‘Flurry’ of term-time bookings fuels unauthorised leave debate, says Oliver’s Travels

‘Flurry’ of term-time bookings fuels unauthorised leave debate, says Oliver’s Travels

Almost a fifth of families booked holidays in term time in the year to August and many are continuing to do so amid a pre-Christmas financial squeeze, according to a self-catering specialist operator.

Oliver’s Travels reported a “flurry” of bookings for travel between the October school half-term break and Christmas in order to avoid higher peak time costs.

This follows data from the company which revealed that 18% of holidays booked in the 12 months from August 2016 involved parents taking children on holiday during term time.

”It would appear that parents are continuing to break the rules – fuelling the unauthorised leave debate – in a bid to get more bang for their buck and share some affordable quality family time with their loved ones ahead of the pre-Christmas pinch,” the operator said.

Company founder Oliver Bell said: “This is clearly a very controversial subject and with the looming threats of rising interest rates before the year is out, coupled with the ever increasing costs of living, it comes as no surprise that parents are opting to break the rules to take their children on affordable holidays before Christmas.”

He added: “Quality family time has a profound impact on children’s mental health and their adjustment to life but the harsh reality is that 66% of us, according to a UK wide survey conducted by Oliver’s Travels, wish we had taken our kids on more holidays when they were younger but didn’t because of lack of time or money.”

Term-time holiday campaigner Jon Platt was found guilty in July over an unauthorised trip after fighting a long-running legal battle after taking his daughter out of school to Disney World in Florida.

He was convicted of failing to secure his child’s regular attendance.

He lost an earlier legal challenge at the Supreme Court in April, despite winning previous legal battles in a case brought by Isle of Wight Council.

Platt was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £2,000 in costs.

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