Parents are taking a stand against the ban on term-time holidays. Campaign group ‘Parents want a say‘ officially launched over the weekend and has already won support of 200,000 other parents.
The group is seeking judicial review of the rules, claiming that they are a breach of the human right to family life.
Last September, Education Secretary Michael Gove removed the policy which allowed schools to grant up to 10 days leave to families in “special circumstances”, also threatening parents with fines of up to £1,000 or even to be put in prison for taking their children out of school for a family holiday during term time.
One e-petition in opposition to the rules and school holiday price hikes gained well over 160,000 signatures in February and led to the topic being debated in Parliament.
The new campaign group is run by Karen Wilkinson, a mother of three from Bath in Somerset.
Its website argues that last year’s changes are unfairly criminalising hardworking families for wanting to enjoy affordable holidays together.
“The cost of a family holiday during the school holidays is an expense many working families simply can’t afford,” it says.
“Furthermore, it is not simply a matter of cost for many families; most businesses can’t allow large numbers of their staff to take leave at the same time either.
“Those hardest hit by this short sighted policy include the country’s highly valued public sector workers. Military families are restricted on when they take holidays due to work, training and overseas deployment, as are many NHS doctors and nurses for similar reasons.
“Those caring for our country’s elderly, operating national transport systems and our police force will also suffer under this policy, unable to enjoy family holiday’s when work schedules allow them to without facing fines for doing so.
“Government inference without due consideration to the families it will effect is unacceptable. The responsibility of making decisions about our children should be put back in the hands of the parent. All children who have a good attendance record should be allowed to enjoy and benefit from experiencing time abroad with their parents on an annual holiday of up to 10 day per year.”
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