50 Worcestershire families hit with school holiday fines

Malvern Gazette: Families have been fined for taking children out of school to go on holiday. Families have been fined for taking children out of school to go on holiday.

THERE have been 50 penalty notices for non school attendance issued in Worcestershire since the law on taking children out of school changed in September.

Heads were previously able to grant up to 10 days of leave a year for family holidays in “special circumstances” but can now only grant absence in term time under “exceptional circumstances”.

This has led to an outcry from some parents who say their children are missing out on family holidays because they cannot afford to take them during the school holidays when travel companies often hike up prices.

The issue was in the news again recently when Stewart and Natasha Sutherland, from Telford, Shropshire, were ordered to pay £1,000 in fines and costs for taking their three children on a week-long holiday to the Greek island of Rhodes.

The couple decided to take the holiday without permission saying they had booked it before the new law came into effect.

A spokesman for Worcestershire County Council said: “50 penalty notices for non-school attendance have been issued by Worcestershire County Council on behalf of schools since September 2013.

“We are not currently pursuing anyone for non-payment of fines as they are still within the timescale for making payments.

Related links

“In the event of non-payment of fines, the council will need to start legal proceedings.”

There were 43 prosecutions brought by Worcestershire County Council for 2011/12.

Education-related penalty notices were introduced by the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003, which amended section 444 of the Education Act 1996 to allow parents to be issued with a penalty where they failed to ensure their child of compulsory school age (five to 16) and school-registered regularly attended school.

However, despite the furore over the latest changes, the Department for Education has argued it has given schools more freedom to set their own term dates – potentially meaning parents could book cheaper holidays.

Comments (31)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:07pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Bushi says...

I fly a lot with my job (most weeks) and I'm always amazed at the number of holiday makers at the airport with kids in term time. It'll be interesting to see if this changes this year.

I can sympathise with parents who can only afford to take there kids away in term time, but two weeks can be very important in a child's education, especially if it's every year.

The holiday companies are the villains here.
I fly a lot with my job (most weeks) and I'm always amazed at the number of holiday makers at the airport with kids in term time. It'll be interesting to see if this changes this year. I can sympathise with parents who can only afford to take there kids away in term time, but two weeks can be very important in a child's education, especially if it's every year. The holiday companies are the villains here. Bushi

12:26pm Mon 20 Jan 14

bigboobzbeans says...

it should be illegal for travel agents/company's to up there prices throughout the school holidays its unfair to charge extortionate prices just because of half terms I am guilty of taking my son on holiday in school time its not just for the fact its so expensive but getting time off work in the holidays is also hard because of everyone else booking it off before hand etc ,,I think once a year is acceptable ..they are our children at the end of the day :)
it should be illegal for travel agents/company's to up there prices throughout the school holidays its unfair to charge extortionate prices just because of half terms I am guilty of taking my son on holiday in school time its not just for the fact its so expensive but getting time off work in the holidays is also hard because of everyone else booking it off before hand etc ,,I think once a year is acceptable ..they are our children at the end of the day :) bigboobzbeans

12:28pm Mon 20 Jan 14

walkerno5 says...

"two weeks can be very important in a child's education, especially if it's every year."

Really though? I doubt anyones life outcomes would be adversely affected by taking a holiday.

"The holiday companies are the villains here."

Capitalism and supply and demand is the villain surely.
"two weeks can be very important in a child's education, especially if it's every year." Really though? I doubt anyones life outcomes would be adversely affected by taking a holiday. "The holiday companies are the villains here." Capitalism and supply and demand is the villain surely. walkerno5

1:49pm Mon 20 Jan 14

chrisa2012 says...

One of the best ways to Educate is to be out and about in foreign countries not sat in a classroom learning about dinosaurs!
One of the best ways to Educate is to be out and about in foreign countries not sat in a classroom learning about dinosaurs! chrisa2012

3:31pm Mon 20 Jan 14

iamthebinman says...

I agree but there are thirteen weeks in the year when kids can travel during their holidays. Also, two weeks in Benidorm on a beach with an English kids club is hardly learning about a new country. If you book at the right time you can visit most of major European capitals during holiday time with little cost difference.

Its the beach holidays that go up dramatically and are not essential to a child's learning. There are plenty of great places to visit in this country which are far cheaper than flying abroad.

It costs the tax payer over £100 a week to state educate a child so by taking three kids out for a fortnight is expensive for those who play by the rules.

The holiday companies have some responsibility but often its reduced prices that are offered during term time rather than increases in the holidays. Holiday firms work to very tight margins, employing people on very low wages both at home and on resorts. Bringing down prices during the holidays wouldn`t financially add up.
I agree but there are thirteen weeks in the year when kids can travel during their holidays. Also, two weeks in Benidorm on a beach with an English kids club is hardly learning about a new country. If you book at the right time you can visit most of major European capitals during holiday time with little cost difference. Its the beach holidays that go up dramatically and are not essential to a child's learning. There are plenty of great places to visit in this country which are far cheaper than flying abroad. It costs the tax payer over £100 a week to state educate a child so by taking three kids out for a fortnight is expensive for those who play by the rules. The holiday companies have some responsibility but often its reduced prices that are offered during term time rather than increases in the holidays. Holiday firms work to very tight margins, employing people on very low wages both at home and on resorts. Bringing down prices during the holidays wouldn`t financially add up. iamthebinman

3:52pm Mon 20 Jan 14

induby says...

I have booked my holiday today for one week from the 14/7 to the 21/7 cost me £126, for the following week 21/7 to the 28/7 at the same place, same accommodation was £725,thats a difference of £599! its common sense that this difference in price between term time or out of term means that some children simply wont be able to ever have holidays, how sad is that ? some children will never see the sea, fish in rock pools, make sandcastles, however I bet the people coming up with these rules can afford it.
I have booked my holiday today for one week from the 14/7 to the 21/7 cost me £126, for the following week 21/7 to the 28/7 at the same place, same accommodation was £725,thats a difference of £599! its common sense that this difference in price between term time or out of term means that some children simply wont be able to ever have holidays, how sad is that ? some children will never see the sea, fish in rock pools, make sandcastles, however I bet the people coming up with these rules can afford it. induby

3:58pm Mon 20 Jan 14

sonofbaldwin says...

So following this logic presumably parents can seek compensation for their child's lost education time and time off work/childminding fees when teachers take strike action or announce a "teacher training day" ?
So following this logic presumably parents can seek compensation for their child's lost education time and time off work/childminding fees when teachers take strike action or announce a "teacher training day" ? sonofbaldwin

4:18pm Mon 20 Jan 14

walkerno5 says...

"Also, two weeks in Benidorm on a beach with an English kids club is hardly learning about a new country."

Who gives a fig? There is more to childhood than learning and embracing this is important. How much do private school children learn on skiing trips organised during term time exactly? Why are they not fined?
"Also, two weeks in Benidorm on a beach with an English kids club is hardly learning about a new country." Who gives a fig? There is more to childhood than learning and embracing this is important. How much do private school children learn on skiing trips organised during term time exactly? Why are they not fined? walkerno5

4:42pm Mon 20 Jan 14

iamthebinman says...

walkerno5 wrote:
"Also, two weeks in Benidorm on a beach with an English kids club is hardly learning about a new country."

Who gives a fig? There is more to childhood than learning and embracing this is important. How much do private school children learn on skiing trips organised during term time exactly? Why are they not fined?
Teachers have to plan subjects on a term basis, so if a child misses two weeks due to a holiday, the extra work needed for that child to catch up takes a big effort for the teacher and their assistant. That time could also be spent with the rest of the class but the selfish parents don't think about anyone else.

As for private schools, they are not paid for by the tax payer so I don't 'give a fig' what they do!
[quote][p][bold]walkerno5[/bold] wrote: "Also, two weeks in Benidorm on a beach with an English kids club is hardly learning about a new country." Who gives a fig? There is more to childhood than learning and embracing this is important. How much do private school children learn on skiing trips organised during term time exactly? Why are they not fined?[/p][/quote]Teachers have to plan subjects on a term basis, so if a child misses two weeks due to a holiday, the extra work needed for that child to catch up takes a big effort for the teacher and their assistant. That time could also be spent with the rest of the class but the selfish parents don't think about anyone else. As for private schools, they are not paid for by the tax payer so I don't 'give a fig' what they do! iamthebinman

4:46pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Landy44 says...

I really think this is a case of double standards and heavy handed government...

