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Budget conscious parents consider it acceptable for children to miss school to get a better deal on a holiday, with 54% of those polled prepared to break the rules over Easter, according to leading travel insurance specialist Holidaysafe.co.uk.
One of the respondents to Holidaysafe’s customer survey stated that they had saved almost £1,000 on a holiday by taking their child out of school two days early. While another parent stated that they had saved £250 by taking their child out of school one day early. With potentially huge savings, many believe taking their children out of school during term time is worthwhile as it outweighs the fines incurred for missing school (a maximum of £60 per pupil per parent if paid within 21 days).
With holiday prices often rising by as much as an additional 100% when the school holidays start, the savings gained from taking one day off at the beginning or end of term can be the difference between a family being able to afford to go abroad, or staying at home.
However, the attitudes of the survey’s respondents also showed that the decision is not solely price-driven, with over a quarter (26%) stating that the choice would be carefully weighed-up against the possible effect to the child’s education based on their age and whether their child was in secondary school, particularly if they are studying for GCSEs or A-levels.
Despite the possible savings, it seems that parents last year were more wary about letting their children miss school for a cheaper holiday. In a report published last month by the Department for Education, there were one million fewer school days lost to term-time holidays in the autumn and spring terms of the 2013/14 academic year when compared to those of 2012/13.
Amber Howard, brand manager of Holidaysafe.co.uk, said: “Everyone enjoys getting a good deal, especially when it comes to going on trips abroad with the family, but it’s important to remember that holidays taken during term time are against law. Hopefully the new powers given to head teachers to change term dates for individual schools will help families, and stop them having to make a choice between their child’s education and paying double for much needed time away.
“With the abolishment of air passenger duty for children under the age of 12 on economy travel, many of our customers are looking to potentially take advantage of the savings that can be made by taking more long-haul flights.
“As always, when going on holiday we recommend that travellers make sure that they purchase a travel insurance policy that meets their needs, whether you’re sightseeing or taking part in extreme sports.”
*Research conducted by Holidaysafe.co.uk surveyed 5,624 customers of which 351 consumers responded.
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