Family holidays during term time help push unauthorised school absences to record high

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Family holidays during term time help push unauthorised school absences to record high Empty Family holidays during term time help push unauthorised school absences to record high

Post by eddie on Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:39 pm

“The real problem is holiday pricing. Neither parents nor schools set the prices of holidays.”

Unauthorised pupil absences have soared to a record high thanks to parents taking children out of school for – despite a sharp rise in the number of families hit with fines.

More than one in six pupils (17.6 per cent) missed at least half a day of lessons in 2017-18 for a holiday, up from 16.9 per cent the previous year, Department for Education (DfE)

That helped push the unauthorised absence rate in all schools in England to 1.4 per cent, its highest since records began.

Term-time holidays taken without permission have been increasing over the past decade, as parents defy the threat of fines to avoid higher prices for travel and accommodation during school breaks.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said requests for time off during term time could only be authorised in exceptional circumstances.

But he added: “However, the system of fines is clearly too blunt an instrument and in many cases it drives a wedge between schools and families.

“The real problem is holiday pricing. Neither parents nor schools set the prices of holidays.”

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Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said: “Ensuring every child has a good school attendance is of paramount concern for everyone working with children, including councils.

“Parents and carers have a legal responsibility to make sure children attend school regularly while schools will monitor attendance and raise any concerns with councils.

“If required, councils will support headteachers to take any action they feel necessary to address any issues with pupil attendance, including fining parents for unauthorised absences.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/parents-pupil-absences-school-term-time-holiday-fine-a8833646.html

This has actually affected me when I took my daughter to Texas last year. The price of an airline ticket jumped significantly during holiday times so I took her just before they broke up for their summer holidays to reduce the costs. Paying a £60 fine seemed better by comparison.

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Post by Raggamuffin on Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:11 pm

The price isn't going up during school holidays, it's going down at other times because of less demand. If people keep on taking their children on holiday during term time, it'll all end up the same price.

Don't people want their children to have a good education? If you can't afford holidays during term time, either don't have children or don't go on holiday.

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Post by Cass on Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:30 pm

We only ever took the boys out of school in case of exceptional circumstances like a family funeral (twice) or wedding (once). Granted back in the day there were no fines, but the boys had excellent attendance and it was arranged that they would do work while away.

For holidays? No.

I get the point about about the costs rising but that’s how it has always been. We always knew it would be higher costs during the holidays and factored that into our budget.

Interestingly enough, when we had to go to Scotland last year at the last minute, Senior’s college medical course only allowed him 2 days and if he missed anymore he would’ve been kicked off the course and no guarantee that he would be accepted to the intake just behind them. And he was paying for this. The same applies to his partner who is in nursing school and when she has the baby in July, she has to go back almost straight away. She cannot afford to not graduate in December.

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