The recession has hit, the credit crunch has bitten, our bank accounts tend to be more often in the red compared to black, whichever way you look at it…times are hard, and what this means is more and more parents are taking their children out of school to be able to afford a family group holiday.
The cost difference between term time holidays and breaks during school holidays will be laughable if it wasn’t so atrocious. A family of four could save well over £1000 on a holiday to Spain, for example, should they travel even several days before the college breaks up.
Holidays in term time, however, are frowned upon by schools, so what are parents supposed to accomplish??? Well legally students are allowed 10 authorized days off school annually, but the child’s school must grant permission in order for them to bring it school holiday clubs, and if families fly off regardless they could be fined anything between £100 and £2,500, making those cheap holidays to Spain, not so cheap after all.
Some holiday companies are attempting to offer incentives for travelling during school holidays, offering 5% discount for instance, and although this can help, it still does not bring the cost as low as term time holidays. Thomson and First Choice also made extra free child places readily available for the 2009 school summer holidays but it’s usually an incident of being quick of the marks to make the most of one of these offers.
Will children miss too much education by taking 10 days off school? Is playing on the beach or by the pool of some Spanish hotel educational? Could it be a necessity? Are parents only thinking of themselves and some slack in the sun, rather than what’s best for the children?
It’s a debate which will re-ignite each year particularly as the summertime holidays falls upon us, a debate which lots of people feel very strongly about, a debate which will perhaps only ever disappear completely when the government outlaws peak and off peak pricing.