School holiday travel price hikes 'immoral'
EDUCATION leaders have called on the Government to do more to protect families from school holiday price hikes.
Earlier this week the Post reported parents in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Carmarthenshire would no longer be able to request authorised absences to take their children away during term time.
The decision was taken by the South West and Mid Wales Education Consortium — which is made up of the three counties plus Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys — who have now said it is "immoral" for companies to charge more when the school holidays begin.
Lead director Eifion Evans said: "The education of children is paramount and research has shown that attendance at school is a high factor in achievement.
"Having said that, we fully understand the frustration of parents, and indeed all those people working in the education sector, who are forced to pay higher prices for holidays.
"This is totally unjustified and immoral and is something we would urge the Government to look into."
The new policy has proved controversial, with many parents saying the cost of going away during the holidays is too expensive.
Previously parents were able to ask for time off for their children and have it marked as an authorised absence if their head teacher agreed to it.
The Association of British Travel Agents (Abta) has defended the cost, saying it is simply a case of supply and demand.
A spokesman said: "Prices increase in line with demand and schools have traditionally taken their breaks at times of the year when the weather is good and demand is high, not just from other families but from holidaymakers across all of Europe.
"Allowing schools the option to stagger their holiday dates could go some way to address the issue of increased demand during school holidays."