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UK: Most parents say it’s OK to take kids for holiday during term – study

Most parents feel it is up to them when to take their children on holiday, whenever it is convenient. Source: Shutterstock

My family’s holiday, my decision – that’s the gist of how British parents feel about taking their kids on holiday in the middle of the term

Most British parents (73 percent) agree with Jon Platt, who took to the English courts for the right to take his children out of school during term time, according to a study by online flight-booker Kiwi.com.

Two-thirds say it is not wrong for them to do so, with many citing expensive costs during popular holiday times like Christmas and New Year as their reason for choosing an off-peak vacation.

“Each year, the school holiday period heavily impacts the cost of flights abroad, meaning families have to pay unnecessary premiums for their annual trip abroad, or battle with colleagues to bag the holiday time from work first to avoid missing out,” Kiwi.com’s chief marketing officer Stephen Davis said in a press release on the study.

Last month, the Supreme Court upheld the local council’s fine on Platt for taking his daughter for an unauthorised break to Disneyland during school term – a decision many schools and the Department of Education endorsed.

Lady Hale, the deputy president of the supreme court who delivered the judgment said: “Unauthorised absences have a disruptive effect, not only on the education of the individual child, but also on the work of other pupils.

“If one pupil can be taken out whenever it suits the parent, then so can others … Any educational system expects people to keep the rules. Not to do so is unfair to those obedient parents who do keep the rules, whatever the costs or inconvenience to themselves.”

But parents feel otherwise.

Kiwi.com’s data shows parents are driven to book their holidays during off-peak months for reasons beyond inconvenience or flight prices – sometimes off-peak months may be the only time they can get time off.

Almost half (48 percent) say it is hard to get their leave approved during the holidays as many of their parent colleagues are applying for the same as well, resulting in tension with management and colleagues, being bullied into taking time off, and even feeling so pressured they have considered leaving their jobs.

With these considerations, 58 percent said they would take their kids away during school term. And despite seven in 10 parents being penalised by their local council, half said they would do it again.

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