I'm beginning to get more than a little angry at pontificating head teachers and others spouting vitriole about not taking children out of school (which I agree should be avoided where possible, but sometimes rarely it cannot - those parents doing it every year should be ashamed of themselves, but once in a blue moon does not hurt) when they themselves are equally lax about childrens attendance in classes.

I can think of several schools where children have missed lessons due to trips that could not remotely be claimed to be educational.

Pershore High School (and I suspect others) also has a habbit of yr8 and 9 children missing lessons on a rota basis to perform "Housekeeping" which from what I can tell involves sitting around waiting to deliver messages to members of staff (despite having more than enought administrative staff). Surely this is not good use of our childrens time while attending the schools that WE pay for via our taxes (at a UK average of £10,000 per child per annum)!

So if time in the class room is valuable, which I suspect most agree it is, then ALL classroom time is valuable and schools need to do their bit too!
I really think this is a case of double standards and heavy handed government... I'm beginning to get more than a little angry at pontificating head teachers and others spouting vitriole about not taking children out of school (which I agree should be avoided where possible, but sometimes rarely it cannot - those parents doing it every year should be ashamed of themselves, but once in a blue moon does not hurt) when they themselves are equally lax about childrens attendance in classes. I can think of several schools where children have missed lessons due to trips that could not remotely be claimed to be educational. Pershore High School (and I suspect others) also has a habbit of yr8 and 9 children missing lessons on a rota basis to perform "Housekeeping" which from what I can tell involves sitting around waiting to deliver messages to members of staff (despite having more than enought administrative staff). Surely this is not good use of our childrens time while attending the schools that WE pay for via our taxes (at a UK average of £10,000 per child per annum)! So if time in the class room is valuable, which I suspect most agree it is, then ALL classroom time is valuable and schools need to do their bit too! Landy44

7:36pm Mon 20 Jan 14

New Kid on the Block says...

I remember from my younger days if I missed school it was very difficult to catch up.
You needed to know what had been taught during the time you were absent in order to understand what was being taught when you got back.
Time off during term time is never a good idea.
Others may disagree with me but for what it is worth that is my opinion.
I remember from my younger days if I missed school it was very difficult to catch up. You needed to know what had been taught during the time you were absent in order to understand what was being taught when you got back. Time off during term time is never a good idea. Others may disagree with me but for what it is worth that is my opinion. New Kid on the Block

7:36am Tue 21 Jan 14

Miss Type says...

induby wrote:
I have booked my holiday today for one week from the 14/7 to the 21/7 cost me £126, for the following week 21/7 to the 28/7 at the same place, same accommodation was £725,thats a difference of £599! its common sense that this difference in price between term time or out of term means that some children simply wont be able to ever have holidays, how sad is that ? some children will never see the sea, fish in rock pools, make sandcastles, however I bet the people coming up with these rules can afford it.
Would like to point out that holidays in the UK allow families and children to see the sea, fish in rock pools and make sandcastles. These facilities are also available all year round, not just during school holidays :-)
In reply to sonofbaldwin, the DoE sets the amount of teaching days required per school year, from memory it's about 195, teacher training days are not allowed to eat into this, they are always accounted for outside of the statutory teaching days, and so children are not missing out during a training day. Schools are generally allowed to set the teacher training days themselves, and they must provide the statutory teaching days outside of holidays, training days etc.
Would also just point out that teachers themselves CANNOT take holidays during term time, so they and their families can only go on holiday during the peak times, paying peak prices. Following some of the arguments above, all teacher's children are missing out then?
[quote][p][bold]induby[/bold] wrote: I have booked my holiday today for one week from the 14/7 to the 21/7 cost me £126, for the following week 21/7 to the 28/7 at the same place, same accommodation was £725,thats a difference of £599! its common sense that this difference in price between term time or out of term means that some children simply wont be able to ever have holidays, how sad is that ? some children will never see the sea, fish in rock pools, make sandcastles, however I bet the people coming up with these rules can afford it.[/p][/quote]Would like to point out that holidays in the UK allow families and children to see the sea, fish in rock pools and make sandcastles. These facilities are also available all year round, not just during school holidays :-) In reply to sonofbaldwin, the DoE sets the amount of teaching days required per school year, from memory it's about 195, teacher training days are not allowed to eat into this, they are always accounted for outside of the statutory teaching days, and so children are not missing out during a training day. Schools are generally allowed to set the teacher training days themselves, and they must provide the statutory teaching days outside of holidays, training days etc. Would also just point out that teachers themselves CANNOT take holidays during term time, so they and their families can only go on holiday during the peak times, paying peak prices. Following some of the arguments above, all teacher's children are missing out then? Miss Type

1:28pm Tue 21 Jan 14

Shibdrift says...

