Wednesday, September 06, 2006

You want to go on holiday? You've only just come back...

As the Government wishes to crack down on parents taking their children on holidays during term time, most LEAs instruct schools not to approve requests for holiday absences during the first two weeks of the Autumn term.

The Head therefore has a dilemma.

If they follow these guidelines and refuse permission, then the parents ignore this and the school's unauthorised absence figures go up (which looks bad on the Annual Report) Parents may enjoy their holiday knowing full well that the LEA will not take any action against them.

If they ignore the guidelines as most Heads do and authorise the absence then it simply encourages more parents to do the same.

All in all, a tremendous example of the popular idea that having a rule and writing it down clearly is all that is needed.

13 comments:

olivia said...

Showing my age here, but my parents would never have taken me out of school for a holiday! Funerals, weddings etc at a pinch, but never a holiday. I'm also firmly of the opinion that holidays should be taken well, in the holidays. Kind of old-fashioned, really, these days .... but it would be nice if there were real penalties for parents taking their children out of school for non-essential reasons.

Anonymous said...

Nice thought Olivia, but the Summer holiday price rises make it almost impossible for some families to get away during the holidays. Even those of us who can (just about) afford it baulk at the ridiculous prices.

not kerry packer said...

anonymous: get real. so you don't take your kids abroad. what's more important - their education or two weeks in spain?

Anonymous said...

Who said anything about abroad? Just a week in Cornwall in August costs an arm and a leg.

justacop said...

As a police officer I don't have the luxury of being able to take my leave in the school holidays. I then get told that I can only have them out of school for 10 days a year. I would suggest the LEA's spend a bit more time dealing with families whose kids never turn up at school, and show a bit more interest when I deliver truants back to schools. As for missing days at school, I despair that some many days are wasted by teachers who are supposed to be educating my kids. The last week or two of term time they 'wind down' spending days watching DVD's, thats 14 days wasted, add in service days and trips away. One day last year I had to take a day off work so I could attend school for a 15 minute chat with the teacher and my daughter to discuss goals. That was it for the day, other parents share the same frustration so don't come on here telling me I can't have a holiday with my kids when I want one.

Pepperpot said...

Another example of the corrosive power of league tables. Yet again, the tyranny of published data forces schools to make bad decisions

BTW, Justacop, you have made me think...thankyou

Anonymous said...

justacop

you put it so well,why dont these people realise that not every adult gets 13 weeks a year holiday!

mark said...

Get a grip of yourselves.

If you don't have the time or money for a family holiday in Spain during the school holidays, don't take them.

There's no point talking about truants justacop, while you take your kids on holiday during termtime. At least there's a chance that the parents' of the truants may not know about it. You are willfully causing them to miss it.

What sort of lesson are you teaching them about the value of education? And how do you expect them to behave with respect if they do not value it?

James said...

Unless it's right in the middle of exam-time, I don't see how it does all that much harm, especially if it's the only way the kid's parents can give them a change of scenery that year. They'll probably miss more days than that with the lurgy anyway.

therealmark said...

this topic often causes strong opinion, and I'm with justacop and the others with no name. Holiday prices in school holidays have been inflated over the last 10 years, the travel industry admit it...it's easy money for them as the demand is massive. The additional costs can be 40% more in holiday time, work that out with 3 kids and it's heaps of cash. Mark; I'd love to know what you would suggest if the week in Spain is not affordable, hopefull you'll not advise a UK holiday because they are easily double the price!
Truancy for schools is increased when we take kids out in term time as it is marked as unauthorised absence from (after 10 days, which includes sick days etc.) and that monkeys around with their stats and affects their league position.

Anonymous said...

The basics are this: They are my children, not the government's. If I want to take them for a week's holiday I will. Children learn more and better from their parents anyway, so I would check the curriculum for that week and cover the subjects with the children so they do not feel they are behind when they get back to school. Problem solved. This way I can take advantage of a cheaper, uncrowded holiday. Holidays themselves can be a great educational experience for children anyway.

Quick Home Sale UK said...

Does not have much of a choice! Im not a Education Staff or anything close to that but reading this made me think that hey we are making it difficult...

Quick Home Sale UK said...

I just cant get over this site! How come its not updated anymore?