DofE to remove 10 day holiday absence option during term time(72 Posts)
See this link:
then sign this petition:
Nope, I agree with the rules
Same here - I've seen the damage that term-time holidays do to pupils' academic progress, so I won't be signing.
An education is a right, a holiday is a privilege.
There's been a few threads about this.
It's less than it seems.
It remains a maximum of 10 days at head's discretion in exceptional circumstances.
All that has gone is the verbiage mentioning holidays (which were only included as an example of something potentially exceptional, not as a right).
So now, as before, if to can convince your head that your circumstances are exceptional, the absence can be authorised. Some heads, however, do want to see children in school in term (for the good of both individual and school community) and are hard/impossible to persuade.
I don't understand. Schools don't authorise this absence even now, so I cannot see what the change is.
On the other hand, if you do need to take your children out of school for whatever reason, they cannot actually physically stop you from doing it whether the regulations have changed or not. So again, I'm not sure i understand what the issue is.
Don't want anyone to think by my response that i am a big supporter of taking your children out of school by the way. I do understand that many families really have no choice due to personal circumstances. I have also done it myself once.
For non exam years tbh I can't see that missing a couple of weeks of school in a year will negatively affect the vast majority of children's long term education.
I have been a secondary school teacher for many years, and now a HLTA in primary. My experience is that most children don't suffer from a family holiday in term time. And tbh, it doesn't make that much difference to the teachers either.
And for some families, they don't have the option of non term time holidays due to set holidays in their work places. How will these be accommodated?
And what about family events in term time - weddings, baptisms, funerals, ill relative abroad, etc?
"It remains a maximum of 10 days at head's discretion in exceptional circumstances."
Ah, x posts. So, actually pupils can be off school at the head's discretion? No different to now really then.
Never experiencing a family holiday has surely got to be more detrimental to a child/children than having just 5 days or even 10 days off school a year.
A lot of people who disagree with term time holidays are people who can afford to take holidays in the breaks. If it means a child gets a holiday then term time is better than non at all!
We took dds to lapland in dec, they missed 3 school days consisting of Xmas parties and Xmas movies! The school were fine but I never asked for permission... I told them as I'd have gone anyway as flights were on set days. Of course i wuldnt go during importang events like sats etc. people generally only go in term time because they have to. With the new rules, people will just make up more exceptional excuses so it won't change a thing.
In my kids school people don't go away for skiing jaunts or slightly cheaper trips to disneyland - it's generally lower income families, and first generation immigrants, who go back to very far away places to visit family and friends. sometimes the summer holidays - which are short - coincide with the rainy season back home - and only the summer holidays will do.
I would have worded the petition differently to make it sound less like people taking time off for a happy family jaunt (even though I think they should be allowed to do that too).
DD has 3 days 'holiday absence' booked for the last 3 days of term - the HT granted this without hesitation.
Our circumstances are exceptional though - my godfather (who lives in Cyprus, I'm half Greek Cypriot) has suffered a TIA and 4 strokes in the last year, he is literally on borrowed time. His daughter (my cousin) lives in Australia and is going to Cyprus in June, but she flies back out to Australia on 19th July.
We are flying out on 17th July to get a couple of days with the whole family, it's quite possibly the last time this will happen
Afford will depend on what type of holiday you take. If you go to stay with your brother's family in Kent for four days it's hardly going to cost an arm and a leg. But if you want to fly to Malaga in mid holiday season, well, discuss it with your bank manager.
So what about in private schools? And what about (state or private) when the expensive school trip that only certain kids go on leaves school a day or two before the end of term. Will these children be fined/kicked out?
It doesn't apply to private schools and school trips are counted as education off sight.
This will cause an even greater divide between private schools, who typically have 17 weeks holiday, compared to 13 weeks holiday in state schools - prices are nowhere near as inflated in those weeks in July where private schools gave finished.
Gove should have made sure the travel industry was subject to regulation first.
I've signed this.
My children learn a vast amount from a week's holiday with the family - way more than the comparable period at school.
Good, responsible parents should not be dictated to to this extent.
But I'm more concerned about the provision for schools to be able to "kick out" pupils who don't reach the required standard for Sixth Form, especially with the requirement for such children to be receiving education or training until 18 now. In some areas there may not be an alternative to the local school, especially as over 16s have to pay all transport costs.
My parents regularly took us out of school for up to 3 weeks for family holidays. They didn't do it during exam years but I don't think these regular absences from school did any harm whatsoever. My brother and I both achieved 3 top A levels, a 2:1 and a 1:1 degree and my DB continued on to get his Doctorate.
Now that I have a family myself I appreciate even more how valuable a family holiday is. It is not just a case of a jolly in the sun, it is about focused family time without the day to day grind in the way. We have been fortunate enough to have somekind of annual holiday recently and the improvement to everbody's mood, the feeling of security and happinness within the family unit and the amount of time we have been able to spend playing with the dc is immeasurable. I am not prepared to have that benefit to my family taken away by a dictatorial government. Frankly I'm surprised they Gov have nothing better to sort out within the education system.
