Family Holidays during Term Time – Know the Rules!
Every year the debate about taking children out of school for family holidays rages on, with growing media attention, Government intervention and frustration from both sides fuelling the argument.
Schools and education officials are criticising any parents who try to take their children out of school before the official end of term, saying that parents are putting their children’s education at risk, and wrongly prioritising time in the sun.
However, hardworking families seem to be trapped between the fabled ‘rock and hard place’, as holiday prices are massively inflated during school holiday dates, and are extremely more affordable even one day before the official end of term. Parents who are desperately saving against the recent economic current to take their children on nice holidays are either forced to pay inflated holiday prices, or face a £120 fine if they take their children out of school without official authorisation.
As I recall, the last days of term were filled with movies, reading and general merriment as all the exams were finished and course work handed in, and teachers didn’t feel there was any point starting new curriculums until the next semester. However, this does not matter to schools, and a recent review by the BBC found that Councils across England have issued over 5,000 fines to parents.
If you’re planning a family holiday, make sure you know your rights and the issues you could face;
– If you want to take your child out of school before the end of term you will have to write to the head teacher, asking for their permission. Permission will only be granted in special circumstances, and is up to the discretion of the Head Teacher.
– If you take your child out of school before the end of term, you could be sent a fine of £120. This will be decreased to £60 if you pay within a certain amount of time. If you refuse to pay the fine, you can be given a criminal record.
Please note, Holidaysafe's online prices automatically include a 15% discount against our Customer Service Centre prices.
If you would like to avoid a fine, there are several ways to ensure you still save on your family holiday;
• Don’t leave your booking until the last minute – it may be tempting to hold out for those last minute deals, but in the long run the early bird always catches the worm.
• Become a bargain holiday hunter extraordinaire – research is the key to finding a quality holiday for the right price, compare package deals with independently booked trips, look on comparison sites and see what you can find.
• Be open minded – don’t limit your options by choosing a specific location, look for destinations which meet your holiday criteria and compare different options to find the best place for you and your family.