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Taking children out of school....

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@NickyJ, that's alright then. You've bought yourself out of the system and requirements. Fastrack boarding, no NHS queue for you then. Do what you like - lie through your teeth if you want - down to personal morals.

I do have a pretty good understanding of the independent system. Interesting most independent schools seem to take a pretty hard line on unauthorised absence (and my understanding and in general terms, much less likely to approve unauthorised absence) on the grounds of disruption to pupil, class and teacher, setting a good example etc etc ie many of the reasons why the State sector takes the same approach (although there is generally accepted to be a bigger truancy problem in the state sector which means there is possibly a stronger driver to enforce attendance, irrespective of reason for absence other than sickness).
snow conditions     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@pam w,
Quote:

most people would consider that optimising profits is the driving force of markets.
Optimising profits / minimising losses / getting the best deal you can etc. They are all the same thing. It's pretty much what every single business does and every individual does
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@foxtrotzulu, in theory yes but other forces sometimes at play which is why we have the Competition and Markets Authority to try and ensure that it is a level playing field.
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I'm intrigued about what these possible other dark forces might be?

The restrictions on term time breaks have had a negative effect on holiday businesses. They need to make as much as they can during the peak weeks in order to survive. If businesses go under and there are even fewer options for the customer, what do you think is likely to happen to the price of a half term holiday? These restrictions are bad for both family finances and holiday businesses.

Quote:
Many people are losing jobs in the pubic sector to save money


Precisely the kind of people who could do with being able to take their kids out of school for an off-peak holiday.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@alti - dude, If you have an understanding of the Independent sector you would know that the holidays are longer and so it is possible to take a cheaper holiday during state school term time when the independent schools are off.

In response to your earlier comment state education is not free for parents as they are paying into the tax system in most cases.

I have no plans to take my children out of school for a term time holiday but I think the current legislation is wrong. There was nothing wrong with the previous legislation that said that if children had 95% attendance in the previous year, a term time holiday could be granted at the head's discretion. For most kids of primary age there would be little or no effect on their attainment and it is far safer to learn to ski on an off peak week when there are smaller numbers in ski school groups and the pistes are quieter. It is not just a question of cost but safety.

I have also noticed in the press today that there is more criticism of TOs putting up their prices at half term. Presumably with the current legislation over holidays, if the TOs didn't put their prices up at half term they would go out of business. A few years ago if someone with a ks1 child took them out for a week skiing this would fill up off peak places for the family orientated TOs. It would appear that Alti-dude cares slightly more about public sector jobs than those of people working in the travel sector as if literally everyone with primary school aged children went skiing at half term, would family based TOs still have a viable business if they couldn't fill their accommodation on the non peak weeks?
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Quote:

but other forces sometimes at play which is why we have the Competition and Markets Authority to try and ensure that it is a level playing field.

@alti - dude, you are coming across here as a bit of a plonker, as well as being rude and unpleasant. The thousands of individuals who rent out chalets and apartments across the Alps could scarcely be suspected of running a cartel.

The holiday business is pretty competitive. Overall, with all the options for travel and accommodation, including the various TOs, it is probably as close as anything gets to being a "perfect market".
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Whilst i dont like it i can understand that seasonal demand (beach front in summer and ski in winter) can alter pricing points. What i do have an issue with is companies who clearly just are profiteering (centre parcs as an example) or those that subsidise their off peak by stinging peak periods.

Whilst lift passes vary a little between peak and off peak that variance isnt much in real terms, but a flight on a thursday for, 79.99 which turns into 499.99 on a saturday because its half term is just frankly ridiculous. I run a business, i dont charge more for goods or services because its half term, thats my choice and the market. Some companies are frankly taking the urine. The field needs a little bit of levelling.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
ansta1 wrote:
What i do have an issue with is companies who clearly just are profiteering (centre parcs as an example) or those that subsidise their off peak by stinging peak periods.


What do you expect places like Centre Parcs to do then?

How do you suggest "levelling the field"? Are there any other non-essential products that have controlled prices as an example of what you would like to see happen with the travel sector?

Quote:
I run a business, i dont charge more for goods or services because its half term


Out of interest, what sort of business do you run? How do school holidays affect it?
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@miranda, centre parcs is always 95%+ occupied, irrespective of term time or otherwise and their ceo has stated publicly that he will charge double in holidays because he can and will continue to do so (google it). If they didnt charge double for school holidays periods they wouldnt have less people through their doors either in or out of term term, they would just make less money.

