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Head takes term-time holiday next winter
Tuesday October 21, 2014 - Email this article to a friend

Jenny Winder from Elstow School in Bedfordshire is reported to be taking a holiday in the Carribean next January. She is entitled to but some parents are angry.

In September 2013 the law was changed to stop parents taking their children out of school for a holiday.

It had a singnificant impact on some skiing families during the winter season.

Parents can be fined up to £60 per child, per parent and it rises to £120 if not paid within a week. If parents refuse further then they can be fined up to £2,500 with three years in prison

Jenny Winder has been at Elstow School for 15 years and is taking the break with the full permission of the school governors. 

She has been allowed to take the break for 'personal reasons'.  

The nature of these personal reasons has not been revealed.

"She made what we have judged to be a request for a week off during term time for personal reasons which we have judged appropriate," said the chair of the school governors, Kevin Hunter.

Bedford Borough Council is responsible for the running of Elstow School.

It made the following statement to local press.

"The council's recommended leave of absence policy states that term-time holiday for leisure purposes for staff should not be permitted, but individual requests for leave are a matter for schools themselves to determine."

ITV has also reported the story and has reaction from some parents at the school - see here a television report.

The BBC has also been speaking to local parents.

One parent said the head teacher's leave was "absolutely disgusting".

"I've been fined twice for taking my children out of school and I put in a request to take them out next year and it's been refused," she said.

"I think she should either give us an explanation why she is taking time off.... or at least grant people holiday to do it themselves."

Another said "If we could go [on holiday] in term time, that would save my family a lot of money."

The issue of parents taking children out of school has had a significant impact on skiers and snowboarders with young children and we have reported on the issues raised on numerous occasions; see here for our report as the law came into force in September 2013.

Many ski companies have called on the government to change the law.

The latest one was Ski Famille - see here for our story as it demanded a re-think.

Here at PlanetSKI we think the law is an ass - see here for a personal view on the benefits of snowsports to children

However the law is the law and we advise parents to look at other times to ski apart for the February half-term. 

The week before Xmas offers good value and Easter is looking like a good bet as we have reported in this earlier story.

So, should Jenny Winder be allowed to take her term-time holiday? 

We are not informed of the personal reasons so it is perhaps not appropriate to reach a conclusion, but there does appear to be more than a whiff of hypocricy.

For the spirit of the mountains

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