Parents 'face £1,000 fines' for taking children on holiday during term time

Posted on: 2019-01-21 17:45:00

Parents could face being fined thousands of pounds if they take children on holiday in term time.

Lancashire County Council is considering issuing fines of £1,000 per child per parent in an effort to clamp down on unauthorised school absences, according to the Sunday Times.

Currently parents in the county face a penalty notice of £120 per child – but under the plans a family with two children at the same school could now receive a £4,000 fine.

Last week, Sarah Richardson, headteacher of Balladen Community Primary School in Rossendale, wrote to parents to warn them of the proposals.  

The letter said: “Holidays must not be taken during term time and government legislation prevents schools from granting leave of absence unless there are exceptional circumstances.

“Lancashire County Council are currently trialling a new system for dealing with unauthorised holidays and breaks during term time.

“This involves an increase in the financial penalty to parents of up to £1,000 per parent per child rather than the current fixed penalty notice of £120 per parent per child.

“This system is still at the pilot stage, but please be aware this may come in to effect at some stage.”

In 2016-17, Lancashire County Council issued 6,876 fines to parents for unauthorised absences – one of the highest rates in the country.

Councillor Susie Charles, cabinet member for children and schools, told the Sunday Times“We are considering any possible action that could be taken in the future to reduce unauthorised absences.

“This is at an early stage.”

It comes after unauthorised absence rates in England reached a record high last year.

Around one in six (16.9 per cent) pupils missed at least half a day of lessons due to a family holiday during the 2016-17 school year – up from 14.7 per cent, government figures show.

Source: The Independant

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