Parents fined for term-time holidays

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Parents fined for term-time holidays

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A couple who took their children on a week long holiday during school term have been ordered by Magistrates to pay £993 in costs and fines. Stuart and Natasha Sutherland from Telford, Shropshire, originally refused to pay a £360 fine. It doubled after they failed to pay within 21 days.

The couple with their two daughters, aged 15 and 13, and six year old son went to the Greek island of Rhodes for a week at the end of September 2013.

If you want to take your child on holiday during term time, it is important that you obtain the Headteacher’s consent which will be only granted in exceptional family circumstances.

Requests are granted or refused entirely at the Headteacher’s discretion, they are not a parental right. It is important that parents understand that since 1st September 2013 Headteachers can only grant consent for a holiday during term time in “exceptional circumstances” (previously Headteachers could grant up to ten days of leave a year for family holidays in special circumstances).

If parents in England and Wales fail to ensure that their children attend school, they may be issued with penalty notice of £50 to £100 which can be issued by a Headteacher. Prosecutions can result in fines for up to £2,500 and possibly a jail sentence!

Certainly, we at Watkins Solicitors have experience of a number of parents being fined £100 for taking children on holiday during term time.

It is important, therefore, to ensure that you do obtain the necessary consent before taking your child on holiday.