Anorak News | Term Time

Term Time

by | 8th, March 2006

‘PARENTS planning a family holiday should factor in the cost of the new holiday tax which fines mums and dads for taking their children out of class in term time.

Armani and Jake go on a bird flu field trip

The Times leads with the news that it is illegal to take Armani and Jake away for a week’s sunbathing when they should be watching telly in media studies class.

The High Court has ruled that it is up to the school to decide when children can miss lessons. Parents who press on regardless, in defiance of a school’s refusal to grant time off, face a criminal conviction and fine.

The test case of an unnamed woman from the London borough of Bromley is held up as a sign of what disobedient parents can expect.

The accused had removed her three daughters from their primary school for two holidays between November 2003 and January 2004. They were off school for nine days in total.

For the first trip, the school had refused permission. For the second trip, the mother failed to seek clearance.

And the ruling judges, Mr Justice Sullivan and Lord Justice Auld, weren’t impressed by the mother’s excuses. They were not interested in the woman’s explanation that the first break was to allow the girls time to prepare for a dance contest while the second trip was part of a competition she had won.

And then there were her reasons for failing to ensure her daughters were at school on other occasions – illness, car trouble, traffic jams, the dog eating the car, the children eating the dog etc.

John Dunford, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, is one person who is happy with the ruling. “This will be very helpful to schools and heads who want to put a stop to term-time holidays which interfere with children’s education,” he says.

Quite so. But given the confused and confusing state of school education, couldn’t these trips be seen as practicals?

What about a trip to Disney World counting towards a media studies exam? An Alpine skiing trip forming part of GCSE geography? And don’t get us started on the benefits of a weekend break to Aya Napa towards a pharmacy qualification…’

Posted: 8th, March 2006 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink