North Somerset parents fork out thousands in fines for taking kids on holiday
PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 December 2016
Fines totalling more than £15,000 were issued to North Somerset parents for taking children on holiday in term time in the past academic year, a freedom of information request has revealed.
A total of 325 parents were slapped with the £60 penalty fine for taking their children out of school by North Somerset Council, which raked in £16,260 from the fines.
The total is down on the 2014-15 academic year, where parents were forced to pay out £20,750 for taking their children on holiday in term time.
But the council said more than 100 cases from the 2015-16 academic year were put on hold due to a well-publicised case in the Isle of Wight where a father won a High Court ruling after being initially fined for taking his children to Disneyland in Florida, and it is understood fewer fines are being dished out in the wake of this verdict.
The primary school in the Mercury patch which issued the most fines was Weston-based St Martin’s Church of England School, in Spring Hill, where 17 penalties were imposed, though this is fewer than the 25 issued in the 2014-15 academic year.
Churchill Academy, in Churchill Green, topped the rankings for secondary schools and academies, with 38 parents fined, which was nearly a 50 per cent increase on the previous year.
Churchill was closely followed by Worle Community School, in Redwing Drive, where parents racked up 32 penalties.
Both Broadoak and Priory accumulated fewer than 10 fines each, while Hans Price saw 13 parents fined in the most recent full academic year.
Eighteen schools in the Mercury patch issued no fines at all, including most-improved school St Anne’s Church of England – which was subject to 28 fines in 2014-2015.
A spokesman for North Somerset Council said: “Removing children from school during term time is disruptive to their learning and development.
“We would urge parents not to take their children out during the academic year.”