Anorak News | School’s Out

School’s Out

by | 9th, February 2005

‘YOU can get a lot more than towelling robes and little shower hats from your holidays.

”We learnt that there is such a thing as a free holiday”

Travel is about gaining knowledge. And Geraint Davies, the secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers in Wales, says that pupils can learn more from bunking off class and going on holiday than they can from sitting at their desks.

What with all those exotically Latin-named sexually transmitted diseases and the boning up on the Portuguese for ”Have you any cannabis resin, Pedro?” and the Spanish for ”Does it come with chips?”, the thinking is spot on.

As Mr Davies is heard saying in the Telegraph: ”I believe children, especially young children, can learn a great deal from a holiday, be it in their country or abroad.

Travel broadens the mind and captures the interest of pupils – it can help very much with their education.”

Children would doubtless agree with Mr Davies’s notion and will be keen to impress upon their parents the merits of a city break in Sheffield.

Not that mum and dad need much arm twisting, as the paper calls to mind the recently published annual report of the chief inspector of schools in Wales, one Susan Wright.

She found that absenteeism had increased in primary schools over the past five years, partially because it is far cheaper for parents to take their nippers away in term time than during the official holiday periods.

As the Times reports, last year 40% of parents in the principality said they took their children away during term time.

But rather than stigmatise these parents – who can be fined if they remove their children from school without the headteacher’s permission – Davies wants for there to be provision for pupils to miss up to 10 days schooling a year to holiday with the family.

It seems a sensible idea – which naturally means that the Department of Education hates it.

”A term-time holiday can mean that children miss important school time and course works,” says a spokesman for the Government department.

”Absence should only be used for exceptional reasons.”

Like with little Jake, who has a bad head cold that can only be treated by doctors in St Moritz, and other such worthy excuses…’

Posted: 9th, February 2005 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink