Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features

MNHQ have commented on this thread

Petitions and activism

DofE to remove 10 day holiday absence option during term time

71 replies

jmspbro · 12/06/2013 21:28

OP posts:

mummytime · 14/06/2013 07:33

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.


jollyhappy · 14/06/2013 08:57

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 Surely, it is completely outdated.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.


jollyhappy · 14/06/2013 08:59

xylem8 I had not even thought about that. What do people do if the holidays do not coincide??


AbbyR1973 · 14/06/2013 09:32

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.


MadeOfStarDust · 14/06/2013 10:18

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 · 14/06/2013 11:54

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AbbyR1973 · 14/06/2013 11:55

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.


AbbyR1973 · 14/06/2013 12:02

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.


poshme · 14/06/2013 12:09

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.


MadeOfStarDust · 14/06/2013 12:14

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...


AbbyR1973 · 14/06/2013 12:41

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 Grin


MadeOfStarDust · 14/06/2013 12:49

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.


AbbyR1973 · 14/06/2013 12:57

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.


prh47bridge · 14/06/2013 13:28

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.


5madthings · 14/06/2013 13:42

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!


lljkk · 14/06/2013 13:56

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.


HelenMumsnet · 14/06/2013 17:54

Hello. This should, strictly speaking, be in our Petitions topic, so we're going to move it there now.


mrz · 15/06/2013 07:05

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


hopingforbest · 19/06/2013 18:49

how many days - in an average state primary - makes a child fall below 95.5?


mrz · 19/06/2013 19:18



Jayne266 · 19/06/2013 21:01


Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?