School holiday prices in news again

John Hays, managing director of Hayes Travel, has called for staggered school holidays so that holiday prices for families can come down outside of term-time

He was talking on the BBC’s Look North news programme last night after it reported how parents were being fined for taking their children out of school as part of a new crackdown. The programme claimed councils in the northeast have already issued thousands of pounds worth of fines after the new rules came in at the beginning of the current academic year

Stockton council has issued £2,000 of fines, but Redcar and Durham have issued £8,000 and £8,990 respectively

The report claimed that the differential in price between a holiday in Spain for a family of four this summer when the schools are out compared to in term-time was £1,690

Asked whether there was a solution to the problem, Hays said: “It would be quite simple to stagger the holidays so that different schools are out at different times, so that half term is done over three weeks and there would not be such a big peak”

Travelzoo Europe managing director Richard Singer said he feared the problem would get worse as parents are forced to avoid holidays in term-times, making the price differential even more marked.  He said: “Prices will rise further as parents clamber for those holidays, family travel will become a luxury only for the wealthy, and entrepreneurial companies will start to offer to pay people’s fines”

What are your plans for this years family holiday?  Will you run the risk of a fine in order to book a cheaper, more affordable holiday?  Or do you agree that children should not miss out on their education just to go on a holiday with their family?  We would love to hear your views…

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