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Good news for holidaying families - 70% of headteachers say they will stagger term dates from September

Family HolidayHolidaying families have often had no choice but to plan their annual getaways during the school holidays, facing a steep hike in travel costs compared to the same journey during term time.

With the introduction of new rules meaning that headteachers can only authorise term time absences in 'exceptional circumstances' research has shown that some families are prepared to stump up a fine for a term time break rather than pay increased holiday costs outside of it.

Now, new powers coming into effect from this September offer a glimmer of hope to families who have been stuck in the 'should we stay or should we go' term time holiday conundrum.

At the start of the new academic year, headteachers across state schools in England will have the power to change the length of their term. If these powers are taken up on a wide scale basis this could potentially lead to staggered term dates and no one fixed time period for travel operators to bump up prices.

“It is right that all schools are free to set their own term dates in the interests of parents and pupils,” a spokesman for the Department for Education said last year.

According to research by the Boston Consultancy Group, 70% of headteachers say they will bring into effect this change the moment they have the power to do so, with 60% arguing that facilitating more affordable family holidays is the chief motivation behind this decision.

Commenting on these changes, an ABTA spokeswoman said:

“The reason prices rise during school holidays and other busy periods is due to supply and demand. “Staggering by region may help alleviate the sharp peaks in holiday prices, by allowing demand to be spread over a longer period. However, demand , both from families and from consumers across Europe will likely still be concentrated around the traditional school holiday periods and so prices will still be higher at Christmas, Easter and in the summer, than at off-peak times.”

If you are planning a family holiday, it's important to organise family travel insurance in advance.

 

Date Created: 18 February 2015

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