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Supreme Court sides with government on term-time holidays

(914 Posts)
Mulledwine1 Thu 06-Apr-17 10:28:47

AIBU to get the popcorn out for the discussion of why this is/is not a great judgment?

WorraLiberty Thu 06-Apr-17 10:30:42

What's your opinion on it?

Mine is that if parents can't afford a particular holiday during term time, they should spend longer saving up, or choose a cheaper holiday.

WorraLiberty Thu 06-Apr-17 10:31:08

Sorry, not during term time.

user1489179512 Thu 06-Apr-17 10:31:55

The right decision.

Sirzy Thu 06-Apr-17 10:32:08


If parents make the choice to take their children out of school then they do so knowing they will most likely have to pay a fine.

Unless ill or other extenuating circumstances children should be in school. A couple of weeks in Florida is not extenuating circumstances

QuiteLikely5 Thu 06-Apr-17 10:33:40

Most schools use their discretion here though.

Of course the court was not going to set a precedent saying it's ok as that makes a mockery of the Existing legislation!

Fitzsimmons Thu 06-Apr-17 10:38:36

I'm in two minds on this. On the one hand, there shouldn't be a free for all on term time holidays because it does impact on the child's education.

On the other hand, there needs to be a bit more compassion. I know of one case where a family who had adopted a child wanted to take the child on a religious pilgrimage to lourdes with the entire extended family. It would have been a lovely way for the newly adopted child to bond with the extended family but it was refused.

I've also been watching the Victoria Derbyshire show and the issue of taking out an over tired child for the day was discussed, and the headteacher interviewed said it was up to the parents to make sure the child got enough sleep. This made me cross as my child is only in preschool and sleeps 11-12 hours a night but by half way through the term he is throughly exhausted. Children are not robots, sometimes they do need rest!

maddiemookins16mum Thu 06-Apr-17 10:41:54

I agree with the decision, it was a holiday and the fine of £60 should have been paid. This man seemed to think he was above the rules.

Mulledwine1 Thu 06-Apr-17 10:42:31

My view is that there are 13 weeks in the year when you can go on holiday, so there's really no need to take time out of school. And there are plenty of options that don't mean expensive package holidays overseas.

BUT headteachers should use the discretion they have where eg someone does not get leave any other time eg Forces/police etc and for special events.

It should not have got to this - common sense should prevail on both sides. I heard that this guy plans to send his dd to private school now. Oh well I guess they get longer holidays.

teenagetantrums Thu 06-Apr-17 10:42:37

My kids are older now but l always took them out for a holiday. God knows how they managed to get into university. I think the whole thing is rediculous. Kids can be sick for weeks. I would go back to the 2weeks authorised holiday if i was in charge l really think a few weeks off makes no difference to outcome of 13 years in school

WorraLiberty Thu 06-Apr-17 10:43:27

It would have been a lovely way for the newly adopted child to bond with the extended family but it was refused.

So would a week in a caravan in Dorset, during the school holidays.

And I honestly mean that. It's exactly what my friends did with their family, when they adopted their little boy.

Sirzy Thu 06-Apr-17 10:44:38

Surely Lourdes is still there during the school holidays?

And parents can still take children out of school for holidays - just don't expect it to be authorised.

WankingMonkey Thu 06-Apr-17 10:45:07

The fine is still worth taking tbh. Still works out cheaper than going in school holidays. the prices are just extortionate in the holidays.

I will be taking my kids away in term time. Until senior school when they really cannot afford to miss lessons and stuff.

WorraLiberty Thu 06-Apr-17 10:46:11

I agree about HT's discretion OP.

Although it can get rather murky, especially if attendance is good for one child but poor for a sibling, or if it's good at the start of the year (when they want to go), but then becomes poor after the holiday itself.

I've worked with lots of HT's in the past and they've all been quite relieved that the decision was taken out of their hands.

Sirzy Thu 06-Apr-17 10:47:57

I think giving head teachers discretion automatically makes the system unfair. My understanding was that holidays for people in armed forces/police would be granted if it was only leave allowed though? (I may be wrong but I am sure that's what a friend in the police told me!)

Purplepicnic Thu 06-Apr-17 10:48:21

Agree with it. There are always going to be special exceptions but heads have the authority to allow those, which is as it should be.

Mrscog Thu 06-Apr-17 10:50:21

The whole thing has got out of hand - if I choose to do things which are bad on a societal level - smoke, drink, etc I expect to pay a price via taxation - term time holidays no different.

I will probably take the kids on a few term time holidays throughout their time at schools and I'm equally happy to pay the fine as the 'punishment'

Purplepicnic Thu 06-Apr-17 10:51:33

l really think a few weeks off makes no difference to outcome of 13 years in school

But you're just talking about your child in isolation. What about the impact on the teacher and therefore rest of class if every child took one or two weeks off at different times throughout the year?

LadyPW Thu 06-Apr-17 10:51:39

Totally agree with it.

Trifleorbust Thu 06-Apr-17 10:51:45

This has actually changed my mind on this issue. I was formerly of the view that, providing a parent was prepared to accept responsibility for negative educational outcomes, they should be able to remove their children, with the caveat that 'regular' attendance (defined as frequent, usual attendance) was still observed. However, I was always aware that parents couldn't really take responsibility, as teachers and schools are held accountable if children don't reach expected standards, so that was never really fair. The judgement harks back to the earlier definition of 'regular'; as in 'everything looks regular' with this bank account, i.e. in order, in accordance with rule. And it cites very clear precedence for this definition being preferred to the other, more common definition. So I am prepared to change my mind and accept that they are legally correct. Parents do not have to accept state education of their children, but if they do want to avail themselves of it, they need to observe the rules.

TeenAndTween Thu 06-Apr-17 10:51:55

There was a piece on radio 4 this morning coming I think from Cornwall, saying how many parents can't go away in the summer as it is their busiest time as so much depends on tourist income.

My thinking was that maybe the LA/Schools in tourist areas could be a bit more innovative with their term dates. Maybe only 4 weeks in the summer with an extra week off out of season in say April and October to allow parents to take holidays then.

Would that work?

Mrscog Thu 06-Apr-17 10:52:33

My big worry though is that this is the kind of populist issue someone like UKIP could use to garner lots of votes in poorer areas.

notcreative23 Thu 06-Apr-17 10:53:14

This is something that confuses me.
I feel that if it's not a regular thing and that the student is in good standing with the school and their grades then it shouldn't be an issue.
The student should be responsible for getting any material they missed and turning in assignments when due while they were away from school.
I don't understand why missing a few days is such a big deal or why it's up to the school?

I'm not from here, I'm from the US so obviously things were different for me. We had a certain number of days we were allowed to miss, and if it went beyond we would be considered truant. If a parent wanted to call you out for any reason it was their decision.

Mulledwine1 Thu 06-Apr-17 10:54:25

I've thought for a while that 6 weeks holiday in the summer is a bit much. My colleague's son gets 2 weeks at May half term which I'd love, and if you brought October half term forward a week or so you could make that two weeks too. The weather in the early part of October is usually pretty decent.

Also, we used to get 3 weeks at Easter before they took a week away to create INSET days.

muttrat Thu 06-Apr-17 10:55:01

I don't even agree with forces children being given time off in term time for holidays! . This routinely happened to one child and her dad was living at home at the time!

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