Debate in Parlement re Travel industry price increase in school holiday

(47 Posts)
bigpigsmum Sat 22-Feb-14 17:33:14

Hi all, not a lot of time but if you're incensed at the impossible price increases levied on parents to book vacations during the school holiday to prevent them being fined you need to badger your local MP ASAP:

Please email your MP, asking them to turn up and telling them your reasons for wanting the changes to the school attendance policy reversed.

Here's an email I've received explaining it all:

John Hemming MP has managed to get a Backbench debate in Parliament next Monday - 24th Feb - at 4.30pm.

Technically the debate is about the travel industry charging more in holiday times because despite the 203,000 signatures on this petition, John couldn't get cross party support for a debate on whether it's fine for parents to use our own discretion as to when its OK to take our kids out of school.

So now the challenge is to make sure that the debate is well-attended and relevant to what we want: the reversal of the change to school attendance policy.

But most of all, we need MPs to turn up! Backbench business debates often have very few attendees. The more MPs who turn up, the more seriously the issue will be taken. For that, we need your help.

We've sent MPs a briefing document but it will only get read if MPs think they need to go to the debate and they will only do that if their constituents tell them to.

So please, email your MP now, ask them to attend the debate and tell him or her your reasons for wanting the changes reversed. We can draw MPs attention to some of the points we've put below, but it is your individual stories which bring these to life and give MPs a wider understanding of what the rules mean in real life.

Here are some of the reasons signatories to the petition have for wanting the changes in school attendance policy reversed:

Give children a childhood

Consideration for children with Special Educational Needs

Building family relationships in a 24*7 working society

Work commitments / Business prevent holidays out of term

Small businesses, few employees, all wanting time off together

The society of depressed teenagers we are breeding

Educating a child extends far beyond GCSE results or classroom learning

Family crisis, parental illness, funerals, divorce even

Family occasions

Diverse society with families abroad

School-parental relationship

Pupil-school relationship

Cost - it is not about a “cheap” holiday – to some families – it is the difference between, going or not. It is not about “saving” money, rather it is about “affording” - after possibly saving up for it, for say, 3 years

Impact on tourism related businesses in the UK

It won't help persistent absentees, they have less time of for family holidays than regular attendees

Rule out of all proportion to the impact: only 5% of absences due to family holiday

Waste of local authority & magistrates limited resources

Government shouldn't be making law like this, with no meaningful evidence & no consultation
Good luck

HoratiaDrelincourt Sat 22-Feb-14 17:37:50

Technically it's about holiday companies offering discounts in term time, not price hikes during school holidays.

There is absolutely no way legislation can sort this issue.

Roseformeplease Sat 22-Feb-14 17:42:07

Your children should be getting and education and you should not be disrupting that by taking them out of school. You do NOT have the right to a foreign (or any) holiday and holiday companies are businesses, just like any other. The government should not be interfering in the market. If you don't want to pay high prices, and nor does anyone else, then prices will drop ( basic economics).

Children out of class is hugely disruptive to their learning, and the learning of those around them. Children in other countries do not wander off to Tenerife or Euro Disney, they are busy learning Maths and Science so they can get good jobs.

flatpackhamster Sat 22-Feb-14 19:03:26

If the government passes legislation to ban cut price term time holidays, all that will happen is that everyone will be poorer. What a dog-in-the-manger attitude.

Joules68 Sat 22-Feb-14 19:06:16

Ha ha john hemming?? Seriously?

And anyway, holidays are normal prices during school hols and just discounted during term time due to not many bookings....it's a pointless, groundless idea.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 22-Feb-14 19:09:25

Horatia is right, I think. What some people describe as a "price hike" in school holidays is really the contrast with the often fairly heavy discount in term time.

lljkk Sat 22-Feb-14 19:09:39

I'm so pleased so many of us on MN keep publicising the fact that this debate is coming up. It's peculiar that X-party support is available for the impossible (telling holiday industry that they must ignore the laws of supply & demand), and yet no support is available for the very possible (telling the govt. that Headteachers should be left to decide when hols in term time might be reasonable). Why is that? Does no one want to take on the coalitions's crazy ideas? I don't like the travel industry being made into villains here when we full well know who the truly inflexible zealots are.
confused

onedev Sat 22-Feb-14 19:30:41

Agree completely with Rose - it's simple economics re supply & demand & the govt needs to stay out of it. I can't believe MPs are actually getting involved - what a waste of time & money.

