Parents Choosing Truancy

Nearly a quarter of UK families with school age children have had or are considering a holiday during the school term. Up to 1.8m families are set to trade school days for cheaper holidays

The new research, commissioned by, also found that, on average, parents willing to take their children on holiday in term time were happy for them to miss up to 6.3 days of teaching.

The research also found that 93% of parents willing to take their children out of school feel that travel companies and airlines unfairly push up prices during the school holiday periods and 65% say they simply can’t afford to take a holiday when schools are closed.

  • British families spend an average of £1982.00 on their annual holiday
  • Families taking some or all of their holiday during school term time estimate they save an average of £664.00
  • 75% of families taking their children out of school would take the whole holiday in term time to get a better deal

Just 14% of parents said they only have holidays with their children during school holiday periods. Of the British families which have already booked or are considering taking some or all of their holiday during school term time, 60% said that their children’s school was sympathetic to requests for term time holidays.

  • 74% ask the school’s permission to take their children out of school
  • 70% take their children out of school anyway even if the school refuses permission
  • 39% have lied to the school about their children’s absence in order to have a holiday during term time

Plans to ban term time holidays and impose automatic fines on parents who take their children on holiday during school time were floated by the Government in February 2012 but later dropped for fear of a backlash from cost conscious parents.

Jeremy Cryer, head of travel at, commented: “With an average cost saving of over £600 it’s clear to see why many parents choose to take the saving over the schooling. Many parents would also argue that a child’s education should be more than just time spent in the classroom and that travel broadens a child’s horizons, gives them valuable family time and adds to their life experience. If it comes down to a choice between their children missing a few days of school or the family missing out on a holiday altogether, our research shows that millions of parents would choose to take the holiday.”

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