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Taken the kids out of school

 Poster: A snowHead
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@Dave of the Marmottes, and the child care is the dog at the Refuge.
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@Dave of the Marmottes, And thats a whole new ballgame! rolling eyes Laughing One that I delayed as long as I possibly could!
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@Hells Bells, Adult care to be fair as well - quite good at showing you the way and making sure you don't end up over the cliffs.
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deerman wrote:
Strange how it is ok for schools to organise skiing trips where kids are out of school for a week - but parents are penalised for doing the same.


If you look at my earlier post, I don't think it is.

The problem for schools is that if they say to parents it's OK to take their kids out of school for holidays, the cumulative parents of the school's kids will all book their holidays at different times of year. So over the weeks of term time, you can assume that there will probably be less than a full class present at any one time. What this means for the school is that if you have 100 kids... one has done everything sans week 13, another has done everything except weeks 17 and 21, another has done everything except weeks 5 and 6... etc etc.

If everyone attends all the same lessons (save occasions of sickness etc) then everyone's learning is roughly parallel. If everyone takes different weeks off, then everyone's learning becomes disjointed and difficult for the school to monitor whether somebody is struggling in a subject or whether they just a ski holiday over an important lesson.

By the school taking everyone (or at least a good portion of kids) all at once, it's much easier to monitor who has missed what and help them to catch up.
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@dp, not that you need my approval, but I agree 100pc. Add to the disruption in the week after a non scheduled absence as little Jonty doesn't follow anything. Loss of respect for education/rules in general, parents know best etc etc etc rant rant.
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Badbobby wrote:
@dp, not that you need my approval, but I agree 100pc. Add to the disruption in the week after a non scheduled absence as little Jonty doesn't follow anything. Loss of respect for education/rules in general, parents know best etc etc etc rant rant.

oh yes my daughter caused so much "disruption" the week after oh wait, er no that was Christmas holidays, and she had so much trouble keeping up because she missed the Christmas party and er well that was it - the last week before Christmas during year R, when I took her out, is not full of activities which will cause any loss of learning which was why the head master gave permission for that week. Of course that was 6 years when the heads were allowed to consider circumstances like the age / year the pupil is in and the actual week within the term it is....
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I wonder how many parents whose children attend a private school cheerfully remove them during term time. Personally seeing up front how much each day's education costs may be sobering.
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@NickyJ, when I'm the UK's benevolent dictator I'll enforce the rule from age 11. Happy?
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FrediKanoute wrote:
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
FrediKanoute wrote:


Dave of the Marmottes - the price difference between a Feb half term ski trip and a week or 2 earlier or later is astonishing - family of 5 using a TO were quoted as a minimum £8k for Feb half term, before lift passes, lessons, childcare and ski hire. Same holiday week later was £4k. I get supply and demand, but when you consider parents have in effect 5 weeks out of a whole season when they can legitimately ski as a family I can see why some people would want to take their children out.

.


That is extraordinary - for European skiing? You could probably take the whole family for a week in Canada or Western US for less than that. It feels like a bit of a false comparator i.e. you would have to be truly price insensitive to go along with that vs. say self drive and perfectly adequate valley hotel or appartment.


Mark Warner - so I wouldn't even rate it the top end of the ski TO's -

Half Term Week - https://www.markwarner.co.uk/search.aspx?searchMode=ski&airport=0&departureDate=11-Feb-2018&nights=7&occupancy=2,3:7.6.4&isFlexible=false&countryID=1082&resortID=0&destination=France&accommodationID=0

2 weeks later - https://www.markwarner.co.uk/search.aspx?searchMode=ski&airport=0&departureDate=25-Feb-2018&nights=7&occupancy=2,3:7.6.4&isFlexible=false&countryID=1082&resortID=0&destination=France&accommodationID=0


But couldn't you just go somewhere cheaper, and accept that you're not going to Méribel during half term? I think it's possible to do a nice ski holiday for £4k during half term.
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Badbobby wrote:
@NickyJ, when I'm the UK's benevolent dictator I'll enforce the rule from age 11. Happy?


