Monday, 22 February 2016

School holiday price hike - Would you take your children out of school?

For the last couple of years there's been much said about taking children out of school for family holidays and the price hikes.

My children have brilliant attendance & have had minimal time off. My daughter has had a couple of Friday & Mondays which were for holiday purposes and were prior to the changes (my son was not at school at the time) and these were authorised by the school.   These were for a family wedding & a trip to DisneylandParis . I've never taken them out for a whole week but am this year.

I've ummed & ahhed & deliberated but have made the decision to do it largely based on cost as we wanted to go abroad.

I also believe my children will benefit from the break and it will not impact on their education.  I have tagged it onto a half term break so they will not be starting anything new & will be winding down anyway.

The old system of upto 10 days a year based on child's overall attendance worked well and I can't understand why they needed to change it.

I strongly believe quality family time is important and the price hikes can mean some families can never take a break. As we are travelling in May the children's auntie & uncle are also coming which is brilliant and was part of the reason for choosing to do it.

I've browsed some breaks abroad & at home for price comparison purposes and although I knew it was ridiculous I was shocked by the percentage increase. Maths is not my strong suit but my other half assisted.

Centre parcs has a whopping 173% price difference in the week before half term and May 2016 half term week!!!!

23rd May £439 30th May £1199 (Monday to Friday) that is £760 more almost triple the price.

It really is incredible.

First choice Lanzarote had 45% on one break and 69% on another.

22nd May £2335 29th May £3401 that is £1066 more.
22nd May £1897 29th May £3213 a whopping £1316 more!!!
Amazingly the example above still had child free places so if you can travel on the 22nd you may still get a good deal.

These prices are all based on 2 adults 2 children and May 2016 half term dates.

I couldn't compare Haven or Butlins as many May dates were already sold out but summer breaks show similar price hikes.
Example Haven Wild Duck Great Yarmouth 16th July 2016 £544 23rd July £981 which is 80% increase!!!

I am concerned about a potential fine but my holiday is booked and paid for.  I would not take my children out once at secondary school but really do feel at primary school it is acceptable if upto 10 days per year.

Interestingly Wales do not operate the same policy as England & Scotland have different summer breaks so can benefit from the cheaper prices.

What are your thoughts?
Were you shocked by the price differences?
Have you taken your children out of school?

Emma xxx

Update: We did not receive a fine and I didn't do it again partly because I'm just too much of a rule sticker tooer and also because in January 2017 I began a job working in a primary school.



  1. I think there should be a few flexi dates in place and it should be up to parents to decide if they want to use them for holidays.

  2. I totally agree with you that you should take your children out of school! I personally find the policy of not being able to, quite ridiculous, and a total disgrace that the prices for flights and holiday destinations are increased so dramatically! I was taken out of school for holidays all the way through, even while in sixth form, I still chose to go with my parents when they went on holiday, and took time out of school to do it. For us, it may be the only way we can afford a holiday when the children are at school, as there's no way we can afford those prices. The cost of taking the fine will still be significantly lower than going away in the holidays! And creating memories, and cramming in as many fun times with your children as possible, seems far more important to me...
    Thanks so much for sharing this at #bigpinklink!

    1. Thank you lovely. I find the whole thing so irritating. I'm actually dreading telly the school & shouldn't feel bad for wanting a holiday with my family that won't bankrupt me. Wish the holiday companies would lower the costs. Maybe moving to Scotland is the way they break up in June so can travel abroad cheaper :) x

  3. It is crazy how they hike up the prices and I do not agree with it. Where we live they aren't as strict although they are starting to clamp down now. We had a holiday changed and had to take it out of term time holiday. Oldest was fine she didn't miss out on anything, didn't fall behind and had a holiday where she experienced new cultures and learnt a lot out of the classroom. I think that as long as the child has good attendance and it doesn't impact on any important exams etc then it should be fine. The only time I wouldn't want a child missing school for a break would be their GCSE years as you are covering so much that it can be hard to catch-up when there is an absence. #thebigpinklink

    1. I would never do it on prior to exams but my children are only 5 and 9 and have brilliant attendance. My daughters is current 100% and son slightly less due to 2 days illness. I wish common sense was brought back. Grr!!!

  4. We took the Tubblet out for a few days during term time when she was at Primary, but they weren't quite as strict then. Now she's at Secondary I wouldn't. I do think that they should limit the amount holiday companies can increase the prices during the holidays like they do in some other countries

    1. I do think the holiday companies should only be allowed to increase by a certain percentage to give us all a chance at a nice break without worrying about school fines/educational needs. I'd love to go centre parcs again but the school holiday prices are ridiculous. Sob! Thanks for commenting.

  5. It's a tough one! We are def going abroad this year before Tigs starts school...I'm not much of a rule breaker when it comes to authority, so I don't think i'd do it? But, who knows...seeing these prices maybe I'd change my mind!
    #coolmumclub- thanks for joining us!

    1. I'm not a rule breaker either & ummed & ahhed for ages it we can't afford to go in August & the kids auntie & uncle wouldn't be able to come either. Def go before your little one starts school & you have to worry.

  6. I currently work in a school, so can't take term time holidays, but I don't blame families who do. I've had authorised term time holidays in the old system and been away twice. Here, you are fined £60 per child, per patent, so up to £240 for 2 children. If you're saving hundreds, it's worth it financially.

  7. I currently work in a school, so can't take term time holidays, but I don't blame families who do. I've had authorised term time holidays in the old system and been away twice. Here, you are fined £60 per child, per patent, so up to £240 for 2 children. If you're saving hundreds, it's worth it financially.

    1. Thank you for commenting Mrs B. Interestingly the kids came home with letters saying their school is shutting fir 1 say in May & 1 in June to be used as a polling station. Why is it OK to do that but not go on holiday?