To wonder what the new laws regarding school absence will have on the tourist industry?

(101 Posts)
LEMisdisappointed Sat 03-Aug-13 16:05:50

I really don't want this to turn into a debate on the rights and wrongs of taking one's children out of school for holidays(yeah, i know IABU and niave) , I am interested in how it will affect holiday providers, principally here, but also abroad.

At the moment, holiday companies charge a premium for school holidays - i can't see that changing, in fact, i can actually see the prices rising. I do not think that there will be a change in the numbers of folk taking holidays in school holidays as places are already full so there is no incentive for holiday companies to make reductions.

At the moment, people, for various reasons take advantage of the cheaper holidays out of school times. So now, people will either find the extra money for their holidays or not go - maybe camping will see an increase?

How are the holiday companies going to market their non-peak holidays now, considering that a large proportion of families with school age children still take these at the moment? Will they aim at a different market sector? Try and market abroad?

The discounted holidays by the Sun and that "other" paper generally only offer term time breaks, will they no longer offer them?

Will this affect you? what will you do? pay the extra or simply not go?

We went away for one night and will maybe try for another night or two away in a hotel rather than a holiday this year. DP is self employed and this makes it difficult to plan but we would possibly have taken a week in a caravan park during school time before. DD will be in year four in september so we probably wouldnt have chosen to take her out of school anyway so not necessarily affected by the change in law.

Mrsrobertduvall Sun 04-Aug-13 16:41:35

Ds's headteacher has happily authorised 5 days at the beginning of January for the past two years to go to Australia.
He will be yr 10 in September so not realistic now. He was hoping to travel there alone this year so is a bit gutted.

mummymeister Sun 04-Aug-13 16:30:11

I think this new rule will have a number of unexpected consequences. firstly I think holidays in school holiday times will become much more expensive as it is this cost that offsets the out of season losses. second I think more schools will be under pressure to vary their holidays which is great unless you have kids in 2 different schools under different systems. Third - and this is controversial - there is a religious exemption. this I think will cause massive division in some schools. I don't think it covers the " we go back to Pakistan every 2 years for 6 weeks " that someone up thread mentioned but if it did there will be lot of very pissed off parents. Fourth, I will wait and see how it pans out where we are. we are self employed in an industry where we cannot take holidays in school holidays. it therefore means we are either granted an exemption or we never go away as a family again. to me this is a bonkers rule change. either no exceptions religious or otherwise or go back to what we had before with discretion used. have said it many times before but the last 2 weeks before the summer term all 3 of my kids 2 senior one junior did absolutely nothing but quizzes and watch videos. if schools insist my kids stay in school then I am going to start insisting that they actually be taught. as I said up thread this is going to cause a shed load of problems. the schools are dreading it this is why they didn't tell anyone until the end of the summer term when they have known about it for months.

CleverlyConcealed Sun 04-Aug-13 16:30:09

Just to say - the level of fine is written in law and can't be varied school to school. Parents who report large fines have either not paid the penalty warning, are on their 2nd or subsequent offence or are misinterpreting the letter they've received.

School are not having their powers reduced. The discretion to authorise still lies with the head/governors.

OddBoots Sun 04-Aug-13 15:20:00

I don't work in tourism but as I understand it clam the pricing is based on balancing out the loss made out of the school holidays - the pricing in term time is artificially low just to fill the spaces, if the holiday prices were lower then there would be no profit at all.

Karoleann Sun 04-Aug-13 15:16:49

I think local authorities should just stagger their half term weeks. There's no reason why schools in Northumberland need to have the same weeks off in Feb and may as schools in Oxfordshire.

It would make holidays easier to get as there will be less demand for the same weeks and it would also give a boost to the travel industry.

They do a similar thing in France and it works well.

clam Sun 04-Aug-13 15:14:52

Yes, and the prices will just go up then as well.

OddBoots Sun 04-Aug-13 15:03:56

Isn't this happening alongside schools being increasingly allowed to set their own holidays dates?

