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The chief inspector of schools says parents who take their children out of school to save money on a family holiday should face higher fines.
The current fixed penalty of £60 per parent is not high enough and is much less than the sum a family can save by booking an off-peak holiday during the school year, according to Ofsted’s chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw.
This rises to £120 if not paid within 28 days of the notice being issued. If the penalty is still not paid, parents can be prosecuted and face a higher fine.
“I would like to see the fines raised. We have too many parents taking their children out in term time,” Sir Michael told The Sunday Times. “I think schools should adopt a hard line and not allow the youngsters out.
“If parents are behaving irresponsibly then the state is right to say, ‘This is wrong and you are being a bad parent’.”
The penalty was raised from £50 to £60 in September 2013 as former education secretary Michael Gove tightened the rules on term-time holidays.
The tougher rules have produced a stream of complaints, chiefly from parents’ groups who have launched online petitions against the fines.
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