How to criminalise parents....

Also, bear in mind, the parents who send their kids to private schools will still be able to access the cheaper holidays, because they have longer holidays.

genXmum Mon 20-Feb-12 11:58:31

I'm guilty of taking my kids on ski holidays this year and last for 1 week each. We saved £3000 compared to going over the half term. We couldn't afford to go then. My husband (the master of booking last minute holidays) is ski mad, and now the kids are (we did book with work/school much earlier). My daughter, last year, was top of her class with her SATS despite of our holiday. We read every night, I get my kids to do extra work (like learn their times table which they don't do at school). In previous years, I've taken my kids abroad to see their grandparents. The fact is, seeing the world, spending time with others, doing different activties is educational, influential, occasionally life changing. It's a privilege, and hopefully not just for rich people.

I care greatly about my kids education, their teachers, their school and have never felt guilty about taking my kids out of school for a holiday. I've never found their education to be suffereing from it, imposed on the teachers. I've always requested permission in advance, and have been granted it. My kids go to a nice state primary shool where there is an almost 0% truancy rate.

I suspect the problem is not people like me, but truancy. And if that is the case, they are doing nothing to solve that problem and just creating more problems like:
- pushing honest parents to lie about their time off intentions.
- reminding people that wealthy people can take any type of holiday they like, and the rest of us can lump it.
- parents should not be trusted to be responsible for their kids, the state needs to impose even more rules (instead of picking on problem parents/kids, impose a rule on everyone!)

Chandon Mon 20-Feb-12 11:59:19

MrsHeffley, I did read the thread.

I guess part of the problem is people being so psyched up about foreign travel,and thinking it is in any way essential.

If your kids have never been on a plane, big deal, so they will enjoy it when they are older (grown up) or maybe never feel the need for it.

We spend holidays often at friends or family, or they with us. Most fun my 2 have ever had was camping in their uncle's garden. And having a friend for a sleepover. Kids don't need more than that IMO.

I think the combination of the glamourised view of foreign travel with a contempt for what you get for free (education) leads to people thinking it is a "right" to take hols in term time...

To me education is just so much more important than travel. But I guess I am old fashioned.

MrsHeffley Mon 20-Feb-12 12:07:56

Missing 5 days at the end of a term isn't missing out on an education.Kids will learn more in those 5 days out of school than in.It's very wrong to think kids only learn within the 4 walls of a school-they don't,they learn everywhere.

Chandon Mon 20-Feb-12 12:17:36

I agree they learn everywhere.

But why limit it to 5 days? Would you take them out 10 days? or 5 days every term?

Others might think nothing of taking them out more than 15 days? Half a term? where does it end????

Are you saying MrsH, that it is o.k. only for 5 days? in that case you almost agree with me.

Chandon Mon 20-Feb-12 12:18:38

and if you really think they learn as much outside school as inside school, why bother with school at all? is it just free childcare to you?

IUseTooMuchKitchenRoll Mon 20-Feb-12 12:19:22

I agree with this completely.

There is nothing wrong with going on a cheaper holiday out of term time, and I think the excuse of not being able to afford it is bollocks. If you can't afford it you can't afford it, that's life. Children don't have to go on holidays abroad to learn stuff, and I don't believe that all parents who take their children out of school are going on especially educational holidays.

I feel for people who have family in other countries and who have real difficulty going on holiday in holiday time, but I think that if it were only the parents that had a genuine problem that ever did this, then school attendance wouldn't be so bad that this has to be implemented.

KalSkirata Mon 20-Feb-12 12:34:12

actually it is chandon. free childcare. Bloody love it

genXmum Mon 20-Feb-12 12:34:32

My kids go to a state primary, there are lots of authorised holiday absenses. There is a very low truancy rate. The school is usually on top of it's table.

I think the problem is cultural rather than procedural. Gove is solving a problem at my kids school that does NOT exist. The culture at my kids school is responsible parents/kids.

marshmallowpies Mon 20-Feb-12 12:37:17

I can remember being taken out of school twice when I was little - once for a family holiday which was 'once in a lifetime' to a tropical location - we never went on a trip like that again until I was well into my teens, and I was made to keep a diary and do maths lessons while I was away so that the teachers could see I'd been keeping up with my work - and second time to go to a memorial service for my Grandad (I mainly remember the posh lunch we went to afterwards smile )

After that, nothing happened outside school holiday time because my mum was a teacher anyway, apart from lots of absence for prolonged orthodontist trips when I was in my teens. Even now I can remember feeling resentful at having to go back to school when I had had teeth wrenched out and had cotton wool wedged into my mouth to soak up blood...surely a bit harsh not to let me have the rest of the day off to recover from a pretty traumatic experience?

What surprises me now is that illness, from what I understand, seems to be treated as 'absence' - surely being ill is an acceptable reason and shouldn't affect a child's attendance record? What about doctor/dentist appointments, do those count against a child's record? I find it all terribly unfair tbh...

I know illness is a separate issue from time off for holidays but as someone preparing for parenthood I find the whole prospect of schools now being so pushy and picky about these things rather off-putting.

genXmum Mon 20-Feb-12 12:41:47

If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

Gove's tool = fines

So, if truancy is THE problem
(1) lets REdefine truancy = any absense (that is not illness) to include the middle classes
(2) fine everyone for absense

Applying the tool:
(1) Fine people
(2) they will be too broke, upset, humilated that they wont do that again
(3) Problem solved!

Somehow I'm guessing his truancy solution is not going to work. Though, he may raise revenues for schools. Clever git!

ArielNonBio Mon 20-Feb-12 12:42:06

It's always the way that those with lots of money are the ones saying "If you can't afford a holiday don't go on one, that's life". I doubt they would be saying the same if they were working their arses off for not much money and needed a break.

We had the odd fortnight out of school when I was little. Didn't stop me getting 10 GCSEs, four A levels and a degree. I'm not saying that to boast - I imagine most posters here would be able to say the same. But Gove's looking at the wrong people.

MrsHeffley Mon 20-Feb-12 12:57:54

No Chandon 5 or *10 days are fine.I am the first one to do the upmost re my kids education and would never harm it any way(like the maj of parents actually).Having been a teacher I know 5 or 10 days *once a year could not harm a kids education only enhance it.

