27 October 2014

At last, there’s some common sense being applied to the argument about parents taking their kids out of school during term time.  It’s something I’ve written about before, as I believe that quality time spent with parents and siblings is of equal importance to formal education.

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I’m told that the Local Government Association has called for the ban on term time holidays to be scrapped, which – in my opinion – can only be a good thing. For many parents, the extortionate prices of a family break away during ‘official’ school holiday weeks is prohibitive. Surely, every parent should have the opportunity to share new experiences and explore different places with their kids, not just the ones who can afford the price hikes.

It’s also important to remember that at the end of the day, every parent pays for their children’s education. Whether it’s private or state schooling, as tax payers, it stands to reason that we should be able to make choices and have a say in our kids’ childhood experiences. These are their formative years and, in my opinion, learning and developing isn’t limited to the classroom. Gail and I are competing with our girls using an app to learn French. By turning it into something fun that we can do together, the whole family is learning.

The stories I’ve heard about parents being fined for taking their children to weddings or sadly even funerals make me very cross. School teachers these days get to know the families of the kids in their classroom. They know the complexities of family life and the difficulties that sometimes stop people taking time away with the family at certain times.

Surely, an approach of common sense and flexibility would help us to strike the right balance here, making sure that no child misses out or lags behind, but equally that no child is denied precious family time. Where do you stand on the issue? Whether you’re a parent or a teacher, I’d love to hear your opinion.

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