Parents risk fines with term-time holidays
The hike in travel and accommodation prices during official school holidays mean many parents are risking the wrath of head teachers in order to save money.%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
With holiday prices during the summer averaging 43% (£790) more than during term-time – according to data from Santander – it is easy to see the dilemma faced by parents throughout the country.
Government guidelines state that schools can impose fines of £50 to parents if their child has an unauthorised absence, and schools are free to implement additional policies and penalties.
Swayed by savings
Yet many parents (43%) say they don't know what the policy is at their child's school. Cutting holiday costs is a top priority for most, with big savings tempting many to take the controversial decision to book a trip during term time.
Of the parents willing to take their children out of school for a holiday, two-thirds (67%) of the respondents who said they would consider taking their children on holiday during term time would do so for a saving of £500 or less, while one in six (17%) would take their children on holiday during term-time for a saving of just £50.
Risk to studies
The study found that the age of children and the importance of their studies in later years had little effect on parents' willingness to book term-time holidays, with almost half of the parents of 14-18 year olds (48%) willing to take their children out of school during the crucial GCSE and A-level years.
Frances Browning, spokesperson for Direct Line, said:"Parents may feel they have a tough choice: either pay over the odds to travel with the crowds during the school holidays, or take their children out of school to save hundreds or even thousands of pounds on a family holiday.
"If a school imposes fines for absences, the holiday savings might not be worth the cost, so we recommend that families look for other ways to save on their holidays."