"I should be doing maths now!"

THE EAST RIDING COUNCIL has drawn up a new policy to tackle unauthorised absences from schools. Each parent will be fined £50 for each child taken out of school without permission during term-time.

If a penalty notice remains unpaid after 28 days it will increase to £100 and if still unpaid after 42 days, parents will face a summons to appear before a magistrate and risk a fine of up to £1,000.

The move is designed to tackle truancy and patterns of unauthorised absence from school by tackling the parents deemed responsible. This includes deterring parents from taking their children on holiday during term-time.

This of course will prove very unpopular amongst those parents that save a fortune through booking cheaper holidays during term-time. Quite often the same holiday will be considerably more expensive during official school holidays.

Current guidelines are that holidays in term time must be discussed with the school and permission obtained before they are taken. However permission is only likely to be given if parents have to take holidays in term time due to work commitments or when emigration is being considered or if there is a family event such as a funeral or wedding. Only a maximum of 10 schools days absence in any one school year can be requested in this way.

Will the fines deter parents? Or will super savings on term-time holiday bookings encourage parents to shoulder the fines and take the kids anyway?

What do you think?

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