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Parents take their children out of school to travel

Travel-mad parents are taking their children out of full-time school and moving into a tiny one-bedroom caravan so they can save up for a once-in-a-lifetime round-the-world trip. 

The Binedells moved into their mobile home in St Albans, Hertfordshire, in October last year after giving up their large three-bedroom home in Portugal.

Now, five months after returning to the UK, the family are planning to pack their bags in August and travel the world.

Alongside selling all of their possessions, Karen, 36, and Warren, 45 – who pay £420 per month for their caravan – are now saving for their trip of a lifetime, which they hope will last for as long as possible.

Life’s a beach: The Binedell family – Aiden, 13, Warren, 45, Karen, 36 and 11-year-old Ella – are about to embark on a round-the-world trip. The children will be taken out of school and the family will set off in a one-bedroom caravan

Cosy: Mrs Binedell - pictured here in the caravan with Aiden, Ella and the family dog, Alfie - gave up a large three-bedroom house in Portugal to move into the mobile home. They have sold their possessions and are saving for the trip

Cosy: Mrs Binedell – pictured here in the caravan with Aiden, Ella and the family dog, Alfie – gave up a large three-bedroom house in Portugal to move into the mobile home. They have sold their possessions and are saving for the trip

The Binedell children - pictured here inside the caravan - will be taken out of full-time school in order to take part in the trip. Mrs Binedell said their studies will continue via distance learning and they will sit their GCSEs

The Binedell children, who will be taken out of school to go travelling

The Binedell children – pictured here inside the caravan – will be taken out of full-time school in order to take part in the trip. Mrs Binedell said their studies will continue via distance learning and they will sit their GCSEs

Spacious: This is the three-bedroom home in Portugal the family gave up in favour of their cramped, one-bedroom caravan. Mrs Binedell plans to make money online through freelance writing to make extra cash for the trip

Spacious: This is the three-bedroom home in Portugal the family gave up in favour of their cramped, one-bedroom caravan. Mrs Binedell plans to make money online through freelance writing to make extra cash for the trip

And their children, Sebastian, 14, Aiden, 13 and 11-year-old Ella, will be taken out of full-time education so they can join the trip.

Their parents say their studies will continue via distance learning and they will eventually sit their GCSEs. 

Mrs Binedell, who plans to make money online via her website or freelance writing, said: ‘We love travelling, and it’s worth cutting down on everything we own to be able to leave on this epic adventure.

‘At the moment we have no luxuries, we sold anything that couldn’t fit into the tiny caravan – we’ve only kept my wedding dress, a few sentimental bits and some of the children’s artwork which a friend is storing for us.

‘Whilst travelling we’ll be moving from one volunteer project to the next – we want to meet and help different people from different backgrounds and experience their lives first hand.

‘And although we’re taking the children out of school, we hope that they will learn invaluable lessons from this experience.

‘We have also got our two cats, Stuey and Tilly, and our dog, Alfie, passports, so they won’t be missing out either!’

The family are currently paying £420 per-month to live in a one-bedroom caravan, which is £2000 less than their previous costs. 

Cramped: The caravan the family-of-five will live in while travelling. The mobile home costs £420 a month

Cramped: The caravan the family-of-five will live in while travelling. The mobile home costs £420 a month

The Binedell family, who are selling all their possessions, taking the children out of school and setting off on a round-the-world trip in  a one-bedroom caravan

The Binedell family, who are selling all their possessions, taking the children out of school and setting off on a round-the-world trip in  a one-bedroom caravan

The family previously lived in this spacious three-bedroom house in Portugal. They moved into their mobile home in St Albans, Hertfordshire, in October last year

The family previously lived in this spacious three-bedroom house in Portugal. They moved into their mobile home in St Albans, Hertfordshire, in October last year

The family, pictured here on a previous holiday, are living on a tight budget, stripped of any luxuries. They hope they will be able to start their travels in just six months

The family, pictured here on a previous holiday, are living on a tight budget, stripped of any luxuries. They hope they will be able to start their travels in just six months

The Binedell family, who are selling all of their possessions and travelling round-the-world in a one-bedroom caravan

The Binedell family, who are selling all of their possessions and travelling round-the-world in a one-bedroom caravan

Alongside that, they have also stopped buying new clothes, excessive food shops and materialistic objects. 

