Are you pulling your primary kids out of school to ski this year ?

(73 Posts)
craftykits Thu 16-Jan-14 20:39:39

We are at a local state primary and are in a minority of 'ski-ing" families at school and in fact the only others have a French parent....

Anyway, I digress ! If you are ski- ing this year are you pulling your kids out ? We made the decision to book a week in March and take the DC's , 5 and 7 out - what have you decided to do ?

EyeOpener Thu 16-Jan-14 23:21:43

Yes, we're taking our DC out of school at the beginning of Feb. don't know whether to toe the line wrt fines next year or not. Got away with it this time because we had booked our holiday long before the announcement that fines would be imposed.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 16-Jan-14 23:24:53

Not this year but we will next year.

Even with fines it is so much cheaper, and the slopes will be quieter, less of a traffic jam up into the Alps etc.

craftykits Fri 17-Jan-14 07:59:54

I suspect the slopes will be pretty busy our half term this year as apparently its the Paris half term too. I do feel guilty but it's one of the only holidays that DH really properly relaxes and I also want the kids to learn early.....there's 6 - 8 weeks of summer hols to choose but the choice of either xmas, half term ( rammed) or easter which can be late with dodgy snow unless you're high up does makeit much more tempting to take them out of school. I'd be interested to see how the ski companies are doing out of school holidays.

marmitecat Fri 17-Jan-14 08:05:27

Our school tacks inset days either side of half term to accommodate skiing families. They make it very clear they expect parents to use the extended half term rather than take a term time holiday.

CrispyFB Fri 17-Jan-14 13:02:52

I agree - all the arguments over "You have 13 weeks in which to take your child on holiday" do not apply if your holiday of choice is a skiing holiday. You are so restricted to basically two weeks, both of which are hideously expensive because it's so limited. And worse, so much busier, which makes it more dangerous and generally unpleasant and harder to get childcare too.

I wouldn't take the DCs in term time for a regular holiday, but for skiing, especially as it is SUCH a different experience and so good for them in terms of self-esteem and physical skills that I'm on the fence about it. Especially if it's not a SATS/exam year and whilst they're still young. I sorely want to take them out of school for all those reasons, but on the other hand I am always a rule-follower. This new rule makes me so cross - a minority of people who took the piss have ruined it for the sensible majority.

LadyGreenTea Fri 17-Jan-14 13:08:43

We're taking our Yr 6s out for 1 week in March. We've done this prob 5 out of 7 primary years. SATs are in May. Our head "can't" authorise term time absence, but will turn a blind eye for those who have general good attendance.

I guess it'll be the last time we go skiing in term time, I've heard that it's harder to catch up in secondary school if they miss days.

Enb76 Fri 17-Jan-14 13:12:02

I'm going in the half term - yes it's expensive! Am wondering about what to do for next year as I'm not going to be able to afford this again. It's my daughter's first time (5) so I wanted something fairly organised but I think next year it's going to have to be all research and cost cutting.

PatriciaHolm Fri 17-Jan-14 13:54:00

No. We went at New Year and will go again as soon as school finishes at Easter (April 4, we have inset for the 5th). The resort we go to is never so jam packed that it's not fun, especially higher up, and I feel very strongly about not taking them out.

We do benefit from free accommodation and the freedom to go and leave when we choose though, which makes it considerably cheaper.

OwlMother Fri 17-Jan-14 14:05:23

No, we're paying the exorbitant half term prices. Don't really see school as a thing to opt out of. We fly out three hours after school finishes!

bideyinn Fri 17-Jan-14 14:10:31

We're taking our p4 child out for a week in March (also his 20 year old brother who is at college) but mainly because I'm celebrating a big birthday that week.

SoonToBeSix Fri 17-Jan-14 14:10:59

My friend did just after New Year, as there was an inset day they missed less than a full week of school so no fine.

DaisyFitz Fri 17-Jan-14 15:07:31

Yep. We're taking ours out for a week in feb. I'm not paying 1/2 term prices. My DD is in Yr 1. She has had 100% for rest of year and for all of Reception (aside from the week we took her skiing last year).

Fine is cheaper than 1/2 term prices.

Off the record, I was told it's better for the school if we 'phone in sick'. But I'm a school governor now and that feels a bit dishonest.

mnistooaddictive Fri 17-Jan-14 15:52:27

Skiing is a luxury not a necessity. If you can't afford to do it I school holidays then you can't go. Amazed so many people are arrogant enough to think the rules don't apply to them.

trixymalixy Fri 17-Jan-14 21:09:44

We're going in the Scottish half term, but we only get 3 days so taking DS out for 2 days. It's very annoying that they don't give us a full week.

We took DS out for a full week last year. The head teacher authorised it.

craftykits Sat 18-Jan-14 15:10:42

I was quite prepared for that comment mnistooaddictive but don't think people who choose this route (me) arrogant nor that the rules don't apply to them (me)- I've weighed up the consequences of the "policy" or "rules" and have decided as an adult, that, in my opinion, my 5 and 8 year olds learning to ski in a less stressful environment where it costs us less means more to me than complying with a policy which, as someone rightly stated above, seems to have been put in place to address an issue with the minority rather than the generally law abiding majority. I'm therefore prepared to flout the rules on this occasion, be very honest with the head about where I'm going to be and will explain to my kids what we're doing and why....

craftykits Sat 18-Jan-14 15:13:15

ps - also meant to add that previously school had a policy of the head being allowed to authorise up to 10 days per year ( I think quite a few schools had this policy ) and you e-mailed/ wrote to the head, she would leave a form and all was fine. We have taken a week since DS started school to go ski-ing out of holiday time but never summer holidays since there are many more weeks to choose from then. ...

UniS Sat 18-Jan-14 20:36:27

yes, just got back. DS has missed a week of year 3.

Their class topic is mountains, they are learning a little french, literacy theme for the week was shape poems, I checked what the maths topics were... so he has done about 15 mins a day of concentrated "school work" plus some mental maths, lots of mountain talk while on lift looking at mountain features and has been exposed to a fair bit of french... oh and has had 2.5 hours ski tuition every day. Which has been good for his resilience as he had to pick him self up after a number of crashes on the skier cross course...

I don't regret taking him out. If we get fined, we will pay it. Its less than his lift pass cost.

newgirl Tue 21-Jan-14 17:48:09

No - we go at Easter - prices very reasonable but you have to go high. Last year fab snow and very quiet.

Tiredemma Tue 21-Jan-14 17:54:58

Easter we plan to go to morzine but will ski in avoriaz if the snow is poor. I would never ski in feb half term even if I could afford it. The slopes are horrendously crowded.

Chocovore Tue 21-Jan-14 21:16:04

We went at Xmas this year but am seriously considering pulling them out for the first week of Jan next year. We have an inset then so it would mean missing 4 days. We have previously taken them out for full weeks with the Head's blessing.

It's not just the cost of half term, it's the crowded pistes and dangers that presents, and nightmare autoroutes. Took us 6hrs to drive off the mountain this time!

2 of my son's classmates have just come back from skiing - one missing 11 days of term.
Now that I wouldn't do!

thonah Wed 22-Jan-14 12:41:15

We are. Our half term is different to most, but we couldn't get the holiday we wanted that week when we booked last May, and wanted to avoid France as it is french hols then.
It was definitely availability and crowded pistes that put us off, rather than cost. I was wary of January as it can be v. cold and it's the first time for our DCs. Our easter holiday doesn't start to mid-april, so that's a bit late.
I don't expect it will be authorised but as they are Y5 and Y1 i don't think it will have a material effect on their educational attainment either!

Johnogroats Mon 27-Jan-14 16:43:52

No. We went over New Year, and are also going second week of April - suspect it will be melty, but I know we're going to have fun!

I don't like Half Term - too busy, but think that New Year and Easter give enough options.

TheArticFunky Mon 27-Jan-14 17:37:38

Skiing is not superior to other holidays. If holidays are banned during term time you should stick to the rules. One families holiday in the Alps should not be viewed more favourably by the LEA than another families Sun offer break at a caravan park in Skegness.

lottieandmia Mon 27-Jan-14 17:40:21

Has this kicked off yet?

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