I run a couple of businesses but what they are is irrelevant and probably shouldn't have made the statement but the correlation would be that if i were to supply services during half term that would mean my costs before provision may go up as i would have to source (potentially) childcare.

The field doesn't have to be levelled if a market has limited revenue return options (skiing) then supply and demand is fine, when peak periods are used to 'solely' subsidise the non profitable streams is the area i am less happy with.
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I genuinely don't understand... no one HAS to go to Centre Parcs... It's a business (and sounds like a highly successful one), not a charity Puzzled
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Quote:

Whilst lift passes vary a little between peak and off peak

not in my experience. They were a bit cheaper at Christmas and New Year this season, but that was because there were few pistes open, because of poor snow.

It's nothing to do with skiing. If you look at the cost of holiday houses in the UK they are staggeringly high at Christmas - but very low in November in January. Why? Because lots of people want to rent a place for a big family party at Christmas.

Nobody has explained why, or how, the large and very competitive holiday market has imperfect competition.

It's nothing to do with British markets or British tour operators, either. It happens in other holiday markets with peaks and troughs of demand and limited supply. The enormous French ski accommodation market is only affected by British demand in a handful of big resorts, but the seasonal differences are ubiquitous.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
ansta1 wrote:
@miranda, centre parcs is always 95%+ occupied, irrespective of term time or otherwise and their ceo has stated publicly that he will charge double in holidays because he can and will continue to do so (google it). If they didnt charge double for school holidays periods they wouldnt have less people through their doors either in or out of term term, they would just make less money.


It's called the free market.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
miranda wrote:
I genuinely don't understand... no one HAS to go to Centre Parcs... It's a business (and sounds like a highly successful one), not a charity Puzzled


Exactly. It's just supply and demand.
snow conditions     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Pam W,

They do vary, but not by 50-90% (or more) like flights and accommodation prices.

@Gerry, it is a free market, that doesnt make it fair and right though.

I'll leave it there, its been done to death almost as much as helmets. I have little or no choice but to go in peak weeks and am very demanding in terms of service due to limited down time i get. I will continue to pay premium prices for quality holidays i don't like it but have little or no choice.

Anyway, packing for the journey tomorrow beckons and there is a little rugby to watch as well.,
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
ansta1 wrote:


@Gerry, it is a free market, that doesnt make it fair and right though.

I'll leave it there, its been done to death almost as much as helmets. I have little or no choice but to go in peak weeks and am very demanding in terms of service due to limited down time i get. I will continue to pay premium prices for quality holidays i don't like it but have little or no choice.

Anyway, packing for the journey tomorrow beckons and there is a little rugby to watch as well.,


The free market is, by definition, a fair one. You have a choice but still choose to pay, that indicates that you can afford it. You play your part in setting the price.
ski holidays     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

I have little or no choice but to go in peak weeks

well yes, they wouldn't be peak weeks unless loads of people were in that position, would they?

But even teachers don't have to go at new year or February half term, which are the most expensive weeks of the year.

And there's so much choice. Even if you want to go skiing, you don't have to go to France - other countries don't have the same peak weeks. You don't have to fly (driving costs no more, or very little more, in peak weeks). And you don't need to use a British TO - companies which make most of their money for the year in the weeks of peak demand.

And if you demand top drawer facilities and services then yes, it's not going to be cheap. But it's hardly reasonable to blame the people to whom you choose to pay your money. Laughing
ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
This is great thread, reading it has given me a lot of amusement and pleasure. To be honest in a few years time all of the people currently with children of school age will be able to enjoy the less-expensive and less-crowded weeks of skiing, out side of the main peak period, that my wife and I now enjoy. All this debating about whether or not to take children out of school for family holidays has always been around, although I accept that the punitive fines and pseudo-criminalisation is new. It's seems to be almost a right-of-passage to become a parent of successful children to go through this process. Good-luck to everyone, the fact that people think so deeply about their family's emotional and educational well being probably means that no one has anything to worry about.
However one note of caution, once you stop taking your holidays to fit in the the school calendar you suddenly realise how much work meetings, recruitment schedules and strategy decisions revolve around the school holidays and suddenly people want to know why you cannot attend them because you are away in the middle of January or early March.
For the record we took our children out of school twice for family holidays, once to Australia and once skiing. It definitely did neither of them any harm what-so-ever. On one of those occasions the Headmistress of a very successful grammar school changed the February half-term date to fit with her own children's school holiday but this was out of sync with all of the other junior schools in Local Authority. Consequently any parents with children in the grammar school and a local junior school could not have a family holiday unless one or other of their children missed a week of school. The grammar school was barely half-full for that week! She had no concerns for the children missing school in fact she was made a Dame shortly afterwards.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I really cannot see any reason that different standards should apply to holiday and travel businesses than any other business selling non-essential products.

