Fears over term-time holiday fines for parents of pupils with life-limiting conditions

editorial image
0
Have your say

A charity has claimed that the parents of children with life-limiting illnesses in Leeds fear being fined for taking their youngsters on holiday during term-time.

The Cystic Fibrosis Holiday Fund has outlined the anonymous case of a single dad from the city who had to pay £90 after taking his son, who has the condition, out of school for two days before a half term break in 2016.

Laurie Howard, director at the Cystic Fibrosis Holiday Fund, said that fines for such families “creates unnecessary stress for parents who are already facing financial and emotional difficulties.”

In a separate case, the sister of Leeds teenager Iona Lindley, who died from the condition, has spoken of how much a holiday they had in Sardinia meant.

Hannah Lindley, 21, of Horsforth, who also has Cystic Fibrosis, said: “You cannot put a price on the last holiday I went on with my sister.

“I would give anything and everything to re-live that holiday with her.”

Cystic Fibrosis is caused by a defective gene, leading to a build-up of mucus in the lungs and chronic infections.

Many people who suffer from it die in their teens or 20s, although others live longer.

And the charity said that there is currently no direction on whether parents whose children are ill can be granted special permission to take their family on holiday in term time.

In Leeds, the policy is that school headteachers determine whether a fine is appropriate or whether there are exceptional circumstances which mean that the usual process is not needed.

CLC World Resorts and Hotels provides holiday accommodation to families living with the condition and has pledged to pay fines issued by local councils on behalf of those staying at its resorts.