Cheap flights of parental fancy

24th January 2003 at 00:00
THE skiing season is upon us and once again the return to school for a number of children will have been staggered. As more and more parents book cheap flights within school time, the problem of broken education becomes more acute.

The 10-days out-of-school allowance was introduced to enable parents who could not get time off work in school holidays to take a vacation during term. No one denies the importance of family bonding on holiday. But the damage to the continuity of the child's education is considerable: even if just one word of French vocabulary is lost per day, it does not need an accountant to quantify the overall loss. The child, on return to school, is at a disadvantage and is vulnerable to a loss of confidence.

To expect the teacher to fill in the gaps is unfair. True, the head needs to give approval for authorised absence, but how does heshe discriminate? Rationing? First come, first served? Unless some rationalisation is put in place, the problem will only escalate.

Maggie Agostini

17 Beech Grove

Epsom Downs, Surrey

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