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Is it right to take time off during school term

Tuesday, 10 April 2018  |  Admin



Spring is on the way, then summer, my favourite time of the year. Flowers are blooming, blossom is starting to appear on the trees, and neighbours are beginning to cut their lawns, much to my husbands dismay. He will soon be sneezing and complaining in only a way a man can do. But seriously the smell of the freshly cut grass just signals, to me at least, spring is here. Although the snow may return for Easter weekend if the weather man is anything to go by. ❄️


So what’s today’s blog about?


Today’s blog is a controversial issue. Is it right to take time out of school for family holidays? I am vice-chair for a governing body in an infant school, so my view should be clear should it not?

I respect the education system and almost everything it stands for, and my children abide by the law of regularly attending school, however there have been times where we as a family we have holidayed in term time. 

Don’t hate me but I truly believe that time as a family is precious. And that there is only so much you can learn from in a classroom, the numerous benefits of seeing the world, when you get one life and one world outweigh the 5 days that might be missed in a classroom, as you might be saving £2000 to get there, but this is just my opinion.


This is a subject close to my heart, next month it will have been twenty years since I spent my 8th birthday in Sydney seeing the opera house, dolphins in their natural habitat and seeing a grandfather whom lived in New Zealand. Because of the distance, my father, rest his soul, believed that we needed a few weeks down there, and he would time it with using some school holidays but back then he had the blessing of the school and their governing body. We were made to work; we read numerous books; we were given school work to complete; and we wrote detailed diaries of our trip. I missed a fair amount of school weeks over the years, yet I came away with good GCSE’s, good A levels and a degree in education. I run my own business with my husband, educating the younger generation, and we work hard.


So what did this teach me?


To work hard for these family moments, you get out of life what you put in. If we want to go on holiday during term time, our children will learn the same. If they don’t put the effort in to better themselves and waste the time we spend together, then they won’t go.

 What educational experiences are there in Disney for arguments sake?

Well actually spending time as a family; primary socialisation; gaining the ability to talk to others; learning social etiquette and how to be a good citizen; and all the other hidden curriculum items that a child is supposed to learn in infant school, should start and continue in the home. Then there is the quality time with a mum and dad and making the memories. I’m not against divorce, but I do believe that marriage takes hard work. It doesn’t work for everyone, for a variety of reasons, and I often wonder if I work harder at my marriage for the sake of my family because of the role models I have and the memories that we made together and the innate desire to pass this on to my children. I also have memories that losing my dad young can not replace, and taught me we have one life and you never know when tomorrow might not come.


Now the argument could be well the school holidays made are for this. BUT for the average jo blogs, you can save up to £2000 for a big family for going one week in the half term and one week either side. This is the difference between being able to go. Now the argument is well the law states regular attendance to school, which our children do, unless they are ill they are there. We also were lucky enough after fertility issues to have 4 wonderful children, despite others not being so lucky, yes our choice to bring them into this world but that is for another time.


 The penalty fines need to be in place to stop truancy and the other issues we see with the education sector and we are happy to pay the fine; it’s cheaper than the holiday cost difference. The only way to make sure families who decide to take children out during term time, is to impose the holiday companies charge similar outside school holidays as to in. Now whilst you might not agree with what I have said, there is a whole other issue with schools and parents, especially those who use schools just as free childcare and send children in poorly infecting the whole school… so a few days off for quality family time shouldn’t it be allowed?