Saturday, 19 October 2013

Paying the price for education

Parents taking children out of school for holidays – it’s a modern-day dilemma I believe. 

I certainly don’t remember anybody at my school disappearing for a fortnight’s holiday somewhere exotic, but then again I was at primary school in the Seventies, so Brighton was seen as somewhere exciting.

The story of Malala Yousafzai gave me food for thought on this topic.

As you are no doubt aware, Malala had spoken out against the Taliban in her homeland of Pakistan, had campaigned for three years for a girl’s right to education, and had been shot in the head on her school bus by the Taliban as a result. 

This led me to then think about how we take for granted the free education system we have for all in this country. 

Whatever your gender, income, social status, religion or national heritage, our children can go to school, free of charge, and be educated.

We all need to make the most of the education system on offer here – because there are children elsewhere in the world who are literally dying for the same opportunities.

But having said this, I would like to add that I think the holiday companies are also at fault in this scenario, and we shouldn't just blame parents, many of whom are struggling financially during difficult economic times.

Yes, I've heard the 'supply and demand' argument for the huge variation in holiday prices, but it's truly disgusting how they blatantly profiteer. 

I saw evidence for myself recently how a break at a well-known UK holiday park during October half-term was £300 more than the same holiday, but taken a week later, when the children return to school.

Instead of the Government fining parents for holidays in term time, could I suggest a better way of dealing with the problem would be to make holiday companies reduce the vast difference in price? 

Now, there's an idea Mr Gove...

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