Mum-of-3 Julia Bradbury has not held back in her criticism of travel companies who hike up holiday costs during school breaks, telling the Mail on Sunday the increases are ‘evil’.
Julia, who is mum to son Zephyr, 5, and 1-year-old twin daughters Zena and Xanthe, went so far as to tell other parents to pull their kids out of school during term time to beat to the inflated prices – saying that breaks can be as much of an education as normal lessons.
“Children spend less time outside every day as part of the school curriculum than prisoners do, which is a frightening thought,” she said.
“I think if you the parent have the chance to do something or go somewhere then you should have the right to home-school them, take them on an adventure, which will be educational and eye-opening.”
The outspoken mum went on to say that while mums and dads can be fined for letting their children have unauthorised absences for family breaks, travel firms get away with their unfair pricing.
“We as parents are penalised for taking our children away during holiday periods because travel companies jack up prices so ludicrously,” she raged.
“It is completely unfair. It’s a child tax – it’s cynical and the [travel] industry needs to stop being so evil.”
And she said she would have no qualms in taking her own kids out of class if she couldn’t afford a holiday at any other time:
“If there is a family that cannot afford to go away because prices are four times what they would be in term time, then if I was in their position I would go to my headmaster or headmistress and say ‘I don’t have any other choice, so give me their homework.”
Oooh! Well this is a topic that ALWAYS gets everyone going, right? At the mo, the law states that holidays in term time are at the discretion of the school’s headteacher – and if you go without their say so you can be fined £60, which rises to £120 if not paid after 21 days.
It doesn’t end there though – you could face a penalty of up to £2,500 or even jail. And it’s not just idle threats from local education departments either – they do take action.
Who could forget this family who faced a whopping £1,000 penalty when they booked a get-away in September and took their 3 kids out of school for it?
What do you think?
Do you agree with Julia, that hols can be as much of an education as school, and that families need to get out and about and have time together? And that the real villains are the travel firms who make this so hard financially for many families?
Or do you think you cut your cloak according to your cloth, and if you can’t afford a school holiday break, then you do something else instead? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook.