Upload a photo Upload a video Upload an mp3 Upload an event

News » WAB Debate


School Holiday Rules - A WAB Debate

Monday October 21 2013


We Are Barnsley We Are Barnsley


TAKING your kids out of school for a cheaper holiday will now be a whole lot harder. It's been a while since the rules were outlined, so has it stopped you? Parents could face court if they fail to adhere to new rules. What do you think to this? Are you in favour? Have your say on today's WAB Debate.

From September 2013, parents have lost their right to remove their child from school for a family holiday for up to ten days a year.

Now, headteachers will only allow pupils time off in exceptional circumstances.

As many parents decide to take their kids out of school as holiday prices are cheaper, they're now not allowed to do so.

Schools will be able to refer parents who ignore the law to the local authority, which could issue a £60 fixed penalty notice per child and per parent.

Parents will have 21 days to pay or the fines will be doubled. If they're still not paid, parents could be taken to court.

What do you think? Have the new rules put you off from taking your kids out of school? Have your say below.

Leave a comment
comments powered by Disqus
67 Showing 67 comments

Reply Posted by him on Monday October 21 2013 at 12:05
my kids will go on holiday in term time and I will not pay a fine.. end of...

Reply Posted by sam on Monday October 21 2013 at 12:06
although i think education is very important...i also feel like this is another way just to tell us what we can and can't do with our own children...do the education welfare people think that 2 weeks off school is going to hurt a childs education that much?..next there will be a set menu for what we can feed them at home.

Reply Posted by Anonymous on Monday October 21 2013 at 12:07
Not quite the correct information:

"Schools will be able to refer parents who ignore the law to the local authority"

Schools HAVE TO refer parents to the council who then decide on whether to fine parents. The school doesn't have a choice in the matter.

Reply Posted by Anon on Monday October 21 2013 at 12:07
I think it stinks... Fair enough some families can afford to take there children during the school holidays when prices sore but other families can't... I for one can't and have been saving up all year to treat my kids next year as they have chosen where they want to go and I shall be taking them out of school for a week at the beginning of June because I would rather pay the £60 each fine than an extra £1000 on my holiday.

Teacher are ok to go on strike tho when they feel... Think I might fine them for the inconvenience there last strike caused me!

Reply Posted by Bob on Monday October 21 2013 at 20:16
Lovely to see a parent admit looking after their own child is an inconvenience :/

Teacher's DON'T do the fining the government does. The same government that has the teachers going on strike because they are having to fight to be able to cut the bullshit, enabling them to get on with the job of teaching your "inconvenience".

Reply Posted by Beck on Monday October 21 2013 at 12:09
The fine of £60 its still gunna be cheaper to take em out of school than pay school holiday prices

Reply Posted by Joanne on Monday October 21 2013 at 12:11
Weve just taken my son out for a 2 week holiday which was also a family celebration with other family and friends. We didn't choose the time of year we were asked if we would like to go with them. I don't think 2 weeks per school year hurts any child if they have good attendance ect. My son got grades 2 years above what is expected in his last report. We visited a poor country and whilst there we took some supplies to a local kindergarten which is run by a charity. These children live in the slums and without this charity would never be able to go. I thought this was a fantastic opportunity for my son to see how the less fortunate have to learn and it was a real eye opener, so lets see if the education agree!! Doubt it and I'm sure I will be receiving the fine just before xmas!. I also have a step son who lives in Lincolnshire and some of his holiday dates are different so this restricts when we can go anyway, plus not every employee can have school holiday times off work. If your child is doing exceptionally well at school and has good attendance why should you be penalised for taking 1 or 2 weeks of school per year.

Reply Posted by craig moffatt on Monday October 21 2013 at 12:11
What's a strike got to do with the fine? GOVERNMENT introduced this not schools or teachers!

Reply Posted by nfb on Monday October 21 2013 at 15:04
Will the council be fining the school then hmmmm

Reply Posted by Bob on Monday October 21 2013 at 20:20
Technically yeah since the teachers will not be paid for that day!

