Following the High Court victory of a father who refused to pay a £120 fine for taking his daughter on an unauthorised term-time holiday, a new report from consumer watchdog HolidayTravelWatch has revealed what the UK really thinks about the law banning term-time holidays.
More than eight in ten Brits believe that the criminalisation of parents who remove their kids from school to go on holiday during term time should be stopped. A further 92% said they want action to make family travel more affordable.
The survey also revealed that almost three quarters (73%) believe it is not right that parents are charged a premium for travelling during school holidays. The same number believe that the travel industry argument that ‘supply and demand’ is the reason behind this is not a good enough justification for the price hikes.
When parents were asked about booking habits, a third (33%) said they have not been able to book a family holiday during school breaks as the price hikes made it unaffordable, while more than a fifth (22%) said they have taken their children out of school during term time to go on holiday to save money.
Frank Brehany, consumer director at HolidayTravelWatch said: “The criminalisation of many sensible parents is just plain wrong. While the opposition to parents taking holidays in term time is loud, most parents act responsibly. My primary concern is for shift workers, those on restricted leave patterns, essential workers & military families, all who often have no choice on their leave; we are presenting them with impossible choices! This government is apparently very keen to get rid of bad regulation, so let’s make a start and remove this law from the statute books in time for the 2016 peak holiday season and return to a more sensible and common sense approach to this problem.”
But who is to blame and what should be done to tackle this issue? Almost found in ten (38%) believe it is something that the travel industry itself should be responsible for managing. Whilst more than a third (37%) say the government should do something to combat the problem. More than one in ten (13%) feel a travel ombudsman should be created to deal with the issue.