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Term-Time Holidaymakers Fined Over £20 Million For Absences

Figures released recently show that parents have been fined £24 million for taking their children out of school during term-time to go on holiday. There has been a significant increase in the number of fines issued over the years, and some local authorities appear much more likely to dish out monetary charges than others. So, what are these fines for and how much are they?


What Are Term-Time Absences And The Rules Surrounding Them?

A term-time absence is any absence of a child from school that isn’t pre-approved. Previous legislation allowed schools to approve absences for family holidays for up to 10 days, however this changed in 2013 in a bid to crack down on term-time absences.

With the removal of family holidays from the regulations, it no longer allows schools to approve leave unless there are ‘exceptional circumstances’.


How Much Is The Fine?

The fine for term-time absence is £60 if paid within the first 21 days or £120 if paid after 21 days but before 28 days.


Why Do Parents Risk Fines?

As you may well know, holiday prices can sometimes increase during term-time due to the highly increased level of demand, thus many families decide to risk a £60 fine instead of paying more for a trip during the school holidays.

There have been many cases reported in the press where parents have refused to pay fines or been taken to court, which can ultimately lead to even larger fees being charged.


Are There Any Plans To Make It Easier For Parents?

The Isle of Wight is leading the way in trying to help parents as they plan to change their school holidays. They will remove a week from the summer holidays and introduce a 2-week autumn half term, this will then give parents the chance to beat the hikes as very few schools across the UK will be off at the same time.


What are your views on fines for term-time holidays?