If the schools move their dates around then more of the year will be school holidays for some schools so will extend the times at which the tourist industries will be at peak.

clam Sun 04-Aug-13 15:02:03

DontmindifIdo is mostly correct, although actually INSET days were originally 'invented' by Kenneth Baker in the Tory gov't of the mid-80s. There was never any understanding that they would all be in the summer holidays. I began teaching in 1986, just before they came in, and they've always been spread across the year, according to the needs of individual schools.

DontmindifIdo Sun 04-Aug-13 14:58:14

oh and for inset days, all the children are off at the same time, so no children are missing any teaching by the school being closed for a day. The lessons that would have been run on that day will be done on another day. If you take your DCs out for 2 weeks they have missed 2 weeks worth of lessons.

DontmindifIdo Sun 04-Aug-13 14:55:26

Inset days - when I was a child at school (in the 80s) we had an extra week's holiday in the summer. The Blair governemnt put in an extra week of training for teachers, that was supposed to be done over the school summer holidays therefore keeping the children's holidays the same length of time, but teachers lose a week of their holiday allowance for training. So far, so acceptable for most. Then logically, because there's only so many trainers to go into schools to run the courses, they couldn't all be on the last week of the school holidays as planned, so the 5 extra days are split over the year and children have one week less summer holidays now than their parents did.

Parents now have to cover the same number of days as parents did a generation back, it's just not all in a block and if you are a teacher you have less paid holiday than you used to.

clam Sun 04-Aug-13 12:58:43

Mine too, which is why I was a bit hmm when I saw the letters.

Sirzy Sun 04-Aug-13 12:51:42

Clam - my understanding of the change in rules is was it was to stop that meaning that no holidays would be authorised by any headteacher taking away any power the schools have to make such decisions as some would authorise everything others nothing.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 04-Aug-13 12:39:49

"And don't get me started on inset days cos I know teachers week claim it's their good given right and that somehow doesn't damage my child's education but me taking a day off somehow manually would."

So very tired of explaining this.

clam Sun 04-Aug-13 12:04:30

What hacks me off (apart from the nature of fines in the first place - I hate this nanny-state micro-managing of adults' lives) is the postcode lottery of these fines. Some people report quite large sums per child per day per adult, yet in my school the HT is still authorising holidays for this coming term, as I've read the letters saying "have a nice time."

One rule for all - if you're going to have the bloody stupid rule in the first place. Using "hard-working decent families" as cash cows is not going to solve the real truancy issue we have in this country.

revealall Sun 04-Aug-13 11:59:22

jamdonut there's the hypocrisy. The government does consider family holidays important because it will let forces parents take them. It doesn't say to them "holidays are not a necessity" does it.

It's not much of "deterrent" IMO because the fine comes after the holiday. Perhaps if you ask for time off and the answer is unauthorised you could be presented with a bill and some might decide it's not worth it.

I have no idea how much of fine I'm going to get for my four days off in September so it stands I'll do it and see what happens. I have no choice about dates.

clam Sun 04-Aug-13 11:27:05

niceguy get your facts right about INSeT days, ffs. Teachers do not claim "they're their God-given right." As someone else has pointed out, they take place on days that the children would already have as holiday. And were taken from teachers' (unpaid) holiday in the first place.

And chocovore, don't give up on the whole idea of skiing in Feb half term. We've done this every year for the last 8 years or so, and manage to do the whole thing (flights/self-catering accom/lift passes/skihire) for around the 3K mark. It's do-able if you shop around and get in early for flights. And we pay adult prices for the kids now too.

Mrsdavidcaruso Sun 04-Aug-13 11:19:30

jamdonut this is the situation on the island where I live, I would imagine that in our schools 50% of the children will have parents who work in the tourist industry. For a lot of these children its not the case of their parents wanting to have a cheaper holiday but just to have days out together as a family

flipchart Sun 04-Aug-13 11:18:53

How will it affect children who go home to Pakistan.