Quote:
You have a choice but still choose to pay, that indicates that you can afford it


Yes, unlike many people working in the travel industry! Laughing

Will they ever stagger holidays in the UK I wonder?

It's a shame that Scotland, NI, Wales and England all seem to have the same week nowadays, which hasn't always been the case.
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@foxtrotzulu, I am sorry to say I completely disagree with you on pretty much all your points.
1. If you read the thread properly you will see several criticisms of other's choices - and some of it has been fairly unpleasant (including towards me). The only cause seems to be that I choose to take my kids out of school for a week skiing, when this has no impact at all in anyone else.
2. Yet again there is reference to "plenty of evidence" but at least you agree there is no proof at all that otherwise well brought up children will suffer from missing an occasional week of school. I have simply asked for the evidence and proof that others have claimed exists, but none has been forthcoming. I myself have never claimed that I have any evidence or proof so it is disingenuous of you to base your position on the fact that I have not produced any.
3. No, it is not a joint venture between parent and state - this is a very clear misunderstanding of rights and responsibilities. I am responsible for the upbringing and welfare of my children. The state, in return for taxes, provides; collective healthcare and education, a collective safety net (benefits), and a common understanding of the responsibilities of parents (and sanctions for when these are not met). I really wish anyone who makes such bold statements concerning the workings of a democracy had some basis in fact and at least a passing knowledge of political science. And I particularly object to the attitude that the state is responsible rather than citizens. YOU are responsible for the upbringing of your own children, nooone else. You argument that I cannot deny my children healthcare/education is frankly laughable in its lack of logic and relevance (I don't think anyone here suggested they would ever do such a thing) - it is no way relates to whether the state shares responsibility for children or not, simply that if I choose to not live up to my responsibilities the collective (i.e. the state) will sanction me (including imposing the provision of healthcare against a parent's wishes, through court action).
4. I have continued to be reasoned and logical, in the face of some quite personal and unpleasant remarks. I absolutely do believe that both the act of taking children out of school and the people who do it have been criticised on multiple occasions here. Also, time and time again posters who oppose this choice have referred to facts that are not true or evidence that does not exist. When I point this out and ask for said facts/evidence (in a polite and reasoned manner), I have mostly received further negative arguments that do not at all address the actual reality. The very definition of sanctimonious so a fair and accurate description of the behaviour.

BTW here are some facts:
1. It is actually, under law, MY responsibility to ensure my children receive an adequate amount and quality of education. Simply saying something different does not make it true and I would encourage anyone who holds a different view to research the facts first. I know lots of people THINK it is the state's responsibility, or that parents have little/no choice in the manner of eduction provision, but that is simply wrong.
2. As a matter of fact I have opted out of state provision as I am entitled to - I provide fully for my children's education and healthcare. And, as I am entitled to, I decide on how to provide both. It really does beggar belief that anyone thinks that a parent is not entitled to do so, I wonder if there is a confusion between not being able to afford to do so and thinking that it is simply not allowed.
3. I absolutely acknowledge that others have a different opinion to me when it comes to taking children out of school for a week to go skiing. As I have said before I think that opinion is perfectly valid, I respect it, and appreciate there are some perfectly good reasons for making that choice. I just find it interesting that most of those who believe it is wrong to take kids out for a week skiing do not seem to be able to extend the same respect and consideration towards those who think differently. Why do you think that is?


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Sat 13-02-16 16:27; edited 2 times in total
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
T Bar wrote:
@zikomo,
You raise some interesting points, I might be somewhat lax on my morals for school absenteeism but I can assure you I wouldn't dream of attending an exam in Oxford bereft of a sword nor would I condone any of my family behaving in such a manner.


