Half of parents will take children out of school for holiday

Half of parents will take children out of school for holiday - More than half of parents say they intend to take out their children from school in order to go on holiday, according to a survey.

The survey of 1,000 parents underlined how many felt that the large premium charged by travel companies for flights and hotels during holidays has forced them to take their children away during term time.

As many as 52 per cent of the parents asked said they were thinking of taking their children out of school this summer to save money on a holiday, and 15 per cent of parents had already done so. The survey was undertaken on behalf of gurgle.com, a parenting website.

The survey comes a few months after a separate piece of research suggested that package holidays to sunny locations during the Easter half-term were considerably more expensive than the week before and after.

Parents who take their children on holiday during school term risk a fine from their local authority

One holiday was 269 per cent more expensive, and on average a family of four was paying £1,132 more for their break away during half term, than if they took their children out of school and went two weeks later.

Travel companies say the reason why holidays are less expensive during term time is a simple case of supply and demand, with fewer people wanting or able to travel at these times they are able to lower the price. During the summer holiday demand shoots up, enabling them to put up their prices.

Nifa McLaughlin, editor of gurgle.com, said: “Taking children on holiday can be stressful at the best of times, but when that’s coupled with tighter budgets, it’s no wonder that parents are contemplating taking their kids out of school to save a few pennies and avoid the crowds.

“Holidays abroad are now more of a luxury than ever before, and getting out of the country is going to continue to be expensive for families."

Local authorities brought in a fines system in 2004 ago in an attempt to stop this practice. They can now issue offending parents with a £100 penalty, and some have been known to report the child to social services for truancy, even when the parents have warned the school about what they intend to do.

Nearly 21,000 penalty notices for unauthorised absences were issued in England in the school year 2009-10, a 17 per cent increase from two years previously. ( telegraph.co.uk )

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