Term-time holidays: parents petition for ban to be lifted

Calls for schoolchildren to be able to take holidays during term time

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Thousands of people have signed a petition demanding that the Government reverses the new ban on children being taken out of school for term-time holidays.

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Until last month, headteachers had the discretion to grant up to ten days’ leave a year for family holidays – but that has now changed. Since September 1, heads can only grant absence outside school holidays in “exceptional” circumstances.

A petition against the ban, started by a parent, now has 126,000 signatures and will be presented to the Department of Education. It demands that “all children who have a good attendance record should be allowed the opportunity to enjoy quality time with their parents on an annual holiday of up to ten days once per year”.

The petition focuses on the fact that the ban “adversely affects” families who can’t afford the high prices charged by travel companies during the school holidays.

It also makes the point that not all businesses can allow their staff to be off on holiday all at the same time. 

We asked for your feedback on the idea on our MadeForMums Twitter page and @BalfePaula said: “The government just need to make it illegal for the travel agencies to increase their prices not focus on parents.”

Craig Langman, the parent who started the petition, told the BBC: “I feel that most MPs in the government had holidays with their parents when they were younger, so why do they think they have the power to stop our children’s generation from enjoying the same lifestyle? Soon only rich kids would be able to go on holiday and that’s unfair on everyone else.”

A DfE spokesperson countered by saying: “If children aren’t in school they lose out on valuable learning time and have to waste more time catching up. That’s why children shouldn’t be taken out of school during term time unless absolutely necessary.”

What do you think? Do please add a comment and share your thoughts!

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