Number of parents fined for taking children on term time holidays doubles in a year

Parents are being fined for taking children out of school for term time holidays [Photo: Getty]

The number of fines issued to parents taking children out of school for term time holidays has almost doubled in just one year, statistics show.

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

The staggering 93% rise is an indication that head teachers and councils are clamping down on kids skipping school during term time.

News of the fine increase 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.

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Until then many schools were confused about what was required under legislation, which meant many parents were let off.

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

Parents who fail to fork out face prosecution after 28 days.

Earlier this year it was reported that parents could face eye-watering fines of up to £1,000 per child for taking them out of school for holidays during term time.

Lancashire County Council proposed issuing penalty notices of £1,000 per child per parent if they skip school during term time.

Overall in 2017-18 there were 260,877 penalty notices issued for unauthorised absence from school.

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”.

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Commenting on the statistics 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 with the average family holiday taken during the school holidays costing £2,417 – thanks to sky-high flight prices in July and August, parents will argue that they face extortionate travel and accommodation costs during school holidays.

Recent research has revealed that almost half of parents have taken children out of school for holiday, with many saying it is too expensive to go away during the summer break.