Wednesday, 27 August 2014

staying out for the summer

Should parents be fined for taking children out of school during term time?

There's part of me that understands why parents take their children out of school to go on holiday; mainly because the travel and tourism barons hike holiday prices up to extortionate levels and parents feel they are left with out choice of an affordable holiday. And I am sympathetic to the point that, as one mother on BBC Breakfast pointed out, there is little work going on in schools during the last week of the summer term.


Who said that holidays were a necessity? When did we start neglecting things that we need i.e. education for things that we want i.e. a holiday? Yes, holidays are great, they can be educational, open children up to the world and different cultures, learn new skills. But is it our right to go on holiday?

What if everyone did this? Okay some parents may sneak a couple of days at the end of term, but what happens when children are removed from school mid-November before the Christmas rush, and in April pre--Easter, what about a long weekend city break to blow winter cobwebs? What's the odd Friday and Monday here and there? How on earth will our teachers manage to keep track of who has completed what and when? I bet those same parents taking their kids out whilst they are at primary school won't be doing it during their GCSE's - well not all parents are this savvy. What happens then?

Now let's talk about the teachers. What amazed me about this whole argument is that no-one seemed to be talking about the teachers...who are parents! Would the parents taking their children out of school think it's ok that teachers went shimmying off to sunny sands before the end of term with their families to save money? Surely they are in the same boat(!)

When the GeordieLad met me he said goodbye to out of term holidays, and that was before we had kids. It's just the way it is.

With regard to the fines - from what I've heard most of the parents don't seem to care and quickly become repeat offenders. I'm not sure fining really works and I know that's sitting on the fence as I don't have an answer to the problem. News reports focus on parents who don't see the problem with a few days here and there at the start of the term, but consider the role of the school if they have to take each case individually - surely headteachers have more pressing issues to be working on.

Also there is a moral issue here; whether we like it or not these are the rules - we can't pick and choose the rules we want to adhere to. What message are we sending children if we break laws to suit our lifestyle?

                       This post is linked to Post40Bloggers #writingprompt

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