Gosh, this one really has run on while I've been working, so here are a few points from my original post that appear to have been lost in the barrage of opinions.
1. This winter was to be the last ski trip before his GCSE courses start.
2. Both us and the school have been very happy with his attendance and achievement for the rest of the year.
3. The school has been quite happy to approve his absence for a week last season and the season before when they had the power to do so.
What I really wanted was to get some indication of how rigidly these rules are now being enforced or maybe some opinions from those in the teaching profession.
The price of a ski holiday is of a similar magnuitude to what most of us here have spent on our bikes. If the same bike was available for two thirds of the price, from somewhere that gave a better experience wouldn't most of us want to investigate the consequences of going for the cheaper option?