Private school parents exempt from holiday fines

Have you taken your children out of school to go on a family holiday this year?  Would you consider doing it in the future?

Did you know that families with children in the private education sector are not liable for fines if they take their children out of school during term time for holidays unlike those with children in state schools. A new survey that spoke to parents with school aged children found 69% think this is deeply unfair on those attending state schools.

Many private schools have shorter terms and longer holidays, meaning they can potentially avoid peak travel times. Once again parents have voiced their frustration on the matter; 73% claim it is unfair, especially as research shows an increase of over 80% in flights to popular destinations between the date private schools break up and the date the state schools finish for the summer.

The Government passed legislation to remove ‘family holiday’ as a reason to take children out of school during term time, despite this change over half (50%) admit they have taken children out during term time and have concealed the reasons for doing so and a further 53% said they would continue to. Over half (56%) believe that the decision lies with the parents when taking children out of school during term time, and interestingly 1 in 10 would definitely report parents for doing this.
It has been argued by parents that if a child’s attendance is above 90% then a holiday during term time should be allowed (53%). Other suggestions include David Cameron’s idea of staggering school holidays – in fact three quarters believe this to be a great solution. However some have argued that it comes with risks of longer periods of time having increased holiday prices, which in turn could affect more holiday makers.

What do you think Mojomums?  Over to you…

The research was commissioned by Travelzoo who are campaigning for a better solution for parents.

5 Responses to Private school parents exempt from holiday fines

  1. Pascal says:

    It’s not so much fines that I find the problem. After all, if you can afford paying for private schooling you’re not going to raise an eyebrow if presented with a £60 fine per child.

    It is the fact that you could end up with a criminal record if you children don’t attend a private school. That is what is unfair.

    How can something be a criminal offence for parents that send their children to a government run school but not for those that send their children to a private school?

    • Billybob says:

      Pretty obvious isn’t it ? The criminal record isn’t for taking your kids out of school. It’s for non-payment of a local government issued fine. Having said that, it’s disgusting that the rich get away with it while the rest of us can’t. And I have to be honest, what difference does a week or two make? none.

  2. Sally says:

    completley agree that staggered holidays is not the answer. I totally disagree that it is unfair that private school parents do not get a fine! – private school parents pay a large fee for their children to attend private school and still have to pay that fee if they take their children out. By sending your children to private school you are opting out of main stream education and all that goes with it! – at my childrens school very few people take their children out of school as they are paying and the children get much longer holidays. Also you still have to get permission!

    • J says:

      So having more money and being able to afford to take your children out of mainstream education gives you that right? Surely the principle is that it is in the child’s best interest to not be absent from school, that is the legal argument. Whether private or mainstream that principle either stands or doesn’t. Money should not give the right to change a principle or what is in the child’s best interest.

  3. Lisa says:

    I don’t think staggering the holidays is the answer. As a teacher in a different school to the ones my children go to we could potentially have different holidays. Families with children in different schools due to age or need could potentially have a child care nightmare if they differ in holidays. Also, my neices and nephews may have different holidays so no more family trips away together and a very sad loss of important family time. Lastly, travel companies will only put costs up over all the possible times for a holiday so again only they win, not families. The only answer is a cap on holiday costs.

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