Term-time holidays and smoking in cars – what Lib Dem members think should be allowed

by Stephen Tall on June 29, 2014

lib dem conf votingLib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum  to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Over 830 party members responded – thank you – and we’re publishing the full results.

48% say schools should not allow parents to take their children out of school during term time

Do you think schools should or should not allow parents to take their children out of school during term time for the purpose of taking family holidays?

    44% – Should allow parents to take children on holiday during term time

    48% – Should not allow parents to take children on holiday during term time

    8% – Don’t know

A close result, but, by a slim margin, a plurality of Lib Dem members in our survey believe schools should not allow parents to take their children out of school during term time for the purpose of taking family holidays. Here’s a sample of your comments…

• Limited to a week, with permission from the school if the child hasn’t had too many unauthorised absences.
• Parents know what’s best for their kids. Holidays often more educational than school, but should be monitored on a case by case basis.
• We have gone from being too lax to being far too strict.
• It should be allowed sometimes – education is more than just what’s learnt in the classrooms. Holidays are often a chance for cultural exchanges and are not always affordable in the school holidays.
• Definitely NOT. If parents cannot see the point of children being in school, then one wonders why they have even bothered to have children in the first place!
• But the fleecing of parents by inflated holiday prices during school holidays should be outlawed.
• with headteacher’s agreement
• Not fair on familys who cannot afford fancy holidays
• It depends on family circumstances, the school year in question etc.
• A limit of 2 weeks per year
• but only under certain circumstances
• its an economic thing… should not be more than a week. not every parent has the ability to coordinate their holidays (or afford to pay the premiums for peak periods) to suit when it suits the schools.
• I think the decision should be down to teachers and schools. One size does not fit all.
• Parents, children and teachers should not be allowed to holiday in term time. However, staggered holidays should be considered.
• The holiday companies, flight and hotel companies need to be tackled on extortionate prices rather than taking kids out of school.
• A few days’ holiday during term time does no harm. The current ban forces parents to pay inflated prices for holidays.
• All absence causes harm to their progress, going away on a holiday is not an essential.
• Reducing class sizes would be the single best thing to do for our education system, plus free school meals for all state primary schools.
• the balance of family time together cf loss of learning time is delicate….but I come out on the side of the family.
• It is important for Children to learn to travel. There should be a small allowance.
• Feel very strongly about this. Taking away the right of parents to take children out for 10 days was a “Stalinist” move in my view. The law should be restored to what it used to be.
• It’s a fallacy concocted by teachers that children’s education suffers if they have a week or two extra holiday.
• BUT, for not more than 2 weeks and not in an exam year or close to an exam.
• Damages education. need to reduce term time prices for holidays.
• Strict limits on duration. Child and parent responsible for catching up with class work.
• Holidays are too expensive , families have a right to choose when to take their children on holiday saying they cannot is a nanny state
• In general I oppose term time holidays, but I think there will always be extenuating circumstances where, for example parents are unable to get holiday time together. One particular route might be for parents to seek approval from the school’s governing body.
• For a strictly enforced 2 weeks in any year and no more.
• This is not ideal but holiday companies put prices through the roof during school breaks.
• Within reason and not every year. Why not?

61% support ban on people smoking in cars when there are children present

Do you support or oppose a ban on people smoking in cars when there are children in the car?

    61% – Support

    31% – Oppose

    8% – Don’t know

A more clear-cut result here – by a 2:1 majority Lib Dem members in our survey support the ban on people smoking in cars when there are children present. Here’s a sample of your comments…

• Smoking is stupid anyway – smoking in the vicinity of children in a closed environment is wilful neglect of said children
• Oppose smoking but not keen on the steps needed to police it
• I believe people should only be able to smoke with other consenting adults, preferably in places designated for them.
• I do not approve of banning anything. It is a pompous and officious process. People who do such a thing as smoking in private confined spaces with children or those who has respiratory problems should be prosecuted by the police if and when harm is caused.
• Not enforceable
• This is impossible to enforce. Using mobiles cannot be enforced at that is more dangerous
• It’s an appalling thing to smoke in a car with kids in it, but we should steer clear of intervening too much in personal lives
• Obviously not good to smoke around children, ask the police how they feel about upholding this law, how practical is it?
• This is unworkable and unenforceable, it’s a waste of legislative time and paper.
• This is an essential child protection measure.
• I am a smoker but hopefully a responsible one
• I am a lifelong non-smoker – but this would be completely unenforceable, not to mention an unwarranted expense and disastrous foir police pr.
• But how are cars different from homes? Children spend much more time in homes.
• There should also be a ban on smoking in a private dwelling where children are present; it is abusive because the child has no choice but to breathe in the adult’s smoke.
• It distracts drivers and so should be banned completely – as should eating or drinking whilst driving.
• I believe it is wrong to smoke with children present but we don’t need a law for everything that is wrong.
• I am against all forms of over-regulation (big brother perception of government) and prefer the concept of education/information. This is a better, cheaper and more effective approach.
• The inside of a car is private space. The dangers of smoking in an enclosed environment can be made clear. It would also probably be un enforceable.
• I don’t like it, but I don’t approve of this step. This kind of change should be carried out via cultural change, not law.
• I don’t think they should but I also am against unenforceable laws. This is in the same category as using a mobile.
• Its an unenforceable nanny state law. I would be very supportive of the NHS running s strong campaign to dissuade parents from smoking in cars though.
• Who wouldn’t? Enforcement may be difficult, but there will be convictions, and if these are suitably punished they will serve as a deterrent to others, thus protecting the kids.
• Ludicrous and unenforceable nannying
• I support an ban on smoking in cars even if there are no children on board
• But then I would support a ban on people using their cars to transport themselves or their children when there are publiic transport alternatives!
• As long as it doesn’t lead to a ban on smoking in cars full stop!
• Unenforcable
• Right but impossible to enforce -look at the so called ban on using a phone whilst driving
• I see the logic but I’m not sure where it would stop. Would we start banning people from smoking in their own homes when Children are present. I’m not a smoker, or a parent
• There is no justification for this that does not also justify the government going into people’s homes to stop smokers. If you’ve favour of that, that’s fine, but please have the honest to say so and to stop calling yourself ‘liberal’.

  • 1,500 Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with LibDemVoice.org. 745 responded in full – and a further 87 in part – to the latest survey, which was conducted between 16th and 22nd April.
  • Please note: we make no claims that the survey is fully representative of the Lib Dem membership as a whole. However, LibDemVoice.org’s surveys are the largest independent samples of the views of Lib Dem members across the country, and have in the past offered accurate guides to what party members think.
  • For further information on the reliability/credibility of our surveys, please refer to FAQs: Are the Liberal Democrat Voice surveys of party members accurate? and polling expert Anthony Wells’ verdict, On that poll of Lib Dem members.
  • The full archive of our members’ surveys can be viewed at www.libdemvoice.org/category/ldv-members-poll
  • * Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and editor of the 2013 publication, The Coalition and Beyond: Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead. He is also a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum and writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.