Reply Posted by Ha on Monday October 21 2013 at 12:11
My children might be sick for a week then...

Why don't they get dealing fines out to junkies sat on mushroom in town or causing a mock. MY CHILDREN I WILL DO AS I SEE FIT end of.

Reply Posted by gregB on Monday October 21 2013 at 12:13
I for 1 will be taking my kids out of school for a holiday, maybe they should be targeting the holiday companies and not the parents. Also I think it should only people on benefits that get fined, as I have to work hard all year for my luxuries, why should I pay for sombody else`s holiday.

Reply Posted by Really? on Monday October 21 2013 at 16:17
Really? You idiot.

Reply Posted by russ on Wednesday October 23 2013 at 19:29
greg b you must be on a great wage if you dont get working tax credit or child tax credit cos if you do your technially on benefits too so dont pull that one

Reply Posted by anon on Monday October 21 2013 at 12:13
just another way of the government taxing ppl who earn little can any1 tell me wat the money goes on once the government fines parents???

Reply Posted by g on Monday October 21 2013 at 12:15
will the local authority pay the parents £60 a day per child when they have inset days / strike days / bitof white stuff on floor days and every thing else they can dream up when i was at scool you got the statatree holidays end of and some teachers got other jobs in 6 week holls

Reply Posted by Anon on Monday October 21 2013 at 12:15
Because Craig like everything else it's always down to the GOVERNMENT... If the government was fair on teachers or anyone else in that matter they wouldn't be striking.... But yet again it's the head of school that refers us the parents to the council for takin out own children out of school. So to a point they are responsible!

Reply Posted by Bob on Monday October 21 2013 at 20:32
Are you taking the Michael or are you really that thick?

Reply Posted by Zoe on Monday October 21 2013 at 12:18
I've booked a holiday in 4 weeks time so both my kids will be out of school for 6 days. I had a word with school and although I have submitted a holiday form they have said it will not be allowed. My kids never have time off school unless they are ill. They are allowed 10 session absences which is 5 full days but if its due to being ill we have to provide a doctors note. Looks like I will be getting a fine as my kids will be missing 12 sessions. Nothing I can do about the time of year we go due to other commitments. They know the situation but still won't stop me getting a fine.

Reply Posted by jojo on Monday October 21 2013 at 12:19
Ha ha

Reply Posted by kev hall on Monday October 21 2013 at 12:22
Just another revenue stream (tax) for the council, notice the fine is set low enough to entice most people 'just to pay it', rather than the greater additional cost of booking a hliday out of term time.

Reply Posted by Jo on Monday October 21 2013 at 12:27
Due to my sons disability going on holiday when it's busy is not an option even if I could afford it,

Reply Posted by Working Mum on Monday October 21 2013 at 12:34
If they are imposing strict rules on parents not to take children out of school in term time the same strict rules should be imposed on travel companies/airlines/hotels for making the cost during school holidays 3 times the usual rate!!!!

Reply Posted by observer on Monday October 21 2013 at 12:43
take em on hols guys. accept the fine. you wont be criminals. the government..and \ or the local counils should be looking more towards penalising the holiday \ air lines for hiking up the prices at school holiday times. that would deter families from taking the kids out of school. and gives everyone an incentive.

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Monday October 21 2013 at 19:41
Said this before and i'll say it again for those who do not know......

There was a "draft" bill floating about a few years ago aimed at the travel operators that artificially hiked prices during school holidays.
It was read in parliament once and was then scrapped anyone care to guess why?






Turns out one of the holiday firm "directors" complained to one of his Tory chums and explained that he was a "substantial" Tory party donator.
Surprise surprise.

Remember, were all in this together..... My arse!

As for the fines themselves, I wonder where the revenues they raise ends up?

Reply Posted by Fred Up on Monday October 21 2013 at 12:50
My child is on holiday this week & if I get finded £60 I hope the council office can count because it will be paid in 1p coins !!!

