Opodo travel news

Parents happy to risk fines for cheap holidays

Parents happy to risk fines for cheap holidays
18 Feb 2014

Two-fifths of British parents would risk being fined by their children's school if it meant saving money on a term-time holiday, research has revealed. 

Halifax found that, of this 40% group, one in six (15%) would consider breaking the rules to secure a cheap holiday even if meant saving just £100 to £250 - not much more than the £60 fine per pupil introduced by the government to encourage parents to book family getaways for the summer and half-term breaks. 

Previously, parents could ask headteachers for permission to go on once-in-a-lifetime vacations during term time, but this power has now been restricted to 'exceptional circumstances' only. 

'Parents' finances are being squeezed; with the new rules on fines for taking children out of school during term time on one side and increased prices for holidays during the summer on the other,' commented Richard Fearon, head of Halifax Savings.

Unsurprisingly, the Halifax study also revealed that those with more children find it harder to pay for family breaks. 

Although just 3% of parents with one child will take out a loan to pay for their holidays, this figure rises to 10% for those with three children. Similarly, while a quarter of families with one child can afford to pay a deposit and then spread the cost over a number of months, 36% of those with three kids have to put it all on credit card and pay it off later.

As a result of growing public resentment towards the situation, the government is next week set to debate an e-petition calling for a cap on price increases for vacations during school holidays, which garnered 100,000 signatures.

The debate will be led by Lib Dem MP John Hemming, who told the Birmingham Mail that while a cap on prices is unlikely, he'd like to see more 'flexibility' on when parents can go away with their children. 

'You have to ask, even if the answer is no,' he said. ADNFCR-408-ID-801694753-ADNFCR

Rate this article (5 great; 1 terrible):