Gransnet forums


Taking children out of school

(156 Posts)
Missfoodlove Sun 06-Oct-19 10:06:48

AIBU? I’m currently on holiday at a very beautiful resort in Greece.
You would honestly think UK schools had broken up seeing the number of school age children here.
Many are in luxury suites with their own pool, the cost for a family of four for this week would be around 7 thousand pounds.
I really feel for the teachers who then have to put in extra time to help these people pils catch up.

NotSpaghetti Mon 04-Nov-19 14:37:58

Re the FHA in the

post above, please read the “impact report” and the “why holidays” sections (under About Us)

NotSpaghetti Mon 04-Nov-19 14:14:22

Can I just raise the point of those in our services who generally have proscribed holidays. I don’t know many people in the Army (for example) but they have no choice when their vacation comes along.

Re where people holiday - I think that’s really not the point. Are people cross because the families are abroad?

And finally, for some families (even, and perhaps most importantly those struggling most) a few days away from the every-day worries and environment is a godsend. It can make a family feel whole again and set them on a new, more positive trajectory.
Maybe those feeling negative about school-time holidays might like to read about the Family Holiday Association - I’ve referred families to this charity and the difference in them before and after even a couple of days away had to be seen to be believed:

GrandmaMoira Sun 03-Nov-19 21:12:29

I used to take my children out of school for a one week holiday most years as my DH had fixed holidays so it wasn't about money - we only had a cheap holiday. Back then no-one queried this. It seems that many more workers now have difficulties booking annual leave in holiday time - I don't know what the answer is.
There are occasions when schools should be flexible. When my DH died the GCs' school complained about them attending the funeral.

Davidhs Sun 03-Nov-19 20:24:26

My youngest daughter is taking her brood skiing before Christmas quite properly she asked permission from the school to miss the last 3 days of term and they agreed without any hassle .
So schools are helpful if it is reasonable and I’m shure a request mid term would have been questioned.

jura2 Sun 03-Nov-19 20:07:25

Daughter 2 missed a whole term- as she went to school abroad. We discussed this at length with the Head and teachers - they all agree she would benefit hugely from the exchange, and if was bright and motivated enough - with parents who could help in all key subjects on return. It worked brilliantly and has been fully bilingual since. A very different proposition- and her choice entirely.

Tedber Sun 03-Nov-19 20:07:23

How long ago though trisher? Lots more demands on teachers these days. Stricter curriculum, more targets. But I agree some schools have more problems with truancy than others.

jura2 Sun 03-Nov-19 20:04:53

It depends at what level too. Some subjects at secondary level are very difficult to catch up on- especially for those with any special needs. It also requires a lot of effort on the teacher's part to spend extra time devoted to one child to help with catch up. Often had to give up lunch or after-school time for this. Never minded when a child had been ill or missed for family emergencies. I was also asked to spend time preparing work for children to take on holiday- to make sure they did not fall behind. Again, took a lot of time and effort- and often on return the reply 'ah well, didn't do it- too busy' ...

trisher Sun 03-Nov-19 20:00:01

I never saw a problem with children who were taken off on holiday by their parents when I was teaching. These were usually the caring close families with good attendance otherwise and lots of parental input. The work they missed in the two weeks they were away was easily caught up on. There was a much bigger problem with absentees who had regular days and weeks off. There is a problem with attendance at school but it's virtually impossible to tackle and the holiday rule is just irrelevant. The children who are off on a Friday because mum takes them shopping, or Monday because they just sleep in after the weekend or any other days when they or their parents decide it's not worth going to school. These parents really don't care if they are prosecuted and they frequently stay out of touble by sending the child to school more for short periods. Then they revert to skipping again. These are the children whose education suffers.

Tedber Sun 03-Nov-19 19:31:08

Ha ha mind has been 'boggling' a LOT reading this thread lol

Tedber Sun 03-Nov-19 19:29:41

There will always be extenuating circumstances ayse, one which only the people concerned know is true or not! Most are not true!

I can't count the amount of families I've come across abroad who seem to think they are being clever by 'lying' about their circumstances, sticking two fingers up to the system in effect and saying "So what? my kids are learning more here than at school" Actual fact, is they are sitting round a pool most of the day while their adults are taking advantage of the all inclusive!

Not saying ALL (before anyone comes on saying they teach their kids about history etc) but a lot do! So...with that in mind how exactly DO schools monitor this? Other than a complete, across the board, ban on holidays in term time with fines?

I am not a teacher but I know for a fact that fitting everything on the curriculum in is difficult even with full attendance. They have a hard job bringing kids up to speed when they have been ill. How do they have time to arrange workloads for kids that are absent for holidays? A 'relaxed' approach? Phew...the mind boggles. When this generation eventually leave and start work will they then expect 'a relaxed approach' to their jobs? Phew...mind boggles.

PamelaJ1 Sun 03-Nov-19 19:05:47

Jura , of course, you are right education is of great value.
Those of us whose children benefit from a state education may not always value it as much if it’s ‘free’. If you are making a sacrifice then you are going to make sure you get your money’s worth! That’s all I’m saying.

ayse Sun 03-Nov-19 18:37:41

Generally I think it better for children to be in school in term time but I can sympathise with those who take their children abroad out of season. The cost for holidays when schools are off are very expensive.