Don't get your logic,it's like saying either eat a little crap food or none. Actually a little choc or wine can be good for you but all the time obviously not.

5 or 10 days isn't going to have an adverse affect on any kids education only enhance it. Continual truanting week after week does. They are two entirely different things.

And yes the main objectors to this are those who can afford the full price and resent others paying less,them and those in the Tory party who are obsessed with truancy figures and are prepared to crack them regardless of what is good for all kids rather like healthy snacks and food in schools too.

Nanny state they proclaimed to be against when it suited.

KalSkirata Mon 20-Feb-12 12:58:21

Wonder what Gove will do if someone cant afford the £1000 fine. Prison? Children taken into care. Lose school place. No education.
He hasnt thought this through.

MrsHeffley Mon 20-Feb-12 12:58:40

Ooops sorry didn't mean to highlight all that,didn't know you could do that.smile

MrsHeffley Mon 20-Feb-12 13:03:59

Should we ever get the odd hundred quid for a holiday we'll have a family bout of d&v,would love to see school(who won't actually care) prove otherwise.

Mirage Mon 20-Feb-12 13:05:10

I'm hoping this is a 'leak' to test the water and not actual policy yet.I have taken my primary aged dc out of school once,for 1 week.They learnt no end,a new language ect,visits to monuments as well as having fun.The week they missed was the last week of term,and the 'work' they were missing was mostly playing games and watching films.I'd have more reservations about taking them out if they were missing actual school work-as it was they learnt more than they would if they'd stayed in school.

I resent being told that the government knows what is best for my children,as it is they spend a long day in school,they will have to stay until they are 18 and there is the threat of longer days.When do they actually get the chance to be children and have fun? I value education greatly,but education isn't exclusive to schools and sitting in a classroom.I've certainly learnt more out of school than I ever did in.

Our school is outstanding and doesn't have a truancy problem,but there are lots of families who work in agriculture or tourism,for low wages and can't take time off during the holidays as it is their busiest time-lets penalise them because someone somewhere can't be arsed to take their children to school.angry

HomeEcoGnomist Mon 20-Feb-12 13:10:32

Education is not free - it is paid for by our taxes.
I might not write out a cheque every term, but I definitely consider that I am paying towards the cost of my kids' education.
On that basis I am not going to lose any sleep over taking them out for a week or two per year. In primary school at least.

ArielNonBio Mon 20-Feb-12 13:10:57

Hear bloody hear, mirage.

There are so many families down here for whom the six weeks of the school summer holidays are when they make a large portion of their living, me included angry

genXmum Mon 20-Feb-12 13:12:22

MrsHeffley, I suspect you are right. If this rule goes in and head masters aren't allowed to decide ... there will be a lot of cases of D&V in school kids.

Maybe Gove could also get the airport security/border guards to act as truant officers.

LilacWaltz Mon 20-Feb-12 13:25:14

I think holiday companies will cotton on to private school term times and adjust prices accordingly

Also, last 6 weeks of summer term us actually the beginning of the school year here for us. No parent ever takes dc out in run up to summer break here. Maybe Gove will ask all schools to do this? It works well actually as timetables/classrooms etc are all sorted, so come sept it's straight back into work and all the newness was addressed back in the summer.

LilacWaltz Mon 20-Feb-12 13:26:12

I also predict sick notes from gp's will be asked for!

EmilyStrange Mon 20-Feb-12 13:29:18

God the timing on this. After seven years I have never taken mine out. But I need to take them out for one week next september to see family. Family who will be finally near enough to us that I have not seen in 3 years and miss desperately. Family my kids have seen a small handful of times. AM I going to be penalised for this.

ivykaty44 Mon 20-Feb-12 13:29:20

If they do bring this in then they should think about staggering the school holidays across the country as they do in other countries so that not all the schools are off at the same time

So what happens then if you have two children at school in two different counties as you live near the boarder or want to holiday with family that live in another county - you will not be able to have a family holiday with staggered holidays it would be a nightmare - there is a whole thread on this for Nottingham where they have different holidays and it is causing widespread problems apparently

LilacWaltz Mon 20-Feb-12 13:30:44

Lol I have 5 children in 5 different schools !! ( come summer 2 will have left tho)

ivykaty44 Mon 20-Feb-12 13:31:57

LilacWaltz - you can self certify for work for 7 days so can't see gp's being forced into giving sick notes for children unless the education department pay

Codandchops Mon 20-Feb-12 13:34:42


I am taking DS to Butlins this year in the last week of term.
If I leave it until the following week it will cost me £500 more (same holiday).

It will be the first time I have EVER done this AND maybe I will send Gove a postcard calling him a fucker! grin

LilacWaltz Mon 20-Feb-12 13:37:15

Ivy..... Just saying as I think the government will pre empt every attempt parents make to 'get round' these rules. Not saying I agree with any of it, just that if they are THIS determined, then it will be watertight

I wonder what will happen to snow days though!

Mirage Mon 20-Feb-12 13:37:36

If you have a d&v bug you are specifically told not to go to the Drs and spread it around,and as Drs no longer do home visits,well whaddaya gonna do?wink

This really hasn't been thought through,has it?

Mirage Mon 20-Feb-12 13:38:57

codandchops I love the postcard idea,mabe we should all do a postcard protest.grin

ivykaty44 Mon 20-Feb-12 13:42:21

Lilac - but trying to make it water tight is ok - but can't see them paying for sick notes, as gp's will refuse to do it for free and therefore I think it will not be possible to make it water tighter,which again will leave it open for parents to lie about their childs health and take them out of school and get a sun tan grin.

dixiechick1975 Mon 20-Feb-12 13:45:18

I was sorry to see staggered holidays go but I can see that staggered holidays throws up alot of problems.

Only in last 5 years or so has our area (in Lancashire) adopted the standard holidays. Prior to that schools finished end of June for the wakes holidays. Went back mid August, then had another 1 or 2 weeks off in September - so 2 bites at off peak holidays.

Problems were apparently teachers contracts were central and ran from 1st september - so children would have old teacher for 2 weeks and August born children started reception aged 3.

