Recent findings have revealed that parents are becoming more prepared to accept the £60 fine imposed by schools when they choose to take their children away on term-time holidays.
Local councils can currently hit parents with a £60 fine, which rises to £120 if they don’t pay within 21 days of issue, this move came after a Government crackdown on term-time holidays back in 2013.
After 28 days, prosecution becomes a possibility, with a maximum fine of £2,500, a community order or a three-month jail sentence dependent on the criminal history of the offender.
World First, a UK foreign exchange company, polled 1,000 parents from across the UK and found that 45% would be happy to pay the £60 fine if it meant their children could take a term-time holiday, while 4% admitted they had already paid a fine for doing so.
The most willing to pay the fine were parents in England (46%) whilst those willing in Scotland was around 31%. Northern Irish parents were the most likely to admit paying the fine.
Fathers were discovered to be more likely to accept the fine, with 9 in 10 of those surveyed confessing they had already taken their children out of school during term-time.
In October 2015 a father was taken to court and won his case after allowing his 7-year-old daughter to miss school for a term-time holiday. This case is said to have given hope to parents being hit with the fines as the magistrates ruled he had “no case to answer.”
Matt James, World First’s Head of Communications acknowledged that parents know travel companies push their prices up during school holidays and it is attractive for parents to take the £60 fine if it means the possibility of saving hundreds of pounds on the cost of their holiday.
He said: “Taking children out of school for a holiday is a dilemma all parents face and nearly 49% of people in our survey would do. It’s a decision that clearly has us divided.”
Do you think parents are more likely to accept the £60 fine? Do you think more should be done to avoid parents taking their children out of school during term-time? Let us know in the comments below.