A big discussion point for all parents with school age children is do you take your children out of school for a holiday? We all have our own personal views and with the recent case in the High Courts the subject of holidays and school is a hot topic. Blogger and Teacher, Stacie at Parker & Me wanted to give her view.
You may have seen in the news recently that a father won his case against paying a £120 fine issued for taking his daughter out of school during term-time, to go on a family holiday.
Lots of people have spoken up about this and it has encouraged debate over term-time vs. school break holidays, whether there is really much of a difference in cost and if parents should be able to remove their children from education, for the sake of a holiday.
As a parent and teacher myself, I wanted to share my views.
My husband and I wanted to go on holiday with our 18 month old this year. Being a teacher means I can only go on holiday during school holidays. There was nearly a £1,000 difference in cost between going term-time and during the school break. In my opinion, this is absolutely disgusting.
We both have well paid careers. Although I work part-time we earn a comfortable living wage per month. Yet, we cannot afford to go abroad this year due to the extortionate rates from travel companies, simply for travelling during the school holidays.
Why should myself, my husband and my son be penalised because we are governed by school terms? Why should we pay nearly double, for the same holiday, one week apart? How do other families possibly afford it, without saving for years in advance?
There are so many benefits of taking children on holiday. Learning that there is more to life than what is on their doorstep. Educating them about different cultures, food and lifestyles. Seeing the wonders of the world and historical landmarks. Nurturing a passion for exploring, learning and developing a sense of purpose and ambition. Spending precious time together as a family, which is sometimes hard with the increasing demands of work and school. Creating memories that last a lifetime – as a 29 year old I still remember my childhood holidays fondly.
I am not for one minute suggesting that pupils be taken out of school multiple times a year to go on holiday. The reality is that most families holiday just once a year. I am also not suggesting that those children with poor attendance and progress be taken out of education regularly, but would once in a while really hurt that much?
I truly believe that a family holiday would only work to improve a young person’s attitude and lifestyle. We place so much pressure on students (and teachers) now that more and more young people are suffering with mental health problems. A break away from the stress and strain, some fresh air and sunshine works wonders for the soul. Would it not improve a student’s access to the curriculum too? Or change their perception of life? Are children not enlightened and educated whilst abroad or discovering parts of the UK?
In my opinion, if a student has a good work ethic, a solid attendance record and is making sound progress then a holiday can only serve to benefit them further. Stop penalising parents for trying to further educate their children, show them the world and make precious memories. Life is far too short.
About Parker & Me
Parker & Me is a UK parenting, lifestyle and book blog. Stacie is 29 and a first time mum, sharing her parenting experience, tips, tricks and love of all things books and stationery. Currently working as a secondary school teacher she doesn’t really have a social life, drinks far too much Diet Coke and enjoys attempting to take instagram-worthy photos! We’d love you to pop over and say hi! www.parkerandme.co.uk