Many businesses esp factories still adhere to the old wakes holidays though and shut down. If your parents only get 2 weeks early july and 2 weeks off at xmas it does seem very unfair that a child can never have a family summer holiday.

adamschic Mon 20-Feb-12 13:47:25

I took mine out of school for holidays. As a single mum we couldn't afford to go in school holidays. All our holiday contained an element of culture as well as lazing on the beach. Her education did not suffer as she made up the work and was a top achiever at GCSE.

LilacWaltz Mon 20-Feb-12 13:47:29

Ivy... They will figure something out! Maybe you will have to send in samples to some new government lab??grin

LieInsAreRarerThanTigers Mon 20-Feb-12 13:50:13

The Olympics this year also affects all NHS workers - we have to have all applications for leave of more than 2 consecutive days in by the end of Feb, and there will be heavy restrictions on any holiday over the period of the Olympics (i.e. many will be denied holiday during the school hols this year)

Staggered holidays can work if you do it for the entire country -- not city by city or county by county, but region by region. France has just three regions for holidays, for example.

debs39 Mon 20-Feb-12 14:05:21

My hubs is overseas and only gets 2 wks leave every 4mths...our HT says he sees our visits ( I tag a few days either side of main hols ) as a family thing to let us have more than a week together for the 16wks Jan to end of April... some schools may not be this caring though

genXmum Mon 20-Feb-12 14:43:14

Mr. Gove also thinks poor kids don't get enough school. here

He's proposed 2 more weeks in the summer and an even longer school day. Using Gove logic, kids should go to school 7 days a week, for 10 hours a day, and they'll get 2 school years in one. Progress!

If his ideas actually see the light of day, in the future it'll be against the law to take a holiday (if you are poor).

Mirage Mon 20-Feb-12 15:39:08

I never thought I'd consider home education,but I'd be tempted if all these ideas come to pass.sad

Twofairiesandapixie Mon 20-Feb-12 15:41:00

We have decided to take our two children out of school for 6days at the end of may they will miss the last week of term before the 2 week break they get, the school have not authorised these holidays, we are going on a family holiday with extended members of the family so there were 4 people having to get time of work two of which could not take time in the summer holiday as they have to take time in what's called shut down, we are very committed to our children's education but personally feel that spending time with family members is an extremely important time for children, one they shouldn't miss out on, we would never have missed this opportunity to spend family time because school says so.
we could of lied on the firms or rang in to say children sick, as many do, but we teach honesty is the best policy to our children, in this case we have been penalised for it though.

LilacWaltz Mon 20-Feb-12 17:09:11

How come you have been penalised for it? It hasn't happened yet!

TalkinPeace2 Mon 20-Feb-12 17:36:13

yes it has
the fines system has been in place for several years
£10 per pupil per day for unauthorised absence

the whole thing on the weekend was Gove testing policy by seeing how the daily fail readers reacted
and its amazing how few people seem to know the existing law!

ByTheWay1 Mon 20-Feb-12 18:19:01

Why all the smokescreen crap about the Daily Mail - it was headlined in the Telegraph and the Guardian, tucked away on page whatever in the Mail....

EdithWeston Mon 20-Feb-12 18:31:49

Tis true that it was Labour who introduced a regime, not just of fines but of imprisonment.

saggarmakersbottomknocker Mon 20-Feb-12 19:03:56

Lilac you can already be fined between £50 and a £100, per child, per parent for a period of unauthorised absence. It's a fixed penalty notice, no court appearance unless you don't pay, then it's a bigger fine and possibly prison.

Parasaurolophus Mon 20-Feb-12 19:44:39

I'd like to see the data that suggests that kids on annual leave are dragging down school performance.

Are children with families that are keen to go off and spend time with them really the problem with educational attainment in the UK?

We have family abroad. Missing some school around the Easter holiday was a difference between playing £2000 for plane tickets and £8000 for plane tickets. I bet they won't fine me £6000. If we have to pay to go away during school time, we may as well put that money into private schools.

TalkinPeace2 Mon 20-Feb-12 20:04:49

the two families that got fined at my DCs school
one ALWAYS took the last week of the Christmas term off - every year for 8 years - to go to Disney (how MANY times does one need to go)
the other took the kids out for a week on either side of half term, three years running, to go to Florida just to bum around.

saggarmakersbottomknocker Mon 20-Feb-12 20:10:26

There are statistics linking attainment with attendance but they don't specify the reasons for absence afaik. And probably don't take into account the miriad of other reasons why a child with poor attendance may not achieve his/her potential.

TalkinPeace2 Mon 20-Feb-12 20:13:37

in the cases of persistent absence I am aware of (as an ex governor)
one was due to severe illness - sometimes a term at a time
another family were just disorganised (even with social workers going to the house and feeding the kids breakfasts) and the Mum had no inclination to get them to school

at secondary the two main ones I know of are attention seeking / malingering and their parents do not make them come in

in all cases, the chances of academic success are bugger all

Mirage Mon 20-Feb-12 20:13:40

So,will the penalty for taking chidren out of school in term time still apply to privately educated children? I know they have longer holidays,but if my neighbour,whose kids go private takes them outside of the holidays,will she be liable to the same fine as I would?

TalkinPeace2 Mon 20-Feb-12 20:14:41

I cannot see why.
If somebody is MAD enough to pay fees and not make use of the school, serves em right

ByTheWay1 Mon 20-Feb-12 20:15:08

all they are trying to do is get kids to go to school....

if it is not all right to take time off to doss around the shopping centre why is it all right to take time off to doss around somewhere else....

noddyholder Mon 20-Feb-12 20:15:44

In the grand scheme of what the tories are doing ie forcing ill people to work and cutting benefits for the disabled I think this is small fry really and we should swallow it! A lot of people won't be able to holiday this year or for teh foreseeable future so if you can afford any of your income to go on a holiday you are fortunate and probably in a minority atm

EdithWeston Mon 20-Feb-12 20:19:02

Mirage: independent schools are exactly that, independent. The state has can apply this only to state schools.

Hulababy Mon 20-Feb-12 20:20:30

LilacWaltz - travel companies already know about independent school term times. The prices go up the week before the state school holidays generally - for summer, Christmas and Easter ime. I know - I've looked to try and benefit!