Please Mr Gove, just leave struggling families alone to enjoy a bit of hard earned time together - a chance to forget about the bloody deficit and constant pressures on income for 2 weeks!
The legislation bringing this in was passed in 2011, so I doubt a petition now will have much effect.
Actually, there is no material change since the 1996 Act, as it's still 10 days and still HT's discretion. All that has been removed are the examples of things that might be considered "exceptional", as they were so widely misinterpreted as an entitlement, not an illustration.
The only change in substance was in 2003, when Labour introduced fines.
This is no different to what our school does now so I can't see any difference, if I want to take my DCs out of school I will but I would prefer not to once past infant school TBH.
I thought it was 10 sessions not 10 days (thats what our HT told us), maybe that was to do with the fines?!
The fact is that some children will be completely unaffected by a couple of weeks off a year but some children who are persistantly late or absent, a further 2 weeks could be awful for them.
I am astonished how bad attendance is in schools, my son is in a school of 120 and their target is 95% but their actual rate is 92%. My son had the 2nd highest attendance this year and we took him out for a days holiday. The highest attendance wasn't even 100% as they had half a day off.
But even now it isn't supposed to be a 10 day holiday option so this shoudldn't be a major change.
It is supposed to be an absolute maximum of 10 days granted in exceptional circumstances. However some schools interpret this as nothing short of a family death whereas others think wanting to go to Florida when its not too hot in August counts.
That 10 days has to encompass any unforeseen stuff too...... if you have already taken them off for a holiday, then a relative dies or you HAVE to be somewhere else quickly, then the head has no "at their discretion" left.... and it is marked as unauthorised.. and you could be fined for going to a funeral - though discretion was awarded for a holiday.... nuts...
Sorry, as others have said, this is really NOT a change. Heads are under increasing pressure not to authorise term time holidays, and LEAs are making increasing use of their right to fine people for authorised absence.
However, the bottom line remains the same - however oversubscribed, the school cannot remove your child's place as long as you don't take them out for more than 10 days in an academic year.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 .
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?
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.
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)
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Unfortunately teachers don't have the luxury of giving their own children such experiences AbbyR
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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?
tiggytape are you not hearing that some parents cant have time off in school hols ?
Abby you went to CentreParcs, for the same cost you could have: gone to a Caravan, camping in France, camping in the UK - all during the school holidays.
If some people can't have any time off during the school holidays, then maybe we should be campaigning for that to be an employment right.
I have once taken my children out of school for a week, for an event that only happened during the school term. I also took my eldest out of school as an unauthorised absense, (I was refused permission) to attend his cousin's wedding.
I do think the whole school calendar just does not work if you have 2 parents working. Surely, it is completely outdated.
I also don't buy the long holidays ruin learning argument,
I don't even have a child at school yet but if I follow the rules we just won't be able to have holiday or see family.
Apart from dh and children, all other family are a very long flight away.
AS it stands it forces families to have split holiday as most full time workers get bog standard holidays.
xylem8 I had not even thought about that. What do people do if the holidays do not coincide??
DS has had 7 days off in total in this school year- 1 for sickness, 1 for a family funeral and the 5 last week. Many children lose far more just in sickness absence. He is working 1-2 years ahead of his peers. He is in reception. He had an enormous amount of benefit from the break. Both the HM and I thought it would be a good experience... Neither school nor I had any concerns about him missing these 5 days so why should the government involve themselves. This is an issue for parents to come to agreement with schools based on individual circumstances. There is no need for legislation.
Out of 52 weeks a year only 13 are school holidays if all families with school age children ONLY holiday during those times holiday prices will go up astronomically. Holidays anywhere would become the preserve of the very wealthy. I can guarantee you could say goodbye to free child places during school holidays etc.
most families actually manage to have their holidays during the school holidays - and some families don't go away at all... Holidays will only go up if people will pay for them. We holiday mainly in this country.
and many kids don't have lots of time off sick - over half the kids at our primary - over 212 out of just under 400 have 100% attendance so far this year.
They are only required to be in school for 190 days - there is plenty of time outside of that for most families to be together.
tiggytape are you not hearing that some parents cant have time off in school hols?
Yes - but even the old rules weren't supposed to cover reasons relating to cost. It was supposed to be just for exceptional reasons related to logistics (parental holiday restrictions on dates) or family emergencies and events.
And we, like many families I am sure, have gone years without a holiday due to cost so I'm not approaching this from the point of view of someone who can afford 3 weeks in the sun every August. We've done days out and other things instead but haven't been able to afford to go away - we probably won't be able to this year either.
