When to holiday

By | Category: Travel rumblings

textbooks or education first hand?

Today, a petition signed by 127,001 people (the number of signatures as at 9am this morning) will be handed to the Department of Education asking that the government reverse its decision to stop parents taking their children out of term time for up to 10 days for holidays.

You might remember that as from 1st of September, parents cannot take their children on holidays during school terms on punishment of up to £120. What has happened is that prices for holidays during half-term have risen. Whether this is due to a shortage of demand (must be since more people would be booking in a specific small time period) or tour operators taking advantage of the situation (who would think…) is hard to say.

Will the government take any notice? Should they?

Probably not is the short answer but there are reasons why they should consider this. Travelling to other places is educational because it does reveal how other nations live. Even little things like attitudes to eating can be vastly different. Things we take for granted, may not exist in other countries. I would strongly suggest that visiting and learning about new countries was more important than some of the time spent in schools at present. And if the schools and Department of Education didn’t think likewise why do they allow school trips in school time? Is a cricket tour to South Africa that much more educational than a safari seeing wildlife in its natural habitat or seeing how people live in the townships or visiting Robben island?

If the educational system was felt to be better than it is then parents might wonder whether to take children out of term but it seems not to be. When employers say that children can’t handle simple maths problems when they join or universities have to almost re-do sixth form teaching because they believe schools don’t deliver students to their standards you do wonder whether a child missing a week of school every year matters.

So a dilemma for parents? It all comes down to which is more valuable – a week in school or a week’s holiday.

But if tour operators and holiday companies raise prices to such a level that the fine of £120 is still cheaper than a holiday during term time, some parents will not hesitate to take advantage of the cheaper holiday

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