YP Letters: Those who set school holiday rules should live in the real world

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From: M.J. Thompson, Goodison Boulevard, Cantley, Doncaster.

In respect of parents taking children on holiday during term time (The Yorkshire Post, September 1), I have written to you in the past about my son in-law who works in the glass container industry which is a 24-hour, 365-days-a-year concern.

Are the summer holidays too long?

Are the summer holidays too long?

He cannot choose the dates of his holidays as the plant has to remain open all year.

The company he works for tell him when his holidays have to be taken so consequently his holidays sometimes fall in term time. If he did not take my grandchildren out of school it could be up to four years before he could enjoy a family holiday together.

Councillor Tim Cheetham states that “every school day matters”. But if so why are schools closed when we get a light dusting of snow? This does not happen in Scandinavia.

Using the same criteria, why are my grandchildren starting back to school one day late so that teacher training can take place? Surely this could take place in the six weeks holiday as the teachers are still on full pay in this period. The word hypocrisy comes to mind.

The people who make and enforce these rules work in a closeted work place and have little idea of what the real world of commerce is all about.

From: Jenny Eaves, Balby, Doncaster

It was intriguing to read your special report on Saturday about the way in which only the wealthiest families can now afford to take their children away on a traditional summer holiday because of their high cost, with other families opting to take their children out of school during term-time to save hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds on the cost of a trip.

Of course, the main trouble with the money-saving measure is not the small fine that could be imposed, but rather the potential difficulty it causes with the school and the loss of valuable learning time.

However, given politicians are forever talking about the importance of family values as the backbone to a successful society and the well-established principle that family holidays offer the opportunity for children and their parents to bond and create special memories together, I think headteachers should be given greater discretion to allow pupils to go away during term-time if they feel the break will be worthwhile and won’t disrupt their education too much.

Common sense is needed all around.