Weekly Boffin no. 15

At Boffin we don't like to blow our own trumpet. We're an unassuming bunch who let our hard work and dedicati.... it's no good, I can't keep a straight face. Of course we like to talk, we're fantastic! One of the things we're most proud of here is the creation of a flexible working environment for our consultants. We've realised that work should fit in around our lives and not vice versa. If only all aspects of life were that easy. The issue of flexibility is never far away when the topic of school holidays comes up. It's that time of year when many people are planning to get away over the summer and cost of such trips is often prohibitive. It's no secret that holiday firms bump the cost of packages up during the holidays, it's a license to print money. Recently the Supreme Court ruled it unlawful to take your child out of school during term time with parents risking a fine of £60 or more. There's also a moral question at stake here. Are you jeopardising your child's education by removing them from school? Does it have a social impact if a child spends time away from their friends? I recently took my daughter out of school for two weeks. Her Mum is American and we went to California for Thanksgiving last year. The school were very understanding and didn't fine us but it was listed as an unauthorised absence. I felt the trip was justified as it is a huge part of my kids' cultural heritage and my wife had not been back for Thanksgiving for eleven years. However, it would be remiss of me not to mention that it was also about £2000 cheaper than going at Christmas and that certainly swayed our thinking. Because each child is different it is hard to accurately assess the effect of term time absences. As my children get older I think it less likely that we would repeat that trip. It is easier to catch up on primary education by reinforcing the subjects at home. Secondary education is far more geared towards GCSEs and A-Levels so time away could be detrimental. Ultimately parents know their children better than anyone. I'm not sure any of my friends would put saving money before the educational well-being of their offspring. If I thought my daughter would have suffered as a result of our trip I certainly wouldn't have done it. Perhaps a return to the system of ten days grace per year for each child would make life a little easier for many parents. As we're discovering at Boffin, a little flexibility goes a long way.

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On This Day

On this day in 1215 King John signed the Magna Carta at Runnymede near Windsor. It was one of the first examples of British law designed to grant civil liberties such as a trial by jury and is still referred to today.

What's On

Treat yourself to some delicious ice cream as the Gelato Festival returns to Old Spitalfields Market for the weekend. Get a festival wristband to sample unusual gelato flavours from some of the world’s best artisans, and vote for your favourite: the London winner will compete in September to be crowned the European Gelato Champion. Read more here.

Fact Of The Week

Today is World Meat Free Day. Sadly it's too late for me as I went out for breakfast and had sausage and bacon but you can celebrate with this delicious back bean burger recipe!