Saturday, 14 May 2016

Term-Time holidays to visit Disney

Travelling to WDW is very expensive so the recent High Court ruling on term-time holidays may now open the floodgates to families booking in term time.

This morning a seven day holiday for two adults and two children booked through Virgin Holidays staying at the Rosen Inn International would cost:  June £426pp and in August £1578pp.

Clearly market forces, supply and demand influence the price during the year with an average price being in the middle.  I don't think anyone in the travel industry is saying that in the long term the 'price rise' in the summer is going to change so this leaves parents with a difficult decision.

Do you take children out of school to enjoy a cheaper / longer holiday at Disney?

Obvious as a huge Disney fan and writing on this website I clearly love Disney Parks and see a huge value in both the experience as a family and simply enjoying the American culture of being in Orlando.

I also see it from the other side as a teacher of nearly 20 years experience.  Whilst the old rules were confusing and many people believed that they had an automatic right to 10 days off school a year the new rules offer very little flexibility to Headteachers.

From a financial perspective it is simply a no-brainer when you consider a £60 fine compared to the savings in the price of a holiday.  My first time to WDW was in the year 2000 with my wife and her brother, who were both horrified at the extra cost of the holiday because I could only travel in the school holidays.

Will a week of school damage a students GCSE chances for the rest of their lives? I really don't think so.  There does have to be a big caveat here.  If the student took the time off right before an exam or during a controlled assessment then it would have a big impact. 

Another perspective which has not been mentioned in the media is the use of Saturday and holiday revision by many schools.  Many schools will now insist that students are in school during February and May half term and at Easter for extra revision and intervention.  I think this is obviously great for the students as they get more time to revise / catch up on work they need support with.  This does send a message though that you can't take term time holidays and you can't really take holidays during half term and Easter so they have to be taken at the most expensive times.

Would I take my children out of school if I could?

Yes but only if they had excellent attendance, it wasn't at a crucial time (one just did their SATs last week!) and I would definitely insist they did work while they were away.

What do you think?