Family face £240 fine for term-time holiday

Worcester News: The Toulson family have been given a £240 fine for taking their children out of school to go on holiday. Back from left - Gary Toulson, Nikki Toulson and Cloe Toulson,11. Front from left - Holly Toulson, six and Jack Toulson, five. Picture by Paul J The Toulson family have been given a £240 fine for taking their children out of school to go on holiday. Back from left - Gary Toulson, Nikki Toulson and Cloe Toulson,11. Front from left - Holly Toulson, six and Jack Toulson, five. Picture by Paul J

A FAMILY has been hit with a fine of nearly £250 after taking their children out of school for a holiday.

Mum-of-three Nikki Toulson said the family went to Lanzarote in December because their children Cloe, 11, Holly, six, and Jack, five, suffer badly from asthma and the warm weather improves their health.

They booked the holiday before a change in the law tightened up rules on term-time holidays.

She said: "We've always joked with the asthma nurse that if the NHS could prescribe holidays it would be a miracle cure.

"The weather is bad here in December and it just helps to give a bit of a break from it."

However, they now face a fine of £240.

The penalty notice, issued by Worcestershire County Council, fines each parent £60 for each absent child.

There is no fine for Jack because children legally do not have to attend school until the term after their fifth birthday.

The fine doubles if it is not paid within three weeks.

Mrs Toulson said the family could not afford to go away in peak holiday seasons.

All three children have been diagnosed as asthmatic and have been away from school through illness.

She has criticised Dine's Green primary school for a lack of support and has recently removed the children from the school to be educated at home.

Mrs Toulson said although headteacher Steve Gough told her he could not authorise the holiday absences he reassured her the family would not face any penalty - something he denies.

She also questioned why the school had not suggested any flexible schooling options or offered to assess Jack, who is worst affected, for a statement of special educational needs.

She said: "I don't think they have helped us to keep the children in school.

"I've got to the point when I'm exhausted and fed-up with battling on.

"They don't seem to think the illness of asthma is serious.

"It does kill people.

"I nearly lost two of my children to it."

However, Mr Gough said he had no choice.

He said: "All parents have been informed that under the new guidelines headteachers can't authorise holidays.

"I don't necessarily agree with what the government have done.

"There are many of our parents who find it very difficult to take their children on holiday because of the costs involved."

He added: "We have bent over backwards to help this family.

"We have lots of children here with asthma and I say to all parents, 'you have to manage it.'

"I'm an asthmatic myself and I rarely have time off from school.

"Lots of children are asthmatic and don't have time off.

"I can't raise attainment if children are not in school."

Comments (42)

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8:23am Fri 28 Feb 14

georgecowleyfanclub says...

£60 fine for each child? Compared with the doubling cost of holidays during the school holidays, this is nothing. Want to stop parents taking the children out of school then force the holiday companies to stop ripping off anyone with a family.
£60 fine for each child? Compared with the doubling cost of holidays during the school holidays, this is nothing. Want to stop parents taking the children out of school then force the holiday companies to stop ripping off anyone with a family. georgecowleyfanclub

8:44am Fri 28 Feb 14

imustbeoldiwearacap says...

With it's fixation on "targets" our education system forgets that there are children who are (to quote the modern jargon) its "customers". Children are part of a family and although going on holiday is not a necessity for "family life" for many the time together is important. If the old regime had not been abused things might be different, but to fine a family for taking a child out of school for a couple of weeks is a tad drastic (however if the children had been kept out of school at other times for non-valid reasons - then there is a case for fining the parents)
On another point, taking asthmatic children on a 4+ hour flight is not exactly helping their asthma - the reduced air pressure found at 30,000 feet could make an asthmatic attack much worse!
With it's fixation on "targets" our education system forgets that there are children who are (to quote the modern jargon) its "customers". Children are part of a family and although going on holiday is not a necessity for "family life" for many the time together is important. If the old regime had not been abused things might be different, but to fine a family for taking a child out of school for a couple of weeks is a tad drastic (however if the children had been kept out of school at other times for non-valid reasons - then there is a case for fining the parents) On another point, taking asthmatic children on a 4+ hour flight is not exactly helping their asthma - the reduced air pressure found at 30,000 feet could make an asthmatic attack much worse! imustbeoldiwearacap

8:57am Fri 28 Feb 14

Spetchley Dave says...

I trust neither parent smokes.
I trust neither parent smokes. Spetchley Dave

8:59am Fri 28 Feb 14

Westhamoldguy says...

Thinking about the amount of school holidays in a year, does this mean that parents are able to fine the school for so called 'Teacher training days' taken in term time?
Thinking about the amount of school holidays in a year, does this mean that parents are able to fine the school for so called 'Teacher training days' taken in term time? Westhamoldguy

9:51am Fri 28 Feb 14

Karl Hunderson says...

Westhamoldguy wrote:
Thinking about the amount of school holidays in a year, does this mean that parents are able to fine the school for so called 'Teacher training days' taken in term time?
No, because teacher training days are prescribed by the government. The law states that there must be 190 school days each year. Teacher training days do not affect this.
[quote][p][bold]Westhamoldguy[/bold] wrote: Thinking about the amount of school holidays in a year, does this mean that parents are able to fine the school for so called 'Teacher training days' taken in term time?[/p][/quote]No, because teacher training days are prescribed by the government. The law states that there must be 190 school days each year. Teacher training days do not affect this. Karl Hunderson

9:56am Fri 28 Feb 14

Who really cares says...

georgecowleyfanclub wrote:
£60 fine for each child? Compared with the doubling cost of holidays during the school holidays, this is nothing. Want to stop parents taking the children out of school then force the holiday companies to stop ripping off anyone with a family.
Couldn't agree more with this comment. Holiday to Spain in term time £1,200 out side term time £2,000.

I would take the £240 fine on the chin every time.

The only way that this will stop is by getting the holiday companies to stop over charging, will this happen? I doubt it as this is when they make most of there money and even as it stand most are making a loss. But you could look at it as the family gets a holiday and the school/council get a few more quid. Win Win as I see it.
[quote][p][bold]georgecowleyfanclub[/bold] wrote: £60 fine for each child? Compared with the doubling cost of holidays during the school holidays, this is nothing. Want to stop parents taking the children out of school then force the holiday companies to stop ripping off anyone with a family.[/p][/quote]Couldn't agree more with this comment. Holiday to Spain in term time £1,200 out side term time £2,000. I would take the £240 fine on the chin every time. The only way that this will stop is by getting the holiday companies to stop over charging, will this happen? I doubt it as this is when they make most of there money and even as it stand most are making a loss. But you could look at it as the family gets a holiday and the school/council get a few more quid. Win Win as I see it. Who really cares

10:25am Fri 28 Feb 14

abailey236 says...

So, they want jack to have a special needs assessment, so they pull all the children out of school. It has been obvious for a long time that the rules were changing and head teachers can no longer authorise absence in term time, yet these parents were not aware. They think they are better qualified than teachers with degrees etc, to educate their children. Clearly the parents need to go back to school, starting with nursery, where they will be taught not to spit their dummy out when things don't go their way.
So, they want jack to have a special needs assessment, so they pull all the children out of school. It has been obvious for a long time that the rules were changing and head teachers can no longer authorise absence in term time, yet these parents were not aware. They think they are better qualified than teachers with degrees etc, to educate their children. Clearly the parents need to go back to school, starting with nursery, where they will be taught not to spit their dummy out when things don't go their way. abailey236

10:34am Fri 28 Feb 14

PrivateSi says...

Clearly The Dracon State has to be deposed - or tamed and tied down, at the very least... This Nanny State Contol-Freakist SOCIETY BY ROBBERY is a disgrace to HUMAN FREEDOMS... Your'e all FIRED.

Compromise: All kids are allowed 5 consecutive days of (at short notice) per year for a term-time holiday... Paperwork can be done on return to school as well as beforehand.. Schools must be notified by the parents on the first day off at the latest (email. something recorded) or face a £125 fine...
Clearly The Dracon State has to be deposed - or tamed and tied down, at the very least... This Nanny State Contol-Freakist SOCIETY BY ROBBERY is a disgrace to HUMAN FREEDOMS... Your'e all FIRED. Compromise: All kids are allowed 5 consecutive days of (at short notice) per year for a term-time holiday... Paperwork can be done on return to school as well as beforehand.. Schools must be notified by the parents on the first day off at the latest (email. something recorded) or face a £125 fine... PrivateSi

11:19am Fri 28 Feb 14

mooms32 says...

Firstly, I sympathise with anyone who has asthma- Worcester is a damp place with a high incidence of it and COPD. I hope the children grow out of it as they get older, as is often the case.
I also agree that it is wrong for travel companies to 'hike up' prices to a ridiculous amount during the summer holidays-in the UK you can understand the charging of more during the summer months, the season is so
much shorter- but not as much as some do!
I've had problems with bronchitis/chest infections, and try to go to Scotland for a short break in December or January- the air is clean & fresh, and it seems to help with the breathing! The price only gets hiked up for Christmas Day, or the New Year, which is the same wherever you go.
Firstly, I sympathise with anyone who has asthma- Worcester is a damp place with a high incidence of it and COPD. I hope the children grow out of it as they get older, as is often the case. I also agree that it is wrong for travel companies to 'hike up' prices to a ridiculous amount during the summer holidays-in the UK you can understand the charging of more during the summer months, the season is so much shorter- but not as much as some do! I've had problems with bronchitis/chest infections, and try to go to Scotland for a short break in December or January- the air is clean & fresh, and it seems to help with the breathing! The price only gets hiked up for Christmas Day, or the New Year, which is the same wherever you go. mooms32

11:45am Fri 28 Feb 14

Pomygranit says...

From the photo looks as though the Worcester News treated them to a day out by the river.

Educating them at home? The results of that should be interesting
From the photo looks as though the Worcester News treated them to a day out by the river. Educating them at home? The results of that should be interesting Pomygranit

12:43pm Fri 28 Feb 14

sitting on the fence gives you piles says...

Pay the fine from the money you saved going during term time. Get your children back into school and let the school (only heard good things about the head teacher) get on with the job they are more than likely far more able and qualified to do than the average parent.
Pay the fine from the money you saved going during term time. Get your children back into school and let the school (only heard good things about the head teacher) get on with the job they are more than likely far more able and qualified to do than the average parent. sitting on the fence gives you piles

12:59pm Fri 28 Feb 14

sugarlump says...

ah ha - the old asthma routine
ah ha - the old asthma routine sugarlump

1:11pm Fri 28 Feb 14

orange 99 says...

i have been told they go on holiday 3 times a year as my kids go 2 they school and they say they kids all allways on holiday
i have been told they go on holiday 3 times a year as my kids go 2 they school and they say they kids all allways on holiday orange 99

2:01pm Fri 28 Feb 14

nicki1967 says...

I appreciate that holiday companies raise their prices considerably during school holidays but it has always been the case. It has always been the case during 'factory fortnight' in September too. for many people, going away on holiday is a luxury. Apart from that, are the school holidays not long enough to spend quality time with ones' children without having to take them out of school during term-time. Personally, I think fining parents for taking their children out of school is a good idea and the fines should be more.
I appreciate that holiday companies raise their prices considerably during school holidays but it has always been the case. It has always been the case during 'factory fortnight' in September too. for many people, going away on holiday is a luxury. Apart from that, are the school holidays not long enough to spend quality time with ones' children without having to take them out of school during term-time. Personally, I think fining parents for taking their children out of school is a good idea and the fines should be more. nicki1967

5:34pm Fri 28 Feb 14

Old Uncle says...

What about a sliding scale of excused absences for kids who are in the upper portion of their class ranking? Encourage your kids to do well in school and if they do, you can take more time off.
Of course, someone would find such a system elitist or discriminatory.
What about a sliding scale of excused absences for kids who are in the upper portion of their class ranking? Encourage your kids to do well in school and if they do, you can take more time off. Of course, someone would find such a system elitist or discriminatory. Old Uncle

6:51pm Fri 28 Feb 14

moonpig says...

I wonder if the Worcester News would like to feature my heartbreaking story too? I got back to my car 5 minutes late and the traffic warden had the nerve to give me a ticket. For breaking the law. A lot of similarities to this story I think. A law was broken, a fine was issued. Some of us manned up and paid. Some went to the paper.
When will people realise that if you take your children out of school for 2 weeks each year that by the end of their school life they will have had the equivalent of 2 terms off school! There has always been a discrepancy in prices between term time and holiday time (which is in fact caused by holiday companies REDUCING prices during the quieter term time) but the difference in the past was that people didn't think they had a right to a foreign beach holiday every year. As a teacher I have to go in the holidays so we have bought a tent and spend some great holidays in this country for about £20 per night. Granted, it usually rains on us but at least we are spending time as a family without breaking the bank or the law.
I wonder if the Worcester News would like to feature my heartbreaking story too? I got back to my car 5 minutes late and the traffic warden had the nerve to give me a ticket. For breaking the law. A lot of similarities to this story I think. A law was broken, a fine was issued. Some of us manned up and paid. Some went to the paper. When will people realise that if you take your children out of school for 2 weeks each year that by the end of their school life they will have had the equivalent of 2 terms off school! There has always been a discrepancy in prices between term time and holiday time (which is in fact caused by holiday companies REDUCING prices during the quieter term time) but the difference in the past was that people didn't think they had a right to a foreign beach holiday every year. As a teacher I have to go in the holidays so we have bought a tent and spend some great holidays in this country for about £20 per night. Granted, it usually rains on us but at least we are spending time as a family without breaking the bank or the law. moonpig

6:53pm Fri 28 Feb 14

Landy44 says...

"Fines" for this kind of thing really are the "fascist nanny state" at work and are disgusting.

Education is important and Parents should morally avoid taking their children out in term time at key times or on a "regular" basis. That said, there is no harm to the odd "special" holiday hear and there for which sensible Parents should not be penalised. The schools waste enough of the childrens time when they are there, so the odd one or two holidays in a childs years at school make no difference.

The zeal with which schools are enforcing this is one of the many indications that we have an outdated education system that still doesn't realise it is going to go through significant change in the next 10-20 years resulting in a lot of the weaker teachers quite rightly losing their jobs, and the stronger ones being encouraged to do even more. An education revolution is coming as technology enables new teaching methods.
"Fines" for this kind of thing really are the "fascist nanny state" at work and are disgusting. Education is important and Parents should morally avoid taking their children out in term time at key times or on a "regular" basis. That said, there is no harm to the odd "special" holiday hear and there for which sensible Parents should not be penalised. The schools waste enough of the childrens time when they are there, so the odd one or two holidays in a childs years at school make no difference. The zeal with which schools are enforcing this is one of the many indications that we have an outdated education system that still doesn't realise it is going to go through significant change in the next 10-20 years resulting in a lot of the weaker teachers quite rightly losing their jobs, and the stronger ones being encouraged to do even more. An education revolution is coming as technology enables new teaching methods. Landy44

7:00pm Fri 28 Feb 14

truth must out says...

moonpig wrote:
I wonder if the Worcester News would like to feature my heartbreaking story too? I got back to my car 5 minutes late and the traffic warden had the nerve to give me a ticket. For breaking the law. A lot of similarities to this story I think. A law was broken, a fine was issued. Some of us manned up and paid. Some went to the paper.
When will people realise that if you take your children out of school for 2 weeks each year that by the end of their school life they will have had the equivalent of 2 terms off school! There has always been a discrepancy in prices between term time and holiday time (which is in fact caused by holiday companies REDUCING prices during the quieter term time) but the difference in the past was that people didn't think they had a right to a foreign beach holiday every year. As a teacher I have to go in the holidays so we have bought a tent and spend some great holidays in this country for about £20 per night. Granted, it usually rains on us but at least we are spending time as a family without breaking the bank or the law.
Too right...............
what makes the Toulsons a special case?? The law is the law. If I broke the law I would be mortified if it was on the front page of a newspaper.
[quote][p][bold]moonpig[/bold] wrote: I wonder if the Worcester News would like to feature my heartbreaking story too? I got back to my car 5 minutes late and the traffic warden had the nerve to give me a ticket. For breaking the law. A lot of similarities to this story I think. A law was broken, a fine was issued. Some of us manned up and paid. Some went to the paper. When will people realise that if you take your children out of school for 2 weeks each year that by the end of their school life they will have had the equivalent of 2 terms off school! There has always been a discrepancy in prices between term time and holiday time (which is in fact caused by holiday companies REDUCING prices during the quieter term time) but the difference in the past was that people didn't think they had a right to a foreign beach holiday every year. As a teacher I have to go in the holidays so we have bought a tent and spend some great holidays in this country for about £20 per night. Granted, it usually rains on us but at least we are spending time as a family without breaking the bank or the law.[/p][/quote]Too right............... what makes the Toulsons a special case?? The law is the law. If I broke the law I would be mortified if it was on the front page of a newspaper. truth must out

7:53pm Fri 28 Feb 14

sunnside says...

is anything done to teachers who take time of during term time and what about school trips during term time i dont mean day trips i mean trips abroad is that education or just an excuse for teachers to have an holiday
is anything done to teachers who take time of during term time and what about school trips during term time i dont mean day trips i mean trips abroad is that education or just an excuse for teachers to have an holiday sunnside

9:06pm Fri 28 Feb 14

Small Town says...

Lanzarote.










Case closed.
Lanzarote. Case closed. Small Town

11:04pm Fri 28 Feb 14

worcestersource says...

It's good to see that the council are upholding the law however it should work both ways. Will they also be fining or taking action against any schools that may be illegally excluding and depriving children of an education too?
It's good to see that the council are upholding the law however it should work both ways. Will they also be fining or taking action against any schools that may be illegally excluding and depriving children of an education too? worcestersource

2:28am Sat 1 Mar 14

Guy66 says...

If you choose to have children then you CHOOSE in the full knowledge of the current system. So why moan after the fact. Most of you get support from the state, free health care, free education and now you want extra benefits. Well Sorry but your choice, get over yourselves!
If you choose to have children then you CHOOSE in the full knowledge of the current system. So why moan after the fact. Most of you get support from the state, free health care, free education and now you want extra benefits. Well Sorry but your choice, get over yourselves! Guy66

7:39am Sat 1 Mar 14

b1ackb1rd says...

I'd pay the fine, but I'd demand to know EXACTLY what lessons had been missed, and want the damage to my child's education PROVEN ... then I'd dip the cash liberally in dog poo as a token of my respect.

They will be issuing fines when kids are off sick next !
I'd pay the fine, but I'd demand to know EXACTLY what lessons had been missed, and want the damage to my child's education PROVEN ... then I'd dip the cash liberally in dog poo as a token of my respect. They will be issuing fines when kids are off sick next ! b1ackb1rd

10:16am Sat 1 Mar 14

SgtAl says...

Karl Henderson; please explain why teaching training days cannot be taken in established school holidays (half-term etc), this would give parents and children 5 days "holiday" per school year to go on a break outside of peak times whilst maintaining the mandated 380 sessions for children.

The obvious argument of teachers being disadvantaged can be managed easily.
Karl Henderson; please explain why teaching training days cannot be taken in established school holidays (half-term etc), this would give parents and children 5 days "holiday" per school year to go on a break outside of peak times whilst maintaining the mandated 380 sessions for children. The obvious argument of teachers being disadvantaged can be managed easily. SgtAl

11:17am Sat 1 Mar 14

St Jon says...

The greatest responsibilities for a parent are to ensure your children get the most out of education, and to adopt a healthy lifestyle. If necessary, everything else should be compromised to pursue these goals. Yet these parents terminate their kid's education, seriously damaging their life prospects, over a deluded sense of right to a slightly cheaper bucket of San Miguel by the pool. And even if we buy the story about the extent of the asthma, have they really addressed every other risk factor (tobacco smoke, obesity, family stress, processed food etc..) and sought genuine medical advice before taking such a step?

Yet again the WN trying to excuse the grossly irresponsible as victims.
The greatest responsibilities for a parent are to ensure your children get the most out of education, and to adopt a healthy lifestyle. If necessary, everything else should be compromised to pursue these goals. Yet these parents terminate their kid's education, seriously damaging their life prospects, over a deluded sense of right to a slightly cheaper bucket of San Miguel by the pool. And even if we buy the story about the extent of the asthma, have they really addressed every other risk factor (tobacco smoke, obesity, family stress, processed food etc..) and sought genuine medical advice before taking such a step? Yet again the WN trying to excuse the grossly irresponsible as victims. St Jon

12:40pm Sat 1 Mar 14

lovelyjubbly says...

If you can afford the holiday you can afford the fine! Pity they didnt prescribe a fortnight in Lanzarote on the NHS.
If you can afford the holiday you can afford the fine! Pity they didnt prescribe a fortnight in Lanzarote on the NHS. lovelyjubbly

8:49pm Sat 1 Mar 14

tippo214 says...

i always took my kids on holiday during school time like my parents did for us kids. i don't blame people doing the cheaper option .
dont pay the fine people as it's up to you. kids don't learn much having two weeks away on hols.
remember it's your life not there's fooking ****.
i always took my kids on holiday during school time like my parents did for us kids. i don't blame people doing the cheaper option . dont pay the fine people as it's up to you. kids don't learn much having two weeks away on hols. remember it's your life not there's fooking ****. tippo214

8:52pm Sat 1 Mar 14

moonpig says...

sunnside wrote:
is anything done to teachers who take time of during term time and what about school trips during term time i dont mean day trips i mean trips abroad is that education or just an excuse for teachers to have an holiday
I am literally laughing so hard at this comment. Please, please, please come along on our next residential trip to see just what a holiday it is. It is such fun trying to get 50 or so kids to bed of an evening. Even more entertaining is when several of them get up in the night due to homesickness or vomiting. Then we all have a great laugh at 5am the next day when the early birds start waking up. If you honestly think that caring for other people's children 24/7 (along with the HUGE responsibility this carries) is a holiday then you are seriously out of touch. As for teachers taking holiday in term time - that is just tosh. It is not allowed end of story. I even had to miss my great aunts funeral as it was during a school day. There is not a school around that would allow a teacher to go on holiday in term time.
[quote][p][bold]sunnside[/bold] wrote: is anything done to teachers who take time of during term time and what about school trips during term time i dont mean day trips i mean trips abroad is that education or just an excuse for teachers to have an holiday[/p][/quote]I am literally laughing so hard at this comment. Please, please, please come along on our next residential trip to see just what a holiday it is. It is such fun trying to get 50 or so kids to bed of an evening. Even more entertaining is when several of them get up in the night due to homesickness or vomiting. Then we all have a great laugh at 5am the next day when the early birds start waking up. If you honestly think that caring for other people's children 24/7 (along with the HUGE responsibility this carries) is a holiday then you are seriously out of touch. As for teachers taking holiday in term time - that is just tosh. It is not allowed end of story. I even had to miss my great aunts funeral as it was during a school day. There is not a school around that would allow a teacher to go on holiday in term time. moonpig

10:17pm Sat 1 Mar 14

SgtAl says...

Moonpig, most parents appreciate that a residential trip is a massive undertaking by the staff involved, and definitely understand that this is not a holiday. i genuinely thank you for making these selfless sacrifices and enhancing the educational, and also cultural experiences of our children.

However we all have to make sacrifices, my personal sacrifices have involved me spending just a single weekend with my child in a 6 month period due to the inflexibility of term-time holidays for children (I am a soldier, and my R&R from foreign climes is not a valid excuse for a holiday for my kids). As a teacher, could you explain why teacher training days could not be taken in established school "holidays"?
Moonpig, most parents appreciate that a residential trip is a massive undertaking by the staff involved, and definitely understand that this is not a holiday. i genuinely thank you for making these selfless sacrifices and enhancing the educational, and also cultural experiences of our children. However we all have to make sacrifices, my personal sacrifices have involved me spending just a single weekend with my child in a 6 month period due to the inflexibility of term-time holidays for children (I am a soldier, and my R&R from foreign climes is not a valid excuse for a holiday for my kids). As a teacher, could you explain why teacher training days could not be taken in established school "holidays"? SgtAl

9:58am Sun 2 Mar 14

mijas4@live.com says...

Another example of People in this country that think everything should revolve around them. There are clear rules that apply to everybody, if you want to break the rules then take the penalty.

As a Parent if you decide that you want to put holidays before education then so be it but you can not expect the system to support you on this. This is a very modern phenomenon and in my days at school it really was an exception for kids to betaken out of school to go on holiday.

Good on the Headteacher for standing his ground and refusing to be bullied, I dread to think what education these kids will be getting at home. I have sympathy for asthma sufferers but as the Headteacher says you just have to deal with it like many things in life. Giving kids with this condition the impression that they always have to be treated differently is not not setting them up for future battles in life.

It is also naive to blame the holiday companies, it is all about supply and demand. The only way to change this would be to stagger holidays to take away the peaks.
Another example of People in this country that think everything should revolve around them. There are clear rules that apply to everybody, if you want to break the rules then take the penalty. As a Parent if you decide that you want to put holidays before education then so be it but you can not expect the system to support you on this. This is a very modern phenomenon and in my days at school it really was an exception for kids to betaken out of school to go on holiday. Good on the Headteacher for standing his ground and refusing to be bullied, I dread to think what education these kids will be getting at home. I have sympathy for asthma sufferers but as the Headteacher says you just have to deal with it like many things in life. Giving kids with this condition the impression that they always have to be treated differently is not not setting them up for future battles in life. It is also naive to blame the holiday companies, it is all about supply and demand. The only way to change this would be to stagger holidays to take away the peaks. mijas4@live.com

12:53pm Sun 2 Mar 14

moonpig says...

SgtAl wrote:
Moonpig, most parents appreciate that a residential trip is a massive undertaking by the staff involved, and definitely understand that this is not a holiday. i genuinely thank you for making these selfless sacrifices and enhancing the educational, and also cultural experiences of our children.

However we all have to make sacrifices, my personal sacrifices have involved me spending just a single weekend with my child in a 6 month period due to the inflexibility of term-time holidays for children (I am a soldier, and my R&R from foreign climes is not a valid excuse for a holiday for my kids). As a teacher, could you explain why teacher training days could not be taken in established school "holidays"?
I really sympathise with members of all our armed forces as you genuinely have issues with when you can take your holidays and family time must already be at a premium.

With regard to training days I honestly don't know why they are not taken during the holidays. The only thing I can think of is that there are lots of other non-teaching staff who work in schools too (technicians, TAs etc) who are not paid during the holidays who also need to have first aid training, food hygiene training, safeguarding children training etc. (as despite what some people think these are not 'days off') As they are only employed during term times I guess they couldn't be asked/compelled to attend training when they are not being paid. As these types of courses are more cost effective to be run for large groups you would want all your staff trained at the same time. Believe it or not they are a pain for me too as my training days never seem to coincide with my kids' training days which means I too end up with a kid off school for a training day while I have to go to work!
[quote][p][bold]SgtAl[/bold] wrote: Moonpig, most parents appreciate that a residential trip is a massive undertaking by the staff involved, and definitely understand that this is not a holiday. i genuinely thank you for making these selfless sacrifices and enhancing the educational, and also cultural experiences of our children. However we all have to make sacrifices, my personal sacrifices have involved me spending just a single weekend with my child in a 6 month period due to the inflexibility of term-time holidays for children (I am a soldier, and my R&R from foreign climes is not a valid excuse for a holiday for my kids). As a teacher, could you explain why teacher training days could not be taken in established school "holidays"?[/p][/quote]I really sympathise with members of all our armed forces as you genuinely have issues with when you can take your holidays and family time must already be at a premium. With regard to training days I honestly don't know why they are not taken during the holidays. The only thing I can think of is that there are lots of other non-teaching staff who work in schools too (technicians, TAs etc) who are not paid during the holidays who also need to have first aid training, food hygiene training, safeguarding children training etc. (as despite what some people think these are not 'days off') As they are only employed during term times I guess they couldn't be asked/compelled to attend training when they are not being paid. As these types of courses are more cost effective to be run for large groups you would want all your staff trained at the same time. Believe it or not they are a pain for me too as my training days never seem to coincide with my kids' training days which means I too end up with a kid off school for a training day while I have to go to work! moonpig

3:39pm Sun 2 Mar 14

roguetomato says...

I like how the people who are pro-term time holidays that have commented on here saying 2 weeks off school doesn't effect your education are the same ones with the worst spelling, grammar and punctuation. Irony.

Look, it's really simple, rules are rules. If you don't like the fine, don't take your kids out of school. I don't understand why these morons are moaning.

It's exactly the same as all these idiots who moan like hell when they get points and a fine for speeding. They know speeding will result in points and a fine, yet they make the informed decision to do it anyway..

Idiots.
I like how the people who are pro-term time holidays that have commented on here saying 2 weeks off school doesn't effect your education are the same ones with the worst spelling, grammar and punctuation. Irony. Look, it's really simple, rules are rules. If you don't like the fine, don't take your kids out of school. I don't understand why these morons are moaning. It's exactly the same as all these idiots who moan like hell when they get points and a fine for speeding. They know speeding will result in points and a fine, yet they make the informed decision to do it anyway.. Idiots. roguetomato

7:52pm Sun 2 Mar 14

ctpulley says...

Children need to be in school to get the basic for the next topic.
It is like maths...
Unless to can do simple sums with plus, minus, multiply and division...How can you tackle algebra or trigonometry?
If you can't read, spell or write correctly....How can you move forward onto literature?
The parents are hindering their children's education.
Does money and holidays come before this?
Children need to be in school to get the basic for the next topic. It is like maths... Unless to can do simple sums with plus, minus, multiply and division...How can you tackle algebra or trigonometry? If you can't read, spell or write correctly....How can you move forward onto literature? The parents are hindering their children's education. Does money and holidays come before this? ctpulley

11:41pm Sun 2 Mar 14

beckyesw says...

Westhamoldguy wrote:
Thinking about the amount of school holidays in a year, does this mean that parents are able to fine the school for so called 'Teacher training days' taken in term time?
Oh my goodness, it is rare that someone is so ignorant. Haha! Would love to know how many teacher training days you've been to!
[quote][p][bold]Westhamoldguy[/bold] wrote: Thinking about the amount of school holidays in a year, does this mean that parents are able to fine the school for so called 'Teacher training days' taken in term time?[/p][/quote]Oh my goodness, it is rare that someone is so ignorant. Haha! Would love to know how many teacher training days you've been to! beckyesw

4:21pm Mon 3 Mar 14

imustbeoldiwearacap says...

roguetomato wrote:
I like how the people who are pro-term time holidays that have commented on here saying 2 weeks off school doesn't effect your education are the same ones with the worst spelling, grammar and punctuation. Irony.

Look, it's really simple, rules are rules. If you don't like the fine, don't take your kids out of school. I don't understand why these morons are moaning.

It's exactly the same as all these idiots who moan like hell when they get points and a fine for speeding. They know speeding will result in points and a fine, yet they make the informed decision to do it anyway..

Idiots.
Pot, Kettle - Black!
[quote][p][bold]roguetomato[/bold] wrote: I like how the people who are pro-term time holidays that have commented on here saying 2 weeks off school doesn't effect your education are the same ones with the worst spelling, grammar and punctuation. Irony. Look, it's really simple, rules are rules. If you don't like the fine, don't take your kids out of school. I don't understand why these morons are moaning. It's exactly the same as all these idiots who moan like hell when they get points and a fine for speeding. They know speeding will result in points and a fine, yet they make the informed decision to do it anyway.. Idiots.[/p][/quote]Pot, Kettle - Black! imustbeoldiwearacap

7:15pm Mon 3 Mar 14

honeystj says...

sunnside wrote:
is anything done to teachers who take time of during term time and what about school trips during term time i dont mean day trips i mean trips abroad is that education or just an excuse for teachers to have an holiday
Nothing needs to be "done" to "teachers who take time of during term time" bc it simply doesn't happen. Apart from medical reasons, teachers simply can't take time off school in term time and are under contract to attend school on teacher training days. Further, I've known secondary school teachers who should be off for medical reasons and are not bc they feel it's more important to stay in school to continue preparing their pupils for exams.

And if you really think that playing teacher/ guide/ instructor/ substitute parent for a group of excited/ nervous/ hormonal/ home-sick/ travel-sick children 24 hours of each trip day is a "holiday", your idea of a "holiday" is obviously different from most. I challenge you to experience just one overnight coach journey from Worcester to the Continent with several dozen excitable 13 yr olds and a small handful of adults. Hell on Earth. But those adults do it bc it adds another dimension to their working relationship with their pupils.

If those teachers wanted a "holiday", it would be in the form of an extra guaranteed hour of peace in the middle of any weekday - without hassle, without marking, without meetings to attend.

Finally, if your children are ever lucky enough to go on one of these school "holidays" trips, be sure to thank the teachers. So sad to see them barely acknowledged at pick-up time.
[quote][p][bold]sunnside[/bold] wrote: is anything done to teachers who take time of during term time and what about school trips during term time i dont mean day trips i mean trips abroad is that education or just an excuse for teachers to have an holiday[/p][/quote]Nothing needs to be "done" to "teachers who take time of [did you mean 'off'?] during term time" bc it simply doesn't happen. Apart from medical reasons, teachers simply can't take time off school in term time and are under contract to attend school on teacher training days. Further, I've known secondary school teachers who should be off for medical reasons and are not bc they feel it's more important to stay in school to continue preparing their pupils for exams. And if you really think that playing teacher/ guide/ instructor/ substitute parent for a group of excited/ nervous/ hormonal/ home-sick/ travel-sick children 24 hours of each trip day is a "holiday", your idea of a "holiday" is obviously different from most. I challenge you to experience just one overnight coach journey from Worcester to the Continent with several dozen excitable 13 yr olds and a small handful of adults. Hell on Earth. But those adults do it bc it adds another dimension to their working relationship with their pupils. If those teachers wanted a "holiday", it would be in the form of an extra guaranteed hour of peace in the middle of any weekday - without hassle, without marking, without meetings to attend. Finally, if your children are ever lucky enough to go on one of these school "holidays" trips, be sure to thank the teachers. So sad to see them barely acknowledged at pick-up time. honeystj

7:17pm Tue 4 Mar 14

sunnside says...

moonpig wrote:
sunnside wrote:
is anything done to teachers who take time of during term time and what about school trips during term time i dont mean day trips i mean trips abroad is that education or just an excuse for teachers to have an holiday
I am literally laughing so hard at this comment. Please, please, please come along on our next residential trip to see just what a holiday it is. It is such fun trying to get 50 or so kids to bed of an evening. Even more entertaining is when several of them get up in the night due to homesickness or vomiting. Then we all have a great laugh at 5am the next day when the early birds start waking up. If you honestly think that caring for other people's children 24/7 (along with the HUGE responsibility this carries) is a holiday then you are seriously out of touch. As for teachers taking holiday in term time - that is just tosh. It is not allowed end of story. I even had to miss my great aunts funeral as it was during a school day. There is not a school around that would allow a teacher to go on holiday in term time.
i bet your a teacher well i used to take my children during the school holidays but as they grew up and have their own children i am unable to take time of work during holiday period so the only time my wife and i can take the grandchildren on holiday is during school time they are only 6 & 8 so i don't feel i am depriving them of vital education at their age all im trying to do is show them the rewards from hard work and i don't see why the education authority should have the right to stop this its just another back door tax on the hard working family of this country PS teachers do take time of and i have proof of this
[quote][p][bold]moonpig[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sunnside[/bold] wrote: is anything done to teachers who take time of during term time and what about school trips during term time i dont mean day trips i mean trips abroad is that education or just an excuse for teachers to have an holiday[/p][/quote]I am literally laughing so hard at this comment. Please, please, please come along on our next residential trip to see just what a holiday it is. It is such fun trying to get 50 or so kids to bed of an evening. Even more entertaining is when several of them get up in the night due to homesickness or vomiting. Then we all have a great laugh at 5am the next day when the early birds start waking up. If you honestly think that caring for other people's children 24/7 (along with the HUGE responsibility this carries) is a holiday then you are seriously out of touch. As for teachers taking holiday in term time - that is just tosh. It is not allowed end of story. I even had to miss my great aunts funeral as it was during a school day. There is not a school around that would allow a teacher to go on holiday in term time.[/p][/quote]i bet your a teacher well i used to take my children during the school holidays but as they grew up and have their own children i am unable to take time of work during holiday period so the only time my wife and i can take the grandchildren on holiday is during school time they are only 6 & 8 so i don't feel i am depriving them of vital education at their age all im trying to do is show them the rewards from hard work and i don't see why the education authority should have the right to stop this its just another back door tax on the hard working family of this country PS teachers do take time of and i have proof of this sunnside

3:04am Wed 5 Mar 14

ideas4all says...

Mr gough has done the right thing he's following government guidelines. Best teacher I ever had he was teaching us in early 80s still going strong .the kids being asthmatic doesn't make it right unless they spend the whole winter in warmer climate. They could have just waited few more days for the Xmas holidays .the teachers have got it too easy 13 weeks min holidays .training days can easily be set during half term holidays .they r far too well paid and obviously teachers take time off for medical reason that doesn't narrow it down much .
Mr gough has done the right thing he's following government guidelines. Best teacher I ever had he was teaching us in early 80s still going strong .the kids being asthmatic doesn't make it right unless they spend the whole winter in warmer climate. They could have just waited few more days for the Xmas holidays .the teachers have got it too easy 13 weeks min holidays .training days can easily be set during half term holidays .they r far too well paid and obviously teachers take time off for medical reason that doesn't narrow it down much . ideas4all

12:53pm Wed 5 Mar 14

green49 says...

Mr Gough "We have lots of children here with asthma and I say to all parents, 'you have to manage it.'

"I'm an asthmatic myself and I rarely have time off from school.
SO what??

Depends how bad it is and these parents should have got some doctors back up to show that the break away would be of benefit for the kids health,
The council nor the teacher have the medical knowledge to say if thats the case, Petty laws handed out by yes men and little hitlers,
I do not support what has happened but there are always two sides to the story.
Mr Gough "We have lots of children here with asthma and I say to all parents, 'you have to manage it.' "I'm an asthmatic myself and I rarely have time off from school. SO what?? Depends how bad it is and these parents should have got some doctors back up to show that the break away would be of benefit for the kids health, The council nor the teacher have the medical knowledge to say if thats the case, Petty laws handed out by yes men and little hitlers, I do not support what has happened but there are always two sides to the story. green49

11:27am Thu 6 Mar 14

nicki1967 says...

sunnside wrote:
moonpig wrote:
sunnside wrote:
is anything done to teachers who take time of during term time and what about school trips during term time i dont mean day trips i mean trips abroad is that education or just an excuse for teachers to have an holiday
I am literally laughing so hard at this comment. Please, please, please come along on our next residential trip to see just what a holiday it is. It is such fun trying to get 50 or so kids to bed of an evening. Even more entertaining is when several of them get up in the night due to homesickness or vomiting. Then we all have a great laugh at 5am the next day when the early birds start waking up. If you honestly think that caring for other people's children 24/7 (along with the HUGE responsibility this carries) is a holiday then you are seriously out of touch. As for teachers taking holiday in term time - that is just tosh. It is not allowed end of story. I even had to miss my great aunts funeral as it was during a school day. There is not a school around that would allow a teacher to go on holiday in term time.
i bet your a teacher well i used to take my children during the school holidays but as they grew up and have their own children i am unable to take time of work during holiday period so the only time my wife and i can take the grandchildren on holiday is during school time they are only 6 & 8 so i don't feel i am depriving them of vital education at their age all im trying to do is show them the rewards from hard work and i don't see why the education authority should have the right to stop this its just another back door tax on the hard working family of this country PS teachers do take time of and i have proof of this
I think that you should really consider the implications of taking children out of school regularly for holidays....your own spelling and grammar is appalling!
[quote][p][bold]sunnside[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]moonpig[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sunnside[/bold] wrote: is anything done to teachers who take time of during term time and what about school trips during term time i dont mean day trips i mean trips abroad is that education or just an excuse for teachers to have an holiday[/p][/quote]I am literally laughing so hard at this comment. Please, please, please come along on our next residential trip to see just what a holiday it is. It is such fun trying to get 50 or so kids to bed of an evening. Even more entertaining is when several of them get up in the night due to homesickness or vomiting. Then we all have a great laugh at 5am the next day when the early birds start waking up. If you honestly think that caring for other people's children 24/7 (along with the HUGE responsibility this carries) is a holiday then you are seriously out of touch. As for teachers taking holiday in term time - that is just tosh. It is not allowed end of story. I even had to miss my great aunts funeral as it was during a school day. There is not a school around that would allow a teacher to go on holiday in term time.[/p][/quote]i bet your a teacher well i used to take my children during the school holidays but as they grew up and have their own children i am unable to take time of work during holiday period so the only time my wife and i can take the grandchildren on holiday is during school time they are only 6 & 8 so i don't feel i am depriving them of vital education at their age all im trying to do is show them the rewards from hard work and i don't see why the education authority should have the right to stop this its just another back door tax on the hard working family of this country PS teachers do take time of and i have proof of this[/p][/quote]I think that you should really consider the implications of taking children out of school regularly for holidays....your own spelling and grammar is appalling! nicki1967

1:05pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Vox populi says...

Taking your children on holiday out of term time as a financial decision clearly makes perfectly good sense if you factor in the fine and it is still considerably cheaper although this is no reason to complain to a newspaper.

As for the impact on the children that is purely a judgement call. This is based entirely on the age of the kids, what they are doing on holiday etc. You can't tell me that a child may not benefit more in terms of social skills, education and development by doing some travelling in a foreign country, skiing, swimming or even learning about the history of where they are visiting but that is still a judgement call…….the parents. A week is a relatively short time in terms of curriculum
Taking your children on holiday out of term time as a financial decision clearly makes perfectly good sense if you factor in the fine and it is still considerably cheaper although this is no reason to complain to a newspaper. As for the impact on the children that is purely a judgement call. This is based entirely on the age of the kids, what they are doing on holiday etc. You can't tell me that a child may not benefit more in terms of social skills, education and development by doing some travelling in a foreign country, skiing, swimming or even learning about the history of where they are visiting but that is still a judgement call…….the parents. A week is a relatively short time in terms of curriculum Vox populi

4:42pm Thu 6 Mar 14

imustbeoldiwearacap says...

Vox populi wrote:
Taking your children on holiday out of term time as a financial decision clearly makes perfectly good sense if you factor in the fine and it is still considerably cheaper although this is no reason to complain to a newspaper.

As for the impact on the children that is purely a judgement call. This is based entirely on the age of the kids, what they are doing on holiday etc. You can't tell me that a child may not benefit more in terms of social skills, education and development by doing some travelling in a foreign country, skiing, swimming or even learning about the history of where they are visiting but that is still a judgement call…….the parents. A week is a relatively short time in terms of curriculum
The cynic in me says that when children are taken on holiday - it is not to teach the children about the culture and history of the country where they are staying! The holiday is chosen for the benefit of the parents! But I agree, one week in one academic year is not significant - however many parents have abused the old system - taking their children out for 2/3 holidays a year - that has resulted in this new regime. And if, as in this case, your children have missed schooling because of illness, it is totally irresponsible to take them out of school just for a holiday!
[quote][p][bold]Vox populi[/bold] wrote: Taking your children on holiday out of term time as a financial decision clearly makes perfectly good sense if you factor in the fine and it is still considerably cheaper although this is no reason to complain to a newspaper. As for the impact on the children that is purely a judgement call. This is based entirely on the age of the kids, what they are doing on holiday etc. You can't tell me that a child may not benefit more in terms of social skills, education and development by doing some travelling in a foreign country, skiing, swimming or even learning about the history of where they are visiting but that is still a judgement call…….the parents. A week is a relatively short time in terms of curriculum[/p][/quote]The cynic in me says that when children are taken on holiday - it is not to teach the children about the culture and history of the country where they are staying! The holiday is chosen for the benefit of the parents! But I agree, one week in one academic year is not significant - however many parents have abused the old system - taking their children out for 2/3 holidays a year - that has resulted in this new regime. And if, as in this case, your children have missed schooling because of illness, it is totally irresponsible to take them out of school just for a holiday! imustbeoldiwearacap

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