No learning curve lazing on the beach

OVER the past week or so, there has been some discussion in the media about whether it is right for parents to take their children out of school to go on holiday. The most compelling argument for holidaying during term time is that it is much cheaper than

OVER the past week or so, there has been some discussion in the media about whether it is right for parents to take their children out of school to go on holiday.

The most compelling argument for holidaying during term time is that it is much cheaper than during school holidays, when travel companies unashamedly hike their prices.

For instance, after a quick search on the internet I found flights and a hotel for a week in Barcelona for two adults and two children in June this year for �543.77, whereas exactly the same package in August is �649.70.

And I've no doubt this �100 mark-up is fairly modest compared with some prices families are faced with.


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While travel companies certainly don't make it easy, parents should ensure they put their children's education first.

If they can't afford to pay for a two-week holiday in the sun during the school holidays, they could explore alternatives such as just spending one week away, or plumping for a cheaper option such as camping or discovering the British Isles.

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I've heard an argument that children can learn more during a two-week holiday than they do during two weeks at school.

If parents choose to spend their family holiday taking their children to museums, art galleries, places of historical interest and the like, then this may well be true.

But for the many who while away their free time lounging by the hotel pool or sunbathing on the beach, eating ice lollies, playing beach cricket and swimming in the sea, this can hardly be said to be true.

Yes, travel broadens the mind, but a week in the Costa del Sol won't provide much educational or cultural stimulus.

It seems some parents are all too ready to dismiss the importance of primary years at school, and are under the impression that children won't miss much if they are taken out for a couple of weeks.

But they are wrong. These are children's formative years and it would be a mistake to underestimate how much they learn each and every day.

Going to school regularly is imperative as it forms the foundation for children's futures. Those who miss school, even if only for a few days, can fall behind in their work and it can lead to them not reaching their full potential.

Is it all worth it for a few days in Disneyland?

I'VE heard a number of people complain about the state of the roads during the severe weather conditions, and the national media has been having a field day berating councils for not being prepared.

But they were prepared, and I think they did a good job.

All the major roads I drove down were gritted, so, short of them gritting every residential street and cul-de-sac, I don't see what more they could have done.

It gets me riled when the national media insists on comparing our response to snow with places like Russia, where it snows for months on end.

I'm sure taxpayers would be the first to complain if councils spent a disproportionate amount of money on equipping themselves for the odd few days a year it snows in this country.

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