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Lincolnshire Parents Ignore School Absence Fines

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Parents Say They Will Continue To Take Children Out Of School To Save Money On Holidays

The Government will increase the fines for parents taking children out of school from £60 to £80. Parents in Lincolnshire have said the increase will not stop them from taking their children out of school during term-time.

 

Would being fined by the Government stop you from taking your children out of school to save money on a family holiday? According to our research, the answer is no.

With the cost-of-living crisis and the rising costs of holidays abroad and in the UK, more parents than ever before are now taking their children out of school during term time.

The Government believes the answer to tackling parents taking their children out of school to save money on a family holiday is to fine them. But, with nearly 400,000 penalty notices issued to parents in England between 2022-23, it shows the fine system is not working.

Instead of listening to parents, the Government believes the answer to tackling the school absence problem is to raise the fine. From August 2024 parents will be forced to pay a fine of £80 instead of £60. But will it stop parents taking their children out of school to save money on a family holiday?

According to the parents we have spoken to in Skegness, Lincoln, Grimsby, Scunthorpe, Spalding, and Boston, the fine increase will not deter them.

Out of the 100 parents, we asked, 82% said the £20 fine increase for unauthorised absence will not deter them. This is a similar result to a recent Instagram poll launched by Netmums.

Parents face higher fines for taking children out of school

Netmums found that 71% of parents would take their children out of school to save money on a family holiday.

These results show that the Government needs to rethink fining parents for trying to give their children an affordable holiday.

 

Why do parents take their children out of school during term time?

During our research, we found there are two main reasons why parents take their children out of school.

1.To save money on a family holiday.  Taking a family holiday during term time can save parents a lot of money.

2.Not being able to take time off work when children are off school. We have found that a lot of parents struggle to get time off work when children are out of school. Getting time off work when children are in school is much easier than when children are off school.

 

How Much Can Parents Save By Taking Their Children Out Of School for A Holiday

We decided to have a look at a holiday for two adults and four children during term time and the same holiday and hotel when children are on their official holiday, the price variations will shock you.

After going through lots of holidays to find the cheapest, we chose a hotel in Lanzarote which was priced at £4,200 for seven nights all-inclusive. When we looked at the price it would cost to take the same family on the same holiday during term time, the price was just £2,900. That is an incredible saving of £1,300.

If we take into account how much the parents would be fined for taking children out of school, that will equal under the new rules £360. That means the total saving would be £940 which is a lot of money.

 

The School Fine System Will Not Stop Parents Taking Children Out Of School For A Family Holiday

With a record number of parents being fined, it shows the Government needs to tackle the real problem and stop blaming parents.

A lot of the parents we spoke to said the Government needs to have a sit-down meeting with travel companies and stop them from inflating holiday prices while children are off school.

However, some teachers we spoke to have another idea. Their idea is for the Government to change term times around the country so different areas have different term-time dates.

A teacher in Grimsby who did not wish to be named said he believed that doing this would stop travel companies from raising holiday prices during normal term time.

“I don’t agree with the fine system. The Government is hitting people’s pockets at every opportunity. Parents are struggling, why shouldn’t parents take their children out of school to give them a well-earned affordable break.”

Although the Grimsby school teacher said he does not blame parents for taking children out of school, he does believe that parents should not do this more than once a year.

He was not the only school teacher in Lincolnshire who did not agree with the school fine system. We spoke to a teacher from Lincoln who also agrees the term time dates around the country should be changed.

“If the term time dates were changed and different areas of the country then this should stop travel companies from increasing holiday prices.”

It is clear to see that the problem with children being taken out of school during term time is not down to the parents but travel companies taking advantage. The answer is, will a new Labour Government see the real problem, or will they continue to blame the parents?  

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