HoneyandHaycorns Mon 20-Feb-12 20:21:12

We took dd out of school for a few days last year to visit her grandmother and other extended family. It's very important for us that she can get to know her dad's side of the family, learn about her heritage and use her second language.

For various reasons, it simply isn't possible for us to go in any of the longer school holidays - I can't get the time off over Christmas, and there are serious health risks associated with going at easter or in the summer holiday. So Feb/Oct half terms are the only option. It takes 3 days to travel there and another 3 days to travel back. That leaves three days for us to spend there in total - not feasible for the cost and amount of travel required.

So yes, we do take her out of school once every couple of years and we shall continue to do so, even if we have to pay a hefty fine for the privilege. The school has been very supportive of this, and acknowledge the importance of children learning about their cultural heritage and building relationships with overseas family. We don't make the decision to take dd out of school lightly, but we do it in the knowledge that she will learn at least as much while she is away than she would if she stayed in school.

As I understand it, head teachers currently have the discretion to authorise or not authorise up to ten days during term time. I cannot understand why the government cannot trust head teachers to exercise this discretion wisely.

Clareypen Mon 20-Feb-12 20:26:30

at our school its a £50 fine per child- worth it I'd say if you can get a cheap holiday!! tongue firmly in cheek becuase education is so important look at all the holidays we have- half term full term......bloody ridiculous no wonder kids can't spell or read!!! However if it is for a special occassion such as my borther getting married in Ozzie next year then I write a wee letter to the head teacher and get her permission- or we all get a terrible case of measles....
Perhaps a staggered holiday system should take place or change the school year completely! Less holidays all round- we only get 4 weeks each off a year and its crippling in childcare! then could possibly afford a holiday away altogether!

Bonkerz Mon 20-Feb-12 20:30:38

No holidays for us anymore then with dsD.... She lives in another county and has different holidays to us. Last year we took our 3 DCs out of school for 5 days to be able to take dsD on holiday with us and this year DSD is along 5 days out of school to be able to come with us on our half term. So as a family we are penalised and DSD gets no holidays with her dad sad we would never be able to afford June to sept holiday. Currently we spend between £100-250 for a week in October.

gaelicsheep Mon 20-Feb-12 20:34:27

What about "holidays" if a parent has a job interview in a different area? What about a chance to see a museum exhibition if it coincides with a parent travelling to a city for work? Personally I think DS would learn a whole lot more in many cases like that than if he was in school. Is there an age category where this applies? It should be up to the school, none of the Government's business IMO.

saggarmakersbottomknocker Mon 20-Feb-12 20:34:41

TalkinPeace - sad isn't it? Maybe your first example will do OK if they have other input, from hospital school for example. The others; doubtful. sad You can compensate for persistent absence but obviously have to have the inclination and wherewithall to do it. I've been doing it myself for some years.

fireandlife Mon 20-Feb-12 20:35:36

I'm a teacher. Taking a child out of school for a happy family holiday only ever enhances his or her childhood. For goodness sake let them live a little until the exam years hit!

fivegomadindorset Mon 20-Feb-12 20:36:46

We work in the tourism industry so we are fucked.

gaelicsheep Mon 20-Feb-12 20:36:56

I also could not give a flying fig about the effect on the school's performance. I think the Government, and schools, forget who is working on behalf of whom.

CheerfulYank Mon 20-Feb-12 20:42:51

Kids here take time off for holidays often, and so do teachers. What I do with my child is my decision as a parent.

When my grandparents used to visit us, my mother would take us out of school to go sledding with them, etc. I remember my teacher (I was about ten) saying that that was a good thing as family was important.

ledkr Mon 20-Feb-12 20:43:59

Imagine the time you'd have in prison when you told them you were in for taking a holiday,you'd be their beeeatch for sure grin

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Mon 20-Feb-12 20:44:25

They've got to catch us first!

topknob Mon 20-Feb-12 20:52:00

Not trying to get kids to school trying to take away any chance of a holiday for the average person ! It is wrong and they need to cap the holiday companies ALL of them..why should they be allowed to charge 3x times the rate for the same holiday during the 6 week break ! No reason whatsoever....

TalkinPeace2 Mon 20-Feb-12 21:05:11

they are businesses
it is less that they ramp the prices up, than that they have to reduce them to keep the turnover in the quiet months....

ivykaty44 Mon 20-Feb-12 21:09:47

^ last week of the Christmas term off^

The irony is that my dc have never been taught in the last week before christmas , they dress up and do plays, have a whole afternoon for a tea party and another whole afternoon for a fair. How can this be different from disney?

Cheerful Yank thanks for saying that, I'm from the US and remember it being no big deal to take holidays during school months, but wasn't sure if I was remembering correctly...

My mum took me out of school one day so we could go to the first showing of 'The Empire Strikes Back' when it came out. blush

BoffinMum Mon 20-Feb-12 21:47:44

I've taken my kids out on a couple of occasions, briefly. Once because I had to work overseas and their dad was away at the time - we all had no choice in this and we don't have anyone to look after the kids overnight in the UK, so it was either all go or I lose my job. Another time I took them to a family event in Germany (their school holidays don't overlap with ours very reliably as they stagger them over there). Gove simply doesn't have the imagination to deal with multi-national families properly, or parental work commitments that don't fit a tidy 9-5 model, and until he does, I suggest he leaves it up to head teachers as I suggested before.

Basically we are talking about a term time holiday tax - it's not a fine if it's enforced everywhere it's a tax. So you choose to pay the tax and take the holiday or not.

We pay taxes on airline tickets etc. This is just another one. And as long as it's enforced fairly I can't morally object to it. But it has to be enforced fairly and that's going to be very tough on those with lower incomes.

MrsHeffley Tue 21-Feb-12 10:39:25

And if they're as steep as they say they're going to be totally impossible for the vast majority to pay so only rich kids will get to experience time away from home.

ByTheWay1 Tue 21-Feb-12 11:44:52

mmm like it was when I was a child.... don't know when this "We have to go away" business came in - our first "holiday" was to the Lake District in my auntie's mobile caravan when I was 14.... sorry, just reminiscing.....

mummyofteens Tue 21-Feb-12 12:05:14

I don't think you necessarily have to go away on holiday to spend quality time with your children either smile

MrsHeffley Tue 21-Feb-12 12:23:28

There is a great big modern world(and country) out there and sorry all kids should get the same chances of experiencing some of it and growing up with the confidence that it's all highly accessible.

