A colleague recently brought me a page from a John Fowler Holidays brochure. A small but prominent paragraph states: "Absence from school: We have been officially informed that parents may keep their children away from school to enable them to enjoy a family holiday with their parents, but they must first obtain the consent of their headteacher."
The implication seems to be that it is fine for school to take second place to a family holiday jaunt of indeterminate length - and that the head's permission should be a formality.
No wonder that schools struggle to improve attendance when members of the travel industry issue such unhelpful advice. We in schools cannot do it all ourselves!
John Speller Headmaster The Norton Knatchbull school Hythe Road Ashford, Kent