Most parents are responsible and caring enough, to ensure that their children make the most of their time at school. The occasional special holiday taken at term time, may not happen if restricted to prime time and the subsequent extortionate costs applied.
WCC would be a lot better off scrapping teacher coffee mornings, sorry, training days and concentrating on ensuring we can at least expect our children to have some grasp of the three "R's" before leaving school. (Read some of the above comments for proof of this shortfall!!)
I can only wince at the ongoing costs of chasing those parents who haven't paid their fines on time!
Yet another fine mess!
Most parents are responsible and caring enough, to ensure that their children make the most of their time at school. The occasional special holiday taken at term time, may not happen if restricted to prime time and the subsequent extortionate costs applied. WCC would be a lot better off scrapping teacher coffee mornings, sorry, training days and concentrating on ensuring we can at least expect our children to have some grasp of the three "R's" before leaving school. (Read some of the above comments for proof of this shortfall!!) I can only wince at the ongoing costs of chasing those parents who haven't paid their fines on time! Yet another fine mess! Shibdrift

3:49pm Tue 21 Jan 14

Bufton Tufton says...

induby wrote:
I have booked my holiday today for one week from the 14/7 to the 21/7 cost me £126, for the following week 21/7 to the 28/7 at the same place, same accommodation was £725,thats a difference of £599! its common sense that this difference in price between term time or out of term means that some children simply wont be able to ever have holidays, how sad is that ? some children will never see the sea, fish in rock pools, make sandcastles, however I bet the people coming up with these rules can afford it.
Malvern is within easy travelling distance of the seaside, both the Welsh and Somerset coasts. Somerset particularly is less than 100 miles away and Dorset not much further. Let them go for the weekend to see the sea, fish in rock pools, and make sandcastles.
[quote][p][bold]induby[/bold] wrote: I have booked my holiday today for one week from the 14/7 to the 21/7 cost me £126, for the following week 21/7 to the 28/7 at the same place, same accommodation was £725,thats a difference of £599! its common sense that this difference in price between term time or out of term means that some children simply wont be able to ever have holidays, how sad is that ? some children will never see the sea, fish in rock pools, make sandcastles, however I bet the people coming up with these rules can afford it.[/p][/quote]Malvern is within easy travelling distance of the seaside, both the Welsh and Somerset coasts. Somerset particularly is less than 100 miles away and Dorset not much further. Let them go for the weekend to see the sea, fish in rock pools, and make sandcastles. Bufton Tufton

4:37pm Tue 21 Jan 14

dwichgirl says...

If it is so important that a child should not miss any education what about the teacher training days when the school is closed to children and a parent has to take a day off work? This happens at least 5 times a year. The teacher's don't seem too bothered about children's education then. Droitwich High School closed recently for the day when they had parents evening.
If it is so important that a child should not miss any education what about the teacher training days when the school is closed to children and a parent has to take a day off work? This happens at least 5 times a year. The teacher's don't seem too bothered about children's education then. Droitwich High School closed recently for the day when they had parents evening. dwichgirl

5:32pm Tue 21 Jan 14

stour67 says...

If they are that bothered making sure children are in school then why do i see so many in the passenger seats of white pick up trucks driving around during the school term,oh yes they would be told to f off.
If they are that bothered making sure children are in school then why do i see so many in the passenger seats of white pick up trucks driving around during the school term,oh yes they would be told to f off. stour67

7:00pm Tue 21 Jan 14

sunnside says...

I dont believe this has anything to do with a child's education or absence i feel it is just another way to take money out of our pockets without calling it another TAX as we are all aware that the harder we work to give our children a better life style there is always someone in higher office paid a salary to work out how to hit the working class and this is their latest scam, its proved
as the council have stopped head teachers giving permission know the council can just dish out fines willy nilly and show no compassion to family life
I dont believe this has anything to do with a child's education or absence i feel it is just another way to take money out of our pockets without calling it another TAX as we are all aware that the harder we work to give our children a better life style there is always someone in higher office paid a salary to work out how to hit the working class and this is their latest scam, its proved as the council have stopped head teachers giving permission know the council can just dish out fines willy nilly and show no compassion to family life sunnside

11:15am Wed 22 Jan 14

kunuty says...

