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Kimbers

Holidays, School and Kids

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Well, I've done it again! Ignored the government and the school and am taking my kids out of term time for a holiday in less than 3 weeks.

I am interested to hear what your country is like or your experiences in the UK with trying to get your kids out of school. Have you been fined like the law states you can be?

Do you have the same issues as us in the UK? Holiday costs nearly double in School holidays (August) and, to be frank I flatly refuse to be ripped off!

Heres an example: a villa in Cyprus this year. £2700 for 2 weeks for 4 people incl. car, flights and villa. End of June/beginning of July. Same villa in August (only 4 weeks later) £4600!!

Initially I wrote to the school asking them for permission which they refused. I then wrote a reasoning essay about how the hospital will not let my wife have August off and how we didn't manage to take the kids away last year and then eventually promised to take them to the Roman ruins and expand their minds seeing as how they have both chosen History as options next year. Happily this time I got a letter back from the head agreeing.

If she had said no my final option would have worked...."F*** it I'm doing it anyway!"

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Tony, so tempting to start sounding off on another rant....about my favourite subject - teachers (the original one-word oxymoron), so I won't and keep this to the facts.

Like all dealings with a school, check what else is going on at the school at the same time as your requested holiday. For example, this year, the majority of sprog #4's 3rd form (I refuse to call it 'year x or y') are on a trip to disneyland paris. Hardly educational, and with 40 of the year on the trip, the remainder of the year aren't exactly going to be following vital curriculum, are they - so that would get a result.

Alternatively, JFDI like me and pay the fine they levy on you. A couple of hundred quid balanced against the savings of term-time holidays is a no brainer IMHO....

The only consolation I get from the whole ludicrous situation is that the teaching "profession" (quotes to denote sarcasm) have to pay full whack for their extensive holidays. :thumbsup:

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I totally agree with the cost thing etc and also when a group of people are going on holiday together (several without kids), you cant really say “well all you lot have to arrange it round my dates and if you pay double that’s tough”.

So we did it but didn’t ask for permission …more a “this is what we are doing”.

Got a letter back saying it was not allowed under educational guidelines and we were going against policy. Also stated that the kids would be marked down on their annual report as AWOL..

Fine, if that’s the way they want to play it I can live with that and I am not going to argue. From a moral viewpoint, I don’t really care that the school views what I am doing as irresponsible.

I have spent a lot of time sitting with the kids trying to help them understand what some teachers (and I am not suggesting all) have failed to get over to them and for that matter, the whole class.

Where I cant help or don’t have the time because of work commitments I have paid for tutors to help them if required.

I always check with them that their homework is done properly and handed in on time.

On the other hand you see loads of young kids out roaming the streets at 11 o’clock on “school nights” and regularly hear that various kids got punishment exercises because they didn’t bother to hand in their homework or they were late for school.

So, if I am irresponsible because I put the effort I do into their education and up bringing, yet the parents who let their kids do exactly as they please are seen as good role models then like I said, I can live with that and I don’t loose any sleep over it.

Oh and just in case this sounds one sided, my dad was a teacher for over 30 years and my sister was a teacher for 25 years and while neither of them saw taking your kids out of school on a regular basis as a good thing, they did recognise these issues and viewed them with their “sensible head on”

You and your family go and enjoy your holiday Kimbers and leave the bureaucrats with something to gossip over in the staff room.

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I would take their bleatings seriously if only our school didn't lose so many days teacher training, plus when they deliberately CLOSE it to use it as a polling station for some pointless by-election (like they couldn't use a portakabin or something?) All adds up to over a week per year.

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Richard your apathy towards teachers only convinces me you know absolutely nothing about their working regime. But do carry on with your ignorant rantings, it amuses me enough to prevent me from writing out a huge list of the thing Louise has to do when the kids aren't in the classroom. If you think her job starts at 9 and finishes at 3:30 and consistes of 20 weeks holiday, you are massively underestimating what the job entails.

(and don't go moaning to the school about the holiday situation, or closures - it's a government directive. Lobby your MP)

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On the other side of the coin it is massively annoying to purposely plan your holiday during term time to ensure there will not be lots of kids running around and making lots of noise when you want a quiet, adult, beach break to end up with said noise & running around when you're trying to relax! :P

I am not a parent and do not have to pay to take children on holiday so I can take the moral high ground here; I do feel it is better to plan your holiday way in advance (where possible) to get the cheaper deals so you can take your children away during school breaks.

I do not understand how people can complain that children do not get a good enough education and despair at the whopping 5 inset days, then proceed to add an additional 5 -1 0 days of non-education time to the mix.

