It seems parents in England and Wales are still ignoring the rules regarding taking children out of school for a term time holiday with the latest figures revealing parents were fined 24m over the past three years.
According to a BBC investigation, some councils are issuing fines at rates five times higher than other councils instead of tackling the problem head on and coming up with a real resolution that suits all.
When the fine system was introduced millions of parents and some teachers said it was unfair. The government believed introducing the term time fine system would put a stop to parents taking their children out of school for a cheap holiday but as official figures show, this has not worked.
Travel experts have called on the government to remove the fine system and instead work with the travel industry to put a stop to holidays costing more when children are out of school.
Tim Ellis, editor of In2town Travel Magazine said: “Travel agents and travel companies need to be tackled on the issue of holiday prices increasing when children are off school. It really is unfair that parents have to pay more to take a child on holiday during the school holidays.”
Our editor explained the whole pricing system regarding booking a holiday needs to be tackled to make it fairer for parents.
“When you buy a car, the price stays the same no matter what time of year it is, just like many other products, so why should holiday prices increase when children are off school. Companies like TUI and Thomas Cook are greedy and holding parents to ransom.”
The government claimed the fine system was helping to protect children and their education when in reality children can learn a lot when they are on holiday with their parents.
Carol Smillie, a television presenter revealed to In2town that she thinks children can learn more out of the classroom at a younger age while on holiday than in it. This statement has been echoed by many parents and teachers who feel the government need to be listening to the needs of parents.
Many educational experts believe over the next three years the number of fines issued will increase, especially when the fines are small. Even with the fine, parents are still saving a great deal of money by taking their children out of school for a term time holiday.
By Diane Walker