Not many of you will have missed the whole term time holiday saga that has been plastered across the press lately, what with the Jon Platt case coming to a conclusion recently. However amongst a lot of parents, teachers and non parents this is still a huge debate.
Is it right to take your child out school for a holiday during term time?
For me there are a number of factors to consider, and there should be no cut and paste rule for all. Previous attendance should be a big part of that decision and how each child is coping at school and whether they are reaching expected levels at the time another.
I feel that head teachers should be given back some of that power to be able to assess each child as a individual and then decide themselves as to whether holiday should be granted. Not a government or council systems with fining parents at the front of their minds making the decisions.
This year I will be taking James out of school for a term time holiday and do I feel guilty... nope not one bit. I'm prepared for a fine if that does happen (and quite frankly a £60 fine doesn't seem half as bad as some of the holiday company price hikes for school holiday breaks!) but that's another rant all together!.
We will be going on a holiday that quite frankly I couldn't afford to do in school holidays, we will be doing it as a family and spending some quality family time together away from work, school and everything else that comes with our hectic daily routines. We will be exploring, learning and going on adventures. We will see things we can't see in our home town and learn things he can't find sat behind a desk. James will spend time learning about nature, climbing, swimming and being in a new environment where the opportunity to learn about things not taught in school will be plenty. At the end of our holiday I will be the parent there to help him catch up and I have already asked for work sheets which the school have happily provided so he won't be behind when he gets back!
Learning comes in all different forms any teacher can tell you that, some children thrive working in a notebook whilst others need a more hands on experience. Of course I don't expect my child's teacher to be able to offer so many experiences and cater to ever childs individual needs. She works her very best to keep a class of 30 (very different) children happy, learning and educated within the school setting. However I also don't expect to be told no when I am able to offer these things for my own child!
James has a perfect attendance record, he is learning above the expected standard for all subjects and a super confident reader. Of course I have school to thank for that but (without blowing my own trumpet) I would like to think that some of that also came from me, his parent. The person who reads with him every night, the person who practises his spelling with him every week, the person who helps him complete homework sheets and times tables. The person who makes decisions based on the well being and the best choices for my son since the day he was born!
I'm the parent who taught him to count, to draw, to speak and even walk before he even bag school. I would like to think the government might want to give me a little credit that I am able to make the best choices for my child when it comes to taking him on holiday. This system in my mind is flawed it is stopping families from going on holiday, spending time together to bond away from day to day worries. It is forcing families in to a situation where they have to stress over a decision that should ultimately be theirs to make anyway.
I would just like to point out that in no way am I saying that we should just be able to pull our children out of school when we fancy all year round. I can see how disruptive this would be and how this could begin to effect a child's work. As I mentioned above there are several factors that need to be considered but the power definitely need to be shifted back to teachers, head teachers and parents the people who are teaching these children, parenting these children and want the best for them!
How do you feel about term time holidays? Would you ever take your child out of school for a holiday during term time?