Are term time hols really a problem?

COMMENT: Pompey and the uni will make great partners

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Sometimes I wish Facebook had a dislike button as well as its famous like button.

It seems that the social networking site is becoming less about keeping in contact with friends and family and more about wasting my time.

Is there a way I can stop those annoying game requests?

Thank you very much for the invite but I do not wish to play Farmville, Dogville, Catville or any other Ville. I don’t want to build a virtual farm and I don’t want to send you lives on Candy Crush, so please stop asking.

Requests for sponsorship money and requests to sign a petition also seem to be a regular feature on my timeline.

But recently there was one request on my Facebook timeline that did grab my attention.

It was asking for my signature on a petition demanding the government reverse a ban on schoolchildren in England taking holidays during term time.

Campaigners say many families cannot afford the higher cost of a holiday during the school holidays.

Until September last year, head teachers could grant up to 10 days’ leave a year for family holidays in ‘special circumstances’.

Since September 1, 2013, head teachers have no longer been able to grant any absence outside school holidays except under ‘exceptional circumstances’ and the reference to the 10-day limit has been removed from the regulations.

I think it struck a chord with me because I had just been looking into a holiday with my family this year and noticed a big difference in price.

For example, seven nights at a popular UK holiday village costs £610 more if you choose to go during the school Easter holiday than if you go two weeks earlier during term-time.

The Department for Education says that if children aren’t in school, they lose out on valuable learning time and have to waste more time catching up. It states children shouldn’t be taken out of school during term time unless absolutely necessary.

I can understand both sides of the argument. I really don’t want to pull my daughter out of school during term time, meaning she’ll miss out on education, but the result of this will mean going away during the school holidays and paying a higher price.

But then I wonder why holiday companies charge more for their breaks when children aren’t at school?

Is it just an easy way to make money or does it cost more to provide these holidays when demand is greater?

Is a cheap holiday worth more than education? Does one week away from a whole year really matter?

Are we being ripped off by the holiday companies? I think Facebook needs to add another button labelled ‘not sure’.