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To wonder what the new laws regarding school absence will have on the tourist industry?

(101 Posts)
LEMisdisappointed Sat 03-Aug-13 16:05:50

I really don't want this to turn into a debate on the rights and wrongs of taking one's children out of school for holidays(yeah, i know IABU and niave) , I am interested in how it will affect holiday providers, principally here, but also abroad.

At the moment, holiday companies charge a premium for school holidays - i can't see that changing, in fact, i can actually see the prices rising. I do not think that there will be a change in the numbers of folk taking holidays in school holidays as places are already full so there is no incentive for holiday companies to make reductions.

At the moment, people, for various reasons take advantage of the cheaper holidays out of school times. So now, people will either find the extra money for their holidays or not go - maybe camping will see an increase?

How are the holiday companies going to market their non-peak holidays now, considering that a large proportion of families with school age children still take these at the moment? Will they aim at a different market sector? Try and market abroad?

The discounted holidays by the Sun and that "other" paper generally only offer term time breaks, will they no longer offer them?

Will this affect you? what will you do? pay the extra or simply not go?

We went away for one night and will maybe try for another night or two away in a hotel rather than a holiday this year. DP is self employed and this makes it difficult to plan but we would possibly have taken a week in a caravan park during school time before. DD will be in year four in september so we probably wouldnt have chosen to take her out of school anyway so not necessarily affected by the change in law.

LEMisdisappointed Sat 03-Aug-13 17:21:11

Viv - i doubt it would be so much of an issue for those with kids at private school, making the jump tht they may well be more well off generally.

Whothefuckfarted Sat 03-Aug-13 17:24:16

Can someone tell me exactly how they'll be thinking of implementing this?

I mean, if I had a child of 13 who I took on holiday in term time for a week or two, phoned the school the day before we left saying child was ill and would be off school till feeling better.

What exactly can they do? I'm thinking nothing?

DontmindifIdo Sat 03-Aug-13 17:39:01

Who - I think also part of the plan would be to ask you to provide sick notes from a doctor for more than 3 days off, if you don't, then the fines will start.

At £60 per child per day, a 2 week holiday for a family with 2 DCs would cost an additional £1,200, so perhaps the holiday companies will have to lower their prices further to make it worth it for people to go out of school holidays.

For private schools, this won't apply as by the very nature of using a private school, you aren't using the state sector place - you also can do what you like if you home ed.

LEMisdisappointed Sat 03-Aug-13 17:48:26

Don't mind - that would be problematic in itself though, don't you self certify up to a certain amount of days in an employment situation? don't doctors charge for this service? genuine question. I could envisage a situation where a child may have flu, or gastric flu and need more than three days off school but wouldn't need a doctors appointment - its hard enough getting seen as it is, just to prove your child is sick enough to be off school will be more of a burden.

Im not sure what the answer is actually. Most parents are pretty sensible and make sure their children attend school. My DD had 100% attendance this year as she was fortunate enough not to get sick. I know other children who have had quite a lot of time out of school due to sickness and their education hasn't been adversly affected. I always understood this law was because lots of families don't bother to send their kids to school (My mother for instance was really bad about this and i hardly ever went to school in my secondary year).

Maybe there should be an allowance, say 5 non-sick days of absence a year - with sensible restrictions, ie - not in exam years, not allowed if too much absence due to sickness etc, not allowed at certain times of year. A friend of mine is from SA and she told me they have "mental health" days, so an allowance of days that they can use off work. Not sure about schooling though.

CleverlyConcealed Sat 03-Aug-13 17:56:39

It's £60 per parent per child per offence (the offence is failure to secure regular attendance). Not £60 per day.

Bearfrills Sat 03-Aug-13 18:00:21

See, the way I've read it is that the reference in the current law to family holidays is being removed but the ability to grant leave for special circumstances would still exist. So people couldn't automatically assume that leave for a holiday would be definitely granted but, if the circumstances were considered exceptional or special, then it still might be given.

