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Term time holiday ban… April 11, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

I feel a bit conflicted about this – the recent decision in the UK Supreme Court to uphold the ban on term time holidays.

The idea there’s no flexibility in relation to holidays and trips away is a real issue. For workers there’s the other side that the costs of holidays can be prohibitive at high season. And as someone who worked in an employment for years where those who worked there were only allowed to take holidays during ‘builders holidays’ – that is August – that last was very very evident.

On the other hand too much latitude and the school can come under pressure. Some sort of broad framework might be best with constraints but not absolute bans
on time away – and so on. What do others think?


1. sonofstan - April 11, 2017

It’s exacerbated to a great extent in the UK by the relative shortness of school summer holidays – 6 weeks or so compared with the 3 months that second level kids get in Ireland. Weirdly, kids here get a much longer Easter break – 3 full weeks, which seems to be standard for universities also compared with – what? – no more than 10 days in Ireland.


2. irishelectionliterature - April 11, 2017

It does seem overly harsh.
I’ve taken my kids out of school for a few days to go to Rovers matches abroad!! On a more serious note there would be family occasions such as weddings or (God forbid) funerals etc where people , especially those with relations outside of where they live, would have to take the children out of school for.
When my son was in Primary school we took him out a week early as we had a family wedding abroad and made our Summer holiday around it. The Principal had no problem at all saying that they were probably better off with the family for a week than in school, especially in that period where the schoolchildren were giddy with excitement for their holidays.


3. ivorthorne - April 11, 2017

Part of the reason this is a problem is because of the way teaching is carried out. What element of the curriculum is it okay to miss out on? If attending the class is not necessary to learn it, why in the heck would we make kids attend the class anyway?

Or is the teacher supposed to re-teach that lesson when the student returns from their holiday? At which point, do they re-write their lesson plans with 15 minutes set aside for little Bobby so she can teach him about the Iron age that he missed in February, 12 minutes for Sarah so she can teach her about French geography she missed in March and 15 minutes so she can teach Darren about division he missed in April?

Our entire education system is ridiculously designed. Learning should be self-paced and individualised. While that might have been problematic 40 years ago, we’ve had the technology to do this for the past 25 years. If you look at something like this:


You can see how somebody having a self-paced piece of technology could learn something like reading more effectively and in a way that means somebody wasting their time attending a class on long division when they missed the class on division due to holidays or illness does not happen.

A friend once visited a school in Dublin’s inner city. Few of the 10 year olds in a class could read the entire alphabet but they were receiving lessons based on what Follens figured the class they were in should be studying at that age. Ridiculous.

I’m not suggesting that self-paced technological educational interventions should be the only or even predominant way that children learn but there’s something inherently ridiculous about giving people lessons on a subject where they have not mastered the basics or expecting the entire class to progress at – more or less – the same pace.


WorldbyStorm - April 11, 2017

A lot I agree with in there. Flexibility seems to me to be a good thing.


4. crocodileshoes - April 11, 2017

If a Beatles reunion, a Muhammad Ali fight and the Second Coming were all due to take place in our back garden, my parents wouldn’t have let me take a day off school. I carried that on into my teaching career, where I came to the conclusion that everyone should be allowed to take their children out of school – except the sort of people who take their children out of school!

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6to5against - April 11, 2017

When you say ‘those who take their children out of school…’, isn’t it mainly those who take them out for several days spread out over the year, rather than a single block of 1 – 2 weeks?

Liked by 1 person

5. 6to5against - April 11, 2017

I’m a teacher and I’ve taken my kids out of school for a holiday. Learning is not something that happens in strict proportion to classtime. There is much more involved: parental involvement, student engagement, cultural importance attached to education, god knows what else.

It is certainly true that, in general, those who attend most and do their homework do better in exams, but an attendance minimum of, say 90% would deal with that – as much as regulation can.


6. crocodileshoes - April 11, 2017

My favourites were the ones who said : ‘Would you mind letting us know what you’re covering in the week we’re taking Sean to Disneyland.’ Surface meaning:’We’re not endangering Sean’s education in any way.’ Reading between the lines: ‘ There’s nothing Sean hears in your class that he can’t get by photocopying someone else’s notes or downloading a few sample answers off the internet (we’ll still be blaming you if he doesn’t get the result he wants, though!)!

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