Friday, April 11, 2014

Term-time holiday for head and fines for parents

The Leicester Mercury story about the head of a primary school who has been granted nearly one month off during term time to get married has hit the national press.

I don't feel outraged myself, but I do think, given the length of the school holidays, that she could have arranged her marriage to avoid the need for this.

But it seems some parents are outraged, and you can see why.

Take this Mercury story from November 2011:
More than 600 parents have been fined since September for failing to make sure their children go to school. 
All but seven of the 612 penalty notices handed out this school year relate to parents taking their children on holiday during term-time.
Add to this the feeling that schools now close at the first sign of bad weather, leaving parent to make childcare arrangements at short notice, and you can see why people are angry.

Labour brought in these fines because they felt there was little they could do about the economy and therefore preferred to concentrate on education. They also have an instinctive feeling that those who work in the public sector are morally superior and so entitled to mete out justice to the rest of us.

The Coalition has extended these powers - from the same lack of radical ideas on the economy and from the Conservative party's authoritarianism, which generally trumps their rhetoric about freedom.

I share the views of Karen Wilson, who wrote articles arguing against these fines for Liberal Democrat Voice in July 2013 and January 2014.

1 comment:

Phil Beesley said...

Almost all of us have endured state education; most of the others had parents who paid schools to damage their children.

I enjoyed school which made me a freak. School is essentially a control environment -- to keep urchins off the street -- and education is a happenchance. But I liked knowledge at school, and I met teachers who liked to teach.

As a freak, I tried to appreciate other freaks. I strived to understand why they behaved as they did. I eventually comprehended that all of the rest are just like me. And possibly more screwed than me.