Are school holiday rules fair to fractured families like Warwickshire man's?

The father of a primary school pupil wants more consideration to be given to 'fractured families' when it comes to allowing them to take their children on holiday during term times.

Monday, 15th October 2018, 5:22 pm
Updated Monday, 15th October 2018, 5:30 pm

James Brackenbury lives in Warwickshire with his wife and daughter but his son, from a previous relationship, lives with his former partner in Yorkshire.

With school holidays differing between the two counties, Mr Brackenbury has been told by the school, based in the Warwick district, that he is unable to take both of his children on holiday at the same time during the next spring half term without facing a fine from Warwickshire County Council.

He wants the schools to take into account both his and the circumstances of other parents in similar situations when considering allowing them to take their children on holiday outside of term times .

Mr Brackenbury said: “My issue is that we are in a hard to manage situation being a fractured family.

"We only get to see my son once a month due to the geography involved and it’s upsetting that we are not able to holiday together regularly when the schools are not prepared to work together.

“The council rules need to be reviewed to allow for this or to make it public information which then definitively shows this situation exists where we can’t travel on holiday within the half terms provided [without being fined].”

Speaking on behalf of the school, Warwickshire County Council has said: “The decision whether to grant a leave of absence lies solely with the headteacher and/or the governing body at the school.

“No statutory guidance has been issued by the government to assist schools in making their decisions about what constitutes an ‘exceptional circumstance’.”