Should you be allowed to miss school to go on holiday?

  • 30 October 2013
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Ricky reports on the school holidays debate

Your next holiday might seem like a long way off but there's a row brewing about when schoolkids in England should be able to take them.

Last month, the government made changes so head teachers can no longer allow absence outside school holidays, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

It's because of concerns that some kids were missing school for family holidays during term time when it's cheaper.

But more than 125,000 people disagree, signing a petition against the move.

The petition says: "All children who have a good attendance record should be allowed the opportunity to enjoy quality time with their parents on an annual holiday of up to 10 days once per year."

But the government says it's giving schools more freedom to set term dates - which could mean parents could book cheaper holidays.

What do you think?

Should you be allowed to miss school to go on holiday?

This chat page is now closed but you can see a selection of comments below.

Your comments

I think you should be allowed to go on holiday during term but only for 2 or 3 days at a time.

Gabriel, Limousin, France

I love holidays, but when I return back to school I don't know what's been happening. That's exactly what happens when you're ill so I don't see how having time off school is such a big issue, unless of course you're having three or more weeks away on holiday, which is a bit too much. Anyway, when you do go on holidays during half term all the travel agents purposely put up the prices, so I understand why so many people do go on holiday when everyone else is at school.

Eleanor, East Sussex, England

I think that you should be allowed to go on holiday if it is a very important situation, but you must have excellent attendance and grades.

Rose, Doncaster, England

It's alright if you don't have a test or assessment. However if you do have any tests coming up you shouldn't skip school and go on holiday because you'd be missing very important tips for your test.

Amal, Bolton, England

WHAT? That's ridiculous! We're kids! What are they thinking? We don't think it's much harm to go away to a new place for a short period of time!

Kira, Kent, England

No, I don't think we should go on holiday during term time. A: Because we need our education and B: because that is what half terms are for.

Adam, Taunton, England

I think you should be allowed one holiday per school year not in exam times and only one week off.

Frances, Hampshire, England

The Government should be able to tell the tour operators not to put prices up when the school holidays start. Also not all parents can get holiday from work at the same time during the holidays.

Lucas, Bristol, England

I don't think you should be able to go on holiday in school time because you could miss a very important test or something that could decide your future.

Libby, North Yorkshire, England

You shouldn't be allowed to go on holiday in term time because the government spend money on your education and teachers put in lots of hard work to make the lessons fun and exciting.

Isaac, Isle of Wight, UK

I think you should be allowed to take a week off a school year for things like that as they are so much cheaper.

Hope, Surrey, England

I think you shouldn't be able to go on holiday because school is a lot more important and also you get half terms for a reason.

Seth, Manchester, England

I think you should be able to go on holiday because, let's face it, we all need a holiday away from all the homework.

Charlie, Whitby, England

I think you should be allowed to go on holiday during school because its a lot less expensive or it might be for a family occasion. However I think the new rule should only be for people in years 10 and 11 because of their GCSEs which will affect their lives .

Lily, Hampshire, England

I think you should only have holidays when it isn't a school day because if you go on holiday while school is still on you can't learn anything.

Mark, High Wycombe, England

I think that this should not be allowed because then the child would miss work. Teachers would then always be going over things they have already taught for the children who missed it when they were on holiday.

Hanako, Oxford, England

Yes as long as you bring your learning school book, so when you're on holiday you can also learn what everyone does in your school.

Farsya, Birmingham, England

No we should not be able to go on holiday, because 1) there are lots of holidays that the school let you to go on, and 2) if we go on holiday we might miss a big test.

Alex, London, England

I think you should have time off due to lots of homework and stress. A couple of weeks wont hurt.

Demi-Jade, Worthing, England

Yes you should be allowed time off school to go on holiday because it is only like a week off and we have got a long way to go left off school.

Alisha, Yeovil, England

I think you should be able to go on holiday during school time because most of the time you don't see your parents, so a holiday would be the time you get to see them.

Phoebe, Suffolk, England

I think you should be able to go on holiday. Because its less money and you only go for a short time.

Daisy, Nottingham, England

I think children should be able to miss school because a few days in the school curriculum missed doesn't mean that a child will necessarily fall behind, as primary school is just a place for you to learn the basic things.

Claudia, London, England

I think that we should be allowed to go on holiday during school sometimes if it's something educational and we are not away too long!

Ruby, West Sussex, England

No I think it's wrong to miss school just to go on holiday and you should go on holiday only in the school holidays!

Sophie, Berkhamsted, England

I think we should be aloud as some of my family can't get time off in the holidays so we would never be able to go away. I also take extra work with me every holiday I go on so I'm still doing some school work!

Natalie, Christchurch, England

I don't think that children should be allowed to take time off school to go on holiday because some people in other countries don't even get an education and we should be thankful for what we have.

Aisling, Northern Ireland

I think you should be able to get time off in term time because we can never get a holiday in holiday time and it is way too expensive!

Jonny, Stoke-on-trent, England

Everyone should be able to go on holiday when they want. My family can hardly ever go on holiday because it costs so much more in the school holidays.

Mia-Emma, Christchurch, England

I definitely think that you should be allowed because lots of parents have to work in the holidays and only have a certain time off. Also the holidays can be educational to visit different countries.

Lucy, Reading, England

I think you should only go on holiday during term time because children might miss lessons and if they miss too many lessons they may fall behind.

Hannah, Manchester, England

I think it's perfectly fine to be going on holiday during term time but you're missing a huge amount of your education. On the other hand, it's unfair on other children who may not be able to go on holiday.

