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DofE to remove 10 day holiday absence option during term time

(72 Posts)
jmspbro Wed 12-Jun-13 21:28:16
DeWe Thu 13-Jun-13 09:40:47

I disagree with term time holidays.
Our holiday budget is about £300-£500, going usually in August.
We holiday in this country, taking self catering and chosing a cheap area. I don't think expense is actually valid reason, because you can get a holiday for less, but you may not get a choice of the dream holiday you want.
We'd love to go to various places that would cost more, but we keep within our budget.

MrsMelons Thu 13-Jun-13 10:28:11

I would be surprised if any HT saw 'expense' as a valid reason either DeWe.

When DS1 was tiny and we couldn't afford a holiday, DH took a week off work and we did a few day trips but still had that lovely family time together. DS1 wasn't at school but it was the summer holidays. We couldn't have afforded a proper holiday in or out of term time at the time.

Often people will say that family time is very important but IMO that does not have to be spent on a fancy resort in the Caribbean.

We can afford holidays now and end up spending a ridiculous amount more going in the school holidays but there may be a time when we need to take a week out in term time so I would genuinely want it to be a valid reason.

When I was younger hardly anyone went abroad, most people camped/caravanned, mainly in the UK but some people who were better off went to France. We were teenagers before we went on a plane and it was always school holidays, no one I knew took term time holidays. I think we are as a whole more 'entitled' now and seem to have an issue with anyone telling us what we should or shouldn't do.

If I want to take my DCs out of school I will but I will not moan about a fine or unauthorised absense, this is nothing new IMO.

5madthings Thu 13-Jun-13 10:34:09

The rule is still the same in that a ht can authorize time off up to ten days in 'exctional circumstances' we too time off two years ago Adm will be next sept as dp cannot get leave in true school holidays, the ht is happy to authorize this as 'eexctional circumstances' as it is pit of our control. We go for a week so they have five days off, I have never asked for ten bit at least we then have a bit of leeway of something came up ie a funeral.

5madthings Thu 13-Jun-13 10:36:46

And I would moan if we were not allowed or fined as its unfair that DPs job means he cannot often get time of on the school holidays, often not at all. My children still need to see and spend time with their dad and have a break.

If leave is restricted by an employer its unfair that the children should miss out, thanlkfully the ht have agreed but to does depend on the individual ht.

Ragwort Thu 13-Jun-13 10:41:39

I wish people would be more honest about the reasons for taking children out of school - is it really 'educational' to have a family holiday - mostly it's because it's cheaper and people want to go somewhere sunny. Who is really spending all the time going to cultural events /mueums & writing up about it etc etc?

Agree with Mrs Melons, it was never the 'norm' to view 'family time' as an essential right, no one used to take time out during school time (unless for a funeral or serious illness) & yes, we all went camping or similar.

I do take our DS out for a couple of days at the end of the Christmas term occasionally, but it is not 'my right' and there's nothing 'educational' about going skiing, just a jolly good holiday grin.

Kewcumber Thu 13-Jun-13 10:52:06

We must go on really different holidays to everyone else - DS learns nothing special on a family holiday. Unless you count improving his sand castle building skills which to be fair he does at weekends too.

Is everyone else going to study the pyramids on their holidays or learning greek? confused

Kewcumber Thu 13-Jun-13 10:52:29

X-posted with Ragwort there

5madthings Thu 13-Jun-13 10:58:03

Our holidays are always in the UK but yes some of it is educational, museums, national trust places but we also do lots of walking and relaxing and yes have some beach days. For us its about spending time together. Dp works long hours that are anti social, he often doesn't see the children for days and only gets one weekend a month off, so one week once a year where we are all together is really important.

Kewcumber Thu 13-Jun-13 11:07:34

Yes I get that spending time together as a family is important - but why not during school holidays?

Doesn't really bother me - I would take DS out of school for something I consider important - big family event, return to birth country regardless of what the schools position was. Its just interesting that the "they learn far more on holiday than they do in school" is always mentioned. DS doesn;t (of course he learns something and yes of course we go to museums - but we generally do that at weekends)

Kewcumber Thu 13-Jun-13 11:10:26

I generally don;t take him out of school for different reasons - its a cost free time for me to work and I don't like him to think that other people stick to school rules but he doesn't have to, I want to be able to explain to him that school is important and only trumped by things you can;t do at any other time.

That was how I grew up so naturally I suppose thats what I do with him now. I don't know anyone who took time off school to go on holiday when I was young but I think fewer people went away for their holidays then - it was mostly caravans in Porthcawl/tenby!

5madthings Thu 13-Jun-13 11:12:24

Because dp cannot get time off work during the school holidays as I have said. He works with children in care, they need more staff during the holidays and he had to take them on holiday, they go away twice, once on a short camping trip about four days and once for eight days, so dp has to go on those trips so effectively away two weeks of the summer and then normal shifts the rest of the time.

If he could get time off in the school holidays we would do that, but often he can't. I don't think we should miss out because his job has leave restrictions.

MrsMelons Thu 13-Jun-13 11:30:29

5madthings, I do think your circumstances are different as long as when he can take time off in holidays you would do that rather than taking term time out, yours is a genuine reason and not that you save a few hundred quid. I do know a family who told our school the dad couldn't take school holidays off, this was correct for the summer holidays but actually none of the others so the HTs are often put in difficult positions.