To be honest probably younger, for us we weren't prepared to take them out for more than the one single day we did to let us fly back on the Monday once we were into Juniors school. Which meant my youngest hasn't been taken out of school for a week like our eldest was BUT she is the one who is struggling due to learning difficulties. My main point (and as others have said) is there should be the ability to consider the circumstances, i.e. Age, other absences (if any), position within the calendar (the head master made it clear that only days adjacent to an existing holiday would be considered). Now my youngest we have taken out for two days at Easter - yes she was in and independent school then despite the suggestion above!!! That wasn't the intention but I booked very early to make use of early bird offers matches Hampshire and Wiltshire state school dates only after I had book did they publish the Easter holiday dates for me to discover they were supposed to back on the Thursday of the Easter week. However I don't regret taking her in th me slightest for a girls who is on the autistic spectrum, dyslexic, has speech issues and suffers from dyspraxia. The fact that she can ski gives her self confidence a very much needed boost.
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(182 days per year at school + x days worth of homework) vs 6 days skiing per year. Seems a bit out of kilter to me wink
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NickyJ wrote:
Badbobby wrote:
@dp, not that you need my approval, but I agree 100pc. Add to the disruption in the week after a non scheduled absence as little Jonty doesn't follow anything. Loss of respect for education/rules in general, parents know best etc etc etc rant rant.

oh yes my daughter caused so much "disruption" the week after oh wait, er no that was Christmas holidays, and she had so much trouble keeping up because she missed the Christmas party and er well that was it - the last week before Christmas during year R, when I took her out, is not full of activities which will cause any loss of learning which was why the head master gave permission for that week. Of course that was 6 years when the heads were allowed to consider circumstances like the age / year the pupil is in and the actual week within the term it is....


@NicktJ what you're failing to see through this whole thread is nobody is talking about your daughter. People aren't criticising your parenting or the effect it had on one specimen sample.

Those being critical are talking about the wholesale knock on effect of schools permitting term time holidays.

Just because your daughter went on holiday, became an olympic ski champion then came home and aced 11 A-Stars whilst doing a handstand, it doesn't mean that it's the right thing for schools to do.
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Quote:

The problem for schools is that if they say to parents it's OK to take their kids out of school for holidays, the cumulative parents of the school's kids will all book their holidays at different times of year. So over the weeks of term time, you can assume that there will probably be less than a full class present at any one time. What this means for the school is that if you have 100 kids... one has done everything sans week 13, another has done everything except weeks 17 and 21, another has done everything except weeks 5 and 6... etc etc.

If everyone attends all the same lessons (save occasions of sickness etc) then everyone's learning is roughly parallel. If everyone takes different weeks off, then everyone's learning becomes disjointed and difficult for the school to monitor whether somebody is struggling in a subject or whether they just a ski holiday over an important lesson.

By the school taking everyone (or at least a good portion of kids) all at once, it's much easier to monitor who has missed what and help them to catch up.


But you can't predict when children will be off sick, so whats the difference?

Also realistically at the end of term when nothing gets done (obviously I don't mean during exams), again whats the harm?

The old system of the head's having discretion seemed to work quite well, if children attend regularly (set the % as whatever you like, but make it consistent) and perform well...whats the problem?

We now seem to have rules that treat everyone harshly because some people (might) abuse the system.

Surely if you allowed head's discretion again (rather than being dictated to by the government and/or LEA) that would be the fairest solution?
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dp wrote:
NickyJ wrote:
Badbobby wrote:
@dp, not that you need my approval, but I agree 100pc. Add to the disruption in the week after a non scheduled absence as little Jonty doesn't follow anything. Loss of respect for education/rules in general, parents know best etc etc etc rant rant.

oh yes my daughter caused so much "disruption" the week after oh wait, er no that was Christmas holidays, and she had so much trouble keeping up because she missed the Christmas party and er well that was it - the last week before Christmas during year R, when I took her out, is not full of activities which will cause any loss of learning which was why the head master gave permission for that week. Of course that was 6 years when the heads were allowed to consider circumstances like the age / year the pupil is in and the actual week within the term it is....


@NicktJ what you're failing to see through this whole thread is nobody is talking about your daughter. People aren't criticising your parenting or the effect it had on one specimen sample.

Those being critical are talking about the wholesale knock on effect of schools permitting term time holidays.

Just because your daughter went on holiday, became an olympic ski champion then came home and aced 11 A-Stars whilst doing a handstand, it doesn't mean that it's the right thing for schools to do.