Laughing
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alti - dude wrote:
Fundamentally this boils down to cost, wrapped up in other arguments around "it's good for them", "it's a life experience", "it's my and my kids life so I can do what I want". The reality is that there are plenty of times when you can go skiing with your kids and not flout the requirements/regulations. This is all about getting around the law of supply and demand which push prices up in half term (and other school holidays) and getting in at a time when it's cheaper by dodging the system. Clearly the odd exception but few and far between.

I doubt there is anybody genuinely arguing that they take their kids out of school as it's a better education to ski on empty slopes and pay less. Many tax payers get a bit brassed off with wasted money.

A better discussion point would be whether it is pure supply and and demand or whether there is organised profiteering.

Absence may or may not impact upon the child or other classmates' absence, but the simple fact is their is a requirement to be a school and well known consequences for not being there. Don't complain when the pre announced consequences present themselves.


I assure you it is NOT a cost issue for me. I do it because I believe I am entitled to, I think it does them no harm, it fits around my very busy schedule, and the term structures do not support a decent skiing holiday. I have proven I an entitled to, appealing and winning twice so far (once to have a nasty letter from the council retracted, and once to overturn a fine). I am not trying to circumvent supply and demand or get a cheap deal - frankly the monetary cost is very small (to me) but the time cost is very large.
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alti - dude wrote:
@NickyJ, that's alright then. You've bought yourself out of the system and requirements. Fastrack boarding, no NHS queue for you then. Do what you like - lie through your teeth if you want - down to personal morals.

I do have a pretty good understanding of the independent system. Interesting most independent schools seem to take a pretty hard line on unauthorised absence (and my understanding and in general terms, much less likely to approve unauthorised absence) on the grounds of disruption to pupil, class and teacher, setting a good example etc etc ie many of the reasons why the State sector takes the same approach (although there is generally accepted to be a bigger truancy problem in the state sector which means there is possibly a stronger driver to enforce attendance, irrespective of reason for absence other than sickness).


Please stop being so unpleasant to a perfectly reasonable poster (actually the OP). I suspect it is very much jealousy that drives this remark - you just don't like that someone might choose fastrack boarding, and so board the plane before you? Or do you think we should all get exactly the same goods and service as each other in all circumstance and not be able to choose how we spend our money (maybe paying for fastback rather than a beer at the airport) for the services that we want? That would be a pretty good description of communism. And I am sure you have never in your life paid more for something than you absolutely had to but were happy to have the same experience as the lower priced option. Never chosen to eat in a restaurant where you don't have to serve yourself for example?

I don't think you have any understanding at all of the independent sector. I actually do - I went to a private school myself and most of my acquaintances send their kids to private schools. A quick poll in the pub last night on this subject, 5 local independent schools were represented and the consensus was for all of them that the school would not be at all bothered about kids skiing for a week in term time unless it was in the lead up to important exams (i.e. in the winter before lowers/highers, GCSE/A Levels. I wonder where your claimed "understanding" of the independent system comes from? Your statement is complete tosh.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quote:

You don't have to fly (driving costs no more, or very little more, in peak weeks).


That's true, but it's also pretty impractical for many Brits who don't live in the South of England. For me to drive (and take the tunnel) to Les Saises (for example) would take about 18 hours of constant travel each way so a 7 night stay in resort would realistically become at least an 11 day trip with the extra accommodation/food costs that would bring.
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@swiftoid, yes, that's certainly the case, though plenty of people from the north of the country DO drive on holiday. But there's still no compulsion to travel at half term! And if you book early you can get perfectly reasonable flights to ski destinations - I booked 3 families flights in the Easter holidays, at sensible prices.

People who choose to travel in expensive ways, in expensive weeks, will pay more than people who pack a car full of provisions, rent an apartment with passes included in a lesser-known resort, cook for themselves and look after their own kids. There are plenty of reports here on SHs from families who have done exactly that and had good holidays at half term for around £500 a head.

It is the case nowadays, I'd say, that more families than ever can afford to go on ski holidays. I never knew anybody who'd been on a ski holiday till after I left university.

But people will still complain.....
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@pam w, agree there is no compulsion to travel at half term Smile If I was only going to get one week a year and had to go during the school holidays I'd, personally, much rather go at Easter. Mind you, there is no compulsion to do it at all.

