Parents across England and Wales have been fined an estimated £24 million for failing to send their children to school over the past three years. We asked for local views on fines issued to parents taking their children on holiday during term time. So, what do you think?
Parent Elly Illane Sanchez has taken her children out of school during term time for a holiday. She said the term-time fines are not consistent across different schools and different councils.
Speaking about the term-time holiday fines system she said: “It is a ridiculous system.
“I know of heads in Doncaster who never fine and the family takes the children out of school every year for a holiday.
Others heads refers for fines all the time. Each council has different rules. Not consistent at all.
“It is still cheaper just to pay the fine rather than go on holiday peak season.
Holidays in itself is educational for children. My kids went on safari, had encounters with elephants and cheetahs. No school could have provided that experience!”
Councillor Nuala Fennelly, Doncaster Council Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Schools, said: “Head teachers are responsible for deciding whether a fine should be issued to parents, based on guidance from the Department for Education and each case should be judged individually. Doncaster Council’s role is to administer the fines system and any funds received are reinvested in improving attendance. Currently, too many children in Doncaster are absent from school and attendance remains below the national average. This does need to be addressed as it is likely to have a significant impact on the children affected and their ability to secure a bright future for themselves and their families. We continue to work closely with our schools to educate children and parents on the importance of attendance.”
Parent Louise Northover was stung with a £120 fine for taking her son out of school to travel to her wedding in Mexico.
Speaking about the fine, she said: “I was charged for taking my son out of secondary school for our wedding in Mexico last year!
“I gave them notice from September and we went in July.
“They didn’t send me the fine until two days before the last possible time they could which was on the 15th of January.
“He had full attendance throughout the year.
“I paid the fine which was £120 as I paid for both parents, only to find out I’m paying for other parents awareness course in the borough.
It did not even go to the school in question!! So no I do not agree with the school term-time holiday fines in this circumstance”