Term-time holiday fines up 70% after ban


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The Independent Online

The number of fines issued to parents for their children’s absence from school has risen by around 70 per cent since term-time holidays were banned last year, a BBC survey has found.

Just under 64,000 fines were handed out between September and July, compared to 37,650 in the previous academic year, the research found. A ban on taking children out of school for holidays during term-time was introduced by the Government in September last year and fines are issued by the local authorities.

Of the 152 councils across England the BBC said 118 had responded to its survey. Lancashire came top, with 3,106 fines issued in the last school year. Both West Sussex and Doncaster more than doubled their fines from year to year.

Schools minister Nick Gibb said attendance had improved since the ban was introduced: “As a result of the changes we have implemented, 130,000 fewer pupils missing lessons.”

But campaigner Stewart Sutherland, who was himself fined, said the ban does not take account of parents’ working patterns.