Schools in Bradford are being asked to crack down on parents who take their children out of class for holidays during term time. Education Bradford, the private company that runs local education, is warning families that they could be fined up to #163;2,500.
The autumn and spring terms in 200809 saw more than 61,000 education days lost across the authority because of term-time holidays. The practice accounts for 12 per cent of primary and 6 per cent of secondary absences.
Parents do not have the right to take pupils out of school, and heads can only grant up to 10 days for term-time holidays in exceptional circumstances.
Neil Helliwell, Education Bradford's principal education social worker, said: "Each case is being carefully assessed and if attendance is already poor and the family has broken the rules, they could face a #163;50 penalty notice."
If the fine is not paid within 28 days it rises to #163;100, and if that is not paid in a further fortnight the case goes to court, where parents could be fined up to #163;2,500.
Denise Faulconbridge, Education Bradford's managing director, said: "Research shows that children and young people have difficulty catching up with work missed while away, which could affect test and examination results and, ultimately, career prospects and life chances." WS.