Anyone taking kid on holiday during term time should be find as is the law, people who persist should be jailed, we live in country that has laws either obey them or face the consequence .
Anyone taking kid on holiday during term time should be find as is the law, people who persist should be jailed, we live in country that has laws either obey them or face the consequence . kunuty

11:20am Wed 22 Jan 14

Worcester Lad says...

Is it the children who need a holiday abroad or the parents?
Is it the children who need a holiday abroad or the parents? Worcester Lad

3:28pm Wed 22 Jan 14

dwichgirl says...

kunuty wrote:
Anyone taking kid on holiday during term time should be find as is the law, people who persist should be jailed, we live in country that has laws either obey them or face the consequence .
Our prisons cant cope with the volume of criminals at the moment... how will it cope with more people? If the parents are in prison how will the children get to school... they'll have to have even more time off...
[quote][p][bold]kunuty[/bold] wrote: Anyone taking kid on holiday during term time should be find as is the law, people who persist should be jailed, we live in country that has laws either obey them or face the consequence .[/p][/quote]Our prisons cant cope with the volume of criminals at the moment... how will it cope with more people? If the parents are in prison how will the children get to school... they'll have to have even more time off... dwichgirl

5:48pm Wed 22 Jan 14

sunnside says...

kunuty wrote:
Anyone taking kid on holiday during term time should be find as is the law, people who persist should be jailed, we live in country that has laws either obey them or face the consequence .
sorry i put thumbs up by mistake who ever wrote this either has no children or is a millionaire so money is no object
[quote][p][bold]kunuty[/bold] wrote: Anyone taking kid on holiday during term time should be find as is the law, people who persist should be jailed, we live in country that has laws either obey them or face the consequence .[/p][/quote]sorry i put thumbs up by mistake who ever wrote this either has no children or is a millionaire so money is no object sunnside

9:21pm Wed 22 Jan 14

moonpig says...

Shibdrift wrote:
Most parents are responsible and caring enough, to ensure that their children make the most of their time at school. The occasional special holiday taken at term time, may not happen if restricted to prime time and the subsequent extortionate costs applied.
WCC would be a lot better off scrapping teacher coffee mornings, sorry, training days and concentrating on ensuring we can at least expect our children to have some grasp of the three "R's" before leaving school. (Read some of the above comments for proof of this shortfall!!)
I can only wince at the ongoing costs of chasing those parents who haven't paid their fines on time!
Yet another fine mess!
I am sorry but I don't remember seeing you on any of the teacher training days that I have attended over the last 12 years, all of which have been beneficial. Maybe you would prefer that we didn't keep up to date on first aid qualifications, child safeguarding, how to implement changes that are foisted on us on a regular basis, new ways to help children with learning difficulties etc etc.

If, as some people are claiming, a family holiday is more important than a child's education then I am sure no one will mind if I take a couple of weeks off so that I too can take my children on a cheap package deal.

A law is a law (whether you agree with it or not) and anyone flouting it is not exactly setting a good example to their children. The message they will be getting is that if we don't like the law then we ignore it.
[quote][p][bold]Shibdrift[/bold] wrote: Most parents are responsible and caring enough, to ensure that their children make the most of their time at school. The occasional special holiday taken at term time, may not happen if restricted to prime time and the subsequent extortionate costs applied. WCC would be a lot better off scrapping teacher coffee mornings, sorry, training days and concentrating on ensuring we can at least expect our children to have some grasp of the three "R's" before leaving school. (Read some of the above comments for proof of this shortfall!!) I can only wince at the ongoing costs of chasing those parents who haven't paid their fines on time! Yet another fine mess![/p][/quote]I am sorry but I don't remember seeing you on any of the teacher training days that I have attended over the last 12 years, all of which have been beneficial. Maybe you would prefer that we didn't keep up to date on first aid qualifications, child safeguarding, how to implement changes that are foisted on us on a regular basis, new ways to help children with learning difficulties etc etc. If, as some people are claiming, a family holiday is more important than a child's education then I am sure no one will mind if I take a couple of weeks off so that I too can take my children on a cheap package deal. A law is a law (whether you agree with it or not) and anyone flouting it is not exactly setting a good example to their children. The message they will be getting is that if we don't like the law then we ignore it. moonpig

10:17am Thu 23 Jan 14

MJI says...

