‘Should I take my child out of school to go on a cheap holiday?’

In reality, few parents are ever fined, let alone prosecuted. Of course we can never recommend breaking the law, but over the past few years we’ve all been craving vacations and seeing other parents exploit the system to book cheap trips must be deeply frustrating if you find yourself always followed the rules.

As you say, a trip to the Pyramids, Rome or even Center Parcs can be of value to a child, especially when the choice is between a holiday or no holiday at all.

To feel validated, you really need to make sure the break enhances your son’s education and experiences: Sitting on the beach for a week and refueling at an all-inclusive resort isn’t going to garner much sympathy.

Some readers might also point out that the age of the child is crucial. Missing a week of school at 15 while GCSEs are looming is certainly a different kettle of fish than when your son is five years old.

If you choose not to for moral reasons, would you consider alerting the authorities to other parents who are breaking the rules?

I’m sure we can all agree that children should be in school as much as possible. Up to 100,000 children are believed to be missing since schools reopened after lockdowns. That’s the real tragedy.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below and by emailing

You can also (and anonymously) ask us questions by using the email address above.

Last week’s moral money: ‘A neighbor charged us to bake a cake for our street party – do I have to pay?’

dear moral money,

My family recently moved to a quiet cul-de-sac. Last weekend we decided to throw a street party to meet our new neighbors while also celebrating 70 years of Her Majesty’s reign.

I took it upon myself to do the lion’s share of the organization, including contacting our local council, knocking on my neighbors’ doors to invite them in, and setting up the tables and bunting.

I’m happy to say that the party went smoothly and everyone who attended was very nice. However, I woke up this morning to a message through our front door that startled me.

Everyone who attended brought food or drinks to share. We personally spent around £30 on nibbles and drinks enjoyed by the whole street.

An elderly lady who lives across the street brought home-baked cakes. I tried one piece and my kids scoffed at the rest.

When I woke up this morning I had a £18 bill in my letterbox with my alarm clock. As it turns out, this woman bakes her living and saw fit to charge me for her contribution.

Is this normal behavior? We didn’t throw a party for ourselves; it was a community event. Should we feel obliged to pay them?

– KF, via email

What should have been a time of celebration for you and your family was marred after your neighbor’s penny-pinching left a bad taste in your mouth.

Street festivals are community events through and through. It’s unlikely that anyone in attendance considered it “their” party, as thousands of similar events have been held across the country.

It’s also unlikely that your neighbor would consider it acceptable to charge you for groceries that were scattered across the street simply because you organized the event.

She may have sent the note in an act of passive aggression. Maybe she thought your kids ate too much of the cake and didn’t leave enough for the rest of the neighborhood.

Readers may forgive you for tossing the bill in the trash. However, since you’re new to the area, you may choose to take a more diplomatic approach.

You could perhaps send your neighbor a thank you note for coming and bringing the baked goods without mentioning the bill.

Alternatively, you could just go ahead and be more selective about who you invite to events in the future.

Poll Result: Should our readers pay for the cakes?

Yes, her kids obviously ate too much – 14 pcs

No, but send thank you notes – 43pcs

No, throw the bill in the bin – 37 pcs

Miscellaneous – 6pcs ‘Should I take my child out of school to go on a cheap holiday?’

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