Ask the expert: Should I take my child out of school to travel during term time?

As a rule of thumb, I would advise against parents taking their children out of school during term time.

Research shows that missing school impacts the student's learning, and can affect outcomes at crucial times in his or her academic career.

At Sir Manasseh Meyer International School (SMMIS), attendance figures for all children should be 96 per cent - the legal requirement in UK schools.

If attendance drops below 90 per cent, parents receive a letter from the administration reminding them of the negative impact absence can have on their child's success.

However, the answer to this question is not black and white. There is also plenty to learn from foreign travel that can't be learned in a classroom.

It is important for our students to see that there is more to the world than their own classroom.

PHOTO: The Finder

There are a number of questions to keep in mind when deciding to take children out of school for an extended period.

First, consider your child's age, as there is a big difference between missing a week of school in primary school versus secondary school.

Then, ask yourself if your child will gain more than he or she loses by missing school time; also consider what your child will be missing from school - such as exam preparations, activities like camp or cultural experiences and sporting competitions.

Lastly, think about how your child will make up for the schoolwork. It is important to weigh this against your travel itinerary, as you will need to help your child find time to complete the schoolwork so he or she won't fall behind.

I would recommend that families carefully weigh the pros and cons about term-time travel. I suggest asking your children what they think about missing school, too.

This article was first published in The Finder