The school holiday problem

(67 Posts)
Lilaclion Thu 20-May-10 22:38:46

I wish the authorities would change the school holiday system so we weren't all forced to pay stupid money for our annual jollies. I know it's an age old problem that we have all moaned about for years, so why does it never get fully addressed?

My proposal would be to shorten the summer holidays to four weeks and allow each pupil to have ten Lieu days a year, the form teacher would have to authorise the lieu days to ensure that the holidays were not taken during exam time for example, but otherwise they'd be able to use the holidays when needed through-out the terms, maybe for the odd day out here and there or used all at once for a two week holiday.

Well I think it's a good idea....what do you think?

grrth Thu 20-Oct-11 20:46:51

Aye, teachers would love to be 'dragged into the 21st century' - a limit of only 37 hours a week, no weekend working, no residentials without overtime. Many teachers would trade the longer holidays for a shorter working week and the right to switch off at 5.00.

Do you have any idea about teachers' working conditions?

Hulababy Thu 20-Oct-11 20:51:50

TBH there is very little wrong with the holiday system we currently have. Messing about with it, changing holidays, just messes up the system even more and causes even more red tape, admin, paperwork and loads of other nonsense. Let;s just leave it be and deal with holidays as they are!

Hulababy Thu 20-Oct-11 20:53:50

Hey and don't forgot this bit of information:

If anyone thinks teaching is such an easy profession with so many perks - well, there is nothing stopping any of you going out there, getting qualified and being a teacher yourself! Go for it.

grrth Thu 20-Oct-11 21:10:37

I liked the idea of teachers working mornings only (how kind) but for EVERY week. That's a big reduction in holidays - down from 13 weeks to none at all.

chickensaregreen Thu 20-Oct-11 21:11:19

Since becoming a teacher I have a standard response to the standard teacher bashing...

If its so ridiculously easy feel free to join me. I'm not stopping you. Simply get a degree, then a teaching qualification and then a job. Work the long hours, absorb the stress and the red tape, get every illness going but still come to work and then enjoy the holidays.grin

grrth Thu 20-Oct-11 21:28:41

I have a better suggestion. Schools open all year round. But the teachers get 5 weeks holiday that they can take whenever they wish. So you could get a letter home saying 'Miss X has booked next Wednesday off, her class will be closed so please make alternative arrangements'. In theory, you'd have to arrange less childcare, but your childcare will be MUCH MUCH less predictable.
Imagine your problems if you have three children in school and each of their teachers books their leave at different times - that'd be 15 weeks a year to find childcare - more than now! Tsk!

chickensaregreen Thu 20-Oct-11 21:39:36

Grrth. I would love 5 weeks holiday to be taken whenever I like. Great idea!

In answer to the OP. I honestly don't think there is an answer to your problem.

grrth Thu 20-Oct-11 21:59:44

My wife is a teacher. Even ignoring the work she does at home in the holidays, she actually has much less than 13 weeks. She goes into school for 1 day each half term holiday, 1 day at xmas, 2 at Easter and probably at least 5 in the Summer holidays - putting up backing paper, sorting the classroom etc. So that brings her holidays down from 65 days to 54. Most 'professional' (I hate that word) people get 5 weeks holiday a year plus bank holidays. So basically she gets 4 more weeks holiday than most other people. Would she trade in those 4 weeks to gain the right to choose when to have her holidays, the right to leave school at 5 and not think about it/the children until she walks back in at 8.30, the right to not have to work any hours god sends, the right to expect the same basic 'dignity at work' that many of those who knock teachers take for granted? Of course she would. If the govt offerred it, she'd bite their hands off.

Would schools be able to give nearly the same level of service if teachers only worked the hours that most others work? Of course not. Lets work out what your average worker puts in: 37 hours a week over 45 weeks (25 days leave plus B/Hs) equals 1665 hours a year. Even half arsed out of the door with the kids work teachers work in excess of 1265. Any half decent teacher will be working in excess of 1900 hours. Forcing teachers to adopt 'modern' practices will effectively see them working shorter hours.

Some people have no idea.......

grrth Thu 20-Oct-11 22:03:36

Let's face it, the govt would cut teachers holidays like a shot, if it was doable - it'd be a surefire vote winner. They must realise that they can't run schools like they do if teachers have similar working conditions to other employees. It's in their interests to make teachers work 60 hours a week and they couldn't do that AND reduce holidays.

chickensaregreen Thu 20-Oct-11 22:05:48

grrth, I think I love you! I think I will save your post on my phone and just make people read it whenever they start with the bashing!

grrth Thu 20-Oct-11 22:22:50

BUT, as far as the OP is concerned, holiday providers don't charge more during holidays, they rather (apparently) discount holidays taken during term time to increase demand. If holidays were staggered, all that would happen is that the holidays would become slightly less cheaper during August and MUCH more expensive during June July and September.

