Money Wellness
Illustrated image of a plane. Families sign petition so they cant take their kids out of school without facing fines. Fines increase for school absence
category iconcost of living
calendar icon30 Apr 2024

Angry parents sign petition to be allowed to take their kids out of school without being fined

Earlier this year the government announced that parents will face greater fines for taking their kids out of school without permission.

Currently, parents who take their children out of school during term time face being fined £60 per parent for each child. If payment isn’t made within 21 days, the fine doubles to £120 per parent per child. And if they fail to pay within 28 days, parents end up in court facing fines of up to £1,000.

From the summer, the fine for school absences across the country will rise to £80 if paid within 21 days or £160 if paid within 28 days. By not paying, families could face a parenting order or prosecution.

Parents who receive a second fine for the same child within three years will be charged at the highest rate of £160.

And those who don’t pay could face a parenting order or prosecution.

Parenting groups say the legislation disproportionately affects low-income families who have no option but to book cheaper breaks outside of school holidays.

This has led to families calling for children to be allowed to take two weeks out of the classroom each year without being penalised.

The petition – allow students to be taken out of school for two weeks a year without penalty - is quickly gaining momentum, with more than 180,000 parents signing it so far. This figure far exceeds the 100,000 signatures it requires for it to be debated in parliament.

A record 350,000 parents in England were fined for taking their kids out of school for unauthorised holidays last year. The number has soared since the end of the pandemic.

Statistics from the Department of Education (DfE) reveal that holidays accounted for almost 90% of the fines issued.

Avatar of Caroline Chell

Caroline Chell

Caroline has worked in financial communications for more than 10 years, writing content on subjects such as pensions, mortgages, loans and credit cards, as well as stockbroking and investment advice.

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