Mrs Binedell, a former teaching assistant, said: ‘The caravan cost us £4000 to buy and is absolutely tiny.

‘It has to fit in my two teenage sons, my 11-year-old daughter, myself, my husband, two cats and our dog – so it’s a tight squeeze.

‘Having to live in such a small space makes life very restricted and our life is very stripped back and basic now.

The family’s top tips for holidaying in a caravan

Tip 1 – Service your caravan before moving in.

Tip 2 – Trust CrockPot. When you have no gas for cooking and it’s 8pm DO NOT buy a slow-cooker and expect din by 9pm- you will be feasting on a choice of Cheerios or Weet-a-bix!

Tip 3 – The contents of a four-bedroom home will not fit into a caravan (no matter how hard you try). It is not possible. Once you’ve had a clear out… clear out again and after that sift through what remains and attempt to whittle it down a little more.

Tip 4 – Make sure you have a suitable towing vehicle – a towbar is a must!

Tip 5 – You need an awning. With a family of five, two cats and a dog this is an absolute essential.

Tip 6 – Your awning should be in good condition. Entering Autumn and Winter it is very important that your awning is strong and leak free.

Source: ourtravellingfamilycom.wordpress.com 

‘We have to fill up our water tank in the caravan before each shower, so we find ourselves re-filling it six times a night so we can all shower.

‘Getting ready for school in the morning is a nightmare, because there’s hardly any room. But the children are troopers, and they enjoy living in the caravan regardless.

‘We all have a tiny plastic box that we keep our clothes and possessions in and that’s all we can fit – so we rarely buy anything new.’

The family are currently saving to buy a tow car, so that they can take their caravan on their trips around the world.

Due to living on a tight budget, and being stripped of any luxuries, the family hope that they will be able to start their travels in just six months.

Mrs Binedell said: ‘We’re going to start out travelling around the UK, and then we’ve already got volunteering offers in Poland, Amsterdam, Hungary, Iceland, Thailand and Germany.

‘We hope to take the caravan throughout the UK and through to Europe, but we might have to abandon it before we go to Thailand due to the flights.

‘I’m going to try and find a way to earn money online so that I can continue to receive an income on the road.

‘At the minute, my husband, Warren, has been working six-days-a-week full time in a warehouse to save up for us to leave.

‘The children currently attend school full time and will continue to do so until we leave.

‘At times we wonder whether we’re being irresponsible taking them out of school, but we believe this is the right thing for our family.

‘They will continue to study on the road via distance learning, and when the time comes, will write their GCSE’s.

‘But regardless, they can get so much more out of an experience like this and by helping others.’

What are the rules on taking your child out of school during term time? Can I be fined if they miss school?

There are only two occasions on which a parent is allowed to let their child miss school – if they are too ill to attend or if their headteacher grants them advanced permission. 

You have to get permission from the head teacher if you want to take your child out of school during term time.

You can only do this if:

– You make an application to the head teacher in advance (as a parent the child normally lives with) 

– There are exceptional circumstances 

It’s up to the head teacher how many days your child can be away from school if leave is granted.

If you fall foul of the law, your local council can give you a fine of £60, which rises to £120 if you don’t pay within 21 days. 

If you don’t pay the fine after 28 days you may be prosecuted for your child’s absence from school.

If you are prosecuted, you could get a fine of up to £2,500, a community order or a jail sentence up to three months. The court also gives you a Parenting Order.

This means you have to go to parenting classes. You’ll also have to do what the court says to improve your child’s school attendance.

Other sanctions include Education Supervision Orders and a School Attendance Order. 

If the council thinks you need support getting your child to go to school but you’re not co-operating, they can apply to a court for an Education Supervision Order.

A supervisor will be appointed to help you get your child into education. The local council can do this instead of prosecuting you, or as well.

You’ll get a School Attendance Order if the local council thinks your child isn’t getting an education.

You have 15 days to provide evidence that you’ve registered your child with the school listed in the order or that you’re giving them home education. If you don’t, you could be prosecuted or given a fine.

Source: Gov.uk 

 



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