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Parents fined thousands for taking children on holiday in term time

By CG_News  |  Posted: February 02, 2014

Parents have been fined for taking their children on holiday in term time

Comments (4)

MORE than 400 penalty notices have been issued to families in Cornwall and Devon for taking their children out of school in term time, new figures show.

Councils in the two counties issued the fines after new Government regulations came into force in September – almost the same as were dished out during the entire previous year.

The fines run into the thousands, with costs equating to £60 per parent per child - after removing children without permission following rules which only allow for “exceptional” circumstances.

But the new regulations have sparked a backlash from parents, who are angry at having to pay higher prices to holiday during half term and the summer. 150,000 people have now signed an online petition at the Downing Street website.

The new Government regulations mean head teachers can no longer grant holidays during term time except in “special circumstances”, such as illness or family crisis.

Amendments to the 2006 regulations removed references to family holidays and extended leave as well as the statutory threshold of ten school days.

They also increased fine amounts to a maximum of £120 per child – £60 per parent per child. So if a family with two children go on holiday during term time, the likely fine will be £240.

The new regulations came about following the Taylor Report which stressed the importance of regular attendance at school. These extra measures are in addition the Government’s previous reduction in the national persistent absence target from 20 to15%.

A spokesman for the Department for Education said: “Poor attendance at school can have a hugely damaging effect, and children who attend school regularly are nearly four times more likely to achieve five or more good GCSEs than those who are regularly absent.

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  • lindlolly  |  April 15 2014, 4:44PM

    One of the most important things in education is it's being gradual and without interruptions. If the parents have entrusted their children to an educational establishment, they should respect the rules accepted all over the system to make the most of it for young generation. Jull http://tinyurl.com/o5onv8y

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  • Lafrowda  |  February 03 2014, 11:39AM

    A child is part of a family before being part of the State Education System. What the family decides is best for the whole unit takes priority. Children belong to their parents not the State. Finance often dictates a holiday out of season or no holiday at all. A week or a fortnight missing from class will not make a deal of difference, if it does then ban industrial action by the teaching profession and make it mandatory that any teacher off work for more than two weeks in a year be relieved of their post.

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  • josdave  |  February 03 2014, 10:31AM

    It's quite simple really education is essential holidays are not.

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  • Wazzamatter  |  February 02 2014, 9:39PM

    Yes, but why can schools suspend children for three or four days, a week, a fortnight... for the most trivial little things such as a child having a small pack of mini cheddars in his packed lunch. Why aren't the schools fined for "taking children out of school in term time" when it isn't "exceptional circumstances"? http://tinyurl.com/kp4vc97

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