Jennifer, Wrexham, England

I think you should be able to go on holiday in school time because it is really good to see different cultures and sometimes you can't in the holidays because some parents have to work.

Ella, London, England

I think we should be able to go on holiday because loads of my school friends get extra holiday and sometimes they get two extra weeks which is so unfair while they are having a holiday we are in lessons.

Jason, Lewisham, England

I think they should change the law back. Because if they don't not many people will get to go on holiday.

Natalia, Cambridge, England

I think you should be able to go on holiday in term time but only when you are not doing any tests/exams.

Ross, Northamptonshire, England

You should be allowed to go on holiday during school but not for a long period of time otherwise we should get a fine or something.

Jessica, Hampshire, England

I think we should be allowed to go on holiday during school time because we all deserve a holiday sometimes to get rid off the school stress.

Leanne, Kent, England

I think we can go on holiday during school but not all the time, like a couple of times in a year.

Talia, Whitby, England

Of course you should! If you try to go on holiday out of school term then it can cost at least £400 more than during school time.

Eleanor, Runcorn, England

The government should be able to make the holiday companies keep their prices down in school holidays, and more families would choose to go at that time.

Elliot, Bristol, England

I think it is okay to miss school and go on holiday because if you look for tickets to go somewhere in the school holidays, you will find that the prices are too expensive.

Merve, Birmingham, England

I think you should be allowed to go on holiday during term time but for only 1 week and shorter.

Holly, Colchester, England

I think it's a good and bad idea. Its a good one because they will miss out on activities and fun lessons.

Jamie, Kent, England

I think you should let children go on holiday on schooldays because if everybody went on the the school holidays it would be too crowded.

Cameron, Scarborough, England

You should definitely be allowed to go on holiday during school days because it is way too expensive in the holidays!

Chloe, Buckinghamshire, England

I don't think you should be able to miss any days off school because then you fall behind in your school work and it is annoying for your teachers.

Charlotte, Inverness-shire, Scotland

I think we should be allowed to have time off school because on half term my Dad is always on call so we can't go on holiday.

Jennifer, Cheshire, England

I think it is okay as long as you tell the teacher.

Sophie, Middlesbrough, England

No because you will miss work that might be used in Sats or something else important.

Zach, Manchester, England

I think you should be allowed but not for a long time. If you are going to somewhere like Australia you definitely should be!

Lucy, London, England

I think that it's alright to miss school and go on holiday because school can't let you experience what it's like to be in a different country.

Ashlie, Nottinghamshire, England

No you should not because you miss your time to learn new things and when you come back you will not know what to do. I took a couple days off and I did not know what my teacher was on about.

Sarah, Warwickshire, England

I think that children should get a certain amount of time off a year, like 2 weeks for holidays and if you are ill it shouldn't affect the time off.

Millie, London, England

I've done it in primary school because me and my Mum needed a break.

Lucas, Stoke-on-Trent, England

I don't agree with the government because you need to go on holiday some time. We had to postpone our holiday to Austria so we need to change it.

Mabel, Cumbria, England

I think it is unfair and you should be able to go away in the first 2 weeks back.

Joe, Fife, Scotland

I think you should be able to go on holiday during school because we get homework when we go on holiday.

Mitchell, Romford, England

My Mum works at a school so I can't go on holiday in school time so it's not fair that other people can.

Grace, Cornwall, England

I think you should be allowed because if your parent is in the army they might only be home for a week and so you want to go on holiday.

Sophie, Wiltshire, England

I think children should go on holiday in school time. Maybe it is the only time their parents are free and not working.

Megan, Surrey, England

My school doesn't let you take time off for holiday's but people still do. I think it's wrong as it can affect your overall level when you leave school.

Laura, Hampshire, England

I think that you should be able to miss school to go on holiday. I go to Royal Ascot every year, but now I can't go as I have to be in school.

Emma, Northamptonshire, England

I think you should be able to go on holiday in school times because your family will spend less money.

Jack, Suffolk, England

You definitely shouldn't be able to go on holiday during school time because you're missing education and important lessons.

Libby, Manchester, England

I think that you should be able to take time off school to go on holiday because people with not much money to spare wont be able to go on holiday.

Beth, Leeds, England

I don't think we should be allowed to go on holiday because it means you can't study for Sats and tests.

Ella, Grimsby, England

I don't think you should be allowed to go on holiday during school because you will miss out on school work and maybe important tests.

Maisy, Southampton, England

No because its annoying when people come back and ask to copy your notes for each class and the teacher has to re explain everything!

Katie-lee, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

Of course not! Maybe one day but education is really important and parents shouldn't want to ruin it by letting kids of school, especially not secondary school.

Amber, Maidstone, England

Yes, you should be allowed. We have years and years of schools in our life, along with plenty of homework, a week or so won't hurt.

Emily, Liverpool, England

I think no because you will fall back on school and you'll get confused and you will miss your friends.

Tayler, West Lothian, Scotland

I think it depends how many days of school you miss. I have done it before though.

Caitlin, London, England

We think you should be allowed to leave maybe a couple of days before a holiday or come back a few days later because there may be no flights on certain days.

Alice and Laura, London, England

You shouldn't be able to miss school during term time to go on holiday, that's what the holidays are for.

Phoebe, Oxfordshire, England

I think you should be able to go on holiday during term time but not for a very long period of time and not very regularly.

Eva, Hertfordshire, England