Tuesday 30 December 2003

Prisoners' Dilemma

You've got children. They're at a state school. You want to take the family on holiday, but all the best deals are outside the school holiday period. Increasingly people - no, not you of course - are breaking the "rules" and going away during term time. It can save you 40% off the holiday price, and it may soon get you a criminal record:
Parents in Scotland could be fined as much as £1,000 or be sent to prison for up to a month - or both - if they take their children on holiday during term time, it emerged yesterday.

The Scotsman has an editorial (the 2nd one on the link) about this today:

... in many modern jobs, holidays rarely coincide with traditional school terms (which are based on agricultural seasons). Perhaps the long-term solution is to review the pattern of school terms and make them more flexible.
The question is: Why do all the schools have the same holiday periods? It's not as if many Glasgow children rush off to bring in the harvest once school is out for the summer. Surely this is just another example of what happens when (almost) all the schools are run by the state. We don't need a "long-term solution" in the form of a "review"; we need immediate action. Once again we can see why schools should be privatised. With hundreds of schools owned by many different entities it would be inconceivable for them to ignore the market demand for varied school holiday times. The state is not your friend.