I know quite a lot of people here in North East Scotland who go on ski holidays but I don't know of any who have ever driven from here for one week's skiing on the continent (no doubt some do it but I'd say it's fairly rare). The extra annual leave you'd need to take, the hassle and tiredness of (at least) 2 days travel each way and the cost of further accommodation/sustenance make it not worth it in the eyes of me and others I've spoken to about it. Much less stressful to get organised and book a cheapish Ezy flight from Edinburgh - Geneva, rent a car and stock up on provisions from a supermarket on route to your resort.
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We've just taken ours out two days before the easter break. Both schools in the same LEA and two different responses. My son's school agreed with the benefits to him (Autistic/Aspergers) and us a family to get a break and a flat no from a frankly vapid excuse for a head teacher. She is uncomfotably focussed on attendance, reagrdless of attendance rate for my daughter being well north of 98%. She gave no reason, just a no.

What i object to is that usually for the last week of any term, they seem to do nothing and for several days prior to Christmas, they made the school do rediculous number of hours of rehersal for a nativity play, then had the audacity to 'expect' the kids to tun up in the evening to do it!

I hate the way this govt and schools have decided they have a stake in a discussion about how our family spends time together and the zero tolerance to ANY time away, even a couple of days. Thankfully i have a healthy disrespect for both and given the field for rationale for objection was empty am minded to force the head to fill it out. rolling eyes

Anyway...i shall eventually live with myself for denying my daughter an education, her failure to succeed and a life of benefits for the sacrifice of 2 days... Laughing Canada, here we come and a two finger salut to the head with her head up her a**e.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@skinutter, fair play to you.
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I’m coming in late to this discussion but I have skim read most of it and would like to raise a fundamental issue that I think has been ignored by all parties:

Everyone in this discussion (and the Government) appears to accept the premise that the most important aspect of a child’s education is achieving high grades in exams. High grades should not be the ultimate goal of education – a happy rounded individual who can contribute to society would be far preferable, regardless of the level of their education.

My son was not getting on well at school so we opted out of the system. He did much better at home and was far happier, as no matter how many days of school he attended there was no way he was going to be academically successful. We travelled and did many interesting activities. We also went skiing and I am pleased to say that he is now fluent in German (as a result of living abroad not through any formal studying) and is a wonderfully understanding and helpful qualified instructor – he teaches skiing in winter and water sports in summer.

I had the courage to take him out of school, knowing that I myself had missed several years of schooling for various reasons (no home education either) and yet I still achieved more academic qualifications than 99% of the UK population. I had reached the top of my own profession so was fortunate to be able to take time off to spend with my family.

We need a balanced society incorporating both ends of the spectrum, not one that thinks the only worthwhile goal is an academic one. Travel and sport of all types helps open minds to greater opportunities and lets children see that there is more to life than academic results.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
alti - dude wrote:
@uktrailmonster, one of the very few perhaps? Just to be clear, you don't have 4 or more consecutive days off in school holiday time December to May ?


4 days is no ski holiday for us Laughing
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@albatross, interesting. I looked into home education at one point, as it did strike me that some kids spend a good many hours in school learning not very much. Because I travelled with my job, our children were rather dragged from pillar to post, school-wise, on several continents. Didn't do them any harm, though sadly none of the moves involved their learning a new language (the closest we came was in Scotland, where my 3 year old daughter became fluent in Ayrshire and, slightly older, was the runner up in the Burns speaking competition - she was robbed, as the Head Teacher couldn't give the title to a foreigner.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
alti - dude wrote:
but the wider dimension is that 'the tax payer' has paid for a school place free at the point of delivery and you cant be bothered to use it.


Is this seriously a concern for you? We're talking about missing a week or two of school here, not taking the entire year off! There's no need to dramatise it so much.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Sun 14-02-16 13:01; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
We got through the basics of maths and English in about an hour a day at most - that was the maximum concentration I was ever likely to get! Most days we just found alternative ways of learning things - science experiments were fun, geography and history were field trips, we went to art galleries and museums, concerts and other events. Even on dull wet days we found educational programmes (for example wildlife documentaries, Open University science programmes and films like Gandhi or The Colour Purple) that provided us with interesting topics to discuss. At times, teaching your own can be frustrating and it is a huge commitment, but I don't regret any of the time I spent doing it as it is also very rewarding.