Reply Posted by Fred Up on Monday October 21 2013 at 12:53
Maybe I need to go back to school...Fined not Finded

Reply Posted by doglover on Monday October 21 2013 at 13:00
Exactly Fred up,...

Reply Posted by craig on Monday October 21 2013 at 12:58
Who brought the rule in ? not schools but mr gove! Schools are obliged to enforce the rule - really can't see what your point is

Reply Posted by Jo on Monday October 21 2013 at 13:02
It's the crap schools and crap teaching that's effecting our kids education, not parents taking them on holiday for a week

Reply Posted by Fred on Monday October 21 2013 at 20:37
Don't forget the crap parental attitude!

Reply Posted by Dad on Monday October 21 2013 at 13:24
What a joke. I work nights and there is to many of us to all have the school holidays off. Plus it is to hot for my kids at that time of year. Me and my wife said that why the kids are so young we will take them in June but once they start with exams then fair does we will have to go in holidays so what's the problem. It makes me mad when some mums and dads get drunk on a weekend and can't be bothered to take the kids to school cause they have a hangover but cause they will phone up sick they will get away with this. I will pay the fine but they should write it clear in a letter cause the letter we had didnt say if it was 60 pound a week or just 60 pound per child or what. It is a total joke.

Reply Posted by manda on Monday October 21 2013 at 14:30
think its a joke when u take ur child to school and the class doors been locked early and have to walk all way round to main entrance and then given a slip of paper saying if ur child is late again i will receive a £60 fine cant beleive it wasnt my fault or my childs that doors were locked there was alot of other parents given these slips . its a joke my child never has time of school what about kids that never go or go late every day

Reply Posted by maree hall on Monday October 21 2013 at 14:59
When I was a child there was no such things as inset days or teachers not been able to get into school because of bad weather and the rediculousness of fineing parents for their children to be late for school they are at dam school fgs this country is not progressing its regressing

Reply Posted by Fred on Monday October 21 2013 at 20:40
Those extra days you had at school were obviously of no benefit to you!

Reply Posted by rach on Monday October 21 2013 at 15:01
Looks like schools sickness records will be going up. I will gladly put the 60 quid to one side for the fine cus i cannot afford an extra 1000 quid for school hols. What happens if there is a family wedding or something? I wont let them dictate to me. Just another bit of easy money.

Reply Posted by craig moffatt on Monday October 21 2013 at 15:54
Training days have been around for about 30 years - used to be called baker days. School doors are locked for safety reasons not to annoy people - helps stop incidents like dunblain happening

Reply Posted by Vic on Monday October 21 2013 at 15:58
This is what they will have come up with to pay teachers the extra there wanting ha ha ha I bet there employed and people get these fines free same old same old

Reply Posted by craig on Monday October 21 2013 at 16:00
Nothing to do with extra pay even though we've not had a pay rise for about 5 years

Reply Posted by karen on Monday October 21 2013 at 16:27
We have just been on holiday and not had a fine due to us booking it last year as it was a family wedding but I do believe some schools have different rules @ the moment and this may still be or it may level them out. Every time my husband sees this fine thing on tv in paper ect he has a panic attack it puts a lot ov stress on family's and shouldn't be just a fine it should be looked @ individually as some people do take the micky and some are genuine and have no other choice!!!

Reply Posted by Anon on Monday October 21 2013 at 16:34
Yes the Government should regulate the holiday prices. It's disgusting that they can tipple during the school holidays. Just another stealth tax.

