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Dad wins high court term-time holiday case

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Godmeister, May 13, 2016.

  1. Godmeister

    Godmeister Occasional commenter


    I'm all for kids being able to go on holiday, but I do hope this guy realises both his and his ex-wives actions mean their daughter has missed vital learning time and don't then expect teachers to put on extra hours if she doesn't look set to reach target grades. It has happened to me before!

  2. lunarita

    lunarita Senior commenter

    Good on him. His kids have good attendance and he seems to care about their education.

    Not everyone could afford the legal battle over this. He could and I hope it sets a precedent.
    hammie, Landofla, loodle1 and 4 others like this.
  3. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Having just watched this on the news, apparently the Dept for Education is looking again at a true definition of 'attendance'. 100% as being in school every day apart from sickness.
    Part of me understands the frustration of doing 'catch-up' for children missing school and part of me says. Big Brother' interference is here- what next?
    Dragonlady30 and peggylu like this.
  4. Godmeister

    Godmeister Occasional commenter

    Im not saying he doesn't care about their education, my point is that what grounds would he have to later turn round and ask teachers to put in extra hours for his daughter if he takes her out of school time for holidays? There are parents I've known who do that!
  5. Godmeister

    Godmeister Occasional commenter

    You see 100% isn't feasible as there will still be times a child has to be out of school such as family funerals or the like. Typical government overreaction though!
  6. secretsiren

    secretsiren Star commenter

    I have mixed feelings. I sympathise with people who can only get family time during term time because of the constraints of their jobs. However, I find it hard to sympathise with the argument that people can't afford to go on holiday during term time - my parents were teachers and we never went away because we simply could not afford it. A foreign holiday is not a right nor an entitlement.
    Having said that, I think that Headteachers should have discretion to say yay or nay. If the child has generally good attendance and/or it's a good reason, then the Head should be able to say yes. We had a child with a serious, life-threatening illness at school a few years ago and the parents wanted to take the family away to escape from rounds of treatment at the hospital. The child's attendance was really poor because of the illness but the holiday was completely justified, so the Head agreed. It's a shame that with all these new 'freedoms', Heads aren't allowed to make the decision.
    saljack58, wanet and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  7. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    is what I would call common sense and full of empathy. A happy child will always learn better anyway. they can be there 'physically in reality' and yet not 'be there' because of what's going on in their lives.
    wanet and Anonymity like this.
  8. Anonymity

    Anonymity Occasional commenter

    A holiday is not a right, but let's not encourage more disparity between rich and poor.

    Term time holidays are much cheaper. Why shouldn't people be allowed to make the most of them? Not everyone can get holidays off when they choose.

    So you didn't get holidays? Neither did I, but it doesn't mean other people shouldn't if they so wish.

    I have never had a problem with children going on holiday in term time (provided their atitude was otherwise good and their parents were supportive - and if their atitiude were bad, then the rest of the class got a break from their behaviour). My one proviso is that I would say what they would miss, but never supply, nor mark work to cover the absence.

    Work life balance for children as well as adults.
    palmtree100 likes this.
  9. secretsiren

    secretsiren Star commenter

    I distinctly said that I thought that people who couldn't get time off due to their jobs should have the right to spend time with their children during term time if they can't get it during holiday time. However, if you can go on holiday during holiday time, then go then and not during school time. Mind you, I've never been on holiday, including a honeymoon, so I'm probably bitter.
  10. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Heads' discretion would be best, but can only happen if refusing to authorise a holiday doesn't count against them when it comes to the school's data. I'm sure plenty of heads authorised holidays because they knew the holiday would go ahead anyway, and better authorised than unauthorised.
    Perhaps there should be an independent board for approving these things - but then the reasons have to be explained to someone who doesn't know the family.

