From September 2015, parents will have the potential to take cheaper family holidays when new rules come into place allowing headteachers to set term dates. Holidays currently cost about 40% more in the school holidays.
According to The Boston Consulting Group, the majority of heads (almost 70%) will take advantage of these new powers, allowing parents the opportunity for off-peak, more affordable travel but also taking advantage of the opportunity to match school holidays more closely to religious and cultural holidays/festivals. The survey found that most heads planning changes are likely to introduce shorter, more-frequent holidays.
The news follows a high-profile change in rules in September 2013 that stopped headteachers being able to allow discretionary term-time absences of up to 10 days per school year. The ban resulted in hundreds of thousands of parents being fined or taken to court – despite many not being on holiday but attending family events such as weddings or funerals.
An Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) spokeswoman commented: “The reason prices rise during school holidays and other busy periods is due to supply and demand. ABTA believes that a potential solution […] is for education stakeholders to look at staggering the dates that schools take their holidays by region, thus allowing demand to be spread over a longer period.”
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