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Headteachers Given Powers to Set School Holiday Dates

Saturday 14 February 2015

Headteachers are set to be given powers to set school holiday dates

From September 2015, parents will have the potential to take cheaper family holidays when new rules come into place allowing headteachers to set term dates. Holidays currently cost about 40% more in the school holidays. 

According to The Boston Consulting Group, the majority of heads (almost 70%) will take advantage of these new powers, allowing parents the opportunity for off-peak, more affordable travel but also taking advantage of the opportunity to match school holidays more closely to religious and cultural holidays/festivals. The survey found that most heads planning changes are likely to introduce shorter, more-frequent holidays.  

The news follows a high-profile change in rules in September 2013 that stopped headteachers being able to allow discretionary term-time absences of up to 10 days per school year. The ban resulted in hundreds of thousands of parents being fined or taken to court – despite many not being on holiday but attending family events such as weddings or funerals. 

An Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) spokeswoman commented: “The reason prices rise during school holidays and other busy periods is due to supply and demand. ABTA believes that a potential solution […] is for education stakeholders to look at staggering the dates that schools take their holidays by region, thus allowing demand to be spread over a longer period.”

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