'Why not, it's cheaper' - readers back taking children on holiday in term time
Authorised absences, cheaper holidays and more flexibility in schools.
These are just some of the ideas put forward by readers who back taking children on holiday during the school year, instead of sticking to the traditional holiday times. Eighty-eight per cent of readers who took part in an online poll were on board with the idea.
Many cited cheaper holiday deals as the main reason for taking their children out - but also added that family time is just as important as time spent in the classroom.
Others called on travel agents to lower their prices.
Here's what you had to say about the issue on social media:
Tracy Halliday: "Did it most years and our son left with brilliant grades, got a degree, a masters and has a good job. It's not just in school that your kids learn."
Hayley Hodgson: "Yes I would a week before they break up for their holidays! It's cheaper and it's not affecting their education when the last week they do pretty much nothing, I see no harm ... if they are that worried about kids' education and development then stop giving them so many half terms!"
Steve Hall: "Something needs to be done about the artificially high prices of holidays during school breaks. Taking children out of school for a few days isn’t too bad as they are able to catch up. However a two-week break means that the child is now two weeks behind the rest of the class, and the chances of catching up is slim."
Heather Jopling: "My brother does for one week. The holiday is Â£1,700 in June but over Â£3,000 in school holidays. 100% attendance otherwise. People want to do best by their kids and show them different parts of the world and have a nice break when working hard. Sadly the holiday companies capitalise on this and prevent families from doing it."
Deb Coatsworth: "Done it a few times. Done no harm. Holiday was much cheaper to go abroad and temperature much cooler and not as harmful as what it can be in July/Aug."
Alison Thexton: "Yes. Life is best when making memories. Prices are ridiculous during school holidays."
Pauline Johnson: "Some families can't afford the prices for holidays in school breaks."
Kim Clark: "We did once when our kids were at school, I think as long as it's not a regular thing then it should be fine, where's the harm?"
Emma-Louise Poole: "As long as it’s not during important exam times (SATs, GCSEs etc) then yes. The prices of a holiday during the school holidays are ridiculous to say the least.
"Not just that, not everyone can get the time off work at these times, and if you have a special needs child they tend not to be able to cope with crowds etc at peak times.
"Plus they can learn so much from travelling."
Wendy Banks: "Apart from the prices not everyone can get time off work during school holidays."
Eileen Joyce: "Well people wouldn’t have to do this if travel agents didn’t hike up the prices at holiday time."
Marty Rome: "Hell yes (unless its exam time) the prices they charge to take advantage of families is a joke."
Hazel Archer: "Why not it's cheaper."
Diane Liddle: "I have in the past and I’ve been fined which turns out cheaper than the holiday price?"
Leoni Mccarrick: "The teachers have six weeks off ... if a week off can affect their education that badly, why are school holidays so long? Why not offer the option of taking the missed work home in the holidays etc? Come to a compromise. The price of a family holiday during school holidays means it's only a dream for some families."
Carol Burton: "They should bring back the up to 10 days authorised leave or drop the six weeks down to four then parents can use two weeks as they please. Some people have no choice but to take their kids out of school as they can't get holidays from work in term time so why should they miss out, family time is just as important as school time.
"Believe me, children don't miss that much and what little they miss they soon catch back up, maybe if they make the holiday prices the same price no matter when you go away people wouldn't take their children out of school. But fining parents is a easy money-making scheme for the government."
Donna Williams: "Yes. As a person raising children alone its either this or no holiday at all. Operators raise prices by ridiculous amounts just because its school hols...travel a couple [of] days either side of these dates and difference could be hundreds of pounds for a family."