How to Make Term Time Holidays More Acceptable to Schools

In 2013, the British government introduced £60 fines for taking a child out of school during term time, making it incredibly difficult to plan holidays if you have school age children. To an extent this legislation is understandable, since a child’s education should always take priority where possible, but it's an understatement to say that these fines have been unpopular and caused controversy. There are exceptions to this rule, like attending a funeral or wedding, but penalties have been heavily enforced.

Read the following advice on taking your kids on holiday during term time.

Attendance Records

Some schools are being encouraged by their local council to slacken these rules in cases where children have a high attendance rate. If your children have a strong attendance record, a head teacher is more likely to allow travel during term time. If they are consistent high achievers and work hard in the classroom, this will work in their favour.

Avoid May and June

These two months are the test and exam period during the school calendar. Whether your kid(s) are in primary or secondary school, end of year tests, SATs and GCSEs occur during this time frame. Therefore, if you request holiday dates during May or June, they are more likely to be rejected, particularly if you have older children in secondary education.

Take an Educational Trip

If your family vacation will also provide some sort of educational benefit, a head teacher may be more lenient. There are all kinds of informative holidays, including a historical trip exploring ancient Egyptian culture at the Pyramids, visiting Europe's largest science museum in Paris, or a geography themed vacation with a cruise across the Arctic Circle where you and your children can find out about icebergs, wildlife and witness the natural phenomenon of the Northern Lights.

Visit Distant Relatives

One of the exceptional circumstances in school guidelines includes if a parent is in the army and they do not have scheduled leave during holiday times. So it stands to reason that if you have relatives across the globe and you cannot get together during the six-week holidays, they may allow you to plan a visit during term time.

Hopefully, these ideas will help if you are considering term time travel. However, make sure you speak to your child’s head teacher and fill in a holiday form. But if you don't get permission and still decide to travel, be prepared to pay the fines.


  1. Great advice. I used to take my eldest out if school to go on holiday but now that they are older we only go during term time. Holiday companies don't make it easy for us families, I recently looked at Centre Parcs for february half term and the week before was £600 pound less x

  2. I do understand why the government felt the need to do something about children taking holidays during term-time, but it has all gone too far now. Every case should be looked at individually, there has been some really silly cases taken to court when there really was no need.

  3. i once asked for my son to leave 2 hours early and i was a nervous wreck!


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