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One third of children taken out of school to go on family holidays


A mother on holiday with her children

A mother on holiday with her children

A mother on holiday with her children

A THIRD of children are taken from school by their parents for a holiday despite warnings that their non-attendance will influence their educational outcome.

As schools shut their doors today for the two-week Easter break, a new survey reveals that as many as 32pc of parents admitted taking their children out of school for a holiday, while a further 21pc of mums and dads polled said they had been "very tempted" to do so.

Some 10,700 Irish parents were polled, with 77pc saying they would like to see a cap introduced on the price hikes that airlines and holiday operators can introduce during school holidays.

Some parents said they had taken children out of school early due to work commitments and childcare, but the majority stated it was down to cost factors, with holiday prices differing substantially between off-peak and peak travel times. The AA Travel Insurance survey revealed that a one-week family trip to Disneyland Paris departing today, during the Easter holidays, would cost 30pc more than a week in May.

The flights alone were 86pc more expensive.

Ferry prices were similarly higher – with a return passage for a family of four and their car from Rosslare to Cherbourg working out at 19pc more expensive than a similar journey in May. A spokesperson for the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) warned that attendance at school was the biggest indicator of educational outcomes.

"If you're not in, you can't win," said Peter Mullan of the INTO.

Aine Lynch of the National Parents Council, Primary said parents need to think of the message they are sending to their children by taking them out of school for a holiday.