Ban on term time holidays should be overturned, say council leaders

Tough new rules on term-time holidays must be overturned, leaving headteachers to determine whether or not to permit pupils to be taken out of college, council leaders have stated.

The modifications, which mean school leaders can only grant permission for journeys in “exceptional circumstances”, fail to recognise that household life is not easy and there may be times when mother and father want to get kids out of lessons for reputable motives, mentioned the Neighborhood Government Association (LGA).

It is calling for headteachers to be permitted to use their common sense when approving trips, permitting mothers and fathers to take their youngsters away from school throughout term time with out risking a fine.

At current, mothers and fathers who consider youngsters out of school without permission could encounter a £60 fine per child, rising to £120 if it is not paid inside 21 days. Those who fail to pay out can face prosecution, with a optimum fine if convicted of £2,500 or a jail sentence of up to three months.

The guidelines on term-time trips had been launched final year to avert young children from falling behind and requiring extra aid from teachers with function they had missed. But opponents have claimed some families had been unable to, or could not afford to, take breaks during school holidays.

Previously, college leaders could grant up to ten days’ depart a year for family holidays in specific situations.

The LGA stated that whilst it supported the government’s view that each child ought to be in school every day, it believed there were events the place parents’ requests must be considered – such as religious festivals, weddings, funerals or a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”.

It additional that mother and father seeking to go abroad throughout school holidays could find that expenses were double that of travelling throughout term time, as travel firms ramped up rates.

As an illustration, the LGA claimed that the price for a family members of 4 to go to Cyprus this half-term – which for numerous colleges is subsequent week – is close to £510 per individual, but drops to £119 per person two weeks later on.

And prolonged-haul flights to Orlando, Florida, have been around £181 much more high-priced per particular person flying in half-phrase than two weeks later, it located.

The LGA also mentioned that bans on term-time breaks were notably hard on these functioning in professions such as the NHS, police and armed forces.

Councillor David Simmonds, chairman of the LGA’s kids and youthful people board, explained: “Ensuring every single kid has a great school attendance is of paramount concern for every person doing work with children.

“However, frequent sense have to prevail in cases when mums and dads ask to get their kid out of school in the course of phrase time if there is a reputable purpose.

“An outright ban is as well simplistic, and doesn’t recognise that family life and situations aren’t often so black and white.

“We shouldn’t have a system exactly where family holidays are just for the rich or indeed young children aren’t capable to take time off in light of household bereavement. There requirements to be flexibility inside of the program.”

But Brian Lightman, common secretary of the Association of School and University Leaders, mentioned: “There is previously the flexibility to enable young children to miss college for ‘exceptional circumstances’ such as a family members wedding or once-in-a-lifetime possibility, but these should be extraordinary and unusual.

“We sympathise with parents’ plight, but the way to deal with this issue is to tackle the vacation companies that charge extortionate charges, not to permit far more children to miss out on school.

“Missing school puts a youngster at a disadvantage and indicates that teachers want to commit extra time creating positive the youngster is back up to velocity, which impacts on the complete class.”

Figures published earlier this month showed that two.5m school days had been misplaced simply because of household holidays in the autumn and spring terms of 2013/14, each those authorised by the school and unauthorised, down .8m from 3.3m the 12 months ahead of.

Government officials advised that this drop was down to the new guidelines on term-time holidays.

Leave a Reply