OPINION PIECE: ...AND ANOTHER THING: A* for taking kids out of school


If there’s ever a modern issue to get people hot under the collar, fines for taking your children out of school to go on holiday is top of the class.

And so it should be. What a ridiculous notion.

Anybody who grew up in the 80s can remember taking a few days here and there to go on the obligatory package holiday to Spain.

I can’t remember it having any kind of impact on my schooling (then again, maybe I could have been a doctor or a solicitor, rather than a loud-mouthed hack).

So rather than taking it up with the travel agents, the Government force the issue back to the parents who are then made to dig deep to pay a fine.

Yet it clearly hasn’t been thought through.

As most people I have spoken to say - the choice is £120 fine, or pay an extra £1,000 for the holiday.

Whoever came up with that clearly missed most of their maths lessons to go to Disney World. It’s a no brainer.

If they have exams coming up, okay, then a quiet word in the parents’ lugholes might be needed.

If the parents have spent more time at the school than their absent child, then fair enough.

But to take the last few days of the summer term so you can steal a march on the travel agents inflated fees, I’m all for it.

So they miss out on the wind-down lessons in which everyone sits around playing Connect 4 (well, that was the thing in the 80s) then so be it.

Perhaps the key is to treat each pupil on an individual basis.

If little Johnny is an A-star pupil with an impeccable attendance record, he should have earned enough gold stars to merit a few days’ leave.

It should be the travel agents who are forced to answer questions here, not the parents.