Why Holidaying During Term Time Is A Bad Idea And How It Can Affect Your Child

With my eldest child due to start school in September, next year is officially my last chance to holiday during term-time.

Given that I haven’t observed school holidays in over 15 years, figuring out my half terms from my Easter breaks isn’t something I’m looking forward to.

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And don’t get me started on the extortionate costs of travelling during the ‘peak’ period.

I know going abroad is not a necessity but even Butlin’s or Center Parcs costs an arm, a leg and a kidney.

As I started planning our annual getaway for 2019 and saw the cost more than double, I began to understand why some parents brave the wrath (and fines) of school and yank their kids out early.

It’s a very tempting idea and one I’m sure many parents have considered, if not done.

Unfortunately for me, I was raised by an educator and thus have a very healthy respect for schools and following their rules.

It has also given me an insight into how attendance affects both schools and children.

So if you are toying with the idea of going on holiday during term-time, here are some things to consider.

Your child will miss something

In some subjects this isn’t critical, but in others it is.

For example, a whole week out of literacy and maths means they will miss key learning objectives.

In maths especially, where learning is developmental and progressive, they will not have a strong foundation to support their on-going learning.

A whole week equates to over 20 hours of learning across several subjects – that’s a lot to catch up on.

>>>teaching time
Schools are affected as much as children (Picture: Liberty Antonia Sadler for Metro.co.uk)

Is a beach holiday really educational?

A common argument used by parents is that the holiday has educational value but it is usually more about wanting to travel and save money.

Where is the educational value in taking your child out of school to lounge on a beach?

If it is truly a cultural or learning experience then you need to take your child to museums and historical sites and encourage them to learn, research and apply any knowledge gained.

What message are you sending?

If you routinely pull your child out of school without permission, you are sending a subliminal message that rules don’t matter.

To combat this, many schools require parents to sign a ‘contract’ that often includes unauthorised absenteeism as a clause.

Timing and ability matter

The last week in December is a popular time for absenteeism.

Yet children miss the opportunity to take part in Christmas activities such as school plays and team games.

Able children are usually bright enough to catch up but if your child is already struggling then the impact of missing school at any stage can be significant.

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It affects the school’s Ofsted rating

Everyone wants their child to go to an ‘outstanding’ school.

Yet if a school were to allow every parent to take a one-week holiday during term-time, it would add up to have a significant impact on the school’s overall attendance figures.

Schools are judged by their average attendance, so if attendance is below the national average, a school will struggle to get a ‘good’, never mind ‘outstanding’ Ofsted report.

You can try and get permission

You can request permission from the headteacher to take your child out of school during term-time and it’s up to them as to how many days your child can miss.

However, if leave is granted, it’s often only in exceptional circumstances.

It’s important to note that an unauthorised absence can lead to a fine of £60, which rises to £120 if you don’t pay within 21 days.

Parents that still haven’t paid the fine after 28 days can be prosecuted.

Is any holiday worth it?

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Source : http://metro.co.uk/2018/01/11/why-holidaying-during-term-time-is-not-a-good-idea-7175731/

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