Reply Posted by manda on Monday October 21 2013 at 17:03
i do understand the doors are locked for safety reasons so graig can u please tell me jf the doors are closed 5 mins early who will pay all the fines for the parents whos kids are late cos it takes nearly 5 mins to walk all way round to main entrance at littleworth grange. and then u av to wait for someone to press buzzer to let u in

Reply Posted by james on Monday October 21 2013 at 17:11
@@manda.get out of bed 5 mins earlier,then you will not have a problem,

Reply Posted by manda on Monday October 21 2013 at 17:29
im not the only parent this has happened to my child was not late for school nor were the other kids who were with their parents. and i do get up early i work every day so my child is never late for school. frist time ever and to receive a warning my child has always got over 98% attendance some boys in my childs class closed the doors ive seen them do it to other kids

Reply Posted by craig on Monday October 21 2013 at 19:14
If they are closed 5 minutes early then tell the school - schools don't do these things to annoy you and I know an awful lot who would sue if something happened. Must be a very fussy school if you got warned for being late once

Reply Posted by Gary on Monday October 21 2013 at 20:22
The government has tried to have a go at the energy companies for overcharging (all putting prices up just before the cold weather kicks in) Holiday companies are even worse its daylight robbery.

Reply Posted by mr khan here, on Monday October 21 2013 at 20:40
no bloody good complaining,the government not bothered about the low paid working class,benefit claiments,a few years ago there was a big debate about the holiday prices been hiked up in the holidays,what happened? nothing my friends,,same with utility prices,,massive profits for the fat cats,guess what?you guessed put the bloody prices up,petrol up,food bills up,benefits cut,wages cut,bankers bonuses up,mps wages and expenses up,yes you bloody know what,poor keep poor,rich get richer,,,,mr khan serving Barnsley for 40yrs,cornershop

Reply Posted by vic on Monday October 21 2013 at 20:44
it's not just teachers who haven't had a pay rise i know loads who haven't, but my kids missings days off here and there starting to cost me money for childcare i'm SKINT too !!!!!

Reply Posted by Bob on Tuesday October 22 2013 at 10:37
This is what happens when parents forget that school is a place for children to go to get an education... It's not free childcare!

Reply Posted by john on Monday October 21 2013 at 21:56
HOW ABOUT FINING TEACHERS EVERY TIME FOR THE STRIKES AND THE INSET DAYS,AND IF THEY REFUSE TO PAY ADD ON THE COSTS AND IF THEY STILL DONT PAY TAKE THE TEACHERS OR THE EDUCATION BOARD TO COURT. WHAT IS GOOD FOR THE GOOSE IS GOOD FOR THE GANDER.

Reply Posted by Fred on Tuesday October 22 2013 at 10:46
Yet another one jumping on the bandwagon without having a clue what they're talking about. The Teacher nor the schools are imposing these fines. It's the government!

Reply Posted by Fred on Tuesday October 22 2013 at 11:35
Ok lets lay it on the line here...
Teachers are going on strike for (along with other things) the right to cut the bureaucracy which would enable them to be able to stop wasting time on the things that don't matter and put that time into the things that do... Teaching the children!
The government are putting more importance on things that make them look good but are of no use/help to the children. Teachers are trying to stop this enabling them to get on with the important job of educating our kids. They are having to fight to be able to do their job effectively.
The government will not listen. They just throw out the propaganda that Teachers are to blame if parent have to take a day off work. Then low and behold (in the middle of the strikes) they throw these fines into the equation. They have nothing what so ever to do with Teachers or School but who is getting the blame?
Teachers (as parents do) care about the quality of education the children are getting. That's why they go into the job. The government care about targets.
Teachers and parents should stand up together for the best interests of the children!

Reply Posted by x on Tuesday October 22 2013 at 11:51
you are so right fred just look at what is happening
1, its the unemployed's fault peolple are struggling
2,firefighters are putting peoples lives at risk fighting for their rights.
3,health workers will put our health at risk,and we will not recieve decent care if they get a pay rise.
every single one of these statements are very carefully thought out,with just enough impact to place a tiny piece of the resentment root in our brains which is then left to grow and fester.
this government are second to none when it comes to using these tactics against the most vunerable people of this country

Reply Posted by Fred on Tuesday October 22 2013 at 15:39
The best statement I heard on the news the other day (can't remember who said it)
The Unions are not representative of the majority of teachers. Like the ones striking are just a few annoying rebels!
1. You would have to be a total idiot to be working in a school and not in a union.
2. If it's just the annoying minority of teachers striking. Why is it causing such upheaval?
We shall see the truth in that government statement during the next strike which will be nationwide not regional.

