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Richard Branson backs campaign to take children on holiday in term-time

Sir Richard Branson. Credit: PA Wire

Sir Richard Branson has supported a campaign to allow parents to take their children on holiday during school term-time.

Branson said childhood holidays were "invaluable", adding it was "really important that kids spend as much time travelling and learning as possible, from a young age".

Credit: PA Wire

He argued parents should not be punished for taking term-time family trips, citing the example of Janice Skelcher who was prosecuted for removing her children from school to visit family in Australia.

Skelcher claimed the holiday was needed during term-time as she was caring for her mother who was terminally ill.

The issue of term-time holidays has been widely discussed in recent months. Credit: PA Wire

The mother-of-two and her husband were given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £400 in costs for taking their children from school without permission.

The issue of term-time holidays has been heavily discussed in recent months following a number of high-profile cases similar to Skelcher's of parents being punished.

Branson said he "wholeheartedly" supported Skelcher's campaign to allow parents to take their children on holiday during term-time.

Sir Richard Branson said some of his happiest memories are of childhood holidays. Credit: PA Wire

Writing on his blog, Branson said: "If there is no other time when parents can afford – financially or time-wise – to take a holiday, they should not be punished for doing so during term."

"Letting children travel provides the opportunity for families to spend quality time with each other, something I have always found invaluable with my own family.

"Some of my happiest memories are of childhood holidays – some during term-time, some not.If your holiday has to be in term-time, so be it – just ensure children get the chance to travel.

"They may well learn more than they ever could in a classroom."