Things were different in the old days.In my grandad's day only the rich went to the seaside and classes knew their place. Thankfully we've moved on a bit now.

mummyofteens Tue 21-Feb-12 12:53:26

But surely it comes down to what we can afford and what we can't afford, doesn't it?

Some kids live in big houses, some don't. Some can afford music classes, dance classes, trips to football matches and some just can't.

Yet another idiotic Tory policy. I'll promise to never take my boys out of school if the school promise to not spend the last 2 weeks before christmas rehearsing and watching DVD's, maybe they could even do some reading! 6 weeks without a change of book this christmas just gone.

Forrestgump Tue 21-Feb-12 13:16:04

Mirage , With 2 children already in Private school, and a 3rd who will join them eventually, who is currently in a local primary school, we are not allowed to take them out of school during term time. We holiday around thier holidays rather than our youngest, as it is a cheaper option.

MrsHeffley Tue 21-Feb-12 13:20:08

Holidays out of the school holidays are affordable to many,many more though,that's the point.Even camping is hellishly more expensive in August.This new rule will exclude all but the very rich and kids of the very rich already have far too much of a leg up in life.Why make life even more unfair when there is no need given all the reasons listed on this thread.

Hermione I agree the last month before Christmas is pretty much a waste of time given up to rehearsals,productions and Christmas festivities and don't get me started on the last fortnight in July-they don't call it worksheet fortnight for nothing.

MrsHeffley Tue 21-Feb-12 13:22:31

Forrest I don't see how you're not allowed-you pay your teachers wages,what are they going to do chuck your kids out.I don't think so in this climate.I have friends with kids in private schools who always take their kids out,at the moment said schools are just grateful to have them there.

Also you break up a lot earlier and have waaay more time off school so will already have cheaper holidays.

Codandchops Tue 21-Feb-12 13:41:53

..as I said earlier ....we will be sending Gove a postcard from Butlins.grin

Forrestgump Tue 21-Feb-12 13:54:43

a note along these lines from the head is included with our term/school year dates ..

I respectfully ask you to honour the term dates and not place your child, and me, in an embarrassing position by asking for leave of absence for holidays within term time.

Ive never asked, so have never been told differently. I should add while we are paying thier fees I have no plans to take them out to go on holiday.

yes it is cheaper to go on a summer holiday when they break up, rather than wait for our youngest to break up. (which is what we do now) Last year however thier Easter holidays were totally different!

genXmum Tue 21-Feb-12 14:20:22

Forrestgump, I don't get it. Why is requesting absence 'embarrasing' for the school and child? Do people in private school always communicate in this convulated way?

clam Tue 21-Feb-12 14:25:35

I guess it's so neither feel embarrassed by the request being turned down.

genXmum Tue 21-Feb-12 14:34:54

Then why not say 'no absenses will be authorised'? It'd be much clearer.

I suspect there are rules for some and different rules for others and this vaguesness leaves the door open.

MrsHeffley Tue 21-Feb-12 14:53:36

And sorry I don't think for one minute they'd chuck the kids out,what give up £££££££££ just because a child is out for a week.I don't think so.

As I said previously all the parents I know who have kids in private ed take their kids out latching onto the maseeeeeve holidays they already can because errrr they can-they're paying!

ivykaty44 Tue 21-Feb-12 14:56:00

what are they going to do chuck your kids out I know a private school that did this as the parents took the dc out for a two week holiday and when they came back from holiday they found a letter on the doormat letting them know not to return the children to the school on the following Monday morning.

This was some 20 years ago, but I guess the same sort of thing could still happen now.

MrsHeffley Tue 21-Feb-12 15:10:48

Round here they're having problems filling places so I suspect things may be a little different now.

ivykaty44 Tue 21-Feb-12 15:15:05

the private schools in my area are still very much over subscribed, so they can still dictate when where and how. I would have though in other areas where private schools have long waiting lists things are much the same.

Mirage Tue 21-Feb-12 20:39:30

Cod I like your idea a lot.Maybe we should all do a 'postcard protest' right now,so if the 'leak' was testing the water,they will certainly know how we feel.grin

Mallinky Tue 21-Feb-12 21:15:42

I really hate this 'if you can't afford it, then bugger off and know your place' attitude. The issue is that many people can afford to travel abroad if it they could in term time.
Why shouldn't they? Of course its not a right but it's an amazing experience. It enriches life, broadens your mind and you do learn something and hopefully get a bit of a break from the humdrum of day to day life.

I have been fortunate enough to have been to a few different countries and have loved every single one of them. I can swear that my children have learnt loads during their visits too.

I prioritise experiences above material goods and if I could only afford to go on holiday during term time, then thats when I'd do it.

cazboldy Tue 21-Feb-12 21:39:52

but although i wouldn't know, never having had a holiday myself, what fabulous experiences I have missed out on, I can't see understand the opposite pov which is pretty much that evryone has a right to a holiday.

holidays are luxuries.

it's just another example of the divide between rich/poor getting larger and larger sad

no holidays, no sahm's,

what next?

gaelicsheep Tue 21-Feb-12 22:00:32

Personally I wouldn't take a child out of school out of choice for a holiday. The odd day or two is one thing, for example the circumstances I gave below. One or two weeks or more is something different. When you have children one of the things you know from the outset is that you'll be paying school holiday prices for everything. But then, like the previous poster, we really can't afford holidays - not anything worth paying for anyway - so the question doesn't really arise. A grubby caravan at the seaside for a week doesn't really appeal. I don't feel deprived as a result. I think holidays are a luxury and quality wins over quantity any time. We're saving up to take the children to the Alps in a few year's time - during the school holidays.

hopingforbest Thu 23-Feb-12 20:23:53

Private schools students can still take advantage of cheaper, out of season holidays because they have shorter terms. So I can't imagine any conservatives will object (not that the ruling would affect them anyway).

hopingforbest Thu 23-Feb-12 20:25:50

Where do Michael Gove's children go to school - couldn't find the answer on google.

