family holiday

Family HolidayA new study has shown that two-fifths of parents would risk getting a fine to take their children out of school for a term-time holiday.

New rules were brought in last summer, making it much harder for parents to get permission to take their children out of school for holidays.

New sanctions accompanied the rules. Parents now face a maximum fine of £60 per pupil who is taken out of school without permission. This fine will rise to £120 if not paid within 7 days.

If a parent refuses to pay, they can face a fine of £2,500 and possibly even a custodial sentence of up to three months.

The Halifax carried out the study which showed that some parents were not put off by these fines if they believed they could save money on their holiday by taking their children away during the school term.

Prices jump during the school holidays and many parents find themselves struggling to pay for trips abroad. Studies have shown that travel firms, airlines, hotels and other businesses inflate prices by up to 200 per cent when schools close.

Half of parents asked said that the single most important factor affecting their choice of summer holiday destination is the cost, and nearly a quarter don’t think they will be able to go away on holiday this summer.

Of the two-fifths of parents who would consider risking a fine, more than half would consider going away in term time if they could save up to £750 on the cost of the holiday.

Nearly two-fifths would risk a fine if they could save up to £500 and 15 per cent would even consider going away in term time if they could save £100 to £250 – the cost of a fine for two parents with two children.

Last month a Facebook rant about the cost of breaks at Center Parcs by father Paul Cookson went viral and led to more than 100,000 signing an online petition calling for a cap on price increases in school holidays.

The petitions have prompted MPs to table a debate in the House of Commons about the issue this week.

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