PARENTS have defended their decision to take their children on term-time holidays, largely blaming the 'ridiculous' price hike during peak season.

More days are being missed at Oxfordshire schools due to unauthorised holidays, but headteachers have largely refrained from fining truants.


The story has sparked much debate among our readers, with responses on our Facebook page and website totalling almost 100 comments.

We asked readers in a poll if they think parents should be allowed to take pupils out of school during term. 

As of 2.30pm, 281 people had voted and the majority - 66 per cent - said parents should.

You can still vote below

Many readers, commenting on our Facebook post, called on travel companies and hotels to stop inflating prices during school breaks.

Paula Hudson wrote: "I think if it’s against the law to take family holidays in term time, then there should be a law made that holiday prices in school holidays cannot be hiked up."

Lucy Conder added: "I take my children out of school for a holiday... and I plan to do so again this year. The difference in price is absolutely ridiculous!

"If a child has good attendance throughout the rest of the year and isn’t doing any important exams or anything, I don’t see the harm.

"Growing up my parents could never afford to take us away on holiday, so if I can give my children the experience I didn’t have, I will do it in a heartbeat."

Also commenting on Facebook, Lisa Willis said travelling offers 'life experiences' that are often more beneficial than sitting behind a desk, and that families should be allowed one holiday per year so long as it is not during exams.

ALSO READ: Which Oxfordshire schools had the most term-time holidays?

Many parents said they felt 'ripped off' by the price changes during school breaks, with one parent saying holiday companies are 'holding families to ransom.'

Emma Horwood wrote: "I think until the holiday companies are regulated and stop hiking prices up to have the same holiday just a few weeks earlier/later this will always continue. 

"I’ve taken mine out several times and I will continue to do so unless it is their exams, then that’s completely different."

Another reader agreed, adding: "The focus should not be on the parents, but the driver for why this is happening.

"The cost of holidays within school holidays whether it's in the UK or abroad is astronomical, and families deserve a time away to be together.

"It is unfair to continually penalise children who come from less affluent backgrounds from having a holiday with their family.

"My heart goes out to those children I see each year at my kid's school that do not get a holiday, a holiday I am sure they might get occasionally if the costs weren't so dramatically increased."

ALSO READ: These 8 school expansions could be delayed over 'silly technicalities' 

Several teachers made the point that it would be unfair to allow pupils more freedom with holidays but not school staff, particularly given the impact on their workload having to catch children up to speed after holidays.

Some parents argued that missing school, even for a few days, could impact children's education. 

One parent, commenting via the website, said: "Nobody values what they get for free.

"If parents paid the real cost of education, just look at the prices for a private school in this area, there is no way they would contemplate taking their children out of school during term time."