Vote: Would you take your children out of school for a holiday?

Would you take your children out of school during the holidays?
Would you take your children out of school during the holidays?

Almost half of parents have taken their child out of school to go on holiday, with many saying it is too expensive to go away during the summer break, a poll suggests.

As the summer holidays draw ever closer we want to know if you would take your child out of school for a holiday. Vote in our poll below and tell us what you think.

A national survey of 2,000 parents has found 27% of mothers and fathers say they have taken their youngster out of lessons for a trip on more than one occasion.

A further one in five say they have done so once. Almost two thirds (62%) of those that have taken their child away during term time, or would consider doing so, said it is too expensive to take them on holiday during the summer holidays.

More than a quarter (27%) said they had taken the decision because it was the only time they or their partner could take leave from work. And 23% agreed that it was quieter to go away during term time.

The findings of the survey, commissioned by Co-Op Insurance, come as the six-week holidays approach. They also indicate that some parents are taking their child out of school for a week or more.

Of those that have taken their son or daughter away during term time, 25% said that their child had missed a week of lessons, while 8% said they had missed up to two weeks.

Some 8% said their child had missed just one day, 26% said they had missed two days, 20% said they had missed three days and 13% said their child had missed four.

The issue of term-time holidays has consistently been in the spotlight since a Government crackdown on school absence in 2013.

Parents can be fined £60 if their child misses school without permission - including for holidays.

This rises to £120 if it is not paid within 21 days. Parents who fail to pay can be prosecuted.

Ministers have argued that no child should be taken out of school without good reason, and that missing just one day can affect a pupil's chances of getting good GCSE results.

Around one in six pupils missed lessons last year for term-time holidays, according to Government figures.

The statistics showed a rise in the number of youngsters taking at least half a day out of school to go away with their families, while at the same time the proportion of parents fined for taking their youngsters out of school without permission fell.

The majority of fines issued - more than three quarters (77.5%) - were for unauthorised holidays.

In May 2016, a father won a high-profile High Court case over taking his daughter out of school for a holiday to Disney World, Florida, without permission.

The case was later referred to the Supreme Court, where the father involved, Jon Platt, lost in April last year.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: "It is important that children miss as little time at school as possible.

"The cumulative effect of missed days can be harmful to children's education.

"The best way to ensure children are learning and progressing is for them to attend school during term time.

"However, the current system of holiday pricing is driving a wedge between schools and families.

"Neither parents nor schools set the prices of holidays and without some sensible Government intervention they will both continue to be caught between a rock and hard place."

- The survey was by Atomik Research.