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Tuesday October 22 2013 at 16:43
Do the Tories REALLY care about education?
They say they do but in reality they don't, all they care about is seeing how much money they can save and what terms and conditions they can strip from teachers.

If the REALLY cared then why haven't they got around the table with the teaching unions?

Because they are just NOT interested.

I agree education is extremely important, I never had one as I was too busy being the class clown.
Only dawns in later life what an idiot I was!

Mentioned this before but people don't go on strike for the sake of it, withdrawing labour is the ultimate protest against a bull headed Tory government that will just not listen and are hell bent in getting their own way despite whatever the teachers and their respective unions think.
Education is THE key to ensuring all our children have a brighter future, the Tories are unconcerned all they are interested in is using their nefarious propaganda arms to further ostracise the teaching profession.

Again, where do you think the revenues raised from fining parents will end up?

Reply Posted by xxxx on Tuesday October 22 2013 at 17:39
well i can tell you this they will never get me to critisise teachers. ok theres good and not so good in all things,but they couldn't pay me 1'000 a day to teach some of the kids they have to deal with on a daily basis,and not forgeting those parents who think their kids are angels and couldn't possibly do anything wrong that teachers have to deal with.can i just say i have nothing to do with the teaching profession

Reply Posted by Chris on Wednesday October 23 2013 at 19:39
First of all I will say that I am a teacher. At the secondary school where I work we have a team of non-teaching staff that work relentlessly hard to ensure our students are in school; this may even mean going to the students house to possibly get them out of bed. If they are not in school they are not learning. In my opinion, this holiday rule should definitely apply to students and families whose attendance is poor. I do think that a little more discretion should be applied to those students who have good (98%) attendance or above. This being said, every time a student misses school for what ever reason, it does affect some aspect of their education. Schools are also judged by Ofsted on their attendance figures. From a head teachers perspective, allowing a student to take a holiday may be the difference between an overall rating of 'good' or 'requires improvement'. This then has significant outcomes and impacts on the school.
I will finish by explaining what my school has done to address the balance. All students still get their 13 weeks holiday but not always during the traditional school holidays. Therefore our, students are on holiday for 4 weeks instead of 6 weeks in the summer. These holidays also start one or two weeks earlier than the traditional summer break allowing families the opportunity of cheaper holidays. Students start back at school in mid August. Easter and Christmas are the same but the other two weeks from the summer are gained back at the traditional Spring Bank break. We have a week holiday in September and another week in November. Essentially there are at least four weeks (sometimes 5 weeks) in our academic year where families can take a holiday out of the peak time.

Reply Posted by Chris on Wednesday October 23 2013 at 19:39
First of all I will say that I am a teacher. At the secondary school where I work we have a team of non-teaching staff that work relentlessly hard to ensure our students are in school; this may even mean going to the students house to possibly get them out of bed. If they are not in school they are not learning. In my opinion, this holiday rule should definitely apply to students and families whose attendance is poor. I do think that a little more discretion should be applied to those students who have good (98%) attendance or above. This being said, every time a student misses school for what ever reason, it does affect some aspect of their education. Schools are also judged by Ofsted on their attendance figures. From a head teachers perspective, allowing a student to take a holiday may be the difference between an overall rating of 'good' or 'requires improvement'. This then has significant outcomes and impacts on the school.
I will finish by explaining what my school has done to address the balance. All students still get their 13 weeks holiday but not always during the traditional school holidays. Therefore our, students are on holiday for 4 weeks instead of 6 weeks in the summer. These holidays also start one or two weeks earlier than the traditional summer break allowing families the opportunity of cheaper holidays. Students start back at school in mid August. Easter and Christmas are the same but the other two weeks from the summer are gained back at the traditional Spring Bank break. We have a week holiday in September and another week in November. Essentially there are at least four weeks (sometimes 5 weeks) in our academic year where families can take a holiday out of the peak time.

