Skip to main content

Web forum archive

Evidence check: Department's use of evidence

Education Committee

Thank you for all comments submitted to the ‘Evidence Check’ forum. The forum is now closed. Comments received will help the Committee evaluate the evidence received from the Department for Education.

The Committee will use the comments to select topics for one-off oral evidence sessions in early 2015.

Return to the Evidence Check web forum homepage

154 Contributions (since 18 November 2014)
Closed for contributions

The State Opening of Parliament 

The UK general election took place on Thursday 4 July 2024. The new Parliament met on Tuesday 9 July 2024 for the election of the Speaker and swearing-in of MPs and Lords. The State Opening of Parliament and The King’s Speech will take place on Wednesday 17 July 2024.

Find out more about:

View the 2024 general election results.

This web forum is displayed for archive purposes and is no longer accepting public contributions. For queries relating to the content of this web forum, please contact the Education Committee.

Total results 154 (page 6 of 16)

S Gadilhe

22 November 2014 at 18:08

I am convinced that noone in the DfE has considered any evidence at all when writing policy on both summer-born children starting school (although I live in hope that this will change in December) and on term-time absences. I would love to know if/how much pupil 'sickness' rates have changed since headteachers were restricted to allowing 'exceptional' time off only? Absences may have dropped, but I would put money on an increase of parents lying to schools about their 'ill' child. You have needlessly criminalised and alienated families, with no thought of the impact on the UK tourism industry or the impossible restrictions that so many face in taking time off during school holidays. I think parents would love to see the evidence supporting the claims that an occasional 5 day absence from school will negatively affect the GCSE results of an primary school child? The ironic thing is that so many summer-born children are not allowed to defer their school entry by a year, should their parents wish them to, with various spurious reasons as to why not given by local authorities - all of whom operate differently and without any current firm DfE guidance. It is deemed perfectly acceptable to put a summer-born child into school against parental wishes, despite evidence that these children will statistically achieve less in life). And it is deemed perfectly acceptable for schools to force pupils to skip Y6 - a whole year! - so the child can be placed with their 'correct' cohort. Yet the government says that it is detrimental for a child to be taken out of school for a holiday for any amount of time? Given that summer-born children start a year later in Northern Ireland, the fact that the rest of the UK does not allow this as a matter of course shows what a lack of joined up thinking exists within the DfE.


22 November 2014 at 16:56

Term-time absence fines MUST be scrapped. This is the Governments way of earning quite a bit of money under the guise of "caring for a child's education" If a week or two's holiday was so damaging to a child then the fine should be a lot more than it is but at £60 it's still low enough for parents to still pay regardless in comparison to the extra hundreds or thousands they'd have to pay to go on holiday during school holidays. The government KNOW they'll pay this so earn a nice bit of money for nothing - that doesn't even go back into the school!! Why does the school not get the money?! It just seems to slip back into the system with no education improvements seen as a result?! These are OUR children, how on earth could I be put into the same category as a shoplifter etc and potentially face court and a custodial sentence for taking MY child out of school for 5-10 days?! The whole thing absolutely stinks!!

Andy Billington

22 November 2014 at 16:51

So parents cannot choose when to take children out of school during term time as it damages their education but out of touch unions are still allowed to call staff out on strike during term time! Also how can children do homework when it seems the message given is children cannot learn outside a classroom?

Andy Billington

22 November 2014 at 16:51

So parents cannot choose when to take children out of school during term time as it damages their education but out of touch unions are still allowed to call staff out on strike during term time! Also how can children do homework when it seems the message given is children cannot learn outside a classroom?

Jonathan Woods

22 November 2014 at 14:22

The job I do entails that I cannot take always have time off during term time so I object to the policy the government now has decided to impliment that is criminalising ordinary hard working parents. I as a parent am not at school so why should the head teacher tell me when I can or cannot go on holiday? I dont blame the schools for this they are being forced to impliment an unjust policey. we as a family do not take holidays abroad this is just too expensive we instead take UK holidays and can see for ourselves this ban is just not hurting families but the seaside towns and buisness's its a complete over reaction from the government to the riots a couple of years ago that they failed to control and rather than target those areas have instead inflicted an unjust policy on the rest of the population. There is simply no evidence to suggest that taking a child from school for a weeks holiday is detrimental to their education I would however like to submit evidence of my own I am a father of six three of my children have been to or are at university one is at sixth form and two are doing extremely well at school this is an indication of how good the teachers and schools are they attend and also a justification for my argument as we have always taken them out of school.

Jo Gater-Willats

22 November 2014 at 07:41

I feel that the whole school system in this country is not fit for purpose and needs a complete overhaul. This won't happen unfortunately due to the power of the teaching unions, who rebel and strike at any attempt to improve the current offering. As a parent being prevented from taking term-time holidays has meant that we are not able to go away with our children because we cannot afford to do so. The difference in cost between a term and non term time holiday is 2-5 times and so we end up staying at home and doing day trips locally. The children are not able to benefit from cultural experiences that would gained from a foreign holiday. I have requested term time leave in the same week as school led trips (school ski holidays, city trips, activity based trips) and been declined. I do not understand how this can be justified. My children are all achieving and progressing, and are 98-100% attendance. The policy seems intended to target frequent absenteeism but is missing its mark. It creates a stigma against parents that do wish to take term time leave as being somehow irresponsible, this is clearly evidenced on the leading parenting websites such as mumsnet.

Luke Dearden

22 November 2014 at 07:34

014 at 01:50 PM I am totally opposed to the ban on term time holidays. It is not fair on parents who have difficulties getting time off during school holidays. Also, why is it being made a crime to need a cheaper holiday? A lot of families like my own are finding finances very tight at the moment even though both parents are working. I feel that the old system worked very well. Head teachers should be allowed to grant up to 10 days off, according to attendance record etc. Please help families, time together is precious.

Owen Jones

22 November 2014 at 00:48

in all the discussion about the ban on term-Time holidays I have not seen any evidence whatsoever that children's education suffers from a well chosen 10 days awa. On the contrary, the evidence I have seen from my own children is that they have benefited greatly from trips we have taken during term time to Italy, Malaysia and France.. Against this we have a level of state control that is intolerable in a democratic society. Children are the responsibility of their parents, not the state. Education is a service performed by the state towards children and their parents, nothing more. The state serves children and their parents, not the other way around.

Michelle Evans

21 November 2014 at 23:52

If there is evidence that missing school for short periods of time is detrimental to education, why are schools able to shut for "snow" when places of work are open, allowed to strike and not give the days back, allowed to take children to pantomimes, trips etc and have whole weeks to rehearse school plays? Based on this, surely the evidence suggests a balance of experience is just as critical as education? This balance has to include the judgement of parents and overall absence record if we believe we live in a democracy.


21 November 2014 at 22:43

i for one am disgusted that parents whose children have excellent school attendance, are never late, are penalised for taking their own children on famioy holidays. This year we've been lucky to have afforded family visits to Canada and Hong Kong, but went at times that suited school, not us. Would ideally have chosen different times in the year to visit close family. And give our children amazing experiences. If we could afford private education it would be different. Why?? I work very closely with school on what my 3 children need,always support school, yet the same isn't done in reverse. Because of government policy. Am very very tired of being tarred with the same brush as others who can't be bothered to send their children to school. That is NOT me

Total results 154 (page 6 of 16)