According to a headline in the Daily Mail today, working class families are being 'priced out' of holidays by new Government rules banning families from taking term-time breaks.
The paper reports:
"Under new rules introduced by former education secretary Michael Gove in 2013, heads are now only able to grant leave in ‘exceptional circumstances’ and parents can be fined £60 per pupil for taking term time holidays without permission."
It's pretty old news that getting away on a family break is prohibitively expensive during school holidays, but now the National Union of Teachers is arguing that parents should be able to take family holidays without facing costly fines.
The paper quotes a representative from the NUT as saying:
"Conference understands that taking children on holiday is not the same as persistent truancy."
The spokesperson went on to say that poor families are being particularly affected by the rules which prevent families from taking term-time breaks - which irked me somewhat because I'm not convinced this is really an issue of social class.
Even if you CAN afford to take your kids away on holiday during term time, why should you have to pay several times what it might cost outside of the school term dates?
Whenever I've looked into term-time family holidays I've been pretty astounded by the difference in price between a peak-time break and out of season holiday. Even if I had the cash for a family holiday during the summer holidays (which I don't) I'd resent paying over the odds for it.
On the other hand, I'm glad to hear the ruling is being challenged by an organisation that has some clout when it comes to education issues. I love the fact that the NUT sees the value of a family holiday.
Let's just hope the Government catches on sometime soon...