Reply Posted by MMM on Wednesday October 23 2013 at 22:30
I have two kids in primary school and I wouldn't dream of taking them out of school for two weeks! Its OK saying "it won't hurt their education if they miss a few weeks" but everyone is crying foul when the teachers strike for ONE day. They are not just striking for themselves, they are striking for your children's education.

I bet half of the people taking their kids out of school are taking holidays abroad. How about taking a holiday in this country, help your own countries economy. Its crazy how people seem to think they are entitled to two weeks in a foreign country every year regardless of the effect on their childs education.

Reply Posted by Purple Haze on Thursday October 24 2013 at 17:43
What I find annoying is that most of the above complaining about this, will be the very same people moaning about bedroom tax, the same ones who claim loads of tax credits and top ups, who complain that they cannot afford to pay their bills and so on. Yet they are the same people who are so poor and badly done to that they can still afford to spend a couple of weeks (or more) abroad ever year.
Unlike my family who claim no top ups, never take our kids out of school in term time and who follow the rules. We cant afford a holiday anywhere this year yet again.......

Reply Posted by leanne on Thursday October 24 2013 at 19:56
Reading these comments a think ive been quite lucky as I put my holiday form in for my 3 chikdren fir next may b4 we broke for the 6 weeks holidays and wa alound em as b4 September they add to do it on the old system (attendance which they got 100%) so they have been granted the holidays which they needed in may but as for the fine £60 quid per child per parent bring it on as am not wi there dad so theres only me

Reply Posted by anon on Saturday October 26 2013 at 10:06
Why don't teachers take training days in the holidays, instead of the start or the end of holidays. All a load of bull. But they are hard done to.

Reply Posted by king louis on Saturday October 26 2013 at 10:12
My employer did building repairs on schools at every shut down therefore I was never allowed my holidays when the kids were off..it was written into my contract. I sent a letter explaining this to Wombwell High so that I could take my kids on hols in term time or they would never have a family vacation. The result was a fine which i paid every year.. I have no respect for the system that says NO! on every occasion so i stopped explaining

Reply Posted by Angry mummy on Saturday October 26 2013 at 10:30
All well & good if travel agents drop their prices accordingly. I want my 4 yr old to grow up being well travelled & seeing different countries & cultures I fear I won't be able to do this if prices don't decrease in school term time. Both myself & husband work ful time to be able to provide for our only daughter. & even then things are very tight financially. Families should be able to afford luxuries like holidays abroad even out of term time when prices are doubled. I'm looking at the moment of booking a holiday in May but as my daughter is in nursery it will be out of school holidays. She starts full time in sept so as for future holidays who knows what will happen.....

Reply Posted by BDK on Saturday October 26 2013 at 12:20
Luckily I'm in a position whereby I don't have to worry about this subject,but my comment is this....I can't help but wonder if several of the comments already posted on here by quite a few ladies and gentlemen if they too were taken out of school for holidays in term time? The spelling mistakes and bad grammar are well below the standard of the average adult and I can't help but think,"....did you miss English whilst sunning yourself on some far flung beach" ?.....just in case anyone shall we say "kicks off" at my comments,it is slightly tongue in cheek,or is it.......lol !

Reply Posted by nicola on Saturday October 26 2013 at 23:54
This isn't a new thing , I was fined £50 per school week for taking my daughter on holiday in term time 8 yrs ago ... sometimes it cannot be helped ,when I was at school we had to go on holiday when my dad's annual holiday from work was and I am sure there are plenty more families in that situation as well . Not everyone can pick and choose, it's the travel agents and airlines that should be fined not the parents !!

Reply Posted by nic on Sunday October 27 2013 at 00:04
gregB ..... Don't tar everyone on benefits with the same brush !!! In your opinion parent's who are unable to work through ill health and parent's of pension age should only be fined ... don't talk out of your backside !!