A third of parents take children out of school to save money on a holiday

school uniformIt’s almost the end of term. Unless you are in Scotland in which case that is old news. Some parents may be looking forward to having their offspring around 24-7, others may be experiencing a growing sense of dread. But some parents will have been rubbing their hands with glee as more than a third of parents (36%) take their children out of school during term time. And this risk to their child’s education is all in the name of saving money.

New research by Nationwide Building Society shows that, despite increased attention and new £60 penalties for unauthorised absences, the proportion of parents angling for a cheap getaway has remained largely unchanged since last year’s research, where 37% admitted taking a hooky holiday. Out of those parents who did opt for term-time holidays, almost one in five (19 per cent) further compounded their children’s moral slide by lying about it and telling  the school their child was sick rather than admit they were off on holiday.

However,  given the fact that the premium for a typical holiday in Spain for a family of four has been calculated as amounting to as much as an extra £1,347 during school holidays compared with term-time, £60 seems a fair price to pay for the discount.

The research also showed that:

57% took their kids out of school for holiday at the end of term, compared with 18% who chose the start of term and 17% who went for a mid-term break

72% of parents went for a foreign holiday during time term, which would result in greater savings compared with school holidays

62% of children on term-time holidays were from primary school, but the figure almost halved for older children, with only 32% of secondary pupils being taken out of school for holiday

But while over a third of parents sounds a lot, is this news so surprising? Alternative research by Yorkshire Bank suggested that almost a quarter (24%)  of people base their choice of holiday primarily on price, while a further 27% would book somewhere unusual if it would save them money. The average spend of a summer holiday is estimated at £1,027.72 per person per year.

So would you do it? Is a week’s education worth over a grand to you? Or do you live in Scotland and have already enjoyed a lovely family holiday abroad, cheaper and without a resort full of screaming English children…


  • Samantha
    Wouldn't it be better to make the summer holidays 2 weeks shorter and just give every child 10 days worth of holiday that can be taken whenever the parent wants (other than specific days that are for exams or whatever) like we do in basically every job? Maybe call it 15 days of authorised absences for including trips to the dentist and the like.
  • Adnan Q.
    I think one has to make a trade-off here. For parents, it is more important to ensure that their children get better education. Taking kids out of schools before term ends and going for holidays is certainly not going to build healthy money habits in kids.
  • Alexis
    Like kids do anything worthwhile in school at this time of year. Everybody is just running down the clock. Every kid has been off ill for at least a week at some point and it does no harm.
  • VulvaRevolver
    "And this risk to their child’s education is all in the name of saving money." Come on, let's stop pretending that British state education is of such high quality that a child will miss a lesson vital to their future prospects by having a week's holiday. They'll miss a bit of colouring in, some spelling tests, some maths taught in some confusing and opaque manner, something about the Romans or Tudors and a bit of copying from a book.
  • Bogbrush
    err, samantha, that is a spectacularly stupid idea. how are teachers supposed to manage the curriculum?

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