I know some holidays may include trips to historical/interesting/otherwise educational places but isn't that the sort of things all parents should be doing all of the time anyway?

I was one of six children growing up so holidays were obviously few and far between. As the youngest when it was just me left at home my parents took me out of school for a holiday, I can remember sitting on the beach with text books. I honestly can't say the week out of school done me any favours and if anything I think my parents were selfish to do this. I would have foregone the holiday in favour of my education but they would not. Perhaps the age of the child has some baring. Maybe years 4 - 6 isn't as damaging to years 7 -11 and perhaps more of the education a child receives at junior/infant school can be supplemented at home.

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@Graham,

My apathy isn't directed at the working hours of the people in the classroom - I do know how hard they work from the same (often bitter, in my case) experience as you, so I'll retract 'teachers' as a generic term if that is OK - it is directed at the layer above them and I hope I was pointing out the irony of those that deny the leave having to pay full price.

@Laura, yes - when I was taken out of school, I was given work to do in advance of the trip. I'd have rather gone to school.

On the subject of the fines, I found this earlier clicky - I had no idea that it was such a relatively small amount and seems to be levied a lot less than I'd have suspected.

//R

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I do feel it is better to plan your holiday way in advance (where possible) to get the cheaper deals so you can take your children away during school breaks.

Sorry Laura, you are wrong on that one, i agree with Kimbers on the price hike for the school holidays. Booking a long way in advance would not avoid the differential in cost.

Its not a matter of the holiday companies boosting the prices of a few holidays while the kids are on holiday, there is a VERY steep rise in the cost of all holidays while the kids are off.

This is noticeable to such an extent that we target one week a year to have an overseas break.

As it gets towards summer so the prices rise which is fair enough with the prospect of better weather etc but I have seen them double in some cases the week the school holidays start… the English school holidays that is.

As luck would have it the Scottish schools break for summer one week earlier than the English schools and during that week you will pay a reasonable price.

Edited by GordonMasson

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the children should be in school in term time, if everyone did as you did tony the schools would be in chaos as teachers would not be able to deliver their teaching programs efficiently or as easiliy as they could be, as a bunch of kids at different times would always be absent, teachers would have to be always teaching two groups of kids different things in the same lessons (its even posible to be teahin g more than 2 gps if it descends into a total free for all) .Its hard enough for teachers as it is without parents disrupting the whole classes education program. The reality is choice Tony, there are cheaper ways to have family holidays than what you currently pay for. Its just you dont want to take those choices. If everyone does as you do you might as well right off the summer term or at least accept that a lot less educational progress will be made. All parents are in the same boat as you with cost of holidays in school holidays being more. People who sell holidays need to make enough money during high price season to cover the quiet season where the properties are most likely to be vacant.

I did lots of camping in the uk when I was growing up as thats all we could afford, its just what you do. You cut you cloth to fit your cap and dont screw around with the education system just because you want to holiday where you want to and and what time you want to because it save your wallet. 2.7 grand will buy you a lot of holiday in many places even during school hols.

No tea and sympathy from me

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Don't get me wrong Gordon, I do know no matter how far in advance you book the holidays are always going to be more expensive, supply and demand will always dictate that. I should have worded it better, I do know that if I book a holiday for August 2011 it's going to cost me more than one in August 2012. Plus most holiday companies allow you to pay off your holiday in interest free instalments so I could pay off a little each month much with greater ease my 2012.

Of course, if the cost of taking your kids away is a nightmare there is a great alternative:

durex_1423498c.jpg

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If you think her job starts at 9 and finishes at 3:30 and consistes of 20 weeks holiday, you are massively underestimating what the job entails.

(and don't go moaning to the school about the holiday situation, or closures - it's a government directive. Lobby your MP)

I agree, teachers do more than people think. One of my best mates is a High School Science teacher and during term time he puts more hours in than me. BUT, he does get Huge amounts of holidays and actually gave up his High Paying Civil Engineering job to retrain as a teacher, specifically so he could have alot more holiday time with his young family. I also understand some of that time is taken up marking and sorting the next terms work. I would also say that I could never be a teacher and have the utmost respect for them. Having 4 at home was bad enough, but having 30 at work would kill me :whistle:

I do feel it is better to plan your holiday way in advance (where possible) to get the cheaper deals so you can take your children away during school breaks.

I know some holidays may include trips to historical/interesting/otherwise educational places but isn't that the sort of things all parents should be doing all of the time anyway?

Like Gordon says, It doesn't matter how long in advance you book if its a holiday time. Actually, the cheaper deals are if you book about a week in advance but I try to be more organised than that, having me, my wife and 2 oldest both working, we have to tie in our holidays.

