Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Back to school - ban on term-time holidays?

I read in the news that the Government is thinking of making it illegal to take your child out of school for a holiday during term time. What? Have politicians got nothing better to do with their time? What about the state of the economy, the problems with the NHS, the financial climate and global warming for goodness sake.

Is it a case of 'we can't control the important things so we'll control the little things instead, so we still feel like we're in, er, control'? It beggars belief.

Whether or not a family takes a term-time holiday is down to the family, the school and lets face it, how much money they have. Obviously it's not ideal, but have you seen the cost of holidays at peak times?

At my daughter's school for example any parent who wants to take their child out of school during term time has to discuss the situation with the head master. He takes into consideration attendance and the school schedule - whether there are exams coming up. If attendance is deemed satisfactory and there are no exams looming, then chances are the request will be granted. He is a sensible and reasonable man with a family of his own who is well aware of the financial pressures on parents, especially at this time.

Parents were informed at the beginning of the year that no time off for holidays would be granted in May for year 6 pupils as that's when they have their SATs, which is only common sense, and I haven't heard of any parent arguing against that.  

Politicians should take note that parents do not take their children out of school to be disruptive, rather they take kids out of school so the whole family can enjoy a holiday together, quality time together so they can relax and enjoy each other's company without the daily stresses and pressures we are all under, all of the time. The alternative for many would be no holiday - going away during school holidays is just too expensive.

Banning families from taking term-time holidays would be counterproductive - part of being a kid is behaving like a kid and where better to do that than on holiday? It's where families bond, create memories the children take into adulthood, enjoy new experiences, laugh and play.

The lucky ones will continue to do that during official school holidays; the rest of us will have to go without. I wonder which group the politicians fall into...

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