In my opinion classroom based learning is over-rated but unfortunately it is difficult to deliver anything else on a large scale. I don't like the culture that means even the schools themselves appear to believe that education should be results driven. I think this leads to us under-valuing some of the most important people in our society.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
albatross wrote:
I’m coming in late to this discussion but I have skim read most of it and would like to raise a fundamental issue that I think has been ignored by all parties:

Everyone in this discussion (and the Government) appears to accept the premise that the most important aspect of a child’s education is achieving high grades in exams. High grades should not be the ultimate goal of education – a happy rounded individual who can contribute to society would be far preferable, regardless of the level of their education.

My son was not getting on well at school so we opted out of the system. He did much better at home and was far happier, as no matter how many days of school he attended there was no way he was going to be academically successful. We travelled and did many interesting activities. We also went skiing and I am pleased to say that he is now fluent in German (as a result of living abroad not through any formal studying) and is a wonderfully understanding and helpful qualified instructor – he teaches skiing in winter and water sports in summer.

I had the courage to take him out of school, knowing that I myself had missed several years of schooling for various reasons (no home education either) and yet I still achieved more academic qualifications than 99% of the UK population. I had reached the top of my own profession so was fortunate to be able to take time off to spend with my family.

We need a balanced society incorporating both ends of the spectrum, not one that thinks the only worthwhile goal is an academic one. Travel and sport of all types helps open minds to greater opportunities and lets children see that there is more to life than academic results.


I completely agree with a great deal of what you say above and, perhaps ironically, I think that is one of the main reasons many parents take their children out of the state sector and 'go private'. Most, perhaps all, if the teachers I have spoken to would also agree that they believe education should be much more rounded than it is now. However, I'm not sure we can then lay all the blame at the door of politicians or the DfE. As a nation we have to have a high-skilled workforce and I think Tony Blair was right to encourage many more children to go to university (even if that plan was rather flawed in execution.) So, we need our children to have academic educations to rival those of our competitors and in order to measure how the children and the state are getting on and to improve we do need to have exams. I'm not sure we need quite so many, but that's another issue. It's not really that we need less emphasis on academic excellence but that we need more emphasis on all the other elements of a rounded education as well. One of the snags is that there simply isn't enough time in the academic calendar, or enough money, to do both really well. I don't know if you saw the C4 programme 'School Swap', but one of the factors that the head of Bemrose Comprehensive was very envious of was the fact that the boarding environment meant that suddenly schools had the luxury of time to spend on all the other stuff and time to explore academic areas that were not necessarily geared to exams. With State Schools knocking off at 15.30, there simply isn't time to do that.

Incidentally, I doubt anyone would disagree that travel and sport open the mind. Those who of us who are in the 'stay at school' camp believe that they should be done in addition to the school year, not instead of it.

I also agree that home schooling can be an excellent alternative to the traditional school. There are some huge advantages but they obviously need to be balanced by the equally large disadvantage of less opportunity to learn the social/soft skills that come with a traditional school environment. It's finding the right balance, and that balance point will be different for different children. You found the right solution for your son and that is what matters.


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Sun 14-02-16 8:09; edited 1 time in total
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@foxtrotzulu, although my main driver of moving my youngest to an independent school was to stop her being run down by the teacher when she was trying her hardest but struggling with learning issues and to get her smaller class sizes where she would get more support than is possible when there are thirty in the class. I am really appreciating the roundness of what she is doin fb during the day (and so is she and that is undoing the physiological damage that was inflicted on her). She isn't boarding though they are achieving that in a day that they normally arrive from 8am for an 8:30 start and finish at 3:30. So not that much longer than the official infants school day. Within that time they do more out door activities, French, ballet, recorder, in addition to the subjects she was doing at infants.
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NickyJ wrote:
@foxtrotzulu, although my main driver of moving my youngest to an independent school was to stop her being run down by the teacher when she was trying her hardest but struggling with learning issues and to get her smaller class sizes where she would get more support than is possible when there are thirty in the class. I am really appreciating the roundness of what she is doin fb during the day (and so is she and that is undoing the physiological damage that was inflicted on her). She isn't boarding though they are achieving that in a day that they normally arrive from 8am for an 8:30 start and finish at 3:30. So not that much longer than the official infants school day. Within that time they do more out door activities, French, ballet, recorder, in addition to the subjects she was doing at infants.
It really sounds as though you made the right choice for her. Do you think she will stay in the private system?
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foxtrotzulu wrote:
NickyJ wrote:
@foxtrotzulu, although my main driver of moving my youngest to an independent school was to stop her being run down by the teacher when she was trying her hardest but struggling with learning issues and to get her smaller class sizes where she would get more support than is possible when there are thirty in the class. I am really appreciating the roundness of what she is doin fb during the day (and so is she and that is undoing the physiological damage that was inflicted on her). She isn't boarding though they are achieving that in a day that they normally arrive from 8am for an 8:30 start and finish at 3:30. So not that much longer than the official infants school day. Within that time they do more out door activities, French, ballet, recorder, in addition to the subjects she was doing at infants.
It really sounds as though you made the right choice for her. Do you think she will stay in the private system?


