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Coastal Mummy West Norfolk blogger: Is taking children out of school for a holiday acceptable?

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School absences. It has been a thing on parents’ minds for the last few years. With the pandemic now seemingly behind us, lockdowns and schools shutting seem a thing of the past.

Back to normality. Back to the looming doom of your child being off school and you as the parent getting ‘wrong’ for it.

With rising prices of absolutely everything, a lot more families are not able to take their children on holiday during the school holidays. Which raises the question – is it acceptable to take your children out of school for a holiday?

The Coastal Mummy May 2022.
The Coastal Mummy May 2022.

For me, I have one child in school and two in nursery. So at the moment, I only have to think about this question for one child but that will change soon though. I believe that if a child is learning from the holiday in some way then it is acceptable to take them out of school. Not so much sitting at a resort but traveling and learning while creating family memories that we will remember for a life-time.

It is a known fact that holiday prices shoot up in the school holidays. Some more than double. That is another conversation though - how the holiday companies make huge amounts of money by taking advantage of families in the school holidays. Whenever a child is taken out of school, there is a chance that a fine will happen. £60 per parent if paid within 21 days and £120 per parent if not paid within 21 days but before 28 days. Then after that parents could be taken to court.

It could be a big price to pay. In some cases, the fine is the better option as the holiday is still cheaper even with the added extra cost of the fine per parent.

Then there is the worry about the impact that it has on children if they miss school. On the Government website, it states that even one day off school can harm a child’s education. They say it can have an impact on test results, friendships and the transition to the next level school in the future for the child.

But is this the case if the child is taken on a holiday that is educational?

If a child is missing school to find out about the big wide world then does it really count as a absence. Children can learn so much by travelling and learning about the world around them and some of the time, there is a crossover in school learning to travelling for education with family. I have taken my children here, there and everywhere. I believe in showing them the world as part of their education and growing up.

It’s a lot to think about and every family's situation will be different. With everything going on in the world, everyone deserves a holiday. Speak to the school and be open with them. Plan in advance and make the holidays as fun and educational as possible! Time to make memories!

Rebecca Fisher

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