Frugi’s mum (Lucy) has a rant about taking the kids out of school during term time- all opinions are her own
Over Christmas we took some much needed time off and took the kids on their first big adventure, to Australia.
Of course, there were all the necessities – sun, sea, sand and Kurt’s terrible Aussie impersonation. But the best thing about it was watching the kids immerse themselves in another culture on the opposite side of the globe; gawping at the wildlife, amazed at the Great Barrier Reef, and of course spending Christmas day on the beach!
Over a month on and they’re still talking about it every day. They’ve learned so much and it’s proved once again to me that these formative experiences are every bit as valuable as time spent learning in the classroom.
Clearly, trips like this aren’t always going to be possible (it took us ten years!) particularly when you have to work around the school holidays. This is particularly true in Cornwall, where tourism brings around £2bn to the economy and provides over 45,000 full time jobs – everyone’s working in the school holidays!
Every region, town, and family is different. That is why it is so important to have decisions about this sort of thing made at a local level, instead of which our local head teachers have now been stripped of their powers of discretion with the new amendments to the Education Regulations. Pupils can only be given extended leave in ‘exceptional circumstances’, with short-payment fines dished out for rule breakers.
It seems to me that they are fixing the wrong problem. If a head teacher cannot tell the difference between persistent truancy and parents trying to give their children a rounded education, then they shouldn’t be a head teacher!
So when parents are condemned and fined for this ‘crime’, as well as suffering from bad decision making, they are paying for the Government’s own incompetence.
This entire situation was beautifully captured for me when a friend of mind fought to take her child out of school to go to NASA to watch the last shuttle launch. Do you know what the class did in her week long absence?… Made Easter Bonnets.