PavlovtheCat Thu 23-Feb-12 20:31:37

not read the whole thread. but, my children will learn as much, if not more, by spending two weeks in USA with their american cousins, camping in mountains and learning about their heritage than they would in those two weeks of school. So, let them fine me. I will add it to expenses to take into account, along with travel insurance, exchange rate, travel to and from airport etc.

hopingforbest Thu 23-Feb-12 20:34:18

Another solution would be for Gove to ban holiday companies hiking fares during holiday times.. then parents would have the incentive to travel out of holiday time removed. Anyway, I doubt that the kind of families who want their children to enjoy a holiday abroad are the kind of families who are responsible for true truancy - the kind of truancy that leads to a disrupted, fractured education. They are more likely to be the kind of families where parents don't want their kids to miss out on sun, a break and new experiences.

I DEFINITELY think think that two weeks just about anywhere is preferable to being herded into the playground and watching snatches of Disney DVDs when it rains.

Anyway, if the reason is that a child's education will be disrupted then it's only fair to let children who can prove that they won't fall massively behind go on holiday (unfair, yes, but also logical).

I so hate this government that when I read about them, or see their poncy little pictures, and their weasly little faces, I feel sick. I never felt like this. Not even under Thatcher (she just made me angry - not actually ill).

giveitago Thu 23-Feb-12 22:58:15

Have this already at ds's school but I've noticed if that kid has family in say europe they are not given any chance to go in term time but if family has family the other side of the world they deem it as 'educational' and it's OK.

I'd like to apply to take ds to his dgrans in southern europe just to hear them say NO when others in his class are allowed for cultural reasons to go out of europe to see their families.

I was taken out of school regularly as a kid to go to family and it did not affect my education at all but it's different these days. More pressure I guess.

BoffinMum Fri 24-Feb-12 08:19:20

Yes, we fell foul of that. We were given a hard time for going to a family thing in Germany (incidentally DS1 actually attended school in Germany for most of that time, but apparently that doesn't count because it's forrin, and DS2 was too young for school in Germany at the time) but DS2's English classmate was allowed to go to Pakistan for six weeks in term time without any problems or criticism.

Bonsoir Fri 24-Feb-12 08:38:46

In France there is a massive political drive to get children to learn English foreign languages, with huge amounts of money being wasted invested on English lessons from the first year of primary. No matter than there is no curriculum or that the people who teach English are usually either non-English speaking teachers or non-teaching qualified Anglophones.

However, if French parents arrange for their offspring to attend an English boarding school for the last few weeks of the summer term (missing perhaps 10 days of school before the arrêt des notes), schools are not allowed to officially approve.


captainmummy Fri 24-Feb-12 15:54:12

Can home-Ed's go on hols whenever they like? On the basis that trips are educational? If so then surely my week self-catering in Spain in term-time with DS2 and 3 isalso educational? They are doing spanish, and will have a lot more exposure to the language than in 2 hours a week in school. Also exposure in culture, geography, sports, life skills.
My dses are in secondary ed but not exam years.

NotYetEverything Fri 24-Feb-12 16:00:46

captain HE-ed children have no curriculum, timetable or test requirements, they can do whatever they like, following their educational philosophy. However, choosing to use a school to provide a child's education means fitting into their rules - you can't pick and mix unless you de-register.

MrsHeffley Fri 24-Feb-12 17:47:02

Who says anything about pick and mixing ruleshmm.

Taking kids out for a week once in a year isn't pick and mixing rules,if you go by that stance sorry all ski-ing trips and a lot of other trips that remove some kids(the ones who can afford it) should be banned.

The fact is a lot of heads also don't actually mind.Ours certainly doesn't,we have good attendance,committed parents who tirelessly help out and support the school in everything they ask wether it be homework,uniform,helping out etc.Several have taken their kids out for a weeks ski-ing this term who otherwise couldn't if it was holiday only.I don't begrudge them one little bit,what an amazing experience.Ski-ing shouldn't be a sport for just the rich,the more kids that can experience amazing experiences the better.

How can it be that the gov let schools take kids on school ski-ing trips but parents can't take the same kids ski-ing themselves?Total madness!confused

manicinsomniac Fri 24-Feb-12 18:39:16

Private schools students can still take advantage of cheaper, out of season holidays because they have shorter terms. So I can't imagine any conservatives will object (not that the ruling would affect them anyway).

Huh? So all conservatives can afford/want to pay school fees? No liberal/labour voters ever choose independent education? What about all the people who buy the Sun and the Mail? - notoriously conservative papers aimed at lower socioeconomic groups.
That statement makes no sense at all. It isn't even accurate as the price hike in holidays often (usually?) coincides with the start of private school holidays, not the start of state school holidays.

manicinsomniac Fri 24-Feb-12 18:45:35

I work in a private school and I think the government would keel over in horror at our attendence figures.

* Despite our longer holidays several parents have taken their children out for the last week or so of term or returned a week or so late.
* We have Saturday school and Saturday attendence is lower than any other day for reasons ranging from grumpiness about getting out of bed on a Saturday (!) to sporting/dramatic commitments.
* Our children are granted authorised absence without argument for weddings, funerals, parties, religious reasons, sports, music, drama, doctor, dentist etc
* We have many overseas boarders who never seem to get their flights right and are always a couple of days out either side (I presume it's about getting cheap flights)
* We have many forces children who need to be with their parent when they are on leave. For boarders in particular that often requires a week or two off.

We still get fantastic results at CE and several children into top public schools and state grammars every year. I really don't think being at school all day every day is the only, or even the best, way to get an education and I am very glad that we won't have to bow to this bullying.

Having said that, I think that term time holidays should have a good reason behind them (even if it is as simple as it being the only affordable way).

NormanTebbit Fri 24-Feb-12 19:38:46

There is a problem at some schools which is mainly people taking their children out of school to visit family in Pakistan. In fact one classmate is away at the moment, due back in May. Others have started back at school six months late due to being abroad.

I guess if you have a large family celebration to attend and are spending thousands flyi g family over there then it makes sense to stay for a while seeing family etc - but it's a headache for the teachers and affects the child's education even at primary level.

I don't know how a fine system would have effect in that situation either - hitting families with an enormous bill will not help anyone.