Really don't know. The difference between year 1 &2 fees and yr 3 and up is considerable. Maybe the premium bond numbers will come up... We have a good 6months plus to work out where we are going to apply for year 3. For the moment, she is enjoying school, trying hard and making progress.

Sadly I think the interference in the states schools with constant testing (even with 4yr olds!) and messing with the curriculum is not benefitting the children Sad and is much more responsible for the difference than the length of day.
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albatross wrote:
I’m coming in late to this discussion but I have skim read most of it and would like to raise a fundamental issue that I think has been ignored by all parties:

Everyone in this discussion (and the Government) appears to accept the premise that the most important aspect of a child’s education is achieving high grades in exams. High grades should not be the ultimate goal of education – a happy rounded individual who can contribute to society would be far preferable, regardless of the level of their education.

My son was not getting on well at school so we opted out of the system. He did much better at home and was far happier, as no matter how many days of school he attended there was no way he was going to be academically successful. We travelled and did many interesting activities. We also went skiing and I am pleased to say that he is now fluent in German (as a result of living abroad not through any formal studying) and is a wonderfully understanding and helpful qualified instructor – he teaches skiing in winter and water sports in summer.

I had the courage to take him out of school, knowing that I myself had missed several years of schooling for various reasons (no home education either) and yet I still achieved more academic qualifications than 99% of the UK population. I had reached the top of my own profession so was fortunate to be able to take time off to spend with my family.

We need a balanced society incorporating both ends of the spectrum, not one that thinks the only worthwhile goal is an academic one. Travel and sport of all types helps open minds to greater opportunities and lets children see that there is more to life than academic results.


I could not agree with you more, and I hope others also find your take on all this as interesting and helpful as I do. My point has always been that it is up to parents to decide what is best for their children, and that we all have the right (and responsibility) to choose the manner of eduction provision for our own children that will bring the best out in them. You have done so and I applaud you for it.
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uktrailmonster wrote:
alti - dude wrote:
but the wider dimension is that 'the tax payer' has paid for a school place free at the point of delivery and you cant be bothered to use it.


Is this seriously a concern for you? We're talking about missing a week or two of school here, not taking the entire the year off! There's no need to dramatise it so much.


Fundamentally flawed anyway - because I pay to have my children privately educated am I "wasting" a school place that is free at the point of delivery but I am not using? The opposite is of course true, the taxpayer could not actually afford it if the private system closed down. What annoys me is I pay the taxes for a service I don't use, in essence I am actually paying for other parents children and some of those parents feel perfectly entitled to criticise me for the choices I make! Frankly I think we should all get an allowance from the government for education and be free to spend it as we like - it is patently unfair to be subsidising the state while at the same time paying fees out of post-tax income.
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zikomo wrote:
it is patently unfair to be subsidising the state while at the same time paying fees out of post-tax income.


Everyone benefits from living in a society that provides free universal education and it is an essential service provided by the state - private schooling is a luxury that you are free to choose if you have the cash.
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Quote:

it is patently unfair to be subsidising the state while at the same time paying fees out of post-tax income

Do you believe education is the only aspect of state expenditure which tax payers should be able to opt out of, @zikomo? How about health? (you have BUPA) or libraries (you don't want to borrow books) or roads (you don't have a car) housing (you pay for your own).
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