Thursday, April 06, 2017

John Pugh talks sense on term-time absence

Following today's Supreme Court judgement, the Liberal Democrats issued a press release quoting John Pugh, our shadow education secretary:
“Today’s judgment was disappointing but the ball is back in the government's court, they could act and change the law and bring back sensible rules with proper safeguards in place. Nearly 20,000 people have been prosecuted and caught in a dragnet by these laws in the last year. 
“Many employees have no choice when to take their holidays. People in some areas have to work all through the summer at the height of the tourism season. 
“Others simply cannot afford to go on holiday at peak times, when the cost of holidays goes through the roof. So, it's vitally important to offer more flexibility to schools and headteachers to help families who need to take a break together. 
“We believe that headteachers should be allowed to grant up to 10 days of term-time absence in special circumstances".
That sounds about right to me.

This enthusiasm for giving councils the power to fine parents began with New Labour, whose least appealing aspect was its authoritarianism. It was often hard to say where its education policies ended and its policing policies began.

And some time before that, policymakers gave up on the idea that they could take action to make the economy work more efficiently.

Instead, education has emerged as the arena where ambitious young wonks feel they can intervene with confidence.

They know what is right for children and for the country, but they are not so sure about parents and headteachers.

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