Parents have reacted with anger, defiance and dishonesty to a crackdown on taking children out of school during term-time for family holidays.
Fines of £60 per pupil, per parent, can be issued for removing children from school without permission, potentially increasing to £2,500 and a three-month jail term if unpaid.
Family holiday is no longer accepted as a reason for taking children out of school during term-time.
Parents claim overseas trips enrich children’s education rather than harm it, and many argue the ban on term-time absence is unfair because the price of family holidays rockets during peak season – which is when schools break up.
New research has shed more light on the issue, with more than half of parents admitting they have taken children out during term-time and concealed the reasons for doing so.
More than half say they will defy the clampdown in the future.
A majority of parents think the decision on whether to take children out of school during term-time should lie with them.
Top justifications for doing this include a child’s attendance being above 90 per cent and one or other parent being unable to take annual leave.
Interestingly, one in 10 people would snitch on other parents for taking their kids out of school.
The differences between the state and private education sectors also frustrate many parents.
Families with children in private schools are not liable for fines. Also, many private schools have shorter terms and longer holidays, meaning they can potentially avoid peak travel times – 73 per cent of parents surveyed said it is unfair, especially as research shows an increase of more than 80 per cent in flights to popular destinations between the date private schools break up and the date state schools finish for the summer.
See the infographic below and watch the video for more details on the research carried out on behalf of price comparison site Travelzoo and the opinions of parents it revealed.
Then have your say in the comments below. Do you think it is unfair parents are prevented from taking children out of school during term time for family holidays, or do you agree with the strict rules? Do you think it is wrong holiday prices shoot up during school holidays? If so, what should be done about it?
Here's the infographic - click on it to view a larger version:
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