Holiday row head teacher cancels

editorial image

A head teacher at the centre of controversy over a holiday planned for term time has cancelled her break to the Caribbean.

Jenny Winder, headteacher at Elstow Lower School, had planned to take a week off after the Christmas holidays for a beach break –despite it being the start of school term.

Mrs Winder, 53, had refused to give an explanation and said: “My private life is exactly what it says – private.”

But yesterday it was confirmed her holiday – approved as ‘appropriate’ by a sub-committee of the school’s governors, has been cancelled.

A Bedford Borough Council spokesperson said: “We can confirm that Jenny Winder has cancelled the proposed leave and will be in work from the start of the new spring term on January 5, 2015.”

Chairman of the governors, Kevin Hunter, said Mrs Winder was “devoted” and “well-liked” and she had made what they judged to be a request for a week off during term time for personal reasons as ‘appropriate’.

But her decision to take holiday in term time angered parents.

The website for the school, which caters for four to 11-year-olds, says parents “do not have the right” to take their child out of the classroom for family holidays during term time.

It adds that the school “will not authorise” such absences and parents are fined £60 per parent per child per period of absence, which rises to £120 if not paid within 21 days.

Parent governor, the Rev Jeremy Crocker, had called for Mrs Winder to cancel her holiday and apologise to staff and parents.