I work in children's services in a Northern city where we have a large population of Asian families. A large number of these go to see their families once every two years for between two and six weeks.
We have one child whose family live in Argentina and they go to visit for the whole of the summer and they take the last three weeks of the umber term off.

How will these type of families be affected.

For what it's worth I believe in the importance of going out to see the family and friends and get to know their roots.

jamdonut Sun 04-Aug-13 10:56:14

As an aside, I am currently on school holidays. My husband can only get the week before I have to go back to work off, because all the staff with children are on their holidays. It is the same all the time. We rarely get holidays off at the same time. We have hit the jackpot this year,however. He has managed to get October half-term off...amazing!!

jamdonut Sun 04-Aug-13 10:51:20

but notyummy, I think your situation is exactly the type that will be given the go ahead, because he is in the forces.That is one of the special cases.

In our area, a seaside resort, many parents can't have time off work in the Summer, because they are needed ! (It is a vicious circle) It was considered that this was a special case ,and therefore, holidays in term time should be granted,to those who work in the town as part of the holiday industry. I am assuming that will not have changed.

notyummy Sun 04-Aug-13 10:24:41

I can see both sides of the picture here. I have many friends who are teachers in both primary and secondary and can see the frustration in trying to manage children's learning if they disappear for a period of time and miss some crucial information. That said, DH is in the military and is currently in Afghanistan for 6-9 months. When he gets back he will have a period of leave and then will be posted to a new job. That leave is unlikely to be when school holidays are. We will be taking a holiday on his return because I think we need to spend some time together as a family. I will risk a fine and I am in general a law abiding citizen who is highly supportive of my daughters education- and of her teachers.

JenaiMorris Sun 04-Aug-13 10:24:12

There aren't enough people who do this to have any impact on prices, surely confused

LEMisdisappointed Sun 04-Aug-13 10:21:50

"the type of families who value cheap holiday over education always will, this wont make any difference to them and i doubt they will see the bigger picture"

Its not about CHEAP holidays though is it, it is for some AFFORDABLE and DOABLE (in terms of those who can't get holiday times off) holidays which i think everyone would agree, whilst they are indeed a luxury and not a necessity, they have an absolute benefit to the whole family. It is not about them being more important than education, its about a sensible balance, and that is that, in the scheme of things, depending on the time of year/stage of education, a week off isn't going to make one iota of difference!

Sleepyhead33 Sun 04-Aug-13 10:17:22

Oh and OFSTed/schools are under pressure to improve attendance because every piece of educational research places a huge correlation between underachievement (for more able children as well as less) and poorer attendance. They aren't just banging on about it for no reason!

Sleepyhead33 Sun 04-Aug-13 10:14:34

Arrggghhhhh Inset days are days the teachers attend training when the children would be on holiday anyway. It is not extra days holiday for the children it is less 'holiday' for teachers!

Also, things like half days aren't a problem in the way a week holiday is becasue all the class are off. In reception/Y1 for example, if a child is off for 2 weeks-that could be an entire phase of learning sounds as well as entire maths units as well as all the social issues around fitting back in with their friendship groups. When the child returns to school they will not be able to move on to the next phase until they have completed the last-building blocks. So a TA will have to take that child out and get them up to speed. During this time the class will be covering new learning so the TA will also have to cover that with the absent child. This is all time that the TA should be supporting the whole class/focus groups but no, they have to give your child loads of support because they've been on holiday. I think it is really selfish to the other 29 children in a class when the parents of one child does this.

The holiday absences probably have slightly less impact the older they are but parents seem to think FSM/KS1 isn't as important when actually a week missed there is an awful lot to catch up on at a young age.

Anyway, sorry for going off topic. I don't imagine the fines will make much of a difference to holiday prices. The types of families who value cheap holidays over education always will, this won't make any difference to them and I doubt they will see the bigger picture.

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