Sunday, 25 October 2015

Half term.

It's the Autumn half term, so we have put the clocks back. All over Europe, I believe. We got an hour's extra sleep last night but when the children go back to school next week the days will be noticeably shorter. No playing out after school as it will be too dark. 

I heard that Turkey, where they had got into the habit of changing their clocks in line with the rest of Europe, decided this year not to do so. Perhaps it's a kind of protest against the EU's continued refusal to accept Turkey as a member. Whatever the reason, they took the decision. However, some of the automatic devices with clocks did not seem to be aware of the decision and put the time back an hour. Consequently, everyone is confused and no one really knows what time it is. 

It's half term and so all the travel companies and budget airlines have put their prices up for this week. And so the question arises again of the rights and wrongs of parents in the UK taking their children out of school during term time. Again! How exactly does a week on the beach provide a valuable learning experience? With teachers increasingly having to show in their lesson planning how children benfit from this, that and the other, are they going to have to show how they ran catch-up because little Billy's mum and dad took him to Benidorm and he missed the intro to the new topic? And what about teachers who are also parents? They don't get to benefit from cheap holidays in term time. 

Of course, this problem does not appear to arise in other European countries. They all seem to have had strict rules about attendance at school for as long as I can remember. In fact, many of them don't have half term holidays and so the question of going away for a week's skiing at the end of October does not come up at all. 

All right, so many of them are able to trot off for skiing weekends, but that's more a matter of geography than school organisation?

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