Jahan Fri 24-Feb-12 20:55:01

It's funny how my trips to Pakistan every 2 years for 8 weeks (my dad was allowed to accumulate his holidays for 2 years) didn't affect my education.
I passed the 11 plus, got into grammar school, got great GCSE's, A levels, degree, Professional exams.
All my siblings are in professional careers doing very well thank you very much hmm

Hulababy Fri 24-Feb-12 21:02:17

IME private school holidays are still affected by most travel companies. Travel companies are not daft - they have cottoned onto all school holidays. \prices go up a week or so before state school holidays ime - to cover the private school ones. I know - we have looked before!

Portofino Fri 24-Feb-12 21:19:28

"what are they going to do chuck your kids out" Dd's Belgian state school would do exactly that. One day you are allowed without a doctor;s note.

NormanTebbit Fri 24-Feb-12 21:40:40

Jaja - I was thinking in terms of how much my DDs have covered in the last few months and how hard it would be to catch up - but perhaps there is an arrangement with the school for curriculum to be covered while away.

HintofBream Sat 25-Feb-12 09:03:21

My headteacher husband totally agrees with MrsHeffley's view of the value of family holidays. He deals with very many disadvantaged children whose parents, for all sorts of reasons, do not provide a happy and stimulating family life. If they can manage to take the children away with some semblance of "normal" family activity he is all for it.
He also points out that any fines have to be imposed by the magistrates' courts not directly by the LEA or the school. Magistrates will not accept evidence from anyone other than the actual head, i.e. not a deputy or head of year. He reckons he has better ways of spending his time than hanging around the magistrates' courts.
Our own grandchildren were taken out of school this term for a week's skiing. It was their first trip, they are 6 and 8. In ski school from 9.15 to 4.45, and lunch with french children, as our OFSTED inspector friend, (part of the group) pointed out, this can go down in the school records as"Education Off-Site" and not affect attendance statistics. Hard to believe, for children of this age, that it was a less valuable experience than a normal week's school.

Bonsoir Sat 25-Feb-12 09:17:28

"Our own grandchildren were taken out of school this term for a week's skiing. It was their first trip, they are 6 and 8. In ski school from 9.15 to 4.45, and lunch with french children, as our OFSTED inspector friend, (part of the group) pointed out, this can go down in the school records as"Education Off-Site" and not affect attendance statistics. Hard to believe, for children of this age, that it was a less valuable experience than a normal week's school."

Wow! Did you see my earlier post about language trips in France? If only the French were more enlightened about the concept of "Education Off Site."

Thinks - must investigate rules here and see what they really are. If UK heads don't always know the rules, there is no reason why French heads should be any more clued up.

HintofBream Sat 25-Feb-12 10:03:43

Bonsoir, yes I agree, the French system seems mad and the precise rules well worth investigating. Good luck.

Iloveautumn Wed 29-Feb-12 10:01:43

Education is important but quality family time is important too.

The State should be supportive of families spending quality time together on holiday and should enable this as much as possible. If it does nothing about making holidays affordable during school holidays then it should be supportive of parents taking children out of school.

I believe strongly in the value of family holidays for children and I cannot believe that one or two weeks out of school per year will cause irreparable damage to a child's education. My db took his primary school age kids out of school for 6 months a couple of years ago and they are both now ahead of their age in all subjects.

Mirage Wed 29-Feb-12 14:26:56

Well,I'm booking a day to take my dds to the theatre.I might as well do it now while I can.

catsmother Thu 01-Mar-12 10:06:08

This thread came to mind when watching MBFGW on Channel 4 the other day. If it's to be believed - and I think I believe it - the majority of travellers' children don't attend school AT ALL past the age of 11 or so, or, at best pop in when they feel like it - say, a few days a month. Now, I don't know for sure, what, if anything, the authorities are doing about this, but, for example, one child was shown receiving one hour a week's home tutoring (as opposed to home education as most people understand it) with a local authority tutor, and viewers were told that this risible time meant her parents weren't prosecuted (or words to that effect).

Meanwhile, if your child attends school day in day out for years, and, one year you have the temerity to take them out in term time for a week for an otherwise unaffordable and rare family holiday, you will be castigated and fined.

Talk about double bloody standards. The vast majority of people taking term time out are NOT truanting, yet have been thrown into the same category (by some) as parents who don't give a damn, don't see their kids into school, don't care if their kids are roaming the streets etc. They value their children's education, but they also value decent time spent together as a family - and that's becoming an increasingly rare commodity for many families, with both parents working long hours and/or opposite shifts to make ends meet (notwithstanding the extra restrictions on leave faced by those in particular jobs with little or no flexibility). I really do wonder what's really behind this plan ? ...... dressing it up as concern for children's education is, I feel, completely disingenuous as the majority of the children concerned achieve as they should do. I personally feel it's yet another money making scheme, and can't shake the feeling that there's some sort of underlying snobbery involved - how very dare the hoi polloi want a holiday ........

jj21 Thu 01-Mar-12 13:59:40

We run a small business. If our staff with children all took their summer holiday in the school holidays the business would be bust. A combination of being unable to bill for time for hours worked (as very few people would be working), and clients leaving us as many of them need us to do extra work in the school holidays, when things are quieter for them, would make it completely unsustainable.

As it is we have never, ever taken our children away for more than 4 days due to not being able to take much time off, but we have normally had to do it in term time, as it is the only time we can get time off together. We often have one or other of us working weekends/evenings too. As a school governor and former teacher, I do feel bad about this - but I do honestly believe that our kids get more out of spending a few days camping near the seaside with all of us together than they would at school.

I am not sure that this policy has really been thought through - but it has been around for a long time, and is already almost in force in a number of Local Authorities. In ours no head teacher will authorise absence for nearly half the academic year, and this policy was created before this government was elected.

Bearhugs43 Thu 01-Mar-12 20:35:34

I'd rather go to court and explain to a judge exactly why I believe my children's education and emotional wellbeing is supplemented by 5 days off school per academic year to spend quality family time and experience new things. I simply cannot afford to do this in term time (we're talking UK here not a week in the sun unfortunately).

Ultimately if I have the right to choose to educate them at home then I (SHOULD) have the right to take them out of school if I have chosen that for a weeks holiday once a year (whilst primary age). Their education is still my responsibility and I believe new experiences are crucial to it.