Ah - please accept my apologies, I THOUGHT when you started your line of questions on this thread you were actually interested in understanding the situations and reasons for people's view points, I hadn't realised you were just firmly convinced of our view point and not even considering other view points.
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achilles wrote:
I wonder how many parents whose children attend a private school cheerfully remove them during term time. Personally seeing up front how much each day's education costs may be sobering.


Most of the parents I know with kids at private schools will NEVER have taken their kids out for a holiday, as they have a contract with the school which does not allow it. However, they do usually get longer holidays than state schools and can probably take a week when it is less expensive.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@NickyJ I am interested in hearing your points of view.

But your point of view has to be more substantive than the perceived lack of effect that it is had on you or your child.

The school cannot legislate based on the experiences of individuals, it has to be based on the cumulative effect.

And so far the only argument seems to be that it's cheaper. There's no argument that better quality can be achieved or that better lines can be skied. The argument is all about cost. And sadly I think the school's attitude will be that cost just isn't their problem - but education is.
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Hells Bells wrote:
However, they do usually get longer holidays than state schools and can probably take a week when it is less expensive.


I don't think that's true. Across Europe half terms are staggered, so half term prices often affect 2-3 week periods even though any one half term within it might only be a week.
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Quote:

The school cannot legislate based on the experiences of individuals, it has to be based on the cumulative effect.

And so far the only argument seems to be that it's cheaper. There's no argument that better quality can be achieved or that better lines can be skied. The argument is all about cost. And sadly I think the school's attitude will be that cost just isn't their problem - but education is.


I'm just playing devils advocate here btw, not saying anyone is right or wrong, but...

Schools used to do just that, the head had discretion. I struggle to see the problem with that approach, it means children can be taken out if the head deems it to be appropriate.

As for cost, for some it could be the difference between a holiday and no holiday (although I suspect the make up of this forum means its reasonably unlikely many posters are in that position), but I think you raise a fair point, schools shouldn't have to decide based on what people can or can't afford.

However what about more complex situations, for example perhaps some people work seasonally and maybe can't get holidays during the school holidays, should they get special dispensation?
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Quote:

I don't think that's true. Across Europe half terms are staggered, so half term prices often affect 2-3 week periods even though any one half term within it might only be a week.


It is sort of true as UK tour operators vary their prices based on UK holidays. European holidays will have an impact on hotel availability of course, but not necessarily flights. It also depends on local term dates (so for example it may be cheaper to fly from Manchester than Birmingham if the Birmingham schools have half term that particular week).

That said I've booked in the past and not even realised it was half term as the price didn't seem to change at all (DIY not via a TO), so it can be a bit random!
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Most of this is just smoke and mirrors. Parents trying to justify their want/need of a ski holiday. No child needs to have a ski holiday. You may want them to, they may want to (if old enough to express an opinion) but at school age it aint gonna affect their future prospects. 5K for a week at half term? Is an extra £120 fine for the kids to leave school early the deal breaker?.
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Quote:

The school cannot legislate based on the experiences of individuals

Well of course it can! That's what teachers are asked to do constantly; teaching classes of extraordinarily mixed ability whilst coping with the individual needs and capabilities of each child.

A rule based on attendance % would be child's play to administer, compared to this every day requirement.
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halfhand wrote:
they may want to (if old enough to express an opinion) but at school age it aint gonna affect their future prospects. .



But then again it might! Travel broadens horizons.

The cumulative effect of the amount of time we spent in Europe has meant that my sons grew up feeling very comfortable in different cultures, very used to having to make their way in a foreign language, and two of the three have lived and worked in a number of countries, and still work abroad. They have very successfully adapted to different customs, work practices and often had to operate in French, German and Spanish. Of course it is possible they would have achieved all this without 'foreign' trips but I, and they, firmly believe their largely positive experiences from a very early age 'being out of the UK' and 'out' of what would have become their 'comfort zone' has been an invaluable asset.

Most of those trips were in school holiday time, but not all, as work commitments and schools with different half terms did not always make that possible. For us, taking the caravan meant that school holiday premiums could largely be avoided, (and we could go where the snow was good on the winter trips) we were lucky!
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@dp, families do not just go skiing at half-term though. An extra week at Easter (usually starts earlier if Easter is late), and also at Christmas and sometimes this is after New Year. UK chalet holidays are less affected by the rest of Europe's half-term too.
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I am going at Easter as its 2000 Euros cheaper than half term, I am approaching this as a working couple where we have to take some time off during holidays anyway. Much as I would like to go second week of January it would not be possible as I use my 35 days over the rest of the actual holidays.
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vjmehra wrote:

However what about more complex situations, for example perhaps some people work seasonally and maybe can't get holidays during the school holidays, should they get special dispensation?