DH cannot take any leave whatsoever during school holidays as his employer has lots of staff on term time only shifts as part of family friendly rules, this means that those on full year shifts can't get leave in school holidays as there aren't the staff to cover. He can get maybe a day or two here and there if it was an emergency but not two weeks or even one week. I'm also restricted in my annual leave as I'm on a very small team (NHS) so we have to work around each others leave dates. Personally I'd be applying to our head teacher for a few days special leave. We took a term time holiday this year but only went away for a week and it was the very last week of term, which our head teacher said was absolutely fine.

We've booked the same dates for next year and its already been approved by the school.

I can't see these laws being very enforcible and there will e loopholes. Domestic tourism such as Butlins or Haven, Legoland, etc would suffer as they all offer term time breaks.

CleverlyConcealed Sat 03-Aug-13 18:01:16

And IME it won't make a blind bit of difference; most schools will unauthorise the absence but won't take the next step of issuing the penalty warning. Our LA doesn't even consider issuing a penalty warning unless the child's attendance is less than 85% because above that you'd have trouble justifying the offence of failure to secure regular attendance in court.

DontmindifIdo Sat 03-Aug-13 18:02:17

Most employers allow you 3 days with self cert. There's often a lot of times this is waved, unless they think it's suspect. I would definately say 2 weeks would be questionable - I honestly don't think I ever had 2 weeks off school continuously other htan when I was in hospital at 10. All other normal illnesses are done within a few days, a week max.

I can't imagine anyone believing a 13 year old had an illness that was bad enough to keep them off for 2 weeks but not bad enough for you to go to the doctors in that time...

It's unfair on DCs too, expecting them to lie to teachers/friends - keep in the shade on holiday to avoid a tan...

Hopefully it will lead to a drop in prices outside of school holidays (DS is 3, we'll get another year of cheap term time holidays so if they are even cheaper, great)

I can also see that some Med areas will shut up earlier/open later. You might get resorts effectively closing down between Easter and summer holidays, so if you do go out of season, you'll not have the same level of facilities. You'll also probably find resorts more tailored towards German/French etc tourists rather than British.

Bearfrills Sat 03-Aug-13 18:02:46

I can see it being enforced if attendance was already bad but if a child's only absence was a few days for a holiday at a non-crucial time of year then what would be the point? And what if parents could prove there was educational value to the trip, for example taking a child studying French to France for a week.

Wallison Sat 03-Aug-13 18:10:32

I'd like to see them try to fine DS's dad for me taking DS out of school during term-time, given that it's got fuck all to do with him. How on earth are they going to enforce that one?

Lora1982 Sat 03-Aug-13 18:15:56

This isnt an aibu really. Its just wanting a discussion on the impact it could have

LEMisdisappointed Sat 03-Aug-13 18:21:49

Sorry Lora - but does it matter? hmm Its here because this is the place where people tend to say what they really think.

LEMisdisappointed Sat 03-Aug-13 18:24:19

Wallison, i think it is per parent present - so as a single parent i guess it would be the resident parent. I used to work as a cover supervisor in a school that had quite a lot of kids with problem absences and I would often come across the fine paperwork in their files when i was doing admin. So the fines certainly happen. To be fair i have only ever seen them for £50 however that was a while ago.

cooeeyonlyme Sat 03-Aug-13 18:28:34

Where i work we can only have one person off at a time and it's first come first served.
Every single school holiday for next year is booked already so it looks like my family won't be having a holiday. My OH works opposite shifts to me so we don't have to pay for childcare. So a holiday is much needed as a family.
Some people take the piss but it ruins it for others.

cooeeyonlyme Sat 03-Aug-13 18:29:52

Also what about dentist appointments etc.. because my dentist and doctors are now offering before 9am appointments.
My childs primary now insists you try and get one of them.

aldiwhore Sat 03-Aug-13 18:30:03

It won't affect us, it will just potentially cost us in fines as we will continue to take holidays when we can physically do so, and that will usually fall during term time, because that's the way my DH's work usually falls.

Right or wrong.

It will certainly affect my friend's holiday cottage business. She doesn't hike the prices up in the holidays, rather she drops them during term times to get them filled. It's quite depressing to see empty holiday homes, I think it will be very bad for local businesses in general.

We don't all fit into the academic calendar, it doesn't mean we have no respect for education.

