Parents could face £1K fine for term-time holidays

One council is considering a huge increase in fines for parents to combat unauthorised holidays

term-time holiday fine council schools parents

Parents in one council area could face fines of £1,000 each if they take their child on holiday in term time, it has been reported.

Lancashire County Council is considering increasing the fine ninefold, which would mean a family with two children at the same school could receive a £4,000 fine. Currently, the fine for each parent stands at just £120 per child.

Balladen Community Primary School headteacher Sara Richardson sent a letter to parents, warning of the move.

Pilot stage

It said: “Lancashire County Council are currently trialling a new system for dealing with unauthorised holidays and breaks during term time.

"This involves an increase in the financial penalty to parents of up to £1,000 per parent per child rather than the current fixed penalty notice of £120 per parent per child. This system is still at the pilot stage but please be aware this may come in to effect at some stage."

Tackling unauthorised holidays

Susie Charles, the council's cabinet member for children and schools, told The Sunday Times: “We are considering any possible action that could be taken in the future to reduce unauthorised absences. This is at an early stage.” 

Lancashire council issued 7,575 fines last year, up from 6,876 in 2016-17. Overall, however, fewer fines for poor school attendance were issued across England, reversing six years of rising numbers. 

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