Monday, 6 February 2017

Why Are Holidays So Expensive In The School Break?

I always used to take the older kids out of school to go on holidays when they were little, it was the only way to make holidays affordable and they learned as much as they did in the classroom. Life skills are just as important as classroom skills. I did get told off and was given disapproving looks as the kids got older and we were taking time off from school. When Tilly went to school, we were faced with the problem of fines being in place if you took your child out of school for a holiday. Even though they can be educational, you still get penalised.

This year I am torn between taking Tilly on holiday at the end of June for a week and having to face the wrath of the Kent County Council or do I play to the rule s and pay extra to go on holiday in the summer holidays? unfortunately for myself and other parent around the UK, we have to put up with a hike in holiday prices in the school holidays. We are almost penalised by the holiday companies for having children and wanting them to have a nice holiday. I have been looking at taking Tilly to Turkey, A country that is rich in history and architecture, has different ways of life than we have and it will be a real learning curve for her. Yet if I book the holiday for the end of June (to coincide with a long weekend) it is over £200 cheaper than if I was to take it in the last week of July (the start of the summer holidays, after that the price just rises and rises).

I have used Thomas Cook as an example and I am not looking to book with these, I am not singling Thomas Cook out, because all UK travel agencies are the same, as are the airlines that hike their prices in the holiday period. But as you can see the same holiday just over four weeks later is going to cost me more money! I can really understand why people still go against their local council and pay the fine, because its cheaper to do this than go in the holidays. It is about time something was done to stop the travel companies from hiking prices in the school holidays, it is unfair and parents that are already struggling with rising costs that they are facing on a daily basis, are now being penalised and pushed into breaking the rules of the school by taking time off when they can afford it. I know its fine for people that make the £60 fine rules, I guess they can afford to go on holidays but its the families on the streets, the ones with the real every day financial struggles that are suffering.

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I have taken some time to speak to some other bloggers and asked their opinions about when they take holidays and how they cope with the price increase in the school holidays.

My parents live abroad. They are my son's only grandparents. To me it's a vital part of my son's childhood that he spends time with his grandparents and to me it's not a holiday. But for flights alone it's at least £500 cheaper if my son misses a few days of school. We just cannot afford to see them in school holidays. It's always been seen as unauthorised absence but but son as almost 100% attendance for the rest of the school year and we always make a poster to show school what he's been up to. Our trios always include an educational element Mary from

I'm an attendance officer in a secondary school and really see it from both sides. I work term time only and I can't have any time off within the school year. So even when A is bigger we will not be able to take him out to go on a holiday in term time even if we wanted too.
If it is only a couple of sessions (a session is half a day) then you will not be fined. If it is over 8 sessions or there have been other periods of absence in a term then you will be put forward for a fine. It isn't something schools take lightly. You have to miss a considerable amount of school to get to that point and if you do it is a serious concern about attendance.
If they are at an age where missing school is detrimental you really shouldn't take them out (Year 6 or 11).
It's holiday companies that need to take the blame for it all for hiking their prices up in school holidays unfortunately! Amy from

As a teacher of 5-11 year olds, I have no qualms about taking my boys out of school. Even when they're older - life is precious and if I can show them a part of the world that they haven't seen before, or let them laugh and make memories with their family that they will cherish forever, then I'll do that. When the government listens to my concerns about the curriculum and provides education for the WHOLE child, and holiday companies stop doubling their prices, I'll worry about my children missing two weeks of term time a little more. Education doesn't begin or end at school - there's a whole world out there to learn from. Sara-Jayne from

I take mine out during school time but only for holidays that I couldn't afford during holiday times. This year my girls will finish for the summer holidays 9 days early as we are going to Florida. This saved me over two thousand pounds. If I get fined I will pay it but they have good attendance the rest of the time so I don't think I should get one. Hopefully I have chosen a time that should not be too disruptive to their studies. Laura at

So how do you feel about fines for families and the increase in holiday prices throughout the school holidays? Are you planning on taking your children out of school for some important family time? 

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