A couple who were fined just under £1,000 for taking their children on holiday during term time has sparked a fresh debate over the topic of term time holidays.
Travel Counsellors’ boss, David Speakman, published his thoughts on flexible school holidays in a blog on the group’s website. In it, he criticises the new laws which mean parents can be fined and even jailed for up to three months for taking their children on holiday during the school term.
“It is a sorry state of affairs that anyone would seek to criminalise a parent that takes a child on a family holiday,” said Speakman.
He suggests spreading the demand for holidays over the year by allowing schools to close in the old tradition of “wakes weeks” in northern towns; or if they were to remain open to at least allow for a more relaxed curriculum, which would teach about countries abroad.
“Families should not be criminalised nor an industry be demonised that has played such an important role in developing family travel for everyone.”
The new laws do allow councils to be more flexible when setting dates, something ABTA is putting more pressure on local authorities to do.