    I worked at a school, before things were tightened up, which was too relaxed about allowing holidays. I had every sympathy with allowing a holiday for the family who had been offered free use of a caravan in Great Yarmouth in September, and who could not have afforded a holiday otherwise. However the year 11 who went on a skiing holiday in January, and then complained because he had to catch up coursework? (The really stupid thing there was that there was a school-organised ski trip the previous week - half-term prices were beyond our catchment. We all worked our coursework around that one, and if that child's parents had been told "only if you go the previous week", there would have been minimal impact.) Another family went away for a long weekend and one child missed some of the year 9 SATs. They told me that they'd put their form in a long way in advance, as they'd realised it was SATs and so it might not be possible - but obviously whoever signed their form off didn't think of saying no.
  11. secretsiren

    secretsiren Star commenter

    frustrum - I can do one better. A few years ago, my then Headteacher authorised a holiday for a Year 11 student on the day of his English GCSE. The parents hadn't twigged the week (!!!!!!!!), neither had the student and neither, apparently, had the Head. I still had to explain why he hadn't met his target grade in the September...
    noreenrayner and PizzoCalabro like this.
  12. Anonymity

    Anonymity Occasional commenter

    I know, but I'm also referring to people who, while they could get time off, can't afford to. Why should they not be allowed a holiday?

    While education is important, there's more to life than education and work. I've never know a holiday make more than a short term difference to a child.
  13. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    He hasn't funded anything since the the magistrates court AFAIK, and he hasn't been a party to the legal cases since, although he's been piggy-backing on the publicity plenty today. Isle of Wight Council and the IoW Magistrates have been the parties, seeking clarification on points of law (ie taxpayers expense).

    It's not at all clear that " His kids have good attendance", not from the interview I heard with him this morning, unless you call 90% good attendance. I don't.
    foxtail3, wanet and Jesmond12 like this.
  14. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    There are some good and bad points to this. This particular chap doesn't seem to be short of a bob or two and could probably afford holidays in the school holidays. However in this increasingly random society many people can't get holidays to match school times. My dad was a cricket club groundsman. He could not take holidays in the cricket season! So my brother and I were always out of school in the 2nd and 3rd week of September for our family holiday. There must be thousands of families these days in the same sort of position. It isn't like the olds days when factories would close down for a fortnight and everyone was off.
  15. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    I would like to know what the definition of ' vital learning time ' is ? I don't have a problem with parents who want to take their children on holiday during term time. There may / may not be consequences as a result of the absence. The parents have made the decision so to penalise the student is petty and unprofessional.
  16. Anonymity

    Anonymity Occasional commenter

    And what happens when all schools can chose their own holidays?

    And when your holidays don't match those of your children?

    Or when you have children at different schools and their holidays don't match?

    Or when you have children at different schools and your teacher holidays don't match theirs and theirs don't match each other's?

    Should no one ever go on holiday again? I'm sorry, but life is too short. I want to spend mine with my family.
    Kamit and minnie me like this.
  17. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    BBC report has since been updated to say he crowdfunded his legal costs
  18. Alldone

    Alldone Senior commenter

    Much more relaxed attitude at my Independent school - and no fines. Very few parents actually used to take children on holiday during term time. But many school trips abroad would miss several days. Also had children competing in UK sports teams - shooting, racing, horse jumping, skiing. As teachers we just got on with it. The children always caught up so I don't see the harm in taking holidays.
  19. Godmeister

    Godmeister Occasional commenter

    Erm surely all time in school is vital learning time??? If not, then what is going on in schools that I don't know about?

    I think people are conflating here the idea of going on holiday at all and the idea of taking kids out of school time whenever it suits the parents. Choosing to take holidays in term time is the parents penalising their kids too as they miss school time. Those kids then have to catch up, and sometimes don't like having to do so which has a negative effect on their results and so on those of the teacher/school.

    I simply don't think that people should just take kids out of school for holidays and other jollies because they don't want to go in school holidays. If there are genuine reasons then that is different.
    juliojulio, wanet and Jesmond12 like this.
  20. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Well I think that schools should have a wider brief than forcing children through a curruculum but maybe I am in the minority. When you start using words like ' vital ' seems to me that a sense of persepective has been lost.
    Anonymity and Kamit like this.

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