Someone screwed up big time last year.

Managed to rent a place in Cornwall at out of term rates, all the local children were still in school, but both of my childrens schools had finished for the summer.
Someone screwed up big time last year. Managed to rent a place in Cornwall at out of term rates, all the local children were still in school, but both of my childrens schools had finished for the summer. MJI

11:10am Thu 23 Jan 14

grannieannie says...

Under these new rules we would not have been able to afford take my three children on holiday. We used to choose a week where they just missed the last couple of days, as in those days they would be tidying up or playing games. Also how do parents manage to get the time off within the school holidays, particularly those in frontline services, police, firemen, NHS? Does this mean our hospitals, police and fire stations are seriously undermanned in July and August, as I'm guessing most of the staff will have school age children? The amount of pressure children and adults alike, are under to perform in this country, they need a break of some sort. We are going backwards towards the Victorian age, except those who live and work in London who have a much better standard of living than the rest of us.
Under these new rules we would not have been able to afford take my three children on holiday. We used to choose a week where they just missed the last couple of days, as in those days they would be tidying up or playing games. Also how do parents manage to get the time off within the school holidays, particularly those in frontline services, police, firemen, NHS? Does this mean our hospitals, police and fire stations are seriously undermanned in July and August, as I'm guessing most of the staff will have school age children? The amount of pressure children and adults alike, are under to perform in this country, they need a break of some sort. We are going backwards towards the Victorian age, except those who live and work in London who have a much better standard of living than the rest of us. grannieannie

6:56pm Thu 23 Jan 14

moonpig says...

I appreciate what you are saying grannieannie but as is quite often pointed out to me when I am told what a cushy job I have there are half term holidays, easter holidays and 6 whole weeks in the summer when people can take the family holiday this should mean no more pressure on any industry than there has ever been. The bottom line is that there are plenty of opportunities for families to spend time together during the holidays that we already have. There is not a God given right to a foreign holiday each year (I certainly can't afford to do it every year and alternate with camping holidays in this country). I also know families who have very highly paid jobs who also take their children out of school. I wonder if the people who are always bashing the education system for lack of results (despite base line literacy levels remaining statistically unchanged for the last 60 years) are the same ones who are quite happy to take 2 weeks out of the school year (and I know some families who do this every year)?
I appreciate what you are saying grannieannie but as is quite often pointed out to me when I am told what a cushy job I have there are half term holidays, easter holidays and 6 whole weeks in the summer when people can take the family holiday this should mean no more pressure on any industry than there has ever been. The bottom line is that there are plenty of opportunities for families to spend time together during the holidays that we already have. There is not a God given right to a foreign holiday each year (I certainly can't afford to do it every year and alternate with camping holidays in this country). I also know families who have very highly paid jobs who also take their children out of school. I wonder if the people who are always bashing the education system for lack of results (despite base line literacy levels remaining statistically unchanged for the last 60 years) are the same ones who are quite happy to take 2 weeks out of the school year (and I know some families who do this every year)? moonpig

11:00pm Thu 23 Jan 14

Old Uncle says...

What are the rules on schooling your children at home? Then you could set your own school days and holidays.
What are the rules on schooling your children at home? Then you could set your own school days and holidays. Old Uncle

1:06pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Marant says...

Since when did having a holiday become a right? If they have become a right, who's paying for mine? The tax burden I pay means I certainly can't afford one every year (once every five if I'm lucky).

I wonder if the people complaining that they can't take their children out of school in term time are the same ones who march into the school and berate the teacher when the child's grades drop?
Since when did having a holiday become a right? If they have become a right, who's paying for mine? The tax burden I pay means I certainly can't afford one every year (once every five if I'm lucky). I wonder if the people complaining that they can't take their children out of school in term time are the same ones who march into the school and berate the teacher when the child's grades drop? Marant

11:13pm Sun 26 Jan 14

Keith B says...