Is DS going to get a lesser grade in his GCSE's/ A-levels or even SATS because he had 5 days out of school in year R... NO. Is DS going to be educationally disadvantaged compared to other children because he had 5 days out in year R...NO. Will he be a better more rounded child as a result of the visit... YES.
I want the best possible childhood and educational experience for my DS's.
It is not a legislative matter, it's a private matter between schools and parents. I have no doubt that the school would have discouraged me if they had thought the break would have been in anyway detrimental to DS's education. I wouldn't have taken him had it been detrimental, but it wasn't.
Parents who take these decisions are not criminals and mostly consider the balance of risks and benefits in a sensible way.
It's absolutely no different than home educating its just its only for a week... The law currently reflects exactly the point that education does not take place only at schools by teachers, otherwise school trips and home education would be outlawed on similar grounds.
As a responsible parent I believe I am the most significant educator of my children: I started when they were born and will continue long after they exit formal education. The government does not need to interfere with me or fine me for making sensible responsible decisions in respect of my children for whom I have far greater love than the government or even the school does.
I just wanted to point out- things like funerals don't come under holiday in terms of schools authorisation- it is recorded in a different way (or used to be). It's for compassionate reasons and although all absences add up to an overall number, it shouldn't be the case that if you've taken holiday for Exceptional reasons (eg forces family) that you can't later take kids to a funeral.
Ahhhh - but is DS going to feel entitled to not bother turning up for lectures at uni because school wasn't as important as a holiday, take time off work when it suits him rather than his boss.
My mum thought she was my most significant educator too - and wanted to continue after I left full time education - I see her once a year now... duty visit...
MadeofStardust- that is very sad. It is not the kind if relationship I am intending at all and I think you miss my point.
It is not about controlling education at all. ALL parents are the most significant educators in their child's life. Having a child is a lifetime commitment. Education does not just mean English and Maths and being "pushy". Its about providing a variety of chances and opportunities and supporting tour child in their choices as they get older. At an early stage it means very basic things like learning to walk, talk etc, learning to dress oneself and toileting. It's about introducing your child to the world and teaching them to be inquisitive about what is around them. It's also about encouraging self study and personal responsibility. E.g. We are on holiday we will have fun but we are still going to read a bit and keep a diary to share when we get back to school
DS will not think that holidays are more important than lectures because there will clearly come a point when what is missed in school is outweighed by the benefit of the holiday. Then I will make a different judgement. School agree with me
Abby... -It is sad - I was a child who needed order - who needed to keep up with the work - who wanted to learn the topics from the teacher as the source - not continually play catch up from friends workbooks when I got back from whatever trip was deemed more educational than school..... I found it stressful and became depressed as a teenager - but my parents were full of "the opportunities I'd had", "the broader education than my friends.." I had just wanted to go to school.
I did not say this is something that should happen all the time or even every year. It's about parents having the right to make a sensible/responsible decision with regard to their own child's circumstances. I think it's very unlikely that I would take them out at secondary level and certainly if I did think it was a good idea as they get old enough to have some input I would have a discussion with them too. If they didn't want to go then that would be fine.
It is sad if you needed something different and your parents did notice that.
The problem with some of these arguments is that it tends to be the more affluent families that take holidays in term time. That does not, of course, mean that everyone taking a holiday in term time is more affluent buy a high proportion are.
There is also evidence that many children taken out of school for a holiday fail to catch up afterwards, leaving them behind where they would have been had there been no holiday.
Then of course you get parents who do things that are just plain ridiculous like taking a child for an unauthorised holiday when they should have been sitting their GCSE exams.
If you want the right to take your child out of school for a holiday you either home educate or you go to a private school that allows such things. If you choose to use state schools you must obey the rules. That means you accept that term time holidays are at the school's discretion and you may be fined if you take an unauthorised holiday. Like it or not, that is the law and has been for years.
Thats fine as long as they are reasonable, thankfully ours have been so far. We cannot go on holidah in school holidays as dp cannot get the time off. The ht's so far have been understanding, the high school has a new ht so i am.interested to see what their views are. We have a letter from dps employer stating leave restrictions. Fingers crossed the new ht is ok with it, we have it booked, a week self catering in whitby so not fancy/expensive! Just time together as a family. If we get fined i will be massively pissed off and with four kids at school the fine may be a lot, depends how they do it ie fine for the week, per child, per parent or per 'session' it seems very variable!
The irony is I don't give a Fig about holidays, especially annual holidays, or affordability (well, within limits) or Family holidays, even.
DO want the option to manageably take DC to visit relatives many timezones away once every 4 yrs.
Hello. This should, strictly speaking, be in our Petitions topic, so we're going to move it there now.
The new attendance targets for schools is 95.5% so if a head does authorise 10 days term time holiday the child's attendance will fall below this which could potentially result in the school being found unsatisfactory by OFSTED
how many days - in an average state primary - makes a child fall below 95.5?
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