Gove set to ban family holidays in term-time
James Cusick is political correspondent of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday. As an experienced member of the lobby, he has previously worked at The Sunday Times and the BBC. His career as a journalist has been split between print and television, including senior positions as producer with Sir David Frost and at BBC Newsnight. He is also an award-winning golf and travel writer, working for over a decade as the UK contributing editor for one of the USA’s leading golf magazines. He broadcasts regularly for the BBC and CNN. He lives in London.
Monday 20 February 2012
The power of head teachers to allow families to take holidays in term time is set to be axed by Education Secretary Michael Gove. Charlie Taylor, the schools' adviser brought in after last year's riots, has convinced Mr Gove that a hard-line must be taken.
Given the brief of urgently addressing increasing truancy rates, which are portrayed by the Government as creating an underclass and contributing to rising prison and young offender numbers, Mr Taylor has pointed to the discretionary holidays regime in schools as an abuse of a power supposed to cover only illness or bereavement. The shadow education secretary, Stephen Twigg, told The Independent: "Of course it is best for families to avoid taking holidays during term time. But the existing rules are clear and tough and I think it makes sense for heads to have discretion."
Figures released last year show truancy rates in England and Wales at record levels, with 64,000 pupils missing school on any one day in the first term of the 2010/11 schools year.
Dr Lynn Minnaert, from the University of Surrey, said: "Will this really support children and their education, or merely achieve better sounding statistics?"
Sally Farmiloe dead: Howards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, dies aged 60
Women in Turkey have a laugh in public at the deputy Prime Minister's expense
Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
Australian model Robyn Lawley stages naked protest against huge coal mine seven times the size of Sydney Harbour
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
- 1 Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 4 Zayn Malik on Israel-Gaza: One Direction singer bombarded with Twitter death threats after posting #FreePalestine
- 5 'Hello mum, this is going to be hard for you to read ...'
- < Previous
- Next >
£18000 - £30000 per annum + Generous commission scheme: AER Teachers: Thames T...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Supply teachers neede...
£111 - £163 per day + £111 - £163 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: The posi...
£64 - £69 per day + Competitive London rates of pay : Randstad Education Group...