At the age of 11 I took my son to Australia for 6 weeks in our Autumn, the Australian Spring. The time of year was vital for this field trip as it's a time when nature in the Outback is at it's best - from the plants and flowers to the breeding season for many animals and insects. So at the age of 11 my son learnt how to avoid a poisonous snake, how to catch and cook a reptile, what are good wildflowers to make perfumes from and what are the spreading pretty purple weeds that infect the wheat belt. He learnt about great aboriginal art, mining and minerals, dolphins, whales and sharks, what a quokka look like, how close you can get to a pelican and that koalas are not cuddlly and **** on you. He learnt the history of transportation, the setting up of colonies, how the white man nearly exterminated a race of indigenous people. And he attended lessons in an Australian school so far removed from what he normally has in the UK that his understanding of a different educational culture has been a great life lesson in itself.

He went on to obtain a University degree and at 22 now earns a greater salary than either myself or his Mum have ever done, put together.

Education is far more than attending a traditional classroom, (though that too has great value). We told the the school (a state school in Worcestershire) what the trip involved and the educational aspects of it. They recognised the positives in the trip and the very minor impact it would have in his long term in school education. It was a far more enlightened time - but just 11 years ago before the state decided to allow petty local official to start fining everyone for any aspect of non-conformity.
At the age of 11 I took my son to Australia for 6 weeks in our Autumn, the Australian Spring. The time of year was vital for this field trip as it's a time when nature in the Outback is at it's best - from the plants and flowers to the breeding season for many animals and insects. So at the age of 11 my son learnt how to avoid a poisonous snake, how to catch and cook a reptile, what are good wildflowers to make perfumes from and what are the spreading pretty purple weeds that infect the wheat belt. He learnt about great aboriginal art, mining and minerals, dolphins, whales and sharks, what a quokka look like, how close you can get to a pelican and that koalas are not cuddlly and **** on you. He learnt the history of transportation, the setting up of colonies, how the white man nearly exterminated a race of indigenous people. And he attended lessons in an Australian school so far removed from what he normally has in the UK that his understanding of a different educational culture has been a great life lesson in itself. He went on to obtain a University degree and at 22 now earns a greater salary than either myself or his Mum have ever done, put together. Education is far more than attending a traditional classroom, (though that too has great value). We told the the school (a state school in Worcestershire) what the trip involved and the educational aspects of it. They recognised the positives in the trip and the very minor impact it would have in his long term in school education. It was a far more enlightened time - but just 11 years ago before the state decided to allow petty local official to start fining everyone for any aspect of non-conformity. Keith B

2:05pm Sat 1 Feb 14

denon says...

What annoys about the parents who take children in term time is that when they come back they expect there kids to have special tutiton to catchup. This slows down the rest of the class.
What annoys about the parents who take children in term time is that when they come back they expect there kids to have special tutiton to catchup. This slows down the rest of the class. denon

10:18pm Sun 9 Feb 14

jogreathead says...

we are planning on going away in may 2015 just before the half term as my sister is getting married in greece she is getting married on the island we used to live on as children and it is a once in a life time event as it is taking us 3 years to be able to save for the holiday as i am on sick benefits and will not be able to do this again for a very long time. i enquired at my children's school if this would come under there exceptional circumstances and they said no. im not going to miss my sisters wedding which means we are probably going to be fined
we are planning on going away in may 2015 just before the half term as my sister is getting married in greece she is getting married on the island we used to live on as children and it is a once in a life time event as it is taking us 3 years to be able to save for the holiday as i am on sick benefits and will not be able to do this again for a very long time. i enquired at my children's school if this would come under there exceptional circumstances and they said no. im not going to miss my sisters wedding which means we are probably going to be fined jogreathead

10:59pm Thu 13 Feb 14

MrV says...

chrisa2012 wrote:
One of the best ways to Educate is to be out and about in foreign countries not sat in a classroom learning about dinosaurs!
We took our son on holiday during term time when he was younger. We first consulted with the school and they positively encouraged us. It was the last 3 weeks of the summer term and the teacher said they don't do too much at that time of the year and experiencing a foreign culture would be far more beneficial.

If they are going to fine parents it would be interesting to see if the fines are applied consistently across all backgrounds.
[quote][p][bold]chrisa2012[/bold] wrote: One of the best ways to Educate is to be out and about in foreign countries not sat in a classroom learning about dinosaurs![/p][/quote]We took our son on holiday during term time when he was younger. We first consulted with the school and they positively encouraged us. It was the last 3 weeks of the summer term and the teacher said they don't do too much at that time of the year and experiencing a foreign culture would be far more beneficial. If they are going to fine parents it would be interesting to see if the fines are applied consistently across all backgrounds. MrV

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree