Current Magazine

Long Summer Holidays: Parents’ Nightmare Or Child’s Right?

Posted on the 25 July 2011 by Periscope @periscopepost
Long summer holidays: Parents’ nightmare or child’s right?

Teenaged girls heading to school. Photo credit: The Ballatician

Ah, the summer holidays: a time of freedom, fun and adventure – at a cost of £8.6 billion, apparently. According to insurer LV=, this is the amount parents in the UK will spend on childcare and entertainment during the traditional six-week school holidays, which works out at an average of £660 per child. Before the six-week parliamentary recess, Education Secretary Michael Gove called for an end to the tyranny of summer holidays, suggesting a move to a four-week break at free schools and academies.

“For parents, the overlong holidays are a headache and an expense.” The Observer.

  • School’s out for summer. Sigh. Writing in The Observer, Barbara Ellen questioned the effect of the long holidays on parents: “Children may feel ‘free’ in summer, and that’s great for them, but for many parents, the overlong holidays are a headache and an expense.” Ellen argued that parents are under pressure to provide constant entertainment and educational stimulation during the holidays, and that this is simply not practical for every family. Citing US research from 1968 that showed poorer children fell behind during the holidays, she insisted that the long holidays are unfair to disadvantaged children: “They miss out on the stimulation and structure better-off parents are able to provide throughout the holidays… The stressed poorer parent hasn’t the time or the cash to compete.”

“Surely children are entitled to this well-deserved break?” The Guardian.

  • We don’t need no education. A-Level student Sara Abbasi came out fighting in favour of the summer holidays in The Guardian, denying that parents are obliged to provide a range of vacation activities: “Give us freedom to do what we want to do, even if it is nothing. Summer is the only time young people can relax and enjoy themselves without feeling guilty. Surely children are entitled to this well-deserved break?” Indeed, Abbasi blamed “neurotic, pushy parents” for the threat to long summer holidays.

“The theft of fun.” The Times.

  • Leave those kids alone. In The Times, Janice Turner admitted she has grown weary of the summer break – “The long vacation is a kitchen-calendar calamity” – but described plans to shorten the long holidays as “the theft of fun”. She envisioned a “call-centre society… where we all toil away 24/7 in soulless booths and windowless hangars”, should the plans go through. Despite that, Turner was not too worried about the prospect, if only because the teaching unions would presumably fight any suggestion of cutting the summer holidays. In fact, Pam Milner of the NASWUT union told The Yorkshire Post teachers need the long break to “recharge their batteries”, and insisted that most education professionals spent at least part of the holidays working.

More on parenting

  • Should fat kids go into care?
  • Parents who hack their kids
  • Want to win a baby?
  • Mother-in-law from hell
  • Smoking mum starts debate

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • How I’ve Streamlined My Cleaning Routine with BISSELL

    This post has been sponsored by BISSELL ® . All thoughts and opinions are my own. Like most fur baby owners, I consider my tuxedo cat, Gideon, to truly be a... Read more

    The 24 May 2018 by   Francoisetmoi
    DESTINATIONS, LIFESTYLE, TRAVEL
  • "I'm Keith Hernandez"

    "I'm Keith Hernandez"

    There are dozens of books that come out every year about baseball, including memoirs from older players recalling their glory days. Read more

    The 24 May 2018 by   Theomnipotentq
    BASEBALL, SPORTS
  • The Golf Shots You Need To Practice to Score Low

    Golf Shots Need Practice Score

    To score well, there are some golf shots that are just more essential to learn than others - ones you need to practice to lower your handicap and make you want... Read more

    The 24 May 2018 by   Golfforbeginners
    GOLF, SPORTS
  • Himalaya Spring 2018: Last Teams Head to Summit, Others Cancel, and Further...

    Himalaya Spring 2018: Last Teams Head Summit, Others Cancel, Further Information Hillary Step

    The unprecedented climbing season in the Himalaya continues with yet more summits to report and a few remaining expeditions that are still unfolding. Read more

    The 24 May 2018 by   Kungfujedi
    OUTDOORS
  • Dog DNA

    The suspense is over and we now know what Jake's mixed-breeds are. Sort of. After impatiently waiting two weeks for the results of Jake's Wisdom Panel DNA... Read more

    The 24 May 2018 by   Hikingwithheather
    OUTDOORS, TREK
  • Planting Winter Squashes

    Planting Winter Squashes

    Right! My Squash plants are fed up with being confined to their little pots, they're going in!Over the last 10 days or so we have had a surprising (but... Read more

    The 24 May 2018 by   Mwillis
    GARDENING, HOME
  • You Are So Annoying

    Often after my seminars, parents come up to give me a personal greeting. Sometimes I meet parents who have been repeat attenders of my seminar. ( I love that). Read more

    The 24 May 2018 by   Joanigeltman
    FAMILY, PARENTING

Magazines