We were recently approached by parenting website Babies.co.uk to collaborate on a survey of parents’ attitudes towards the new Deregulation Bill, which takes effect in 2015. The Bill will hand state schools the power to set their own term dates. As this decision impacts the holiday market, we were happy to help with the survey and uncovered some surprising results. 57% of almost 400 survey respondents disagreed with the new rules, with childcare and family holidays cited as the main reasons for this stance. Some were worried that it would be difficult to arrange family getaways with schools operating different holiday schedules, and that more parents would take their children away during term time as a result.
We would strongly advise parents not to book family holidays during the school term, unless they have permission to do so. Missing just a couple of weeks of education can have a serious impact on children’s results.
Under the new rules we expect to see more families booking “mini” holidays throughout the year, taking advantage of weekends rather than relying on school breaks. Family holidays are precious. It would be a terrible shame for parents to miss out on the opportunity to spend time with their children.
It is worth reminding ourselves that schools are under no obligation to make significant – or indeed any – changes to their current academic year. They will be encouraged to work closely with parents to arrive at a structure that works for children, teachers and parents alike.
The full results of our survey are below:
From 2015, schools will have the power to set their own term dates and holidays. Do you agree with this change?
Yes (30%) 118
No (58%) 227
Uncertain (12%) 48