Law Matters

Q – I have a 5 year old son from a relationship which ended two years ago. Whilst our separation was amicable, we’ve had little success in determining the childcare arrangements and it seems like my former partner is contesting every facet of our son’s life.

Last year, with the help of mediation, we were able to make some progress with the living arrangements, including the plans for the holidays. Based on that agreement, I had expected to have children from the date that they finish school in the summer holidays (a Friday) and booked a holiday on the Saturday accordingly. My partner does not agree to me taking our son on holiday on the Saturday, saying that the holidays start after the inset day (which is on the Monday). Is this correct?

A – The local authority has responsibility for determining, and publicising, information relating to the term-time periods for schools. These can usually be found on the local authority website but are often also published by the individual schools. Scheduling of inset (or training) days, however, is for the individual school to determine and the details are often not published until long after the local authority has published details of term-time periods.

In summary, Inset days are scheduled within the term-time and, therefore, whilst they can bookend a school holiday, strictly form part of the school term. This is, often, not an issue, but can be tricky when school holidays start on Tuesday, with an inset day on a Monday.

Whilst in many instances matters often work themselves out, with parents agreeing to a ‘common sense’ approach, this is, regrettably, not always possible. In cases where your partner is likely to be difficult, in reaching an agreement it is important to think about, agree, the detail in advance.

If you would like any further information, or advice, about this or other matters please feel free by email at or by telephone on 02920 345511 or 01656 645525.