+1

All those talk about disruption in school. What about the work place? If all parents can only go on holiday during term time, it will be just like Chrimas, with nobody in the office. And some business has to close due to lack of workers!

Of course no business would want that to happen. So they would simply no allow some of their workers to take that week off!

Result? You either take your kids out of school during term time, or you don't get to take them at all!

But of course the consensus is it's not that important to learn to ski, learn another culture, another language etc anyway. Not at the expense of missing a week of school, regardless of how much ahead of the class the child is.

This is all discussed to death in previous threads, like any helmet discussion.
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@abc, we were often unable to take time off in school holidays. As pharmacists, we need to be replaced if we are absent. Many locum pharmacists then were mothers working during term time to enable them to be with their children during the holidays, leaving a shortage of cover. Some pharmacy companies do not allow any time off at Christmas or Easter as they are busy times for prescriptions.
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Hells Bells wrote:
@dp, families do not just go skiing at half-term though. An extra week at Easter (usually starts earlier if Easter is late), and also at Christmas and sometimes this is after New Year. UK chalet holidays are less affected by the rest of Europe's half-term too.


Sorry when I said half term I meant school holidays. I'm not a teacher/parent/etc I just mean the thing what comes in between the time kids are at school.
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Themasterpiece wrote:
FrediKanoute wrote:
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
FrediKanoute wrote:


Dave of the Marmottes - the price difference between a Feb half term ski trip and a week or 2 earlier or later is astonishing - family of 5 using a TO were quoted as a minimum £8k for Feb half term, before lift passes, lessons, childcare and ski hire. Same holiday week later was £4k. I get supply and demand, but when you consider parents have in effect 5 weeks out of a whole season when they can legitimately ski as a family I can see why some people would want to take their children out.

.


That is extraordinary - for European skiing? You could probably take the whole family for a week in Canada or Western US for less than that. It feels like a bit of a false comparator i.e. you would have to be truly price insensitive to go along with that vs. say self drive and perfectly adequate valley hotel or appartment.


Mark Warner - so I wouldn't even rate it the top end of the ski TO's -

Half Term Week - https://www.markwarner.co.uk/search.aspx?searchMode=ski&airport=0&departureDate=11-Feb-2018&nights=7&occupancy=2,3:7.6.4&isFlexible=false&countryID=1082&resortID=0&destination=France&accommodationID=0

2 weeks later - https://www.markwarner.co.uk/search.aspx?searchMode=ski&airport=0&departureDate=25-Feb-2018&nights=7&occupancy=2,3:7.6.4&isFlexible=false&countryID=1082&resortID=0&destination=France&accommodationID=0


But couldn't you just go somewhere cheaper, and accept that you're not going to Méribel during half term? I think it's possible to do a nice ski holiday for £4k during half term.


Happily would, but there are limits. Personally I will ski just about anywhere and spent a lot of time trying to find alternatives. We looked at self catering in Saint Gervais/Megève and managed to find reasonable priced accommodation for the half term week. Limits - the nanny/childcare was £300 more expensive than in Meribel; Ski school was limited and would have come to £300 per day - so £2,100. It didn't work. In the end we found a reasonably priced apartment in meribel. All in though that will set us back £5k (5 flights, accom, transfers, lift passes, lessons and hire) for a family of 5.

Its not about accepting that the resort wont be as good - its simply when you are paying for 5 people and the price is £500 higher across all aspects per person, it quickly spirals. I get why parents who enjoy skiing would take their kids out. I don't judge them for it - there are only 5 weeks a ski season that they can legitimately do it and all are more expensive. I think in some ways you have to trust parents. Most (not all) have their kids welfare at heart. Our eldest struggles at school so taking her out for us is not an option - but I would take her our for a day - she enjoys skiing - and somewhat selfishly I enjoy skiing with her.
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vjmehra wrote:
Schools used to do just that, the head had discretion. I struggle to see the problem with that approach, it means children can be taken out if the head deems it to be appropriate.

