Days are numbered for term-time holidays

The government has confirmed plans to join forces with the travel industry to encourage parents to take family holidays outside term-time to help cut truancy rates.

Under a new scheme, Every Lesson Counts, travel companies will offer discounts and other incentives such as free child places to encourage families to book holidays during holiday periods early and help keep pupils in school.

“Taking a holiday during term-time can mean that children miss important school time and coursework,” a spokesperson for the Department for Education and Skills said. “A term-time holiday is all too often seen as the rule. It should be the exception.”

However, children’s charity Barnardo’s questioned how far the move would go towards tackling the wider issue of children truanting.

“It could make a contribution to tackling some of the problems of parentally authorised truancy, but there are still many aspects of truancy that need to be addressed,” a spokesperson for the charity warned.

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