The recession has hit, the credit crunch has bitten, our bank accounts are far more often in the red compared to black, whichever way you look at it…times are difficult, and this implies more and more parents are taking their children out of school in order to afford a family holiday.

The price difference between term time holidays and breaks during school holidays could be laughable when it wasn’t so atrocious. A family of four could save more than £1000 on any occasion to Spain, as an example, if they travel even a few days before the school breaks up.

Holidays in term time, however, are frowned upon by schools, so what are parents supposed to complete??? Well legally students are allowed 10 authorized days off school per year, but the child’s school must grant permission in order for them to take it school holiday camps, and if families fly off regardless they could be fined anything between £100 and £2,500, making those cheap holidays to Spain, not cheap after all.

Some holiday companies are attempting to offer incentives for travelling during school holidays, offering 5% discount for example, and although this helps, it still doesn’t bring the purchase price only term time holidays. Thomson and First Choice also made extra free child places readily available for the 2009 school summer holidays but it’s usually an instance to be quick of the marks to take advantage of one of these offers.

Will children miss a lot of education by taking 10 days off school? Is playing on the beach or by the pool of some Spanish hotel educational? Could it be essential? Are parents only considering themselves and some slack in the sun, rather than what is best for the children?

It is a debate which will re-ignite every year particularly as the summer holiday season falls upon us, a debate which lots of people feel very strongly about, a debate which will perhaps only ever disappear completely once the government outlaws peak and off peak pricing.