School holiday fines DOUBLE in just one year as councils crack down on trips during term time

FINES issued to parents taking children out of school for family holidays have DOUBLED in just one year, figures show.

Department of Education stats reveal nearly 223,000 penalties were dished out to parents in 2017-18 – up from around 115,000 the previous year.

Councils have cracked down on parents taking their children out of school during term time
Getty – Contributor

The staggering 93 per cent rise, reported by the Daily Mail, indicates that heads and councils feel freer to clamp down on truancy for in-term trips.

It comes after the Jon Platt case in 2017 in which Supreme Court judges ruled the dad was wrong to take his daughter out of school for a family holiday to Disney World.

Until then schools had been unsure what was required under law – leading many parents to be let off.

The standard fine for unauthorised absence is £60 per child, rising to £120 if it’s not paid within 21 days.

Parents who refuse to pay face prosecution after 28 days.

FEARS FINES COULD ROCKET

In January, it was reported that parents could face eye-watering fines of up to £4,000 for taking their children out of school for holidays during term time.

Lancashire County Council proposed issuing penalty notices of £1,000 per child per parent if they miss classes due to trips.

It meant a two-parent household with two children at the same school could be slapped with a £4,000 fine.

A DfE report yesterday said the Supreme Court judgement in Mr Platt’s case “had an effect on the number of penalty notices issued in 2017-18”.

A DfE spokesman said: “We have put head teachers back in control by supporting them – and local authorities – to use their powers to deal with unauthorised absence.”

But struggling parents will argue that they face extortionate travel and accommodation costs during school holidays – leaving many unable to afford family trips altogether.


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