YEP Letters: May 26

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Fines for pupils missing school during term time

It’s the same every year: you want to fly away with the kids to soak in a bit of sun but all the prices during half terms and school holidays are eye-watering.In a bid to stop parents from being tempted to take children out of school early the government introduced fines for parents for taking children away for unauthorised absences in 2013 which are levied by local authorities such as Leeds Council. Penalty fines are £120 per parent per child for each unauthorised period of absence if not paid within 22-28 days or £60 if paid within the timeframe. So a family of two parents and two children taking both children out for at least one unauthorised period of time would in theory pay £240 in fines in total if paid promptly and £480 if not. We asked YEP readers for their views and here’s what some of them said on social media..

Wayne Wilson

Taking your kids out of school for a holiday is educational. My daughter has learnt so much on holidays abroad and at home more than any school could ever teach her it only starts getting out of hand when people start abusing the system.

Joanne Hazelgrave

It’s the airlines that everyone should be angry with not schools and Leeds City Council.

The airlines are holding parents to ransom pushing prices to ridiculous amounts we should be on at that and not schools and Leeds City Council.

Trevor Ravenhill

can we fine teachers when they have a training day? Why can’t they have a training day during the holidays, not in school time?

Emily Draper

Training days are pre-arranged and are taken into account when planning the scheme of work. I think teachers work enough as it is, thank you!

Ann Patricia Brydson

So why can’t the Government insist that travel companies keep the prices low during school holiday time?

Some families can’t afford inflated prices. It’s always about money. And what are these fines spent on. Who is gaining?

Emma Jane Lockwood

Winds me up when a holiday costs £900 more for a week in the school holidays.

Therefore a fine is cheaper for me to take my children away during term time. The government really need to look at holiday companies rather than parents in my opinion.

Nicola Wallis

It’s all well and good if both parents can get holidays off work during the school breaks.

Me and my partner can’t as he has a block on August and the end of February.

I have a block on Christmas and then both employers have a first booked, first served holiday entitlement.

Claire Butler Westmoreland

I work in a Leeds school, my children go to North Yorkshire schools. Next year our holidays won’t be the same. What do I do and others in the same situation?

I wish people wouldn’t blame schools for this and say teachers have enough holidays or shouldn’t have training days. It isn’t a decision made by school staff, who are parents too, can face the fines themselves, and don’t necessarily agree with this ruling either! My children and I have different holidays and I either don’t take them away or risk a fine.

Marc Coope

This is so wrong. My kids year on year achieve minimum 95 per cent attendance we should be rewarded with term time holidays not taxed because we can’t afford it during peak periods.

This was all brought in for parents who don’t make their children go to school and were constantly off school, not to tax the working parent who can’t afford the extra money it costs to go in holiday times. This country is getting worse, they just constantly want to tax us.

Martyn Dawson

The only place where a fine can be legally issued should be a court, after all the facts have been heard. These schools now put profit first and education last and are taking the law into their own hands. Oddly, nobody from the holiday trade is being hauled before a Parliamentary Committee to explain these outrageous price hikes.

Donna-Marie King

Absolute joke. We go on holiday every year sometimes twice if we’re lucky.

My child learns so much about the world and the work ethic that if you graft hard you get nice things.

He has 100 per cent attendance at school apart from our holidays. We will carry on going on holiday and nobody’s going to tell me otherwise.

Katie Greaves

Maybe teachers and school staff, teaching assistants etc should all start taking their holidays randomly throughout the year to get the cheaper holidays too?

Benny Karr

It’s not all about getting them cheaper. Many parents struggle to get time off in school holidays. Schools might completely close at certain times of the year, but what other employment does that?

Ellie Emmott

Worse than the fine is competing with your colleagues all wanting half term holidays, it’s a nightmare.

Never had this problem when I was a kid in the 70s. Hardly any of us went away.

Mathew Linley

But it’s OK for them to take my son out of school in September to Robin Hood’s Bay for a week.

Who do I send my invoice to?

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