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Holiday Fines!!!

(54 Posts)
KatieGiraffe Thu 02-Jul-15 17:25:20

Hi There!
Has anyone on here receieved a fine from their council and challenged it?
I'm looking for some guidance. My son is in year one and has had 1.5 days unauthorised absence plus our week holiday.
Thanks in advancesmile

DonkeyOaty Thu 02-Jul-15 17:29:16

What would your argument against the fine be?

For example you are a forces family with parent returning from a posting abroad

TantrumsAndBalloons Thu 02-Jul-15 17:30:22

Do you have an actual reason to challenge the fine?

DonkeyOaty Thu 02-Jul-15 18:22:06


NerrSnerr Thu 02-Jul-15 18:24:40

What grounds are you challenging the fines?

Starlightbright1 Thu 02-Jul-15 18:27:13

I am also curious on what grounds you are challenging it? why did you also have 1.5 day absence on top?

Starlightbright1 Thu 02-Jul-15 18:27:53

oh just to say on our website their is no appeal unless you are given it as an error...

KatieGiraffe Thu 02-Jul-15 19:24:23

So that's a no to you having fines? I think councils should focus on children who are missing school for no reason, truancy. I know of a school a few miles away that allows children 10 days in term time to take holidays. I just don't feel this is a appropriate course of action IMO

Sirzy Thu 02-Jul-15 19:26:31

Holiday or not it is still "truant" though really.

Surely when you chose to take the term time holiday you knew you risked a fine?

lljkk Thu 02-Jul-15 19:27:28

The odds of winning an appeal are tiny, don't fight it. Have they levied a £60 fine? Don't escalate or you'll be paying £120+.

Finola1step Thu 02-Jul-15 19:31:31

So your ds is of compulsory school age. He has been absent for 1.5 days without authorisation. You then took him out of school for a week for a family holiday. Is there a specific reason why the holiday had to occur during term time?

KatieGiraffe Thu 02-Jul-15 19:45:44

Wow.....well thanks for your 'help' I can safely say my maiden voyage into this world of chat isn't a nice experience. I was looking to gain advice from parents that have experienced this issue not be judged. We went in term time as it was all I could afford, being a single parent( I work full time). It was a late booking and probably my childs last chance to have a holiday as I'm going back to uni soon. Judge away!

ineedaholidaynow Thu 02-Jul-15 19:51:29

You need to look at the school's website and find their policy for authorised absence. Our school has a number of exceptional circumstances where school may authorise absence.

However, I would think it was unlikely your challenge will be successful, unless the school had made a mistake.

Italiangreyhound Thu 02-Jul-15 19:52:01

Hi KatieGiraffe I have no experience of this at all. But for what it is worth I think it is appalling that any school should fine a family for taking a holiday with their kids. To me it is bloody cheek.

However, sadly, it is the law.

There is an old article here.

In your shoes I would pay the fine rather than running the risk of it going up. However, in your shoes, once the fine was paid I would write a strong protest letter to the school and Ofsted.

In my humble opinion the school say it is all about the child but actually it is about the child getting good grades so it looks good for the school. So it's not really about the child, IMHO! And on your holiday you may have had many wonderful experiences that are going to be educationally beneficial for your child.

I feel it is so sad that schools have to fine parents to make sure kids are there all the time. To me this says quite a lot about school. And it's not good.

But in your shoes, I would run the risk of the fine going up, I would see it as paying for the privilege of a holiday with your children. wink

TheRealMaryMillington Thu 02-Jul-15 19:53:26

Headteachers cannot authorise holiday any more, though most probably would have, in the past, in your set of circumstances subject to your son's attendance record being otherwise ok. I think it is ridiculous that they can no longer use their discretion on this.

However, we have been told very clearly by our school that from now on in our LA any child with more than 4 UAs in one term or 6 in 2 terms will get a visit from the EWO. They do not usually of to fines for a single incidence as it costs them more than the fine to go through the process. So unfortunately with 2 incidence you are probably being perceived as a repeat offender.

I think you would have very little grounds on which to challenge the fine. Why did you have an additional 1.5 days UA? As a pp ^^ has said you should probably just pay up before it gets increased.

Italiangreyhound Thu 02-Jul-15 19:53:27

Sorry, But in your shoes, I would NOT run the risk of the fine going up...

lljkk Thu 02-Jul-15 19:57:04

I have no regrets about taking mine out for unauthorised absence.
That's why I'm trying to be kind & say don't fight it, don't pointlessly double the fine.

CaptainHolt Thu 02-Jul-15 19:57:06

I know someone who challenged - they lost (or caved in - it didn't go that far)

They didn't have any grounds though, they appealed because they didn't want to pay.

Did you get 5 days authorised and take 6.5? Why did you take the extra days? My sil took extra when her dd got chickenpox so couldn't fly home but that was illness.

Noeuf Thu 02-Jul-15 19:57:59

From memory there's no appeal to a fine, it goes up after 30 days and after 60 they either prosecute or drop it. But that's from memory so may be shaky. Have a look at the DfE website

MrsHathaway Thu 02-Jul-15 20:00:04

Plenty of people factor the fine into the cost of their holiday, eg...

Holiday in holidays £1000
Holiday in term time inc fine £500

The school down the road doesn't actually authorise two weeks of holiday unless its head wants to lose his/her job. Two or three years ago maybe but not since the guidelines were clarified.

I agree with pps that you should pay up quick before it increases. And next year don't forget to bear it in mind when you book.

KatieGiraffe Thu 02-Jul-15 20:03:14

The 1.5 days was a long weekend and then 6 school days abroad. The head has said that she will not authorise any holidays (we live in Wales & there is a choice for heads). My initial post did not say I was challenging, I wanted to see if anyone had.

Sirzy Thu 02-Jul-15 20:05:29

I think having taken 2 term time holidays then you really won't have ground to appeal.

Finola1step Thu 02-Jul-15 20:07:49

I think your best bet at this stage is to write to or email the school requesting a copy of their policy covering fines for unauthorised absences. Then take it from there if you can.

lljkk Thu 02-Jul-15 21:47:24

These people fought & won. They took their child to a funeral & then emigrated.

These people fought & lost. They had booked a holiday before the rules changed, dad had limited days to go on hols because of his job & still lost.

Not looking good.

Starlightbright1 Thu 02-Jul-15 22:38:44

It isn't a matter of judging right or wrong it is a matter of no rights of appeal in idea of Wales

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