There are many reasons parents choose to take a ‘holiday’ during term time. It could boil down to finance. The difference between a week can be hundreds. It could be because a member of their family, perhaps the child themselves has a disability or complex need which means they can only go to busy places at exceptionally quiet times. The parents may have certain jobs where annual leave is given not requested. School term dates may clash between siblings. There are so many valid reasons why families take their children out of school to go on holiday that it would be impossible to list every scenario. The one consistent factor that hangs over all of their heads is whether or not they will be fined.
Despite the fact that headteachers wring their hands and say they have to unauthorise holidays, this is simply not true. Headteachers are able to authorise absence when it suits them – usually to get around rules about the illegal exclusion of children.
Following the Supreme Court’s ruling against parent Jon Platt earlier this year, Kiwi.com, carried out research into the views of 1000 parents to find out what their general views are when it comes to taking children out of school for term time holidays.
According to their findings, a total of 73 per cent of parents agreed with Jon Platt and 65 per cent said they disagreed with penalties for term-time holidays.
Cost was the biggest issue for parents, with 81 per cent saying the high cost of July and August breaks was the reason they took their children out of school. Of those who did, the average saving made by going during school time was a whopping £686.
Other reasons for term time leave included a need to visit relatives abroad and having no choice with work leave.
A 48 per cent of stressed parents said that they had to compete with other parents at the place they worked for holiday leave during the school holidays.
Though an average of 70 per cent of parents have been fined by their local council for taking a term time holiday, half of those said it wouldn’t stop them doing so again.