Tory Nanny state. Wonderful news.

MR1703 Thu 01-Mar-12 20:55:00

I am a strong believer in good attendance at school, but there is a great difference between playing truant and taking a family holiday. For starters children would be aware that a holiday is a special event which they have had to have asked permission to have during term time, not a sicky because mums/dads can't be bothered to get it of bed to take the kids to school!
I took my niece and nephew to Rome for a LNG weekend. for this they had two days off school. During the trip they were able to see History and Art come to life. They were only 6 and 8 at the time and two years n they still discuss how different life was for the Romans and what it would have been like to have been a spectator at the collesseum. They were also able to learn basic Italian phrases, use Euros instead o £'s and try different food.
How have they impacted their education by taking two days of during term time?
I think the HT should be able to grant time off and this should be based on the child's current attendance record. Let's all be pragmatic about this......

alig99 Fri 02-Mar-12 08:47:42

I think it is totally inappropriate to fine parents who take kids out for holiday. Fines do not work in preventing truanting which I believe they are designed to do, going on holiday should not be put in the same bracket as regular truanting.
If the government brings this policy in, they need to do it in conjunction with going to a four term school year. School holidays are a nightmare for working parents they were originally designed so that children could WORK by helping bring in the harvest. Teachers now want to keep the long holiday so they can recover from work!! I know many teachers who have a second home in France and boast that they get 13weeks to enjoy it! The whole school holiday situation needs to be overhauled not more draconian legislation.

I would like to fine schools for closing at a drop of hat and having INSET days in term time because they make parents use up their precious holiday.

saggarmakersbottomknocker Fri 02-Mar-12 08:58:44


INSET days aren't in 'term time'. They were taken from the teachers holidays. Pupils still get their full quota of taught days.

If your school closes for polling day you need to take it up with your local authority. Believe me schools don't want it either. It's a PITA all round.

efffy Fri 02-Mar-12 09:35:15

Completely agree with bearhugs

clair247 Fri 02-Mar-12 09:50:50

Here here!

Cuddler Fri 02-Mar-12 10:15:55

fines only £100!Personally,i can deal with that!

Cuddler Fri 02-Mar-12 10:18:48

MrsHeffley-couldnt of put it better myself.

LittenTree Fri 02-Mar-12 14:36:15

A UK friend in Oz wrote to her DC's Head to ask permission to take some school time off. He wrote back thanking her for telling him but enquiring why she felt she needed permission. They are her kids, aren't they?!!

The ishoo about this that winds me up most is the fact that this govt are doing everything possible to apparently 'devolve' power in school to schools, cutting out those nasty LEAs, working on the idea that 'the leadership of a community school knows what's best for that school'... YET comes in heavy handed and guns blazing, dictating 'national policy' on in-school time absence, completely riding rough-shod over the Head Teacher, his knowledge of the child, the school, the timetable, the demographic.

Once again, fear of tackling the real issues (in this case, feckless, couldn't care less parenting aided by benefits which are greater than that parent could hope to wrangle if child-less) by sledge-hammering the responsible middle, those who ask permission and can give good reasons- and accept a reasonable 'no' where it can be justified.

oohaah Sat 01-Jun-13 09:49:34

Not everyone has a choice about when to take their children on holiday. Most people who live and work in coastal areas have to work during school holidays. NO CHOICE!!! What do we do? This is not just about the cost of holidays. We as parents should have the choice on this, not be dictated to by government. They make laws without any thought of how they affect people. Maybe I should give up my job and Claim benefits. Then I could have the luxury of a school holiday with my child. If these teachers can not educate our children in the time they are given then they should not be teachers. It's not about the children it's about getting a good ofstead report. Please sign the e petition against this. Even if you do not agree with taking your own child on holiday in term time. You have the freedom to choose. That's the way it should stay, they are your children after all.

oohaah Sat 01-Jun-13 09:54:00

Music to my ears, you are so right.

AuntieStella Sat 01-Jun-13 10:02:53

The regime for fines already exists. Labour brought it in in 2003.

It's still going to be HT's discretion. And exceptional circumstances will still exist as a reason (it's only explicit mention of holidays that's going). If you have a strong case for it being exceptional, then it is still possible.


mariewalker Sat 29-Jun-13 21:53:26

ive had a holiday booked for nearly 2yrs to take my family to florida in oct. my little boy has cerebral palsy and struggles with masses of people but would get so much from this experience. he also would not cope with the heat from april-mid sept when its just too hot. he already struggles to get around, its just mean to put him in that heat. why should he miss out though just because I have a 7yr old too? seems unfair especially when hes had perfect attendance this year and is 18 months ahead with his reading and spelling and above target for everything else? I would even take work with us so that he did not fall behind.

it seems unfair for a family to scrimp n save for all this time to give the kids a once in a lifetime holiday for the government to take this decision away from the head. I know they say education is free in this country but its not. we all pay taxes. its paid for by u so why dont we have the choice? at the end of the day if a child can cope with the time off I dont see the issue.

as a child i was taken away during school time for 2 weeks every year as thats all my parents could afford. i believe holidays bring valuable life experience and first hand knowledge of other places. reading about it in a text book just isnnt the same. children learn from practicals.

i can understand why it is important to get your child to school every day but my son may have chicken pox for 2 weeks in october.

suemaemary Fri 05-Jul-13 17:23:59

So why cant we home school our kids for a week or two while we are on holiday that way the kids wont miss lessons you cant tell me the teachers don't plan lessons in advance?

I would happily do this if it ment we could have a family holiday together but as it looks at the moment we will never have another family holiday again for as long as wek have a child in education and that stinks.

flatmum Fri 05-Jul-13 17:27:10

so hang on, let me get this straight. In the same week that they announced that schools are to be able to set their term times independent of central doE control, they are now saying that all schools will be forced to ban term time holidays.

agenda? much?

Naebother Fri 05-Jul-13 17:39:33

Flatmum. This appears to be a zombie thread started in feb2012

devonvalley Sat 06-Jul-13 17:49:35

we are all going to become liars!! we have four children, how much would that cost us in fines. Bugs , summer colds, spread in familys, can prolong for days...even a week....

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