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Parents prepared to take fines for term-time holidays

31 March 2014

On average, parents happy for kids to miss four consecutive school days for an overseas family holiday

  • 17% of parents have taken a family holiday abroad during term-time
  • Families taking some or all of their UK holidays during school time estimate they saved on average £646
  • Nearly a quarter (23%) estimate that it’s cheaper to pay ‘school fines’ than buy a foreign vacation during the school holidays

New research reveals that 17% of parents have taken their kids abroad on holiday during term-time – with over a third (35%) saying that they couldn’t otherwise afford to do so.

The research commissioned by Travel Insurance found that on average families were saving £646 by taking a term-time foreign holiday – with 19% estimating they saved over £1,000.

On average, parents were happy to take their kids out of school for a family holiday of four consecutive school days. Just under a quarter (23%) thought a week off (five consecutive school days) was acceptable, while 17% would be happy to take their kids on holiday for 10 or more consecutive days.

Of the families who had had taken their children abroad during school term-time:

  • 69% felt that companies unfairly ramp the cost of holidays during term-time;
  • 54% thought that the Government should cap increases on prices during school holiday periods;
  • 23% estimate that the fines they may have to pay for taking their kids out of school during term-time would be less than the extra cost of holidaying abroad during the school vacation.

Caroline Lloyd from Travel Insurance commented, “Foreign holidays outside term-time tend to be considerably more expensive than in the weeks leading up to them.  So, for some families the only way they can have afford to take their kids abroad is to holiday during the school term. But, last September tougher regulations on term-time holidays were introduced by the Government meaning that schools have been stopped from allowing children 10 days of leave a year for family breaks in 'special circumstances'.  Now, requests for term-time holidays are at the head teacher's discretion.

“If parents take their children out of school without first seeking the school’s permission or take their children out after permission has been denied, they could be given a penalty notice fine of £60 per child.”

More information on fines for taking your children out of school without permission is available on the Department for Education website:


Notes to editors:

On 17th March 2014, Vision Critical conducted an online survey among 1,355 randomly selected British adults who are Springboard UK panellists.  The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.