As a company that sells climbing frames and outdoor play equipment we are talking to and dealing with parents on a daily basis and as it happens a lot of us are parents ourselves. Apart from our daily discussions on swing beams, slides, rock walls and uprights we also delve into the murky waters of parenting and children.
One thing that has caused a bit of a hoo ha in the climbing frames office is the topic of term time holidays. Education Secretary Michael Gove wants to prohibit head teachers authorising absences during term time simply for holiday reasons. Currently they have the power to authorise up to 2 weeks absence, for illness or bereavement, and many have been authorising holidays in order to keep parents happy. However this may be a thing of the past as the government plans to improve school attendance.
We feel torn, this topic has divided the Climbing Frames office. Shocking figures have been released that say 4.5 million days of schooling are missed over a year which would indicate something drastic needs to be done to cut these numbers and fast. However everyone is guilty of doing it aren’t they? Holiday prices practically double come school holidays and for some families going away then just isn’t a feasible option.
It has also been suggested that any time missed from school could do some damage to children’s development. Is this just yet another thing for us parents to feel guilty about or is it something we should be taking seriously? If we honestly thought a few days off school a year would harm our children’s development would we still do it? Children’s development is important to us as a company and we build our climbing frames with this in mind so should we all stick to school holiday only getaways?