When I was little family time was generally evenings and weekends with the 2 week holiday when we could fit it in. Luckily this was able to be in the school hols.

Holidays are educational in the fact you are broadening your horizons but it cannot replace what you learn at school, particularly the older the children are.

5madthings Thu 13-Jun-13 11:32:17

The school can ask for a letter from your employer to confirm that your leave is restricted, we just provide it when we hand in the holiday request form.

MrsMelons Thu 13-Jun-13 11:39:55

Unfortunately the HT was too trusting and people abused that, they now do not authorise anything other than a family emergency because of this. If she had asked for proof then they would have been found out.

xylem8 Thu 13-Jun-13 12:26:04

A holiday is important time for family to bond.Lots of people can't get time off in school holidays.As a very wise MNer said you can always resit and exam, you can't resit a childhood!

prh47bridge Thu 13-Jun-13 13:21:48

As others have said the wording has changed but the meaning is essentially the same. You are not entitled to 10 days holiday in term time under the old regulations. The head teacher could permit up to 10 days per school year if there were special circumstances and could also grant more than 10 days in exceptional circumstances. Under the new regulations the head teacher can permit an absence of any length in exceptional circumstances.

Where there is a significant change is in the fines that may be issued for unauthorised absence. You now have only 28 days to pay in order to avoid prosecution - previously it was 42 days.

AbbyR1973 Thu 13-Jun-13 18:14:38

There are plenty of people in public service who don't get to choose when their holiday is. Holidays in school holidays are 3x the price and therefore entirely unaffordable for many families.
Holidays ARE educational. Why does the state not value the education that parents give their children.
Last week we were at Center Parcs. The children visited Roman Bath, and the white horse at Westbury, they had tennis and football lessons and learned to swim, they kept a list of all the different wildlife they saw, did a treasure trail where they had to add numbers as they went along and visited a safari park. They also read and kept a short scrap book diary. My guess is that DS1 got a lot out of that week and probably more than he would have done had he spent the week at school. Why deny children thus valuable experience. Who says education only takes place in schools by teachers. It is no less beneficial than a school trip.
Fortunately our school takes a sensible view.

mrz Thu 13-Jun-13 19:21:45

Unfortunately teachers don't have the luxury of giving their own children such experiences AbbyR

tiggytape Thu 13-Jun-13 20:43:16

I don't think anyone is denying the value of family time and family holidays. However children are out of school 13 full weeks every year plus all weekends - there is a lot of opportunity for most families (outside forces families and other special circumstances) to have time together and shared experiences without another 2 weeks out of school on top of that.

5madthings Thu 13-Jun-13 21:01:03

We don't take two weeks, dp could never get two weeks off at once! We go for a week, five days off school and dp works wkends. A lot of people have jobs that restrict leave like this, not just the forces.

I guess some people maybe do take the piss but its unfair that families like mine, where we have no choice could end up being penalised.

AbbyR1973 Thu 13-Jun-13 22:35:43

Mrz, yes it is difficult for teachers, but if all families with children ONLY go on holiday during the school holidays that will only push the cost of holidays during the school holidays up even further. It's not just holidays abroad that are pricey either.
Holidays are a valuable educational experience in the vast majority of cases.
IMO this is an example of nanny state. I know what is best for my children, not the government. If I thought taking them out of school during term time was going to damage their education I wouldn't do it. I don't expect the teachers or school to provide anything in terms of work or catch up material either. If there was something important happening in school they wouldn't go.
It is their only holiday of the year.
I am very lucky though that DS is at a school where the educational contribution of parents is valued.

MirandaWest Thu 13-Jun-13 22:42:22

AbbyR couldn't you go on holiday during school holidays and have the educational experience then and have the educational experience at school as well?

We have had holidays which were going to stay with my mum and dad for the week as we couldn't afford anything else. Still in school holidays though.

How do you know whether "something important" is going to happen or not at school? Important things may not be major events but could still have an impact on your child if they were to miss them.

AbbyR1973 Thu 13-Jun-13 23:32:51

If they hadn't had a holiday last week they wouldn't have had one this year because it is too expensive in the school hols. My parents live 10 miles away. DS is in reception. The school were lovely and I had a nice note from the HM saying he though DS would get a lot out of the holiday planned. He didn't miss anything important as I expected. Potentially it's different at secondary level.

mrz Fri 14-Jun-13 05:29:30

I would be very worried if I thought that my children wouldn't miss something important if they were absent for a week or two shock

PastSellByDate Fri 14-Jun-13 06:28:53

We've only gone away in term time the once (missing 3 days before half-term - wedding on the Friday before school broke up when DD1 was in YR)- my cousin was getting married to Romanian in Romania. No problem at all with school on this.

However, when we applied for a day off for a ballet exam in Y1 for DD1 or a day to renew a passport (girls dual national - father English and I'm non-UK national) in autumn Y2 for DD2 - we've had a lot of difficulty with the school.

In either case we had no choice over the date selected (ADTA & ballet school agreed date for ballet exam in week during school hours & passport renewal appointment set by embassy & linked to expiry date of passburt - but needed to occur to ensure we could travel to see grandparents during summer holidays).

Same Head all the way through - so Go Figure?

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