And I would struggle to take my kids to see the amazing stuff in Cyprus/Greece/Italy all the time. It really is like nothing you see here or anywhere you could afford to go more than once a year.

there are cheaper ways to have family holidays than what you currently pay for. Its just you dont want to take those choices. I did lots of camping in the uk when I was growing up as thats all we could afford, its just what you do. You cut you cloth to fit your cap and dont screw around with the education system just because you want to holiday where you want to and and what time you want to because it save your wallet. 2.7 grand will buy you a lot of holiday in many places even during school hols.

There are cheaper ways. Last years 3 days in a B&B in Wales is a good example. But sometimes, especially when you are in the sort of job my wife is, you need to get away and relax from the stress.

I have also (up to 4 years ago and taking on this job) done the August holidays. But holidays are so much more expensive now! Over the last 4 years I have seen identical holidays go up by over £1000! and then the cost increase on top of that makes it even more expensive.

One of the most cost efficient ways to do it with 2 or 4 adult children is a Villa. I was paying £2400 for a 3 star hotel in Spain for 6 of us and thought "there must be something better for all this money". And there was! Still, I should tell you all how expensive and terrible it is as there are always limited numbers :innocent:

And I make absolutely no bones about it. If I can only go on holiday once every 2 years then I will spend more than I would if I was going every year.

To Make a few more points:

Head Teachers can approve up to 10 days a year off for children during term time.

On AVerage Holiday companies increase their pricing by 62% during school holidays

Many jobs mean you can't have holidays during August. Examples are Farmers, People in the Tourist industry and People in my trade as I do nearly 40% of my business on deals I do in August for 1st September registrations (And no. my company has a "No Holiday" policy in February and August so its not a personal choice).

Obviously timing is important. I woulodn't take them out of school in a GCSE year or with important exams.

I do understand its a choice to go on holiday and I think some of you seem to have misunderstood my thread, which was to open a discussion on the pro's and cons. (Not go on a witch hunt on both sides of the arguement).

AND I would also say that, while this is a free country, I have a free choice on where I spend my money and also a say in the education of my kids. That also includes a right to complain about, imho, being ripped off by holiday companies and maybe even the Govt who earn so much in taxes from it.

I'm not an idiot and understand that I shouldn't remove my kids from School during important years (or 2 years as they start their choices next year). However, considering that for the last 2 years they have spent the last 2 weeks of term time, before the summer holidays, on school trips to disneyland paris or watching movies and playing games, I will remove them from school during that time!

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My kids spent every year out of school for their annual holiday - in my business it's common sense to take breaks outside of normal holiday times. On each occasion we took time to go and talk to the teacher/head to explain; on each occasion we were told they didn't approve but would authorise it. The last one was 2 years ago.

All three were encouraged to write journals, and then presented their experiences back to their class. I personally believe 2 weeks a year seeing another part of the planet, mixing with another culture, learning a bit of another language, is ample compensation for losing the equivalent in schooling. One has a degree in child psychology and is a nursery manager; one is a retail manager, and the third is apprenticing in her dad's trade (yay!). I don't think a few extra weeks' tuition would have changed the current status quo.

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But sometimes, especially when you are in the sort of job my wife is, you need to get away and relax from the stress.

I think some of you seem to have misunderstood my thread, which was to open a discussion on the pro's and cons. (Not go on a witch hunt on both sides of the arguement).

difference of opinion = witch hunt, i dont think so, :coffee: stop being over sensitive kimbers

My mum was a nurse for nearly 30 yrs worked the xmas holidays etc so i know where you are coming form but my dad was a teacher and guess what he couldn't take weeks off in term time. So we had to go in school hols without exception, unless my dad wanted firing. So it is possible to do it in school hols every year. We had lots of summer vacations in gites in the south of france or static caravan holidays. Its all possible, some people just make excuses

Sparky, the extra two weeks every year could make a difference i have degree and a PhD, but still cannot control a screwdriver :blink: so its swings and round abouts on that one.

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If only you'd spent a week out of school and at Watford Exotics, learning the fine art of flat blade control. My 17-year-old daughter could have helped. :P

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Teachers may get long hols but they dont get to pick when they take them.

I am quite happy my kids teachers get some extra training days throughout the year . The thought that a teacher finishes their degree and then does 40 odd years teaching without a single days extra training does not fill me with confidence. My youngest has aspergers and the difference between the way the 50 and 25 year old primary school teachers taught him was noticeable. One training day for all the staff on ways to deal with children like my son would have made his time at school with 30% of his teachers more useful.

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To Make a few more points:

Head Teachers can approve up to 10 days a year off for children during term time.

