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School Holidays: Exciting for some but unkind for others

School Holidays: Exciting for some but unkind for others

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Alex Milakovic Teacher jobs, teaching asssitant jobs, education supply agency...

School Holidays: Exciting for some but unkind for others 

For most pupils the holidays signals some well deserved time to enjoy some family time and relax with friends, maybe by exploring the good old outdoors, playing on the dreaded X-Box or going out to the cinema (to name a few). Whatever it may be, the majority of children cannot wait to finish school and they are usually on a countdown for the day to end, and their holidays to start.

However, for some children, the holidays are not something to look forward to and to be celebrated. For example, one article from the BBC states that ‘children who rely on free school meals, face hunger in the holidays’. I know this is hard to believe that this is happening in this day in age, but unfortunately, this is on the increase throughout the UK.

So, when most of us see children running out of the school gates and talking about what they have planned throughout the holidays, do we oversee the ones that are unusually quiet because we assume that all pupils cannot wait for the school holidays? For example, one teacher has stated in a teacher’s union conference ‘For the poorest, it is often a closed in isolating experience with a lack of any positive stimulation when it comes to the school holidays’. In addition to this, ‘A dangerous combination of low and unreliable income, multiple part-time jobs, benefit cuts and sanctions and the inability to pay bills from this income has, in every part of the country, brought an unprecedented hunger’.

This brings me on to my next point, what do low-income families do with their children through the holidays? There are many things to do across the UK for families to get involved with if they are on a budget, but in all honesty is this realistic? When I say this, I mean you have got to take in to account the transport (bus, car, train, walk), maybe you would have to take a packed lunch (how much would this cost?) The day out may be titled as ‘free’ but is it really when you must consider everything else that goes on that day.

There are food banks to help those most in need throughout the country but how much do they help? Families are still struggling to feed their families, in 2016 Trussell Trust food bank revealed that there was a 21% increase in demand during the school holidays and, the number of people relying on food parcels has not been higher since the Second World War.

This then briefly brings me on to Birthdays, Christmas, Holidays, and all other special occasions and events that most of us take for granted. Whilst most of us go on about the latest gadget, or what we’ve asked Santa to looking forward to jetting away for the summer and writing a list of all the birthday presents we want, there are those who dread these events.

Therefore, I will finish on this quote from a parent:

‘When people say that the holidays are stressful, I want to say, “Define stress.” For me and many others, the fullest meaning of peace and joy is simply this: not having to worry about how we will provide food, shelter, and heat for our loved ones’.

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