Petition calls on headteachers to allow children to go on holiday during term time

15 May 2017

A petition has been submitted to the Welsh Assembly asking headteachers to stop banning school children from family holidays during term time.

The petition, titled ‘Let children in Wales have holidays during term time’, has more than 15,000 signatures.

It was organised by Bethany Walpole-Wroe, from Cwrtnewydd, near Lampeter. She submitted a letter to the Petitions Committee criticising the Assembly’s response to their campaign.

“This farce has to end, there needs to be some honesty on the part of the Assembly Education department,” she said.

“Every time we present evidence of the misuse of Welsh Assembly legislation, we get told there is no problem and that head teachers in Wales have the right to allow holidays during term time.”

Current Welsh legislation says that parents are allowed to take their children out of school during term time as long as they have the headteacher’s permission.

However, parents say that some schools refuse to allow any holidays at all and, as part of Ms Walpole-Wroe’s petition, she submitted examples of schools that impose this blanket-ban.

“In just a couple of hours I had all these responses, when I asked for schools that are still operating blanket bans, this means there are many more.”

The petitions committee had mixed responses to Ms Walpole-Wroe’s letter.

Conservative AM Janet Finch-Saunders was supportive and said she had taken her own children out of school during term time.

“A week away with parents and family time is important. I have every sympathy for parents in that regard.”

Plaid Cymru’s Neil McEvoy said that holidays could motivate children.

“Sometimes going abroad inspires children to learn more when they go back.”

However, UKIP AM Gareth Bennett was worried that parents could take advantage if the rules were eased.

“If one or two parents decide to break the rules than everyone could do it. Where does it end? They’re just fiddling the system really.”

The Assembly is planning a review of its policy.


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