Also think it's ridiculous that everyone feels entitled to a foreign holiday - I grew up having only been on 2 foreign holidays with my parents (rest of the time it was camping / day trips). Really don't understand the entitlement at all.

GretaWolfcastle Sat 22-Feb-14 19:35:05

parliament

back to school OP?

I support the current policy - sick of parents fucking off and then asking for work to be set! Cheeky sods

Paintyfingers Sat 22-Feb-14 19:41:10

I agree with your post, op.

meditrina Sat 22-Feb-14 19:41:51

" yet no support is available for the very possible (telling the govt. that Headteachers should be left to decide when hols in term time might be reasonable). "

No support is required for this. HT's have discretion to authorise absences - even for holidays - if the ircumstances are exceptional. NAHT has spoken very clearly in this, and in support of the current rules (weren't they one of the main voices pushing for the redraft?)

Weak HTs, who hide behind a bogeyman, blame everyone else for their own decision not to use the discretion clearly given to them in law.

lljkk Sat 22-Feb-14 19:43:49

WHY do people assume that this is about people wanting foreign package holidays?! Even campsite or Haven prices soar in the school hols.

So I did a quick mental run down of 8 families whose annual holiday habits I know well.
1) Never go on holiday
2) Never go on holiday
3) Caravan Feb half term & usually again for a week in August
4) Week at Butlins in term time
5) Week at Butlins (or Haven) in term time
6) Cottage at budget prices somewhere in remote Scotland, late springtime but away from Easter
7) Wealthy family who would take last 3 weeks of December term time to go to their 2nd home in Florida, sometimes flew 1st class, just wanted long spell of winter warmth to justify the transatlantic cost, cost otherwise not really the issue
8) (us) family with a foreign-born parent, long list of reasons why summer visits are untenable, cost just small part of that, like to go for 2-3 weeks in term time every 4 years, and not after 2014...

I don't know what local culture is like for other folk. But I'm not seeing a stereotype of "Brits who must go get fried in the sun" in this picture.

Roseformeplease Sat 22-Feb-14 22:19:38

But at my school I have pupils missing for skiing, Tenerife, Week in New York, pop concert. Normal state school (Scotland) and these new rules don't apply but I wish they did. That way I would not be constantly having to catch pupils up in preparation for vital exams that their own parents don't seem to care much about.

Mumraathenoisylion Sat 22-Feb-14 22:27:02

Is teaching not your job, Rosie?

I think it's ridiculous that as parents we are told what we can and can't do with our children. They need a break too you know.

HoratiaDrelincourt Sun 23-Feb-14 08:09:45

Yes, and they get at least a week roughly every seven weeks.

I think teachers are there to teach the class the syllabus, not provide private catch-up tutoring.

LCHammer Sun 23-Feb-14 08:19:58

Ridiculous idea, OP.

Mumraathenoisylion Sun 23-Feb-14 08:26:40

And I think parents are there to be parents.

Janorisa Sun 23-Feb-14 08:37:58

Parents shouldn't expect the teacher to spend extra time with their child because they chose to takem out of school to go on holiday...

Janorisa Sun 23-Feb-14 08:38:53

Take them

I cannot type on this Kindle...

Mumraathenoisylion Sun 23-Feb-14 08:50:33

Ok well couldn't the teacher just hand over some work to be done on holiday?

monopoly123 Sun 23-Feb-14 08:51:14

Thanks for the heads-up.
I've just emailed my MP to let him know I support the unauthorised absence system and companies being allowed to decide what to charge for a service without government interference.

PenelopePitstops Sun 23-Feb-14 08:55:16

'couldn't the teacher just hand over some work'

I fucking love this line. Any idea how much extra work this is, obviously not!!

Although as a teacher, I disagree with the new rules. As long as you don't rely on the teacher to catch your child up, go on as many holidays as you like.

vestandknickers Sun 23-Feb-14 08:57:40

I shall be emailing my MP to let them know I agree with the system currently in place. I happen to think my children's education is important and that it is perfectly possible to fit holidays/seeing family and other activities into school holidays.

Mumraathenoisylion Sun 23-Feb-14 08:59:40

I do know how much work it is actually, often lesson plans are only slightly adapted from previous years in the state system so a brief overview of what the child will be studying would be enough for a parent to keep the child up to date.

I am relating this to primary rather than secondary.

JeanSeberg Sun 23-Feb-14 09:01:20

I would support a campaign to prevent this being discussed in parliament and let businesses get on with it.

If everyone feels so strongly, set up your own holiday company and set your pricing levels at the same rate year round or drop them in the school holidays.

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