Personally, I'd just take the children out of school in June or July. What is the worst that can happen? You might get fined £100. Whoo, big deal. Just knock it off the grand or so you saved by going away 'unauthorised' in the first place.
Our local headteacher authorises up to 2 weeks in a year. She is a realist. She could take a moral stand, but her unauthoriosed absence figures would go through the roof and the LEA and OFSTED would start sniffing around.

I don't get why people "have" to go on foreign expensive holidays anywaysmile .
We go on holiday in school holidays, we save money by going away in the UK. We rent a holiday cottage and have a £50 a day limit for entrance fees, eating out and souvenirs. We often spend far less than this, and the cottage has never cost more than £400 for a family of 4 in June/July. As for annual leave vs school holidays, I work 2days a week so between mine and DHs annual leave we can cover my work days outside term time.

grrth Sat 22-Oct-11 23:41:20

I don't think that this is necessarily a home/vs foreign holidays debate but more to do with term time/school holiday times. Its the same principle whether you are well off and booking a term time holiday to Disneyworld because you can't afford to go there during the summer hols or whether you are on minimum wage and find that you can just about afford a week in a caravan but only if you go in July.

Lots of my friends are teachers. One is a school advisor. Last week she was talking to heads about absences and told them NOT to authorise ANY term time holidays - with the usual rubbish about missing learning etc. We had a major argument about it. She is on 50K a year and has NO idea about the choices made by parents in low income jobs, for some of them it is a term time holiday or NO holiday. Why should children whose parents are struggling be denied the experiences available to their more well off friends?

As for missing learning, when schools can decide to close for over a week after two inches of snow - their argument that 'every minute counts' just doesn't wash. At the end of every term, my children finish school for the day on a lunch time - doesn't that have an impact on their learning? In a primary school that's over 10 days lost - yet a parent asking to miss 10 days is irresponsible? How much 'valuable' time is spent watching videos or on dressing up days? I'm not knocking these, BTW, I'm just querying whether they are more or less educationally worthwhile than time spent with parents visiting new places and having experiences that they wouldn't otherwise have.

It might just be where my DCs go to school, but DDs friends all seem to bang on about not missing out on education, then take their kids to an all inclusive resort somewhere. I really cannot see any educational merit in those places, it's just an excuse to plonk the kids in alternative childcare and sit by the pool all day. In DSs school they usually go to costa del whatever and sit on the beach for 2 weeks, again not so educationalsad.
There are so many great things to see and learn in the UK, surely a lot of people could trade their term time foreign holiday for a school holiday British one?
As for those who would go without a holiday altogether, there are ways and means surely without sending the DCs the message that a bit of sunshine is more important than an education.
The half term in May/June or the one in October are plenty warm enough to go away, and usually no more expensive than late June or July IME.
House swap holidays are cheap too, or going away with organisations such as church etc works out cheaper than going as a family.

sashh Sun 20-Nov-11 06:12:32

No other occupations take up so much time to prep outside the woking week. And before you ask yes I have experience of a couple of those other professions you mention as well as teaching.

How many people do you know who work 60 hour weeks for their entire career?

Isla77 Thu 24-Nov-11 22:36:29

agent4 change - some occupations may well be more stressful than being a teacher but most occupations when you go home you leave the actual work behind you but probably not the stress. My sister is a teacher and the amount of paperwork she has to fill in for weekly planning, assessments, Individual Education Plans for children who need support, reviews of IEP's on a termly basis, end of year reports is unbelievable and it is not just at her school but across the board. Teachers spend huge amounts of time completing all this paperwork and much of it is done in their so-called "free-time" i.e. couple of hours after school every day ( but not on those days when she is running an after school club or attending a meeting) and a lot of time at home (evenings and weekdays). This may explain why they have longer holidays. The school day may start at 9:00 and finish at 3:30 but teachers work before that and after that and take a lot of the paperwork home as they cannot hope to complete it in the time given at school even with PPA time out of class.

Isla77 Thu 24-Nov-11 22:36:57

Sorry, just noticed this is an old thread.

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