I 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.