Parents fined £24m for term-time holidays, BBC probe finds

Parents fined £24m for term-time holidays, BBC probe finds

Parents of school children have been fined a combined £24 million for taking them out of school for holidays, a BBC investigation has found.

The probe into the rules on unauthorised absence from school found many parents are working the cost of fines into their holiday budgets.

It also found huge discrepancy between the number of fines being handed out across UK local authorities with some issuing penalties at a rate of five times the average.

A crackdown on term-time holidays over the last three years has been controversial with one father, Jon Platt, taking his fight against fines all the way to the High Court.

Ultimately he lost the case and some councils that had temporarily suspended fines while the case was on going resumed issuing penalties afterwards.

The BBC reported that some councils have become stricter applying the policy saying they are protecting the education of children.

The investigation was based on information from 155 local authorities in England and Wales. It found 400,000 fines have been issued over the last three years.

On average during 2016-17 12 penalties were issued per 1,000 children to parents for truancy or taking children out of school for holidays.

Of the councils issuing penalties at a rate five times the national average was the Isle of Wight, the local authority Platt took his case against.

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