Fines for parents taking their kids on holiday

NOT AT SCHOOLI HEARD THIS on the news the other day. Parents were fined in record numbers this year for taking their kids out of school and having the gall to take them on a holiday. Again, parents fined for doing what they want with their own children by the government. It seems incredulous to me that there is even a measure in place to fine parents for exercising freewill over how their offspring spend time.

Not only are children in school all day away from their parents (although I’m sure many parents don’t mind this at all sadly), they also have increasing pressure to perform well at an earlier age in exams. Then once a day of ‘learning’ is over they’re expected to do homework also. Surely any education system worth anything wouldn’t need to lumber children with extracurricular learning as they’d be teaching children well enough in the first place.

Back to the main point – two weeks or less out of school is not going to effect a kids education, schools are not that good! Coming from a peculiar background I hit secondary school in the right age group and year, having only had one previous year of formal education. So who is benefiting from trying to deter parents from god forbid, taking their kid(s) on holiday? Well, the government makes money for starters, that’s a prerequisite. The main thing is that they drive a wedge between the boundary of parenthood and their child, trying to assert far more control over it than they ever have the right to. Far more children have been damaged from being in school than out of it. And the British education system is stuck in the fifties, it isn’t as if children are being treated to forward thinking learning that is beneficial for them in all aspects. Thirty children in a class= chaos for teachers and the children. In Finland, home to the top rated education system in the world, the children don’t even become pupils until seven, and even then it is in more of a social/ play capacity. Formal education starts nearer 12 years old. That’s because children need nurtured and allowed to be kids before you bore them to death with ancient history or trigonometry. Interesting; fun; engaging; choice; challenging; creative – rarely are those words spoken by any pupil beyond primary school. Boring; horrible; pointless; tired – more often are these words spoken, because children need stimulation. If taking them on holiday is punishable, then the educational institutions they attend should be as well if standards aren’t met in quality of service.

Alongside all the other erosions of privacy in the UK, the fact the government is trying to control our choices with our children seems like another sad sad nail in the coffin, a coffin which houses a dead British empire and conservative values, none of which are for the betterment of education but to churn out a factory line of school leavers who slot neatly into predetermined futures. If I was a parent my kid would be ‘off sick’ at least once a year – let’s face it, the inside of a classroom can become pretty tedious even if it wasn’t initially.

14 Comments

  1. Here in the states, standardized testing is the norm. My husband and I will probably be burned at the stake for opting our seven year old out of all of them.

    Great piece. Thanks for following the site as well.

    1. Many thanks to you too.
      I think the main issue with tests apart from the fact they don’t tell us all that much is the word ‘standardized’ that follows it – everyone is different, but school tries to make it that everyone is the same.

  2. I hear that a few travel companies are offering to pay the fines. Better that they don’t hike their prices so much during the school hols. Just the one point I take issue with – we’re not stuck in the fifties. Sometimes I wish we were – British education was so much better then.

    1. I hear you on the 50’s part – it was a bit of a throwaway comment, at least kids were literate and numeric when they left to a decent standard, but the methods still left a lot to be desired.

  3. I so agree. Especially when I saw my granddaughter – a kindergartener mind you – in tears over how hard the homework was. Gabriella is no slouch either – she enjoys school ( or wants to) and is up for a challenge. Makes me angry and furthermore I wish I could take her out of school VERY occasionally for a day when I visit!

  4. It is all part of the state’s aim to control all you do. Probably the easiest way to avoid this situation – which I agree is ridiculous – is to home-educate. Also be sure you resist GIRFEC and the appalling ‘named person’ nonsense, whereby every child is to have a named person allotted to them, with uncertain powers but able to over-rule parents at times certainly. Check out Schoolhouse Home Education Association – http://www.schoolhouse.org.uk – Scotland’s main home ed support group.

  5. Just reading this made me furious! How is this even possible? How is it even possible that we as a society allow them to do this? Our educational system is horrible! I can only speak for the states, which is horrible.

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