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Could you be paying £1000’s more just to take your children on holiday in August? Well, with new reports showing that British families are paying up to 124% more for holidays outside of term-time, it seems that a summer holiday might be off the cards for many. We’re speaking to father of three, John Platt live from his home in the Isle of Wight who believes children should be allowed term-time holidays, and journalist Toby Young, live from Heathrow Airport who argues education must come first. We’ll also be joined by travel expert Simon Calder as he shares his tips and tricks on how to avoid the holiday hikes.
Broadcast on: 09/07/19
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recent reports reveal that parents are paying up to 81 percent more to go abroad during the school holidays but with the alternative being your child out of school and face a hefty fine and what is the right thing to do well in a moment we're going to talk to travel expert Simon colder but first let's hear from father of free John Platt who believes children should be allowed term-time holidays and journalists have Young who argues that education should always come first thank you for joining us today so John we've sort of followed your story an awful lot that you went to the Supreme Court you lost your case there since then you've moved your daughter into private education so you can bypass what you call an unfair system that's true yes Ollie so I mean if this is a nun it's an unfair system but would you therefore say that you know you're lucky enough you're fortunate enough that you can afford to do private education you're sort of taking part in it all being unfair well I'm just not prepared to be subject to such draconian rules and children in private education or the parents of children of private education can take their children right whenever they like they've facing criminal sanction I think that should be true for all parents I don't think that it's fair that some parents you can afford to go on holiday at any time of the year and pray to be educate their children like I can and become exempt from the criminal law just because they have more money than somebody else I think it's dramatically unfair you say there's more like more to life than school well of course there is for them you know you guys take your kids in holiday you know how important it is you know parents 20,000 parents were prosecuted last year 260,000 parents were fined of the 20,000 parents who were prosecuted 71% of them were women you know people know that there's a quite a serious consequence of taking their children on holiday all right you frozen there let's jump over once we get John back we've got Toby you were listening to those comments there tell you what term what what do you think I disagree with John I've helped set up for schools and I know how disruptive it is if parents take their children out of school before the school all of those begin its disruptive because teachers spend a long time thinking about the sequence with which to teach the particular syllabus is they're teaching children they want to teach all the children at the same time if one child misses out on a critical lesson that creates extra work for the teachers they have to catch that child up in break time or after school or prepare additional work for that child to take home it's not fair to burden teachers with that just to save a few pounds on a family holiday the other big reason I'm I don't think that parents should take their children out of school is that we have a problem with absenteeism in this country it's increasing in schools and all the research shows that if children are taken out of school by their parents they don't do as well as those children that remain in school and unfortunately disadvantaged children are more likely to be absent than non disadvantaged children so if you make it easier if you take away the fines for parents we do take their children out of school it's disadvantaged children who are going to suffer and you're going to increase the attainment gap between disadvantaged and non disadvantaged children so for those reasons do you think it would be fair to say this is the fault of the travel companies and if they didn't have these huge price hikes over the summer this wouldn't be an issue we wouldn't be talking about it well I'm I'm reluctant to blame the travel companies I think there are many benefits to dynamic pricing it's the law of supply and demand afterall than government's when they try and regulate marketplaces often get it wrong and there are all sorts of unintended consequences I think the solution to this problem is to encourage schools to stagger fair term time schools completely easily do that they can have children break up a little bit earlier come back a little bit sooner if they all do it it's slightly different times and not stalled at the same time then that would solve the problem you've got a big issue in the many single parents groups online saying that this is desperately unfair because there are deals available for families which we can't take and so essentially there are many single parents who are prevented from taking their children on holidays that does seem unfair and that is something that some the travel industry should look at I didn't think single parents should be penalized because they miss out on family package deals but I don't think that excessive regulation of travel pricing is the solution I think that will have unintended consequences it usually does I think the solution is to stagger term times that'll solve the problem all right thank you also thank you to John as well so it's an argument that we're not going to settle Simon has got advice now what parents can do to make the best of this situation you start with something I had not heard before though so what is the anglo-scottish anomaly well you take advantage of the fact that already in Scotland the schools are on holiday and therefore if you're in Scotland the prices have gone through the roof from something I was checking out to Lanza Rossi going out on Thursday 380 something pounds from Glasgow same holiday 130 pounds cheaper if you go from Manchester because English schools still haven't gone out but Scottish once has you take you can take advantage of that and you can do the anglo-scottish shuffle in the reverse direction in late August so for instance if you want to go across to Orlando virgin of 13 Atlantic will fly you there from Gatwick for about a thousand pounds returned in late August you go from Glasgow it's down to 700 so across the across the border what about weekday holidays right well this is quite straightforward you might think it's obvious that if you go from Saturday to Saturday it's going to cost you more than going from Monday to Friday but actually you can save more per day if you do that just looking at a jet to holiday going from Stansted to albufeira staying in the hotel al penis you've got a two thousand pound policy for a family of four that comes down to fourteen hundred and fifty-two pounds so effectively the cost per day is reduced you're also going to avoid all the airport crowds and I've done tried all of these by the way I've got two school-aged children so I've done them all including their grab-and-go so most schools or many schools break up on the 19th of July and the Saturday the 20th of July is going to be incredibly busy if you just take them in the afternoon have the car running outside the school gates take them straight to the airport you're gonna save well typically on an example I found from Bristol to Malaga 50 pounds per person just by leaning up a layer yeah that's so much broken travel sorry broken travel so when you break up your trip yeah oh sure well if you in this in the sense of breaking up your trip into several components so for example on the 2nd of August my family's going out to Athens hooray we're going on a cruise can't wait except they have three cheap seats left on British Airways the price has now gone up to seven hundred pounds one way Wow so I have taken my Martin what I'm doing is said it's flying from Stansted to Dortmund in Germany getting a train going to Cologne flying from there to Sofia in Bulgaria from there I hop on a bus go across the car Vella in Athens miss moon oh no I'm starting off a couple of days earlier it's going to cost me 100 pounds all in and I think it will be quite an adventure rather than paying 701 Oh fly holidays then surely they must be people that you would hope so and certainly the insurance policy for every family has to be if you're lucky enough then if maybe in the southern half of Britain and you've got a car just pack everybody in their car find a cheap channel crossing from Dover or Folkestone across to Calais within an hour you'll find some great campsites we've done that it's really good really cheap and you're not going to pay a peak prices and of course it comes back to the holiday industry why do they put up the prices that's because they lose money for most of the year and if they didn't put up the heart their holiday prices or they were banned from doing so by the government they just pack up and go home thank you very much thank you thank you very much indeed you