The heads discretion was ignored. My missus used to be a governor. It was out of control. Some parents took their kids out for weeks. Some parents wouldn't ask permission and would just say they were doing it. As more parents did it. others thought they would do it to.
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@CaravanSkier,
Quote:

Good luck with that idea We started off with ours in tiny resorts (with a couple of exceptions) and progressed to bigger resorts as they became more competent skiers. They were not very old before they wanted the biggest ski area possible and could cover huge areas in a day. I hasten to add they did not always get what they wanted


Ah but you see you need to get them past that point to actually being good skiers. When you enjoy skiing the whole mountain on and off piste then you don't need a mega ski area. Worked with my two. Very Happy
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Back on topic:
I've never done more than take my kids out half a day early on the last day of (half)term to avoid the traffic.
We just tell the school that we will be picking the children up early, don't offer an explanation and haven't been asked for one.

But the cost is not a big problem to us. If it was then I would consider taking them out in January for a week.

When I was a kid my parents did take my sister and I out for whole weeks (not skiing). Indeed the school ran trips of various sorts during term time that meant children missed lessons. My sister and I were well supported at home, pretty diligent, able, never asked for additional support from our teachers and got excellent grades at school. Why were my parents wrong? I don't think they were. I think they made appropriate decisions for THEIR CHILDREN and did nothing to disadvantage other children.

And that I think is the answer - if children are doing well at school, parent's should be free to exercise their discretion and people who are not their parents or teachers should probably keep their noses out of the subject.
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jedster wrote:


And that I think is the answer - if children are doing well at school, parent's should be free to exercise their discretion and people who are not their parents or teachers should probably keep their noses out of the subject.


The day education funding is provided solely out of taxes paid by parents only is the day you get to demand the rest of society keeps its nose out wink
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@Dave of the Marmottes, one could argue that a well educated population will be better placed to take care of one in one's dotage, thus a common good?
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under a new name wrote:
@Dave of the Marmottes, one could argue that a well educated population will be better placed to take care of one in one's dotage, thus a common good?


Absolutely - that's the societal bargain which sustains public education. But when parents take it upon themselves to subvert the value of that education* it does give society at large a right to have an opinion.


*Yes I know that no-one on sHs would ever do anything that would reduce the absolute level of education their lttle darlings receive but I'm talking on a macro level - "yeah it woz only fair we took our kidz to Disney for a fortnight cos its magical innit and they don't learn nuffink at skool anyway cos the teachers hav it in for them"
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The solution to all of this is to stagger the mid-winter holidays, rather than condemning the whole country to try to cram their leisure activities into the same week. If you look at the European school holiday calendar at the top of this forum you'll see that it's only us and the Belgians who haven't managed to work this out.

If all the energy and money parents spend trying to get around the rules were spent lobbying to change the school calendar the problem would go away; not just to the benefit of families and the ski industry, but to the uk leisure industry as a whole. snowHead
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deerman wrote:
Strange how it is ok for schools to organise skiing trips where kids are out of school for a week - but parents are penalised for doing the same.


I couldn't agree more! I live in South Bucks and my school doesn't organise ski trips. A primary school in the village next to us organise "ski trip" in March where the children have to come with one parent (or 2). To me it sounds like a family holidays rather the school trip. All those arguments about "loosing on education" if you take your kids away out of school holidays don't make sense. It's all politics. Kids will be fine:)
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Top socking
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Kamila1405 wrote:
"loosing on education"


/Irony .......... Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley Madeye-Smiley
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@Dave of the Marmottes, good spot

@Kamila1405, poor effort
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shep wrote:
The solution to all of this is to stagger the mid-winter holidays, rather than condemning the whole country to try to cram their leisure activities into the same week. If you look at the European school holiday calendar at the top of this forum you'll see that it's only us and the Belgians who haven't managed to work this out.

If all the energy and money parents spend trying to get around the rules were spent lobbying to change the school calendar the problem would go away; not just to the benefit of families and the ski industry, but to the uk leisure industry as a whole. snowHead

But who said the two are mutually exclusive?

I grew up in a country that has a much longer winter school break. As a result, we had to stay in school later in early summer and the summer break is shorter. I have no idea as to the why part. Just that we had 3 weeks off in the winter rather than just 1 (or 2 if you count Christmas)!

There're many ways to make the "half term" a non-problem. I'd argue the onus is on the "education system" to be more flexible rather than rigidly enforcing a rule that was quite unreasonable to begin with.
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