School Holidays, Holiday Prices and How this is Affecting Hard Working Families.

I wanted to write about a huge gripe I have today, I suppose a bit of a moan! School Holidays; there has been lots of dialogue in the media about this lately, who is to blame. Is it Schools, Government or Holiday Companies?

When Paul Cookson made a ranting video on Facebook he went viral. It seems he touched a very raw nerve.  His plight hit online media all over the UK and this in turn propelled Donna Thresher’s e-petition to reach far beyond the required 100,000 to 170,888. 
?This clearly is a subject people feel very strongly about. Why? It is common knowledge that holiday companies charge more during peak holiday times, they have cited this as supply and demand and I get this. But there was always flexibility in our School System for families to take up to 10 days with the agreement of the School, to enjoy family holidays.

Now the government have outlawed this practice and deemed it educationally damaging to our children, it has created a landslide. Everyone with children of school age must now take their holidays in the allocated time slot. This has had some negative effects of our society.

    This has priced people out of the holiday market; some families simply cannot afford the inflated prices.

    Some parents can’t holiday with their families as they are employed within a parent heavy workforce, I have friends who have worked all Easter as not everyone can have the same 2 weeks off work, as a result they have lost out.

    Holiday companies will now have to charge even more to supplement the losses they will incur from families being unable to holiday in term time.

Schools have announced they are trying to help the situation by adding inset days onto holidays to allow parents to get time off from work and afford family holidays. This however has its problems; I have two children at two different but very good schools, and they both have given two separate weeks to my children. So although the gesture may be well intended, rather then having the luxury of having that golden week to be able to book a cheaper holiday we now have two extra weeks to find childcare for, so we are actually worse off! 

My questions are as follows.

    There are so many parents that do not encourage their children to attend school so therefore have terrible attendance, this will not be affecting them as they will holiday regardless, as this minority do not care, what is the consequence of their non conformance?

    Why are the people who support our schools are the families to      suffer?

    With this in mind, can extra days not be allocated as a reward system at the maximum of 5 days per year to those that attendance is strictly 96 percent or above, allocated on application only?

    Or most sensibly can LEA’S not communicate to allocate the same inset days per area, so that parents feel the benefit of these days rather than the inconvenience.  This could be staggered all over the country so that all areas get the benefit off an extra week at different times?

There must be a solution that does not affect education, but supports the institution of the family. Family time is so precious and with families working harder then ever, surely this is time much needed. And travel is generally educational in itself; a bit of communication could resolve this issue for once and for all. 


Author of Extraordinary Chaos a family lifestyle and travel blog from a 40+ mum of teenage boys, sharing our family travels, recipes, reviews and country living. Also the co editor of Cruising With Kids Family Cruise Blog

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