Not strictly true. The governors approve the leave. They may have delegated authority to the headteacher but ultimately the governors are responsible.

So my 2p:

1. Ever thought of being a governor? You can then influence school policy. I am one and I don't even have any kids!!

2. The problem Kimbers originally raised was the cost. This is outside the control of schools. If you feel so strongly then how about taking it up with your MP to investigate the travel industry and profiteering out of the restrictions.

3. The fine may be small but the damage you may be doing to the child's education could be significant. Attendance figures are now used for a variety of purposes. With the growing competition for University places all information concerning prospective students could be used to decide on places being offered. If you take your child out of school without authorisation then it will be counted as unauthorised absence and affect their attendance figures.

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Here in Sunny Avoca Beach, we take our daughter out of school at least once a year for holidays. usually it's for an overseas trip to visit family back in England or in South Africa, and we often extend a 2 week school holiday to 3 weeks simply because of the distances of travel involved. it's not worth taking a trip back to Blighty with an 8 year old for less than 2 weeks + travel time. The local school doesn't seem to mind, in fact they see it as being a good thing for kids to travel and see relatives and often ask them to make a 'presentation' of the trip when they return.

At any other time, if we fancy a quick week away somewhere, 'she has the flu', or 'she has chicken pox' etc. Quite often the missus and I can't take time off during school holidays so it has to be done, one or two weeks or year won't do any harm at this stage in her education.

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Very interesting thread which I can see going pear shaped.

Here's my view:-

I can see both sides of the coin as me and my wife have slightly different opinions.

For me, I don't see the harm taking your kids out of school providing they are achieving their targets and have a good attendance record otherwise. When I was a kid, I had a very poor upbringing. I was never in school, always bunking off or simply just stayed off pretending to be ill. My mum didn't care much as she was an alcoholic since before I was born. In my last year of school I was never in for a full week and I had less than 50% attendance record. I am amazed that I came away with as many O levels as I did, I must have fluked it!

I turned out not too bad and I am pleased to where I am today.

Now we have 1 daughter who in primary school, we took out of school for upto 2 weeks depending on what holidays we had booked. My view is that my family is the most important thing in my life so I want to spend as much time sharing experiences with them. Other than holidays, she was never off ill at school.

My daughter has just started secondary school last September and we had a previous holiday booked. We were due to come back on the Saturday 4rd Sept I think. The kids started back on Monday, which I thought was ok until we realised that first year 7's started on Friday to get used to the new school. As a result we had to cancel on holiday due to my wife strong views about high school and her education. She did have a bit of a point being my daughter's first day of a new school but I didn't see it at the time!

Since then we have taken her out just for 2 days in January to go to Eurodisney. We booked it to leave Friday straight after school and the flight was at 6PM then we spent the weekend plus Monday & Tuesday. I had to do some clever negotiations to get my wife to agree to this.

Since then, my daughter has had one day sick plus another day because she vomitted (school policy if you've been sick) but she still has the highest attendance in her class and was just given an award for ger attendance and punctuation.

So do I think it's right to take your kids out of school given the price hike during holiday season? Yes if your kids are achieving their targets in school and not struggling. I agree that holiday companies do take the piss so I can see Kimbers fustration along with my own. The thing is that I was going on holiday before my daughter came along and the situation was the same then. Prices are always higher in holiday season so we went away in term time so we had a quiet holiday. So this is where I can see Laura's point of view and fully agree with her.

I knew about the prices before my daughter came along and it was my decision to have kids. By having kids, you have to take the crap and responsibility that comes with it. One of the things is by dealing with the holiday situation. Either take it on the chin or take them out of school.

This year, we have two holdays both in the summer holidays. They obviously cost more than term time and they aren't that cheap but I booked both of them a year ago. I've learnt that there are deals out there if you book early just as the brochures come out.

I also think it's right for schools to have these rules because as Alex rightly pointed out, the country's schools would be in chaos and pupils wouldn't get the right education if everyone was taking their kids out of school at any time without limit.

The situation won't change, it's supply and demand just like Xmas, New Year, Valentine's Day etc.

Regards,

David Walters

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Of course another thing touched on by Laura earlier is that its a much nicer experience NOT to go when a million other families with screaming younger kids are there.

We went in July 2 years ago and it was all couples and older families. My boys are 14 now so much prefer the adult experience and enjoy doing what we enjoy.

Like I mentioned before, have you actually seen what the younger kids do in the last few weeks of Term time before the summer holidays?

Sadly, as I can't have time off in August, we won't have a "summer" holiday now for 3 years as the boys will be studying their GCSE's and I do agree that they may miss something important if I take them out at that time.

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