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fines for holidays.

(52 Posts)
engiebengy Wed 03-Jul-13 22:34:28

has anyone had a fine for taking their children out of school? We took ours out for week after half term for family holiday and have now received letters fining us both, separately for each child. ie two children, each have to pay £60 each per child. Total £240 ! is this normal practice. We are unmarried and therefore have different names but obviously same address. I cannot find anything relating to this fining scheme anywhere.
My children are yrs 8 and 9 both with otherwise %100 attendance and on or above all their grades in all subjects!

BartBaby Tue 16-Jul-13 21:06:53

Found this. It mentions the 2007 regulation fines to be £60. Although i have never heard of it before.

keepsmiling12345 Fri 19-Jul-13 22:00:35

Sorry, standard practice where we live

Mum2Fergus Sat 03-Aug-13 22:10:58

Yep...DP is a secondary school teacher and his school does same thing.

Weelady77 Tue 13-Aug-13 21:59:49

We don't have that practice in Scotland thank god as were away in 5 weeks!

applepieplease Fri 16-Aug-13 00:11:35

I am afraid this is standard practice now as headteachers no longer have any discretion in authorising holidays. The local authority now take the matter into their own hands.

Ruprekt Fri 16-Aug-13 00:13:13

Yep. Standard practice.

And quite right too. smile

Phoebe47 Thu 22-Aug-13 16:26:39

Cannot agree with you Ruprekt. I think every family should be allowed one weeks holiday in term time per year. Not everyone can afford to go at the dearest time and so they miss out. Failing that, the government should bring in restrictions on holiday companies so that the prices are standard throughout the year - no huge increase in school holidays. Oh and the price should be based on an average of the current school holiday price and the cheapest price at other times of the year.That would solve the problem very neatly. The holiday companies are just being greedy and allowed to get away with it so holidays are becoming a thing of the past for many families who cannot afford the current school holidays cost. I have suffered from this all my married life as my husband works in a school - not a teacher. Fortunately our family have enjoyed bucket and spade holidays here at home and sometimes in France but could never do anything more exotic due to cost during the school holidays.

meditrina Thu 22-Aug-13 16:43:12

If you can persuade your HT that your circumstances are exceptional, then leave can still be authorised. And I think it's right that discretion rests solely with the HT, as that makes it easier for parents to make their case to someone who already knows (or can easily discover) the family/circumstances.

You can be fined for any unauthorised absences, not specifically holidays.

WeAreEternal Thu 22-Aug-13 16:45:24

At our school it is £Xx per child per parent, so you get fined twice for each child whether you are married or not.

SquigletPie Fri 27-Sep-13 10:29:58

I wonder if anyone has argued the legality of distinguishing between 1 and 2 parent families? Surely if a 2 parent family get fined twice as much that is discrimination? Why should a family receive a larger fine simply because the parents are together??
I for one would be straight on to my solicitor and have a feeling this might be a case making its way to European courts if a family were determined enough.

SquigletPie Fri 27-Sep-13 10:32:32

Or rather not just that the parents are together but both contactable. Either way seems blatant discrimination to me.

shellingtonboots Fri 27-Sep-13 10:40:57

But how does the local authority find out about the unauthorised absence?

Does the school still have to actually tell them about it? So does the school still have some element of discretion, despite distancing themselves from the fines??

SquigletPie Fri 27-Sep-13 10:42:30

From a different perspective Traveller Absences have their own absence code for schools and it counts as authorised absence. No fines applicable except where a child has attended less than 200 sessions (equal to 100 days/20 weeks of a minimum 39 week school year) in a 12 month period and then legal proceedings may commence - no on the spot fine for them but an opportunity to defend their right for their child not to be in school.

How is that acceptable? There is no guarantee that the time spent travelling is beneficial to the child, that they receive any education whilst travelling and therefore surely it should be no more acceptable that a non Traveller child travelling with their family?

I am not taking a stand against Travellers but rather the arbitrary discrimination that effects schooling.

bsc Fri 27-Sep-13 11:00:35

Shellington-ALL schools that receive DfE funding are obliged to report attendance and absence to DfE.
No choice, it is a condition of funding.

SquigletPie Fri 27-Sep-13 11:08:41

I think what Shellington is suggesting is that schools do not have to mark the absence as unauthorised but could code it differently.

Whilst I would applaud any school for taking a common sense approach against the 'one size fits all' government stance, Ofsted might notice when reviewing the registers the frequent authorised absence - completely missing the child who is being kept at home repeatedly by abusive/neglectful parents and supposedly 'ill,' who the school have failed flag also, but notice the family who take their child on holiday once a year during time no doubt!

shellingtonboots Fri 27-Sep-13 11:17:10

I only ask because I know someone who is taking their child out for one day. She was told that, although it would go down as unauthorised, she wouldn't be fined.

So I'm wondering whether that's because a) the school wouldn't grass her up; b) it's only one day or c) they only go after parents at schools with persistent 'offenders'?

leylandii Fri 27-Sep-13 11:31:11

3 days or more for the fine.

And i totoally disagree with fining for hols.

shellingtonboots Fri 27-Sep-13 11:59:18

Aha, thanks!

I disagree with fines too, but I wouldn't take mine out of school for hols.

Theas18 Fri 27-Sep-13 12:27:42

All very well to disagree with fines for holiday but It's still missed learning time and ultimately chunks of the curriculum they may miss altogether.

I'm aware that Mumsnet kids are so bright and able and always attend otherwise this can't possibly impact on their education, but this doesn't apply to the majority of children....

Dare I say it also gives you children the impression that school isn't theat important either as it's OK not to go if you've some thing " nice" to do?

Doubletroublemummy2 Tue 15-Oct-13 17:15:05

I wonder if any one has ever tried to contest this in court because reading the related legislation it says nothing about the penalty being applicable to parents who remove their child for a limited period on one occasion.

The education act reads as follows

(1)If a child of compulsory school age who is a registered pupil at a school fails to attend regularly at the school, his parent is guilty of an offence. .
[F1(1A)If in the circumstances mentioned in subsection (1) the parent knows that his child is failing to attend regularly at the school and fails he is guilty of an offence.]

I would argue that one week not in school does not irregular make?!

and the Education and Inspections Act 2006 section 103 to which this relates deals with excluded pupils.

springygirl Mon 21-Oct-13 15:52:48

I think it is time for a re think on school holidays overall.
I wonder if it would be feasible to stagger the school holidays by dividing the country up into zones? This is done in France (which I know is a lot larger) but surely it would be worth looking at?
It would almost certainly make the holiday companies lives more tricky when deciding dates for putting their costs through the roof!?

Families who have to go without a holiday are likely to suffer higher rates of stress. This is something schools need to consider in my estimation.

Any thoughts?

morethanpotatoprints Mon 21-Oct-13 15:56:43

What about step families then, are the step parents fined too, or both biological parents whether married or not, living together or not.

5madthings Mon 21-Oct-13 16:00:15

We took our boys out of school for a week, true schools told us they woudldnt authorize it but also said they wouldn't fine us.

Did you not ask the school for permission or speak to them before you went?

5madthings Mon 21-Oct-13 16:05:55

The schools...

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