In September 2013 the government made a change to Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 / 2007 about unauthorized absences from school, basically taking your kids out of school in term time for holidays, here are the basics of the changes and fines imposed:
If parents take their children out of school without first seeking the school’s permission or take their children out after permission has been denied, could receive a penalty notice fine of £60 per parent per child. A family of two parents and two children would receive a fine of £240. You have 21 days to pay the fine. If the fine is not paid within this period the fine doubles to £120 per parent per child and has to be paid within 7 days. Failure to pay the fine at all will result in Magistrates Court where you could be fined up to £1,000.
I have a few views on this, the first is that in any of the school holidays the price of holidays literary double in price, this is two fold one is the holiday company’s etc could be cashing in on this or it is because of supply and demand the more people that want holidays in school holidays the price has to go up. There are groups that are trying to change this so that all year round the price of holidays are the same. I don’t think this will ever happen as going back to supply and demand, this is the same in any area ie retail, if you havr a cap on holiday prices then this could go for any other sector and this will never happen.
Now before we have taken our children out of school in term time as first the money saving is great and the other is because I’m self employed and the one part of my business is working in the summer ie the main six week summer holiday I can’t afford to take time off. With us we go away mainly in the uk going to haven parks, pontins etc as there is entertainment for the kids. Though and this is my main point is that when we go to these places we don’t go to any of the entertainment in the day as we like to explore places around that part of the country we are in as you can see from the places I review on this site HERE. The places we visit are in a way education ie going to castles, stately homes, national trust properties and museums etc. Now the children do enjoy this as most places we go we try to get a quiz sheet so the have to look around at different things. So to me the kids are learning about all different things ie history, culture etc. Now to me this is better than just reading a text book in school.
The one thing though I would never do is take the children out of school for a holiday if there was really important lessons, sat tests and exams going on at that time. But I don’t see the problem about taking them out in term time if nothing major is going on within their curriculum. Also we normally try to get work sheets for them to do while we are away. This is because we do treat a holiday as a break but always try and do things that are interesting. I’m not one of these people that would enjoy a beach holiday where you are not doing anything at all. Which is why we don’t go to the entertainment in the day in haven parks, pontins etc, as we have the evening / night entertainment for us to relax.
So really not sure what imposing fines is going to do as I can still see parents taking their children out of school in term time, this could be for various reasons including the cost, holiday time in the work place, as not all parents will be lucky in being able to book work holiday in just the school holiday time. Ourselves we this year have managed to book holidays with the school holidays but really only short breaks because of the cost and my work commitments. Though if the average family do take the children out of school ie two adults and two children this could be a basic fine of £240, which if you think about it for the average uk holiday this is the difference in cost between holiday time and term time, but if going abroad even with paying the fine would be a lot cheaper to go in term time.
There is a petition to try to overturn this ruling goto HERE for details.
(On a side note these fines are imposed if your child gets excluded from school and is seen out of the house within school times.)
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