Term time absences change attacked

A group claims new rules will mean families are unable to afford overseas trips during peak holiday season

A group claims new rules will mean families are unable to afford overseas trips during peak holiday season

First published in News

CAMPAIGNERS have accused the Government of "interfering" over a crack down on parents taking children out of school during term time.

Members of the group Parents Want a Say said they would seek a judicial review challenging a decision by the Department for Education to remove the discretion of headteachers in England to approve term time absences in "special" c ircumstances.

Natalie Bamford, of Parents Want A Say, told ITV's Good Morning Britain (GMB): "We just feel that they don't trust us and our decisions to take our children out of school when the need arises and we feel that they are interfering too much."

"We are not sacrificing anything, if anything, we are adding to our children's education. I feel that travel is an added bonus to their education, I don't feel that I am taking away from their education at all," she added.

Under the new rules which came into force in September, headteachers can only approve absences in term time for "exceptional" circumstances.

Parents who do not have permission to take a child out of school during term time face a fine of £60.

If they do not pay, parents could be prosecuted with a fine of up to £2,500, a community order or a jail sentence of up to three months. A court can also impose a Parenting Order.

Parents Want a Say has claimed that the new rules will mean families are unable to afford overseas trips during peak holiday season. The group has added that workers in key professions, including people in the NHS and the police, face restrictions on when they can take leave.

But Kate Ivens, of the Campaign for Real Education, defended the new rules.

She recommended parents take cheaper holidays if they feel they cannot afford an overseas holiday during the school holidays.

"When I was a child we holidayed in the British Isles, it is a great place to have a holiday actually. Why do you have to go abroad to give you children a highly educational holiday? It really doesn't add up," she told GMB.

"What is most important is that your children must get their education."

She added: "If parents take children out of school, other than for an extremely important reason like granny is dying somewhere, or it is a religious holiday or something, they are compromising children's education. I think you have to keep your end of the bargain."

A DfE spokesman said: " We recognise the challenges facing parents to fit holidays around their jobs and that's why we are giving all schools the flexibility to set their own term times so they can change term dates to ones that work for their pupils and families.

"Many schools are already taking advantage of this, like the David Young Academy in Leeds, which runs a seven-term year.

"Evidence shows allowing pupils to regularly miss school can be hugely detrimental to a child's education.

"The most recent full-year figures show we are making progress, with 130,000 fewer pupils regularly missing school under this government. We have also increased fines for truancy and encouraged schools to address the problem earlier."

Comments (4)

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12:18am Tue 27 May 14

Mike0408 says...

''Why do you have to go abroad to give you children a highly educational holiday? It really doesn't add up," she told GMB.''

why do school need to take children out on ''educational'' school trips?? the answer is, to educate them on the present and past (like a museum). going aboard is educating them about different counties, how different other counties are to ours and how they work and about races and religion and different currency. it might not sound like much and you can easily say '' they can just be told about it in class, but i am sure statistics will show that doing things physically educates the mind better that just being told about it.

when i was in school we has school trips to Alton towers for good behavior, even a trip to Alton towers can be educational, i know it might not seem like it right away, but if you think, kids have spending money, they educate them self's to manage their own money, they are educating them selfs by socializing with other people or other kids of the school that they dont usually get to see in school, it is also a bonding session between the pupils and teachers.

even small things that aren't that noticeable can be educational.
''Why do you have to go abroad to give you children a highly educational holiday? It really doesn't add up," she told GMB.'' why do school need to take children out on ''educational'' school trips?? the answer is, to educate them on the present and past (like a museum). going aboard is educating them about different counties, how different other counties are to ours and how they work and about races and religion and different currency. it might not sound like much and you can easily say '' they can just be told about it in class, but i am sure statistics will show that doing things physically educates the mind better that just being told about it. when i was in school we has school trips to Alton towers for good behavior, even a trip to Alton towers can be educational, i know it might not seem like it right away, but if you think, kids have spending money, they educate them self's to manage their own money, they are educating them selfs by socializing with other people or other kids of the school that they dont usually get to see in school, it is also a bonding session between the pupils and teachers. even small things that aren't that noticeable can be educational. Mike0408
  • Score: 1

8:44am Tue 27 May 14

bodlondon says...

You could of course simply remove your child from school altogether - they don't have to be there
You could of course simply remove your child from school altogether - they don't have to be there bodlondon
  • Score: 2

12:45pm Tue 27 May 14

-trigg- says...

She recommended parents take cheaper holidays if they feel they cannot afford an overseas holiday during the school holidays.

"When I was a child we holidayed in the British Isles, it is a great place to have a holiday actually


There speaks someone who has never had a problem finding money to take their child on holiday. British holiday parks are well aware of the term time restrictions in place and hike their prices to such a level that it is often cheaper to holiday abroad than to stay in Britain.
[quote]She recommended parents take cheaper holidays if they feel they cannot afford an overseas holiday during the school holidays. "When I was a child we holidayed in the British Isles, it is a great place to have a holiday actually[/quote] There speaks someone who has never had a problem finding money to take their child on holiday. British holiday parks are well aware of the term time restrictions in place and hike their prices to such a level that it is often cheaper to holiday abroad than to stay in Britain. -trigg-
  • Score: 3

4:14pm Tue 27 May 14

varteg1 says...

bodlondon wrote:
You could of course simply remove your child from school altogether - they don't have to be there
I think you will find they certainly DO have to be there.
The only way kids can escape the British system is to go live abroad.


1996 Education Act of the UK

Section 7 of the 1996 Education Act states:

"The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him to receive efficient full-time education suitable-
(a) to his age, ability and aptitude, and
(b) to any special educational needs he may have,

either by regular attendance at school or otherwise."


That clear enough?
[quote][p][bold]bodlondon[/bold] wrote: You could of course simply remove your child from school altogether - they don't have to be there[/p][/quote]I think you will find they certainly DO have to be there. The only way kids can escape the British system is to go live abroad. 1996 Education Act of the UK Section 7 of the 1996 Education Act states: "The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him to receive efficient full-time education suitable- (a) to his age, ability and aptitude, and (b) to any special educational needs he may have, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise." That clear enough? varteg1
  • Score: 1

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