9th June 2015
Close to two-thirds of UK parents would let their children skip some school days and risk a fine in order to allow them to have a family holiday new research has revealed.
The analysis from switching site Gocompare.com found that 61% of parents would let be happy for their kids to miss some days while more than half, at 53%, would be prepared for their child to miss school for a week or more.
A further 30% would take them out for six to 10 days or more
Parents estimated that they had or would save an average of £679.50 on the cost of their holiday by taking their child out of school but nearly 19%, or almost one in five, estimated their saving would be over £1000.
The survey of parents whose children have attended school in the last three years, has revealed that over two thirds, at 68%, disagreed with fining parents for taking their children out of school for family holidays and 57% would not be put off by the threat of a local authority fine.
Some 56% said that they would take their child out of school anyway, if permission for an authorised absence was refused, and 45% said they would report their child as sick.
Families face fines of £60 per child if the local authority decides to pursue the matter, rising to £120 if fines are not paid within 21 days. Refusal to pay could even result in a massive £2,500 fine and up to a three-month jail sentence.
Caroline Lloyd, spokesperson for Gocompare.com said: “The subject of term time holidays has come close to sparking a parents’ revolt. With holiday and flight prices jumping substantially at the start of the school holidays and falling again when the children go back to school, it’s no surprise that parents are fed up with being made to feel like criminals for trying to have a family holiday they can afford.”
But unless the Government compels travel companies and airlines to cap school holiday price increases or introduces staggered school holiday periods to reduce the effects of a six week high season, parents will have to resign themselves to either paying more for their holidays and staying on the right side of the school and education authority, or, in extreme cases, breaking the rules and risking a fine.
“With a family saving over £600 by taking children out of school for their holiday, it’s not hard to see why some parents aren’t put off by a fine from their local authority,” added Lloyd.