A recent piece of research by an online travel agency in the UK has found that nearly half of all UK parents of children between 4 and 16 are planning to take them out of school to go on holiday. 82% of people surveyed indicated that they would also pay the fine associated with this. The majority of respondents did not believe doing this would have a negative effect on their children’s education.
A recent survey uncovered that around half of parents in the UK would be happy to pay a government fine during the next academic year. This is because they plan to take their children, aged between 4 and 16, on holiday during term time. 91% of respondents said their main motivation was to save money. 24% of respondents said they had done the same during the last academic year.
www.sunshine.co.uk, an online travel agency in the UK, completed a piece of research with some 1,996 participants. All were UK based and had children between 4 and 16. A variety of questions were asked in relation to their holiday plan. This was part of a large study into UK travel trends.
Question 1 was ‘Did you take your child out of school during term time for a holiday in the last academic year?’. 24% of parents said they had. They were then asked whether they would take their children out of school this academic year and 49% said yes, an increase of 104% year on year.
Those who said ‘yes’ were then asked if they would be willing to pay a fine in relation to this. 82% said ‘yes’ and the average amount they would be willing to pay for this was £210.
Next, those people who said they would be taking their children on holiday during term time were asked for the reasons behind this. A number of options were presented, and people could choose more than one. It showed that:
- Saving money was the most important factor, with 91% of parents citing it as the main reason to go on holiday during term time.
- 42% of people wanted to coincide their holiday with a special occasion like birthday.
- 23% of people wanted to be on holiday when the weather was best in their chosen destination.
- 16% took into consideration when holidays would be most convenient for other family members.
- 9% looked at going on holiday when it was most convenient in terms of work commitments.
The research also showed that 66%, well over half, did not think their children’s education would suffer if they were taken out of school to go on holiday.
A number of regional differences were also identified through the research. North Western parents, and particularly those from Liverpool, were most likely to take their children out of school on holiday. South Western parents, and particularly Bristolians, were the least likely to do so.
Managing Director of sunshine.co.uk Chris Clarkson, who has been leading on the research, stated:
“I often think parents act too quickly in terms of taking their kids out of school during term time for a holiday, because there are really good deals to be had during school holidays too. Sometimes, by the time you pay a fine, it could have worked out cheaper to go away in the actual holiday time that gets provided.”
He went on to say:
“Don’t act too impulsively and make sure you shop around for deals. You might be pleasantly surprised and your child might not have to miss any school at all!”