YEP Letters: April 8

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Taking kids on holiday in term time: your views

The head of children’s services in Leeds has restated the council’s staunch position against parents taking pupils on holiday during term time after a landmark legal battle. There were 6866 penalty notices dished out in Leeds over this issue in 2015 and 2016. On Thursday five justices at the UK’s highest court unanimously allowed an appeal by education chiefs against an earlier ruling that father Jon Platt had not acted unlawfully by taking his daughter to Disney World when she could have been in class. We asked YEP readers if they would still take their children out of school during term time and here’s what some of them said..

Chris Tallant

Easy, plan a weeks holiday around an inset day. Only four days unauthorised absence and he clearly states action will be taken after five days.

Neil Radbourne

Wouldn’t be a problem if holiday companies didn’t triple the price of flights out of term time.

We have friends and family in the States, it’s usually around £2,000 for me, my wife and two kids to fly to USA. But the same flight, same seats, same meal, same airport in summer holidays is £5,300.

Maybe if local councils and our government got together to stop this price hike then we wouldn’t want or need to take our children out of school. How can it be fair to price people with children out of a holiday when they know full well it’s the only time we can travel?

Linda Barker Haigh

The five training days over the year should be put in a block of five over the term time so people can take kids away. The holiday companies won’t budge.

Bob McDougall

So the council will guarantee to educate children for 100 per cent of the school year will they? First question: training days, these are taken out of the school year and kids miss schooling for these days. Second question: Shortage of qualified teachers, what are the council and the schools going to do about children missing out on their education?

It’s all one way and the council and councillors work for the community, even though they have forgotten that.

Tracy Hudson

Six weeks summer holidays, about time things changed for parents, split up the holidays!

We are now living in the 21st century. Most parents work, now not like the old days where the mummy stayed at home and baked cookies (although I had that privilege ).

Change it for the young people with families.

Allison Rhodes

Take them out during the last week at the end of the year. Would be interesting to see if a fine is sent when all they do is watch DVDs/films in their last lessons.

How bored do the kids get in their last week? 
When they know staff are getting ready to finish, some due to leave, so have lost interest!

Ian Bennett

Bet those of you complaining would be spouting off if teachers and teaching assistants were able to go off on holiday when they wanted! Just pay the fine if you’re desperate to get away when it’s cheaper.

Lesley Jordan

The price hike isn’t actually a price hike, it is the full price. The law of supply and demand. Discounts are offered at times when selling all the rooms/flights are unlikely to all be sold. It should come as no surprise to anyone that holiday companies operate to make money not to offer a public service. They are actually obliged to make as much profit as they can for their shareholders, that’s how business works.

Victoria Wood

Start passing the fines to the holiday companies instead then? Have to pay £5k for one holiday out of school and I’m a single parent. How can you expect us to continue to do that?

It’s wrong, I work extremely hard and want and deserve one holiday a year but it has now got to the point where I’m thinking of taking them out next year. If more time were put into fighting holiday companies for charging stupid amounts of money for holidays in school holidays more people would chose to go then I would assume, I know I would continue.

Richard Rouse

So what they are basically saying is if you can be bothered to appeal the fine and attendance good otherwise you will have no case to answer!

We got fined total of £240 two years ago but still saved over £1,000 on holiday from going in holidays. Kids are still above required standard. Annoying thing is there seems to be inconsistency between schools in close proximity.

I just don’t give any additional funding to school now whatsoever on principle. Absolute nonsense.

Julia Parish

It is easy to say only book for the school holidays but it isn’t always a choice.

Where my other half works it is a struggle to get the holiday because of course all the other employees want to book their holidays in the same six weeks in summer or at Easter etc. The companies can’t have all their employees off at the same time. Family holidays are important. Kids can catch up.

Becky Jackson

Maybe teachers should be fined for teacher training days then? Or school trips? Because my child isn’t learning anything from either of these.

Aren’t there five teacher training days in the academic year? That’s a full holiday if you go Saturday to Saturday.....yes I do take my child on holiday during term time but she has 100 per cent attendance so I think she deserves five rest days same as the teachers do.

Janet Davis

Just more money-making fines hitting the people that can least afford them.

Agree with attendance but I think it’s wrong that parents can be fined for a holiday with their children, if their attendance is normally good. Government and schools dictating how people live. Struggle to afford much needed holidays anyway for most people. Employers squeeze as much work out as possible, you don’t get paid for being ill, can’t be a human being.

Where’s the life/work balance and making a happy productive society? Just making a resentful, tired and stressed society.

Rufus Wisebear

I’ll book my holidays during half term, but will get a written quote for the same holiday during term time, and invoice the council the difference in cost.

Term time holidays (or ‘off peak’ if you will) is significantly cheaper, exactly because hardly anyone goes that time of year due to term time truancy laws.

The reality is if they allowed term time holidays again – like they did when I was a kid – prices would drop hugely thus making it more affordable for all.

Maybe if we hit the council with the bill of the difference in cost, they might rethink how they deal it in the first place, after all, that’s what they’re already doing to us: hitting us in our pockets to enforce the policy.

Caroline Thomas-Smith

Some people really need to wake up and realise who to aim your frustration at.

Fining schools for training days? No, that’s not a day in your child’s education. That’s a day you know about way in advance, a day that was taken off teachers’ holidays a while back.

Fining teachers for going on strike? They already lose a day’s pay. And they are not striking because they want longer in bed, they are doing so for better working conditions. Which ultimately means a better learning environment for your child. Look at what the Government is doing to the education system, making cuts to already stretched resources. Wanting teachers to work longer when they are already exhausted. Asking teachers to then give up holiday time, to teach children you have removed for a holiday. Most do, unpaid. Because most teachers are passionate and want children to do well and succeed. Yes, teachers get lovely holidays, but find me a teacher that does no work during that time. I for one don’t know any. When you select the school your child goes to, you are agreeing their terms of learning. That will include what excellent attendance is (in most cases 95 per cent). Most things are not dictated by the school, it’s the government. Don’t bully teachers, who are already stretched and doing their best when it’s not their fault. It’s not a comparison.

Picture: Robert Viglasky/BBC/PA Wire

YEP Letters: August 17