Wallison Sat 03-Aug-13 18:30:39

Ok, ta LEMis that makes more sense then. The school do have his name but I don't think they even have his address - can't remember, tbh - so they probably wouldn't be able to chin him anyway even if they wanted to. I just thought it would be a bit unfair to slap a fine on the bugger because of my lax attitude to attendance (actually, I'm quite a stickler for it the rest of the time but I think that while my ds isn't at secondary then a week here and there is fair enough).

Wallison Sat 03-Aug-13 18:33:49

The dentist/dr appointment thing is interesting, cocolepew. I always try to get the earliest one so that we can do school/work without much disruption, but the school have asked us to go for mid-morning/mid-afternoon ones so that the kids can get signed in at am/pm registrations and then go off without it affecting attendance. Fuck that. No way am I taking a morning off work (which is what it would mean if the appt was at say 11) for a bloody dental check-up.

Mrsdavidcaruso Sat 03-Aug-13 18:40:57

This has caused anger on the Isle of Wight where I live, its an unemployment blackspot and the largest employer is the tourist trade, the jobs are normally in the season April to October and are minimum wage, after October its back on the dole with the hope that come April (or Easter what ever is sooner) you get taken on again or find another job.

The contract of employment for these states in the main that you cant take personal holidays during your term of employment.

This means that people who see families having a fun time together on Holiday are unable to take THEIR OWN children on a family break unless
they do so in term time, its no use telling a family who are on min wage
for a few months of the year and on the dole the rest of the time that they are going to have to pay a fine - they wont be able to afford it

Sirzy Sat 03-Aug-13 18:53:34

I think for run of the mill appointments (dental checks up, GP appointments etc) it is right for schools to ask for them to be done out of school hours because really there is no need for them to come out of school for it. However, for specialist appointments that simply isn't going to work - DS is starting pre school in Septmember mornings only so I asked for his appointment to be in the afternoon but his consultant only does one clinic a week on a Thursday morning so you have to take whatever appointment you are given then!

sheridand Sat 03-Aug-13 19:08:26

Sirzy: really? We live rurally, our only dentist that takes NHS patients and kids is only open one day every fortnight, during school hours. Likewise it's so difficult to get an appointment at my GP, that my sons asthma management appointment is always one afternoon in term time. My dd had such good attendence last year that her ONLY time off was her dental appointment one afternoon, and for that she lost her ruddy certificate! Arseholes.

However, i'd never take them out of school out of holidays, mainly because a) it's wrong and b) I can't afford holidays abroad anyway. It seems to me that the majority of those who do, are off away to foreign climes, whereas my holidays are camping by the coast in this country. The difference between on and off season is about 50 quid. So it's those who choose to go abroad, and have the money to do that, that are being affected.

If I were able to take my kids on a life changing holiday to the far east, i'd say it was ok to take them out of school. If I was taking them to ibitha then cos it was cheaper, no, not reasonable.

cooeeyonlyme Sat 03-Aug-13 19:09:31

Appointments at my dentists are like gold dust so you grab whatever you can.
My son has Duanne syndrome and needs to see a specialist all the time. The new headmistress now wants to know everything.
I am sick to death of having to explain my family to others, it's not right.
She even asked for a note of the doctor to prove that we weren't skiving.
It's a nanny state.

Sirzy Sat 03-Aug-13 19:12:57

Sheridand - that situation with the dentist is very unusual. Most people have dentists which are open 5 days a week which means for check ups they can be booked for out of school hours.

As most asthma nurses have one asthma clinic a week then of course appointments have to be taken during the clinic times.

Viviennemary Sat 03-Aug-13 19:21:29

I can't see it being enforced if a child's attendance is generally good. But it is a bit annoying that some kids seem to be off for no reason whatsoever other than they don't feel like going to school but yet these draconian measures are enforced on families only wanting to go on holiday.

And if everybody can only go in school holiday time the prices will go up even more. And that's hardly fair on families.

sheridand Sat 03-Aug-13 19:35:02

Nah, our dentist vists out GP surgery once a week for one afternoon only. This is fairly common in rural areas. Likewise, our asthma nurse comes in once a week at a set time. Rurally, she has to cover a huge district, and ours is in school hours. I think a lot of people don't realise what people in very rural areas have to live with. If we don't use our immediate facilities, we need to drive 29 miles.

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