A Devonshire family who collected newspaper vouchers to save money so they could take their children on holiday for £10 have been hit with a huge fine.
Simon and Karen Richardson returned from a mini-holiday to Perranporth in Cornwall to discover they had been fined £369 by their children’s primary school.
Nine-year-old Jodie-Ann, seven-year-old Alex and six-year-old Aiden missed five days.
The Richardsons said they took the risk decision to go on holiday during term time as they believed the maximum fine they would receive was £60.
Mrs Richardson said: ‘I think it is appalling. The school has got it so wrong.”
“We are both working parents and we don’t get much family time and we simply can’t afford to go away during the school holidays.”
She added: ‘If we had known it was going to cost us this much, we would never have gone.’
Under the current system, parents who take children out of school without permission could face a £60 fine per child, rising to £120 if it is not paid within 21 days.
The family have been told if the fine is not paid they could have to pay a larger fine of £2,500 and there could be the possibility of three months in prison.
In October last year, the Local Government Association said that parents should be able to take their children on holiday in term-time without being threatened with fines or arrest.
They said headteachers should be able to turn a blind eye and refuse to tell local authorities when families take advantage of lower prices.
Parents are prosecuted if children are not given the chance of education.
If your child is unexpectedly missing from school and the local council thinks you’re not giving them home education, you’ll be contacted by the school or the council’s educational welfare officer.