Should parents take their children out of school during school time?

28 August 2009

I argued on BBC Breakfast that they should not. I cited the example of ‘Katie’ (not the pupils’ real name) who had missed weeks of school because her parents were taking her out regularly of school during term time, going on cheap holidays. They lied to the school and said that she was ill. There was nothing the school could do. Katie missed lots of valuable lesson time and did not complete her coursework as a result, the holiday time was wasted time for her. Other people emailed the show to point out that teachers waste valuable time helping pupils who have been away on holiday catch-up when they could be helping other pupils, which is certainly true.


  1. Nonsense each situation should be judged on the individual. Travel in the widest sense is an educational experience that no amount of ‘international week’ can surpass. An understanding school should be able to provide the family with appropriate material for the child to cover in their absence or suggest the child complete a journal covering the period away which can reflect the school term topics. No teacher-student time is wasted if the focus is on imparting knowledge that creates positive learning. If planned the teacher can share the experience with the class and the child feels their time away has been rewarding. Teachers spend far too much time complaining these days and schools are certainly not far from been a mafia.

    from sherry
  2. I take your point, but the problem is that in the big picture, the pupils who miss school the most do the worst. While there may be individual cases where pupils have profitted from going on holiday during term-time, mostly this is not the case. Furthermore, it’s very difficult for teachers to incorporate pupils discussing their holidays during term-time into their lessons. This could cause resentment in the classroom and encourage other pupils to do the same, which, as I’ve said, doesn’t help things.

    from francisgilbert

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