Just at the moment my son in law and two of the three children are in Australia visiting family as their Nana is declining fast and it might be their last opportunity to see her. The school was contacted regarding this but no response was received granting this travel. The children’s parents are now expecting a fine for unauthorised absence for the week after this half term holiday.

I would like to see a little more of a relaxed approach, taking into account school attendance and personal circumstances. The children could also be given some school work to take with them to minimise the disruption to their education.

jura2 Sun 03-Nov-19 18:37:15

Shouldn't all value education highly- whether they pay, or the Tax Payers (us).

Tedber, I agree discretion from the Head, etc- is totally unfair and potentially really divisive and unjust. Yes you can go becasue you are well educated and will ensure litte Jonny will be taught about x, y, z during the trip and be made to order for dinner in French ... but no, you can't go to Benidorm or Disneyland, because you have no idea how to educate' the children during the experience. It would also discriminate against families with children with learning difficulties and special needs - where extra teachers, support ad lessons are organised, at huge cost, and where missing time will mean weeks and months of catching up all over again.

PamelaJ1 Sun 03-Nov-19 18:26:47

Jura, surely if you have children at private school it’s either because
A. You have a lot of money and don’t need to economise
B. You have sacrificed a lot to send them and value the education highly.
Therefore you would be less likely to take them out of school for holidays? There is also the fact that most, if not, public schools have longer holidays.

Tedber Sun 03-Nov-19 18:08:25

Can't imagine any schools acceding to 3 months out of school nowadays GrannyGravy. Obviously your family does not come into the same categories of not being able to afford holidays in school holidays?

Just imagine IF every child had 3 months off school as and when it suited? No...I can't even begin to understand it. Even from the child's point of view I would not have liked to have missed so much school even in my day.

GrannyGravy13 Sun 03-Nov-19 17:56:00

Have taken all our children away in term time over the years (private and state schools).
Never in an "exam" term (SATS, 11+, GCSE's or A levels), parents know their children and their capabilities, good parents liaise with schools/teachers.
We have had two three month "adventures" in Australia over the Christmas period, schools were fine, children were fine and exam results were flipping good!!

GrandmaJan Sun 03-Nov-19 17:25:04

Where I live it’s half term at the moment

Tedber Sun 03-Nov-19 17:15:27

I don’t agree with taking children out of school in term time mainly because if it’s the rules it’s the rules! No matter how much you disagree with the rules, what does it teach the children? Rules are only rules so long as you agree with them?

I can see the difficulties now compared to my time at school. Back in the day not many parents took children out of school because they didn’t have the advantage of affordable holidays anywhere, never mind Abroad or the prices increase in school holidays! Times have changed and I accept that but
If you think about it logically, leaving aside the increase in prices in school holidays which is not the schools fault (supply and demand) and childhood illnesses then there would be no months with a full class!

Using discretion isn’t fair either as you can bet there will be an increase of family weddings, dying relatives etc. so how does a school use this fairly to all without a ban for all?

My own children refuse to take their children out of school for holidays. They think it is more important to be at school and I feel same even if it means we can’t have regular holidays abroad. We still have fun in the holidays.

NotSpaghetti Sun 03-Nov-19 15:01:10

We are not in Scotland but it is school holidays here too.

Alternatively, as someone else pointed out, they could be home-educated. It's a good time to go in my opinion as not so expensive and still reasonably warm. If there are lots of families they may still be home-educated. There are regularly groups of home-ed families holidaying together. There was a big group went off to Northern France once the schools went back, for example.

Resurgam123 Sun 03-Nov-19 14:53:56

Sorry my big sister was 5 yrs older and in a different school.

Resurgam123 Sun 03-Nov-19 14:51:09

I can understand why schools do not like childen being out of school for no good reason .
The teachers cannot take holidays out of school in school time.
From that point of view it is just not fair.

When I was first in scondary school 1960 ish, my father was a teacher in a secondary tech school and took me and my older sister (about 5 yrs) took a holiday as that school had a slightly later term.

As it happpened the effect left me struggling to catch up with getting school text books and all sorts of niggling things with staff getting it quite annoyed.
I would not do that.

harrigran Sun 03-Nov-19 13:39:58

My DD once had a few days off from her private school because she was going to stay with her aunt and uncle in Germany. Head was happy to let her as DD went to school where BIL taught and it helped with her conversational German.

jura2 Sun 03-Nov-19 12:21:40

Same in France - each Department is in one of 3 groups- and holidays staggered.

I'd love to know the statistics for private schools. In my experience, I have never known any parent who have kids at private school, to take holidays term-time.

grannysyb Sun 03-Nov-19 12:16:03

In Germany the summer school holidays are staggered to avoid overloading the infrastructure. It's a pity we don't do that here, it would make life easier for a lot of people. ,My grandchildren have been taken out of school at the end of term, when nothing much happens, it hasn't done them any harm. Some people can't take holidays at peak times, I don't see why they should suffer, as gillybob said family time is very important.

MissAdventure Sun 03-Nov-19 11:44:39

It would have been nice if any of my grandsons teachers stuck around long enough to take holidays.

I think, at least in this area, the days are long gone when teachers were with the same children for even a term.